search-icon

12 Book-to-Screen Adaptations We Can’t Wait to Watch in 2020

by  | December 30

Don’t get us wrong: Books will always be our favorite form of entertainment. But, well, we love a good story in any package, so movies and TV come in a close second. Put them together—movies and TV shows BASED on our precious books—and there’s no doubt we’ll be all over it. That’s why we’re keeping an eye out for any and all the book-to-screen adaptations headed our way in 2020. Some are close enough that we can taste them (hey, there, The Outsider and P.S. I Still Love You), while others are still in production and thus months away from release (lookin’ at you, Gossip Girl and Shadow and Bone). Near or far, though, nothing can dampen our enthusiasm at the prospect of seeing our favorite worlds and characters come alive through Hollywood magic.

Don’t miss out: discover the book-to-screen adaptations we’re anticipating most this year, then mark your calendars to ensure you’re among the first to experience them.

P.S. I Still Love You

P.S. I Still Love You

by Jenny Han

Courtney’s Pick: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before: P.S. I Still Love You

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Do not attempt to talk to me the week this movie comes out. I can already guarantee I’ll be in a Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky bubble, and it’s really best to just let me watch and rewatch until I’ve had my fill (i.e., when I finally have to stop because of eye strain and hunger). P.S. I Still Love You is set to pick up where To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before movie left off, with LJ and PK walking blissfully across the lacrosse field, new love surrounding them. While that’s a bit different from how Jenny Han ended the first To All the Boys novel, it seems safe to assume that P.S. I Still Love You will take a lot of cues from Book 2. With the last of Lara Jean’s love letter recipients back in town and Gen still crying on Peter’s shoulder too often for comfort, Lara Jean has to decide if maybe John Ambrose McClaren is the one for her. That’s right, we have a love triangle! Lana Condor and Noah Centineo are back in their roles of Lara Jean and Peter, and Jordan Fisher is joining the cast as John Ambrose. I don’t know about you, but I am definitely digging back into the trilogy of books that inspired the movies to tide me over until the release of the film in February. Who do you think Lara Jean should give her heart to?

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo
Shadow and Bone

Shadow and Bone

by Leigh Bardugo

Maddie’s Pick: Shadow and Bone

In January 2019, author Leigh Bardugo confirmed that Netflix had greenlit an eight-episode Grisha series. And I could not be more excited! Why? First, because it’ll feature characters from both Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows, novels from two different fantasy series that exist in a shared universe (or Grishaverse, if you will) populated by fascinating characters. I love each series and am excited to see how they are woven together in this 50/50 split. Second, Eric Heisserer, who adapted Arrival and Bird Box, is a writer and executive producer on this series, and I have no doubt that he will excitingly bring the Grishaverse to life. And third, because the cast looks amazing. Alina will be played by a new actress, Jessie Mei Li, and I cannot wait to see what she brings to the role. Freddy Carter will be playing Kaz, and Ben Barnes, of Prince Caspian fame, stars as General Kirigan, a.k.a. The Darkling, the villain of the series.

If you have yet to read any of the Grisha books, don’t worry, there’s still time. The one that started it all, Shadow and Bone, follows a young mapmaker/soldier named Alina Starkov, who accidentally uncovers a dormant power within herself that could just save her war-torn country. Alina is quickly taken to the royal court as a new member of the Grisha, humans with extraordinary skills for manipulating matters in ways that seem magical. With the fate of her country on her shoulders, Alina must confront the reality of the Grisha and her own heart.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logo
Little Fires Everywhere

Little Fires Everywhere

by Celeste Ng

Molly’s Pick: Little Fires Everywhere

I’m still stunned by Celeste Ng’s beautiful prose in Little Fires Everywhere. What amazes me most about her writing is her ability to inhabit each character completely—it’s truly astonishing to experience and one of the reasons I regularly recommend this novel to others. I trust that Reese Witherspoon will be able to translate this accomplishment to the screen in the upcoming Little Fires Everywhere Hulu miniseries. Reese will produce and star as the seemingly flawless Elena Richardson, while Kerry Washington will play the enigmatic and transient artist Mia Warren, who disrupts the idyllic town of Shaker Heights, Ohio, when she and her teenage daughter move to the neighborhood. With these two powerhouse actresses, the adaptation is bound to be good. Plus, it stars Joshua Jackson. (Yes, I’m still obsessed with Pacey Witter. No, I will not change.)

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logo
The Outsider

The Outsider

by Stephen King

Heather’s Pick #1: The Outsider

What if you were accused of a murder you didn’t commit? What if there was DNA and video evidence directly tying you to the crime, in addition to eyewitness statements? These are the disturbing questions at the heart of Stephen King’s bestselling novel The Outsider, a supernatural thriller guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat...and then glued to your television screen. HBO’s highly anticipated television adaptation of the book is set to premiere on January 12, and the trailer alone has given me goosebumps. If any network could do right by the King of fiction, it’s HBO, and they’ve certainly rounded up an all-star cast to prove it, with Ben Mendelsohn, Cynthia Erivo, Jason Bateman, and more. I’ll be there. Will you?

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Heather’s Pick #2: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

If you couldn’t already tell, I’m a bona fide TV addict. I pay for more streaming services than is healthy, and I still subscribe to the print editions of Entertainment Weekly and TV Guide for no good reason. So while the Freeform network’s adaptation of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is still in the very early stages of development (the project was only announced in late September), I’m already following it closely. Details are thin on the ground at the moment, but so far we know that its producing team includes The L Word alumni Ilene Chaiken and Jennifer Beals, and that the story will unfold in parallel timelines—present day and the 1950s. The novel spins the tale of 20-something journalist Monique, who’s hired to pen the memoirs of Evelyn Hugo, a famous actress whose career stretches back to the Golden Age of Hollywood. The experience of collaborating on the book encourages them both to be a little braver and will most certainly make for memorable television.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo
The Duke and I

The Duke and I

by Julia Quinn

Heather’s Pick #3: Bridgerton

Julia Quinn’s Bridgertons are one of my very favorite families in fiction, but translating their stories to the screen is no mean feat for several reasons. For one, the fan-favorite historical romance series consists of eight books, each of which is dedicated to how a different Bridgerton sibling meets his or her soul mate. In The Duke and I, for instance, Daphne Bridgerton kicks off the series by entering into a fake relationship with her brother’s best friend, Simon Basset, because she wants eligible bachelors to see her with Simon and want her for themselves, while he just wants some peace from well-meaning matchmakers; of course, they fall in love with each other instead. These interconnected but entirely stand-alone romances are a completely satisfying reading experience, but on-screen would be a big departure from the usual serialized TV series format. Another complicating factor is that the series is set in 19th-century England, which is a lot more difficult to recreate than, say, a modern-day small town like Virgin River. And yet, the reason to be optimistic is simple: Shonda Rhimes—the undisputed queen of TV, who has created the hit shows Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder—is the one in charge. In Shonda We Trust.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logo
Rilla of Ingleside

Rilla of Ingleside

by L. M. Montgomery

Heather’s Pick #4: Anne with an E

Adaptations of L.M. Montgomery’s formative series for young girls, Anne of Green Gables, have certainly been done before, and done well, at that. The 1985 film series starring Megan Follows and Jonathan Crombie as Anne and Gilbert is the one I grew up on, and nothing can top it, period. Who says anything about needing it to be better, though? Netflix’s Anne with an E is the latest iteration of the well-traversed tale of fiery orphan Anne Shirley, whose accidental adoption by elderly siblings Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert turns out to be the best thing that ever happened to them and to their small town on Prince Edward Island in Canada. But the TV show, which began in 2017 and returns for its third and final season on January 3, isn’t trying to infringe on the legacies of those that came before it, but rather to offer another respectful interpretation of the iconic source material. At 7 to 10 episodes per season, the show has been able to take its sweet time with certain relationships and story lines. I’ve greatly enjoyed the beautiful evolution of Marilla from stiff caretaker to doting mother, for instance, not to mention Anne and Gilbert’s inevitable slow-burn romance over the years as the childhood friends grow up. The show is a love letter to fans of the books, and I can’t wait to see how they wrap it up.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo
Dune

Dune

by Frank Herbert

Heather’s Pick #5: Dune

I’m going to be up-front with you: While I have a copy of this hefty tome on my bookshelf at home, I haven’t yet started Dune, a sci-fi classic if there ever was one. As someone who never misses a Star Wars movie and was positively obsessed with Battlestar Galactica (2004), though, I’m confident the story will appeal to me. I also know that with talented creatives like director Denis Villenueve (Arrival) and actors Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, and Jason Momoa on board, I WILL be seeing the new movie adaptation in theaters come December. Dune, the first book in the larger Dune saga, is an epic political and family drama set in a future where the human race is settled across the universe on multiple planets ruled by a handful of noble families. The fun begins when Paul Atreides, son of the powerful Duke Leto Atreides, travels with his parents to the planet Arrakis—the source of a highly coveted drug that boosts psychic abilities and prolongs life—and becomes embroiled in a struggle for control of the planet and its valuable resources....

Barnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logo
The Hating Game

The Hating Game

by Sally Thorne

Saimah’s Pick #1: The Hating Game

In Sally Thorne’s The Hating Game, Lucy Hutton and Josh Templeman work as executive assistants to the co-CEOs of their publishing company. Sitting in cubes across from one another, they can’t avoid each other, and yet every day brings a new interpersonal challenge. Josh knows just how to push Lucy’s buttons, but she won’t just stand by and let him claim the promotion they’ve both been vying for. When Josh starts to ease up on the pranks and act sweetly toward her, however, Lucy finds herself falling for the last man she ever thought she would be attracted to. Lucy Hale (Pretty Little Liars) and Robbie Amell (The Tomorrow People) will be starring in this enemies-to-lovers workplace romance. It’s still in production, so there hasn’t been an announcement of when we’ll be seeing the adaptation on the big screen. On the plus side, this gives you more time to pick up the rom-com that will have you laughing out loud and wishing you could find your own real-life Josh Templeman.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logo
Gossip Girl

Gossip Girl

by Cecily von Ziegesar

Saimah’s Pick #2: Gossip Girl

You might not know that the original Gossip Girl series that ran on the CW from 2007 to 2012, about the deliciously complicated lives of rich and spoiled high schoolers on New York City’s Upper East Side, was actually based on a YA book series by Cecily von Ziegesar. I remember picking up the first book in the series, also titled Gossip Girl, back when I was in middle school. I’m intrigued to see what the reboot of this series will be like.

The upcoming adaptation isn’t going to be a continuation or a sequel but rather told from a different perspective, about 10 years in the future. It will also feature more diverse characters, which is good, because let’s be honest, how do you have a school of all white (mostly straight) kids in New York City? Before the reboot airs, turn back time to the books that inspired both shows.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logo
Stargirl

Stargirl

by Jerry Spinelli

Holly’s Pick: Stargirl

Jerry Spinelli was a staple author on my adolescent bookshelf, with his novel Stargirl always holding a special place in my heart. In the book, Stargirl was formerly homeschooled, where her quirks and differences were adored and celebrated. But after starting a new life in an Arizona high school, Stargirl begins to stir up the status quo. For starters, her name is far from normal. Despite initial acceptance, the other students suddenly turn on Stargirl. Throughout the novel she battles the urge to shine as her true self amid the pressures to conform, all while navigating bullies, friendships, and first loves.

After learning of Stargirl’s expected Disney+ movie adaption coming in 2020, I knew it was a must-see. It doesn’t hurt that Grace VanderWaal, the adorable 12-year-old winner of America’s Got Talent in 2016, will be starring in the film. I truly could not think of a better young, courageous female lead to portray Stargirl’s vibrant personality.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logo
Queenie

Queenie

by Candice Carty-Williams

Anne's Pick:

I’ve had a Fleabag-shaped hole in my heart since I binged the series this fall, and I’m ready for Queenie to fill the void! Queenie follows 25-year-old Jamaican British woman, Queenie Jenkins, as she deals with the break-up from her long-term boyfriend, through a series of…questionable coping mechanisms. (Okay, FINE! She has a lot of sex and slacks off at work, and it’s all extremely devastating and relatable.) After reading the book, I felt like I had a friend in Queenie. TV needs more protagonists like her—she’s hilarious, empathetic, outspoken, and trying so hard to become a better person.

Candice Carty-Williams touches on the Black Lives Matter movement, sexuality, body image, and mental health, and I’m thrilled to see Queenie tackle these issues in another format. The show is still in pre-production, but I can’t help but imagine that Queenie will be a bit of Shrill meets Insecure meets Fleabag with a splash of You’re the Worst. In the meantime, you can find me equal parts sobbing and cackling while I reread Queenie.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo

Photo Credit // Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

Categories // Bookish ListsMoviesTV

Tagged //

Love to get lit... erary? Sign up to get the latest delivered to your inbox!