Ten of the Year’s Most Anticipated Book-to-Screen Adaptations

Spoiler alert: Here are a few upcoming film and TV projects that you can read before watching.

French Exit
Michelle Pfeiffer has garnered Oscars buzz for her starring role in Azazel Jacobs’ adaptation of Patrick deWitt’s novel. (The author also penned the screenplay.) Lucas Hedges — who’s been in his fair share of award contenders in recent years — costars in the film, which follows a New York socialite and her son who move to Paris. The film is being distributed by Sony Pictures Classics and will be released in theaters on Feb. 12.

Behind Her Eyes
This romantic thriller is based on a book by Sarah Pinborough, and stars Simona Brown, Eve Hewson (who’s also Bono’s daughter) and Tom Bateman in a twisty love triangle. This six-part miniseries arrives on Netflix on Feb. 17.

The Woman in the Window
After a lengthy delay, Joe Wright’s film adaptation of A.J. Finn’s book (a pseudonym for Dan Mallory, whose backstory — the subject of a New Yorker expose last year — packs its own drama) is getting a streaming release with Netflix. The psychological thriller stars Amy Adams as an agoraphobic woman who believes she’s witnessed a murder. Gary Oldman and Julianne Moore costar.

The Luminaries
This Starz miniseries, out Feb. 14, is based on the Man Booker-winning historical novel by Eleanor Catton. Set in the “wild west” aftermath of New Zealand’s 19th-century gold rush, the story offers love, revenge, and Eve Hewson and Eva Green as costars.

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Deep Water
The latest Patricia Highsmith novel making its way to the big screen comes with a headline-making subplot: costars (and former couple) Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas met while filming. The psychological erotic thriller is slated for an August 2021 theatrical release.

Underground Railroad
Colson Whitehead’s acclaimed novel, which won the 2016 National Book Award and 2017 Pulitzer Prize for literature, has been adapted by award-winning director Barry Jenkins for Amazon Prime. The miniseries is expected to be released in the first half of 2021.

Nine Perfect Strangers
Can David E. Kelley turn another Liane Moriarty book into onscreen gold? The TV producer and creator has once again enlisted Nicole Kidman as his lead — the pair most recently worked on “The Undoing,” also based on a novel — but instead of HBO, “Nine Perfect Strangers” is headed for Hulu. Filming concluded in late 2020, with a possible 2021 release on the horizon. Melissa McCarthy, Luke Evans, Michael Shannon and Regina Hall costar.

Foundation
Exiles try to solve humanity after the fall of a galactic empire in this forthcoming sci-fi series for Apple TV+. The show, which stars Jared Harris and Lee Pace, is based on Isaac Asimov’s classic novels — which means there’s certainly plenty of source material to sustain multiple seasons.

The Nightingale
Real life sisters Elle Fanning and Dakota Fanning costar as on-screen sisters in the film adaptation of Kristin Hannah’s bestselling historical novel. “The Nightingale,” set in France during WWII, is currently scheduled for a December 2021 theatrical release.

Dune
One of the most anticipated films of the year is director Denis Villeneuve’s take on Frank Herbert’s 1965 sci-fi novel. The latest adaptation is led by Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya and Rebecca Ferguson, and was pushed back from its original December 2020 release to Oct. 1, 2021. Fans now have plenty of extra time to read Herbert’s formative novel and rewatch David Lynch’s (poorly received) 1984 adaptation to prepare for the post-film debate: Who did it best?

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