Entertainment Books Ten books to read before they hit the big screen

Ten books to read before they hit the big screen

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With Patricia Highsmith’s Carol (aka The Price of Salt) adapted into a sublime movie starring Cate Blanchett by auteur Todd Haynes, plus The King’s Speech director Tom Hooper’s take on The Danish Girl, 2016 is a big year for literary adaptations.

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We take a look at 10 of the most anticipated books getting their own big screen makeover in the coming year.

1. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies


Seth Grahame-Smith’s riotous revisiting of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and the Bennets’ homestead of Longbourn comes with added brain-munching as our plucky heroine Elizabeth is forced to contend with a rampaging plague of zombies on top of Mr Darcy’s infamously infuriating arrogance. Writer/director Burr Steers has amped up the mayhem with Downton Abbey’s Lily James as Elizabeth, Douglas Booth as Mr Bingley and Sam Riley as Darcy. This is Austen as you’ve never seen it before.

Movie in cinemas February. Buy the book here.

2. The Choice


King of the weepies, author Nicholas Sparks had cinemas packed full of hanky-dabbing hot messes when his novel The Notebook was adapted by director Nick Cassavetes in 2004, launching the careers of Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams in the process. Relative newcomer Ross Katz directs this latest adaptation of a generation-spanning Sparks bestseller, starring Warm Bodies’ Teresa Palmer and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’s Benjamin Walker.

Movie in cinemas February. Buy the book here.

3. Allegiant


Though the first two filmic instalments of author Veronica Roth’s young adult dystopian Divergent series paled a bit in comparison to the juggernaut that is the Jennifer Lawrence-led The Hunger Games, we’re giving them props for not splitting the third and final book in half, as they did to underwhelming effect with Mockingjay. Robert Schwenke is back in the director’s seat for the finale with Shailene Woodley’s Tris ready to bring the house down.

Movie in cinemas March. Buy the book here.

4. The BFG


A much-loved children’s classic, we cannot wait to see what E.T. director Steven Spielberg does with treasured Roald Dahl book The BFG. First adapted into an animated movie in 1989, even the tiny teaser of this live action version showing the giant’s hand reaching through a window to scoop up Ruby Barnhill’s young heroine Sophie has us breaking out in goose bumps. Stage actor extraordinaire Mark Rylance voices the BFG himself, with comedian Bill Hader as the big bad Bloodbottler.

Movie in cinemas June. Buy the book here. 

5. Through the Looking Glass


Sticking with kids’ books, Mia Wasikowska will once again take on the mantle Lewis Caroll’s cherished Alice in this follow up to her first trip down the rabbit hole. Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway and Helena Bonham Carter also reprise their roles as the Mad Hatter, White Queen and the bloodthirsty Red Queen respectively. Carter’s ex-husband Tim Burton isn’t helming this time round, with the film now dubbed Alice Through The Looking Glass directed by The Muppets’ James Bobin.

Movie in cinemas July. Buy the book here.

6. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot


The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the hilariously candid memoir of American foreign correspondent Kim Barker, caught the eye of comedian and actress supreme Tina Fey, who immediately snapped it up for her own production company Little Stranger. Fey will play Barker alongside co-stars Martin Freeman and Australian Margot Robbie, with the directorial team of Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, responsible for the criminally underrated I Love You Phillip Morris and also Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Movie in cinemas September. Buy the book here.

7. The Girl on the Train


With a Gone Girl-meets-Alfred Hitchcock vibe to it, Paula Hawkins wildly successful, twisty turny thriller was a shoe-in for the cinematic treatment, with The Help director Tate Taylor on board alongside Secretary scribe Erin Cressida Wilson. The excellent Emily Blunt plays Rachel, the girl of the title, who daydreams about a hot couple she voyeuristically spies on from her commuter train into London each morning, until a shocking murder changes everything.

Movie in cinemas October. Buy the book here.

8. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them


The final Harry Potter instalment, The Deathly Hallows Part 2, still holds strong in the top ten best-selling movies of all time, so it was hardly a shock when a prequel series based on Newt Scamander, the fictional author of the young wizards’ textbook that lends its name to this movie, was announced. Directed by series regular David Yates, J.K Rowling has written the screenplay herself, with The Danish Girl star Eddie Redmayne in the title role.

Movie in cinemas November. Buy the book here.

9. The Light Between Oceans


Director Derek Cianfrance captivated us with Blue Valentine, his monument to the collapse of a relationship starring Gosling and Michelle Williams. This time he’s tackling Australian expat author M. L. Stedman’s hugely successful debut novel The Light Between Oceans. Set in 1920s Western Australia on a fictional lighthouse island, Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender play the isolated couple whose lives are transformed when a boat washes up with a body on board and a newborn baby still very much alive.

Movie release TBA. Buy the book here.

10. American Pastoral

Ewan McGregor and Dakota Fanning star. Photo: Getty
Ewan McGregor and Dakota Fanning star. Photo: Getty

Philip Roth scored the Pulitzer Prize for his 1997 novel American Pastoral, narrated by his most popular recurring character Nathan Zuckerman, who also appears in The Ground Beneath Her Feet by Salman Rushdie. Scottish star Ewan McGregor will make his directorial debut with this adaptation, penned by John Romano, and takes the lead role of Seymour ‘Swede’ Ledov. Dakota Fanning plays Swede’s terrorist-in-hiding daughter Merry with Jennifer Connelly as his wife Dawn and David Strathairn as Zuckerman in this strained family saga.

Movie release TBA. Buy the book here


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