Books turning into Television – 2020

After my obsession the success of the Normal People adaption on BBC Iplayer recently it got me thinking about all the much-loved books which are now screen favourites. A friend asked me the other day if I knew of any books set to be adapted for screen and TV and I realised off the top of my head I knew quite a few.  A lot of us like to read the books first to see how the adaption alines with our vision of the book.

What I loved so much about Normal People is Sally’s conscious absence of any physical description of the characters. She doesn’t comment on height, build, looks, hair colour. We assume Connell is good looking because he is popular and vice versa for Maryanne. (We could discuss this all day but that is another post) yet I read so many updates saying that Daisy Edgar Jones and Paul Mescal were exactly how they imagined the characters to be, even though there was little chance that this could be true. There is something so exciting about your favourite characters and stories being brought to life and the extra dimension film and tv give them. I thought I would share with you some amazing books which are set to hit our screens this year.

Daisy Jones and the six  – Taylor Jenkins Reid 

I knew this was to be turned into a series when I started reading it, as it had popped up on Google that Reese Witherspoon had bought the rights to the book and was turning it into a mini-series for Amazon Prime and Sam Claflin is going to be in it, YAS! I have bloody loved this book. Based on a fictional Rock n Roll band in the 70s, the book reads like a rolling stones interview / Netflix documentary script. It has strong Fleetwood Mac vibes which I have had a lot of time for. There was a lot of hype for this book on the cover which I was dubious of but I have enjoyed it so much. I am so excited for this to hit our screens it’s going to be brilliant.

Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier 

Onto a very different book. Netflix has purchased the rights to turn Daphne Du Maurier’s 1938 gothic novel, Rebecca into a film. I have lost count the number of times I have read this book and still find it as gripping as the first time I read it. With a star-studded cast lead by Lily James as Mrs. de Winter, I can see this being a mass favourite. There is no date for when this is going to be released, but in the true nature of the novel I assume, it’s going to be around Autumn time.

Little fires everywhere – Celeste NG 

This was Celeste NG second novel written in 2017 based in Shaker Heights Ohio, where she grew up. The story follows two families in the ’90s. One wealthy family living in the suburbs and another single-parent family renting a small cottage. The story follows the lives of both families and how they are bought together through their children. Out of the two novels of Celeste’s I read this was by far my favourite. It is a Hulu production so I imagine it will be on Amazon or BBC when it airs over here (but that is just a wild guess I plucked from nowhere). There was so much ’90’s nostalgia in this story I think many will enjoy.

The woman in the window  – A. J Finn

I was a little surprised that this book was to be turned into a film when there was such controversy around the author A.J Finn, read here if you are not up to speed. Nonetheless, I do see there is a strong resemblance in narrative and structure to Girl on the Train and Gone Girl so it is easy to imagine how it would be turned into a film. Again another name filled line up of actors and actresses so I can see it’s going to be one to watch at the cinema. That is if we want to be locked in a room for two hours after lockdown is over!

How to stop time – Matt Haig 

Benedict Cumberbatch has been tipped to play the role of Tom Hazzard in Matt Haig’s novel How to Stop Time. Tom Hazzard looks like any normal 41 year old, yet due to a rare condition, he’s been alive for 100s of years. The screenplay is to be written by Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything) so I think we can expect wonderful things from this adaption. I don’t know when it is going to be released or where but you certainly have time to read the book before it is on our screens.

Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie‘s

I read this book back in February and instantly understood why this is such a cult favourite. It was built around a love story but behind that, it was so much more. It taught me so much. I devoured wanting to follow Ifemelu’s life for years to come. It follows Ifemelu move to America from her home country of Nigeria and what it was like to be a 20 something woman living and studying in America. I don’t want to give anything away because it truly is remarkable. The mini-series will air on HBO.

This is going to hurt –  Adam Kay

Often when I read a book I daydream about what the novel would look like on screen, how they would construct the scenes and what actors and actresses would play which role. This memoir didn’t do that to me, probably because I was either crying with laughter or distraught reading through tears. I was thrilled when I read that Adam Kay’s best-selling memoir ‘This is going to hurt’ is to be turned into an 8 part series on BBC 2. I have no idea how it is going to be adapted, I am really intrigued to see what comes of this. Such an incredible read if you have not read it already.

Normal People – Sally Rooney 

Sally Rooney’s Normal people hit our screens in April with an explosion. You could not escape hearing and seeing it. From speaking to a lot of friends and family most of whom watched it were obsessed and rightly so. I’m not going to lie, I have been questioning what I have in common with people who can’t see this for the masterpiece it is. (half Joking). The 12 part series (30 minutes long) is available on Iplayer. Everything from the narrative, dialogue, scenes, music is exactly what you would want from a book to screen adaption. I preferred the ending of the book, it gave more to interpretation but the series won’t disappoint. And for all the thirsty fans missing Connel’s chain, it now has it’s own Instagram.

Nine perfect strangers – Liane Moriarty

After enjoying Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, I was looking forward to Nine Perfect strangers as a holiday read but sadly I really did not like this book. I thought it was a ridiculous story and just found it a bit boring and of no substance, HOWEVER, I can see how it could be spun into a gripping thriller on the screen if done correctly. There are some good lessons to be learned if the characters are given some more depth. It will be interesting to see what comes of it, I think it is in the hands of Nicole Kidman so I’m expecting it to be better. Even after hating the book I will most likely sit and watch this. I don’t know when or where it will air.

Emma – Jane Austen 

Emma is properly one of my favourite of Jane Austen novels. The way she writes female characters were so progressive of her time. I always enjoyed the fact that they were headstrong female leads who valued their independence but who were also not painted as man-hating or marriage opposed. Emma came out in the cinema’s at the beginning of this year and it was one of the most aesthetically pleasing and cinematic experiences from a period drama I ever watched. The interiors! Let us take a minute. God God. They are what can only be described as a collaboration of and Wes Anderson going back a few hundred years. It is now available to buy and download on SKY movies and Amazon Prime.

David Copperfield – Charles Dickens

Again another classic which hit the screens back at the beginning of the year. If I am honest as much as I enjoy another Charles Dickens, rags to riches story, I only wanted to see this because I love Dev Patel so much. It pains me to know he doesn’t know I even exist, and Huge Laurie, because despite all his other great work I am always going to think of him as the sherlock/ eccentric Dr in House. This was such a colourful, progressive, inclusive adaption of a period drama which I think many can learn from. Dev Patel for the record is everything. I also spent so much of this film crying with laughter.

And that is my short round-up! I do have some of these books if anyone wants to read them before they hit the screens. There are so many others to look out for but these are just the ones I have read/ know off the top of my head.


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