Books To Read Before Their Adaptations Are Released 2024
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Books To Read Before Their Adaptations Are Released 2024

Assigned reading: these soon-to-be blockbusters

Avid readers are well-acquainted with the satisfied feeling of knowing exactly what is happening on screen when watching a book-to-film or TV adaptation. (Though we also know the immense pain that comes from a poor adaptation…). Last year, we enjoyed the likes of Daisy Jones & The Six, Lessons in Chemistry and Wonka – and there are many more book adaptations to look forward to in 2024. Here we’ve rounded up the best books to read before their adaptations are released in 2024. Happy reading!

Books To Read Before Their Adaptations Are Released 2024

Michelle Keegan and Joanna Lumley in Fool Me Once

Netflix

Fool Me Once

Who doesn’t love a Harlan Coban crime thriller? If you fancy knowing how it all pans out before you tune into this Netflix adaptation, pick up Fool Me Once. A classic twisty Coban novel, it was first released in 2016 and centres on Maya, a war-weary special ops pilot who sees an unthinkable image on her nanny cam: her two-year-old daughter playing with her husband – who was brutally murdered two weeks earlier. What follows is a complex, emotional thriller, with family, deceit and trust right at its heart. The book and TV series differ slightly – the former is set in the US, while the latter is set in the UK and has an added side plot – but both are worth your time if you fancy kicking off 2024 with a crime fix.

Details: Fool Me Once streams on Netflix from 1 January 2024.

Kathryn Hunter and Emma Stone in POOR THINGS

Kathryn Hunter and Emma Stone in POOR THINGS. Photo by Yorgos Lanthimos. Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2023 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved.

Poor Things

Having premiered in the UK at the BFI Film Festival (after an initial premiere at the Venice Film Festival), Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things is led by an eerie looking Emma Stone opposite an ensemble of Mark Ruffalo, Ramy Youssef, Willem Dafoe and more. It’s based on Alasdair Gray’s quirky novel of the same name, which was first released in 1992 and is told from the perspective of Youssef’s character, Duncan Wedderburn.

Details: Poor Things arrives in UK cinemas on 12 January 2024.

All of us strangers

All of Us Strangers

The second film adaptation of Taichi Yamada’s 1987 novel, StrangersAll of Us Strangers is a weird fantasy drama starring Andrew Scott, Paul Mescal, Jamie Bell and Claire Foy. Reimagining the Japanese novel in contemporary London, Scott plays Adam, a screenwriter who has a chance encounter with his mysterious neighbour Harry (Mescal) that ultimately changes his life.

Details: All of Us Strangers arrives in UK cinemas on 26 January 2024.

The Color Purple

Based on Alice Walker’s seminal classic 1982 novel of the same name, The Color Purple will arrive in cinemas ahead of Christmas with a new 2023 book adaptation, almost 40 years after Stephen Spielberg’s 1985 adaptation of the novel. The novel follows Celie (played by Fantasia and Phylicia Mpasi) and her life-long struggles in southern America in the early 1900s. Colman Domingo, Taraji P. Henson, Corey Hawkins and Halle Bailey will also star.

Details: The Colour Purple arrives in UK cinemas on 26 January 2024.

Expats

Based on Janice Y. K. Lee’s 2016 novel The Expatriates, Lulu Wang has directed a new six-part series for Prime Video, and Nicole Kidman is at the fore. Set in 2014, at the height of the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong, the series follows three women whose lives become intertwined after they move from America to Hong Kong. Margaret (Kidman), has moved her whole family to Hong Kong, and befriends Hilary, who is grappling with a failing marriage. There’s also Mercy, a college graduate looking to reinvent herself.

Details: Expats streams on Prime Video from 26 January, with episodes released weekly until the finale on 23 February 2024.

Dune: Part Two

Following the acclaimed 2021 adaptation of Frank Herbert’s seminal sci-fi classic starring Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya, Dune: Part Two will arrive at long last in cinemas in 2024. With Florence Pugh, Austin Butler, Léa Seydoux and Christopher Walken all joining the cast for Part Two, it’s set to be a showstopper.

Details: Dune: Part Two will arrive in UK cinemas on 15 March 2024.

3 Body Problem

Fans of sci-fi should pick up Lui Cixin’s 2008 novel, The Three Body Problem, which is one of the most successful Chinese sci-fi books in the last two decades. A series of three books, The Three Body Problem sees Earth encounter an alien civilisation in a nearby star system that consists of three stars that orbit each other in an unstable, ‘three body’ system. Netflix snapped up the rights in 2020, and it’s sure to be a big hit, with David Benioff (Game of Thrones) and D. B. Weiss on the writing team, joined by John Bradley and Liam Cunningham (also Thrones) and stars such as Jovan Adepo and Tsai Chin.

Details: 3 Body Problem will stream on Netflix from 21 March 2024.

Mickey 17

We’ve seen a few first look images from Mickey 17, Robert Pattinson’s next flick based on Edward Ashton’s novel, Mickey 7. Directed by Bong Joon-ho – the man behind Parasite – we’re expecting big things. Warner summarises: ‘Mickey7, known as an “expendable,” goes on a dangerous journey to colonize an ice planet.’ With a supporting case starring Steven Yeun, Naomi Ackie, Toni Collette and Mark Ruffalo, we’re expecting a thrilling sci-fi ride.

Details: Mickey 17 will arrive in UK cinemas on 29 March 2024.

The Outrun

Saoirse Ronan appears in The Outrun by Nora Finscheidt, an official selection of the Premieres Program at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | Photo by The Outrun Film Ltd – Roy Imer.

The Outrun

Based on Amy Liptrot’s touching 2016 memoir of the same name, The Outrun follows the author’s recovery from alcoholism, returning from London to her hometown in Orkney. It’s as much about recovery as it is about the beautiful nature found there, with Amy getting a temporary job mapping rare corncrake birds for the RSPB. The film version start Saoirse Ronan as Rona, with Paapa Essiedu, Stephen Dillane and Saskia Reeves in supporting roles.

Details: The Outrun will premiere at Sundance Film Festival on 19 January 2024, with a theatrical release to follow.

The Uglies

An adaptation of Scott Westerfeld’s 2005 sci-fi novel, Uglies, has been in and out of the works for almost two decades now. At long last, a film adaptation is expected to land on Netflix soon, starring Joey King in the lead role, after filming took place in 2021. Following Tally Youngblood, the basic premise is that at the age of 16, everyone undergoes cosmetic surgery to turn them ‘pretty’ – but Tally rebels after her friends show her the downsides of the surgery. Does this hail the return of the dystopia renaissance?

Released: TBC, Netflix