Books Going to the Movies: Exciting Literary Adaptations Coming Soon!

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The upcoming year has an abundance of movie adaptations, with a variety of selections ranging from Shakespeare to Stephen King to Kurt Vonnegut to John Green (and many more!). No matter your genre preference for books, you’ll undoubtedly find a book-based movie for you to enjoy in the theater soon. Many best-selling books become movies, and often sparks the conversation of the controversial question: should books be made into movies? Often, people feel that the movie doesn’t do the book justice because it leaves out too many things, whether it be characters or part of the plot, that they feel is essential to the book. But, a two hour movie couldn’t possibly fit all eight hours of reading into it. Further, many people who love a book are disappointed with the casting – the image they had in their head does not match the actor. But there’s good things about books being turned into movies, too. If someone really enjoyed a movie they saw with some friends, they might go to a bookstore and pick up the book. The movie could also portray the book in the image of the author, giving the reader a look as to what the author was imaging when they wrote it.

The movies listed below are coming out in the next year and I’m very excited for them. The Glass Castle and Wonder are amazing books that lead to introspective thoughts and the movies seem promising to make people feel along with the characters. The trailer for Murder on the Orient Express proves that it’ll be a psychological thriller that will keep people on the edge of their seats – and since details are important in crime books, it’s likely to be very similar to the novel. Annihilation is a novel full of creepy, crazy happenings, and the movie, while not much is known about it, looks to be just as mysterious and suspenseful. A Wrinkle in Time looks to be just as fantastical as the book, and Ophelia puts a female viewpoint on Hamlet. 


Check out some information on the books and movies below!


–written by Bethany Offer



The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

Release date: August 11, 2017

Starring: Brie Larson, Woody Harrelson, Naomi Watts

The Glass Castle is Jeannette Walls’ memoir of her own life. While popular for the telling images and nonjudgmental tone, the New York Times declares what’s best is “the deceptive ease with which she makes us see just how she and her siblings were convinced that their turbulent life was a glorious adventure.” As Walls was growing up, her family was constantly moving around, short on money and food, and had to stabilize itself around her father’s alcoholism. Neither parents provided a since of normalcy to their children; in her early childhood, Jeannette and her family live in the desert, where Jeannette daydreams about nature and the stories her father tells her. But this happiness soon ends, and the family relocates to Virginia, where the Walls children become disillusioned by their parents’ lifestyles. One by one, they escape to New York and restart their lives and try to come to terms with their past.

Jeannette Walls had an interview with Vanity Fair, where she declares that she “loved” the movie adaptation and “knew they’d get it right.” While she didn’t participate in writing the screenplay, she said she was in conversation with the screenwriter. Walls says scenes that are not in the book or that are different than the book “were always in conversation with me” and that all “decisions were always informed by what actually happened.” In a piece for the Los Angeles Times, Jeannette also attests to the authenticity of the acting, saying that Brie Larson (who plays grown Jeannette in the movie) portrayed her perfectly, saying,”the portrait isn’t always flattering, but it’s accurate.”

Check out the trailer!



Murder on the Orient Express – Agatha Christie

Release date: November 10, 2017

Starring: Johnny Depp, Kenneth Branagh, Michelle Pfeiffer

Murder on the Orient Express, by the one and only Agatha Christie, is a thrilling, classic mystery novel which takes place on a stranded train. Surprisingly full, the overnight train stops in its tracks around midnight due to snow. By morning, one of the passengers is dead. With the killer still on the train, detective Hercule Poirot investigates the other passengers, who are a mixture of different nationalities, social standings, and murky motivations.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Kenneth Branagh, who plays the detective Hercule Poirot, warns viewers that what he found “in the book and the screenplay” was that “it unleashed something very primal, very kind of grisly.” He also claims it’s “scarier than people might imagine” but that they aren’t trying to “turn it into something it’s not.”

Check out the trailer below!



Wonder – R.J. Palacio

Release date: November 17, 2017

Starring: Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson

Palacio said in an interview with NPR that Wonder was inspired by a personal experience and imagining what it’s like to “have to face a world every day that doesn’t know how to face you back.” Wonder focuses on Auggie, a young, eager boy whose complicated health issues have led to a multitude of surgeries and physical facial abnormalities. Although previously homeschooled, his parents decide Auggie needs to go to school with children his age and he enters the 5th grade. Wonder follows his struggles in making friends and dealing with unwarranted cruelty from classmate, just because of how he looks.

In a past interview with Huffington Post, Palacio claimed that she wanted the movie for Wonder to “quirky, independent, and hand-held.”

Check out the trailer below!



Annihilation – Jeff Vandermeer 

Release date: February 28, 2018

Starring: Natalie Portman, Gina Rodriguez

Annihilation is the first book of the Southern Reach trilogy by Jeff Vandermeer, who we had the pleasure of hosting at the Texas Book Festival in 2014. It follows four female scientists, a biologist, an anthropologist, surveyor, and anthropologist, who make up the twelfth expedition team to Area X, an area of the continent that has been cut off for decades and has been reclaimed by nature. Their mission is to record and report their findings, map the terrain, and collect specimens. When they reach Area X, they discover peculiar topography and life forms. However, it’s secrets between the women that are perhaps the greatest, and most thrilling, threats to them.

Jeff Vandermeer, the author, put on his Facebook page after an early screening of the movie that it is, “mind-blowing, surreal, extremely beautiful, extremely horrific, and it was so tense that our bodies felt sore and beat-up afterwards.” On the podcast, The Watch, he claimed that “visually, it’s amazing.”




A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Release date: March 9, 2018

Starring: Chris Pine, Reese Witherspoon, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Zach Galifianakas, Mindy Kaling, Oprah Winfrey

A Wrinkle in Time follows the journey of three kids in their efforts to rescue Mr. Murry, a scientist who disappeared while experimenting with time travel. Meg Murry, a teenage girl who struggles to fit in, is joined by her brother Charles Wallace and friend Calvin O’Keefe to save her father who is being held by an evil force. Three mysterious figures, Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs.  Who, and Mrs. Which, take and assist the children on their journey and promise to help them rescue Mr. Murry. They travel by tessering to strange places, such as a synchronized planet, in their rescue attempt. To return home, Meg must confront a powerful evil and channel her inner strength to fight in.

An opinion piece for the Observer worries that the film could flop due to overhype, referencing the promotion and lack of box office success of The Giver, another popular childhood classic. However, it also references the gushing reviews of the trailer, such as praise from Gael Fashingbauer Cooper with CNET, who said it “dazzles with big stars [and] big ideas.” This piece also proceeds to praise the casting, with strong many famous names in Hollywood having a character, and the diversity of the casting itself.

Check out the trailer!



Ophelia – (Hamlet) Shakespeare

Release date: 2018

Starring: Daisy Ridley, Tom Felton, Naomi Watts

Although not much is known about Ophelia yet, Ophelia will be a dramatic retelling of Shakespeare’s classic play, Hamlet, told from the perspective of Ophelia.