great adaptations

19 Book-to-Film Adaptations Coming in 2019

Photo: Vulture

Adaptations will always be the butter to Hollywood’s bread — hell, the Oscars has its own screenwriting category dedicated to it — with books and novellas continuing to be the main source of creative fuel that’ll hopefully power some box-office success. Obviously, 2019 won’t be any different. Thanks to a fun mix of period dramas, sci-fi adventures, and tales of espionage coming to theaters over the next 11 months, Barnes & Noble honestly might get a bit jealous at how many book adaptations are coming our way. Here’s what to expect for the rest of the year, a list that Vulture will periodically update when more release dates are confirmed. (And for small-screen enthusiasts, here’s this year’s list of book-to-TV adaptations for good measure.)

Chaos Walking (March 1)

Source: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (2008)
Premise: In a dystopian world where women are nonexistent, the sole teenage boy in a commune full of men has to deal with an unpleasant wake of “the Noise germ” that infiltrated the world: He can hear everyone’s thoughts, and everyone else can hear his. As a result, he overhears an outrageously evil plan that the townspeople are pursuing, and flees with his dog to save himself. And, surprise, he encounters a girl while on the run! Now they’re both running, hiding, and trying to discover who they truly are.
Your helpful actor guide: Tom Holland, Nick Jonas, Mads Mikkelsen

The Aftermath (March 15)

Source: The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook (2014)
Premise: Part historical drama, part domestic drama, The Aftermath takes place in the very undesirable winter location of postwar Germany. It’s 1946, and 99.9 percent of the population is not particularly happy! This also applies to a wife and her only child who survived the war, who reconvene in Hamburg as her husband, a British war hero, is tasked with revitalizing just about everything in the city. Doubled with the fact that they’re sharing their new mansion with the previous owner and his daughter, things start to go wrong, and fast.
Your helpful actor guide: Keira Knightley, Alexander Skarsgård

Five Feet Apart (March 15)

Source: Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott (2018)
Premise: Adding to the “soapy teen medical torture” canon is Five Feet Apart, which revolves around a besieged girl whose dreams of exploring the world, and even having a normal school experience, are tarnished due to her rare lung condition, which mostly keeps her chained to a hospital bed. Fate pushes a boy her way when he, too, has to stay in the hospital for his rare lung condition, but if they so much as own up to their developing feelings and stand within five feet of each other, one of them will literally die of an infection. Now that’s a twist.
Your helpful actor guide: Cole Sprouse, Haley Lu Richardson

The Informer (March 22)

Source: Three Seconds by Anders Roslund and Börge Hellström (2009)
Premise: The grim world of Scandinavian crime gets even grimmer with The Informer, which follows a Swedish police operative who, after years of already being on an undercover mission to expose a Polish drug syndicate, has no choice but to go further undercover in jail — since so many of the drugs are being distributed behind bars. But when something goes awry at the jail, a hard-boiled Swedish detective (is there any other kind?) is also assigned the case, which just may expose a conspiracy that runs deeper than ever anticipated.
Your helpful actor guide: Joel Kinnaman, Rosamund Pike

Wounds (March 29)

Photo: Annapurna Pictures

Source: The Visible Filth by Nathan Ballingrud (2015)
Premise: A New Orleans bartender, in an attempt to be helpful, holds on to a cell phone left behind by a patron in the hopes the owner will soon return for it — but alas, the phone begins to transform into a terrifying device that’s hell-bent on torture. You thought your data plan was a bitch? Just think of threatening messages, paranormal occurrences, and realizing that your phone might be slowly coming alive, and stop complaining.
Your helpful actor guide: Armie Hammer, Dakota Johnson

The Best of Enemies (April 5)

Source: The Best of Enemies: Race and Redemption in the New South by Osha Gray Davidson (2007)
Premise: Based on a true story, a black civil-rights activist named Ann Atwater and a white Ku Klux Klan leader named C.P. Ellis frequently crossed paths in North Carolina in the ’60s when they protested against the other’s stance on school integration. However, when 1971 came around and schools were legally required to desegregate in the U.S., the duo met again when forced to co-chair a few open forums in their hometown of Raleigh — and in a shocking turn of events, they soon became great friends, which was spurred from a deeper realization that we won’t spoil here. What we will say, though, is that they remained friends for life.
Your helpful actor guide: Taraji P. Henson, Sam Rockwell

Pet Sematary (April 5)

Source: Pet Sematary by Stephen King (1983)
Premise: A doctor decides to uproot his family from their big-city life to the snoozy suburbs of Maine, where, in a classic King move, they live within close proximity to a spooky graveyard where the town’s children have enjoyed burying their dead pets over the years. But beyond the graveyard is an ancient burial ground that’s potentially a death wish if you dare explore it, and as the doctor’s family soon finds out, perhaps contains something worse than death itself.
Your helpful actor guide: John Lithgow, Jason Clarke

After (April 12)

Source: After by Anna Todd (2014)
Premise: Ah, yes, a story born from One Direction fanfiction. A tightly wound college freshman, who’s away from home and her very nice boyfriend for the first time, begins spiraling when she unexpectedly falls for a broodingly handsome student who seduces her with his foreign accent and generally unbothered demeanor. The more he criticizes her, the more she wants to make out with him on her dorm’s communal futon, which pretty much summarizes the modern dating experience for students. Or so we’ve heard.
Your helpful actor guide: Hero Fiennes-Tiffin, Josephine Langford

The Sun Is Also a Star (May 17)

Source: The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon (2016)
Premise: Despite not buying into the whole “love at first sight” complex, a young woman has a chance meeting on the streets of Manhattan with a smitten guy who’s clearly perfect for her, but familial problems might keep them apart — her family is hours away from being deported to their home country, while his parents and their crippling expectations keep him second-guessing if she’s really worth it. If they can survive 12 hours from hell and admit that destiny might be a real thing, these crazy kids can probably make it.
Your helpful actor guide: Yara Shahidi, Charles Melton

Artemis Fowl (August 9)

Source: Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer (2001)
Premise: The sprawling sci-fi universe of the Artemis Fowl series — there are eight books in total — begins with our wacky prodigy of a lead, Artemis, kidnapping a beloved elf-fairy with the help of his bodyguard and holding her hostage for a hefty ransom. But for a good reason, kind of! His family lost their entire fortune under, uh, weird circumstances, so he just wants to help them return to their former glory, even if it means dodging the police for the foreseeable future. (Also, his criminal father has been missing for a while. Potential daddy issues: confirmed.) Sharp thinking for a youngster!
Your helpful actor guide: Judi Dench, Josh Gad

Where’d You Go, Bernadette (August 9)

Source: Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (2013)
Premise: An anxiety-ridden mother who pretty much hates everyone, everything, and doing anything outside of the comfort of her home surprises her family when she packs up and disappears without warning, leaving them — especially her 15-year-old daughter — to track her down and grapple with what the hell happened. What follows is a part road trip, part technological adventure as the reasons for her departure become clearer, with her daughter discovering more about herself along the way.
Your helpful actor guide: Cate Blanchett, Kristen Wiig

It — Chapter Two (September 6)

Source: It by Stephen King (1986)
Premise: After narrowly escaping the clutches of a sentient clown-man in the first part of It, the “Losers Club,” now all grown-up and extremely attractive, are summoned 27 years later to their hometown of Maine to finish what they started: To finally destroy Pennywise and the sewers that power him. Even though they’ve all grown stronger, so has our clown, and a battle destined to be violent and full of psychological torture ensues. Maybe they should’ve never taken that blood oath after all.
Your helpful actor guide: Bill Hader, Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy

The Woman in the Window (October 4)

Source: The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (2018)
Premise: In the stylings of Rear Window, a psychologist confined to her home — because of agoraphobia, not a broken leg — gets to liven up her daily routine of wine drinking, TV watching, and taking baths when a couple and their teenage son move in next door, giving her the perfect opportunity to spy on them from her window as much as she wants. However, her proclivity for snooping ends up turning against her when she witnesses a horrible crime in their house, which leaves her with an ultimatum: Should she call the police? Or more importantly, did a crime actually occur? (Although, if we’re being honest, the much more interesting story is that of the author himself, Dan Mallory. Trust us.)
Your helpful actor guide: Amy Adams, Julianne Moore

The Goldfinch (October 11)

Source: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (2013)
Premise: Told over the course of a decade, The Goldfinch revolves around the tumultuous upbringing of a young man who, after losing his mother as a teenager due to a terrorist attack at an art museum, has to deal with a subsequent chain of increasingly unpleasant (but life-defining) events: Stealing a painting by Carel Fabritius from the museum after the bombing, moving to Las Vegas with his alcoholic dad, and financially supporting himself thanks to the seedy underbelly of the art-forgery community. He might not know it yet, but all of these moments might be preparing him for something even bigger.
Your helpful actor guide: Ansel Elgort, Luke Wilson

The Good Liar (November 15)

Photo: Warner Bros.

Source: The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle (2017)
Premise: A suave con man decides his latest mark will be a wealthy widow he meets online, convinced he can scam her out of a few easy million by the time he’s done with her. However, upon his successful seduction and moving into her mansion, he realizes he actually likes her quite a bit, putting a real damper on the whole “easy scam” idea. But not only that — maybe she isn’t the woman she’s claiming to be, and maybe he also has more layers than he’s letting on. Either way, they’re both definitely lying to each other.
Your helpful actor guide: Ian McKellen, Helen Mirren

The Rhythm Section (November 22)

Source: The Rhythm Section by Mark Burnell (2011)
Premise: It’s the closest we can get to a female James Bond! Years after her entire family died in a plane crash — a plane she was supposed to be on — a woman discovers that the crash wasn’t because of mechanical failure, but rather due to a premeditated terrorist attack. To finally avenge her family, she decides to leave behind her life of prostitution and assume the identity of a prominent assassin at an intelligence organization, determined to murder every single person who was involved in completely destroying her life.
Your helpful actor guide: Blake Lively, Jude Law

Cats (December 20)

Photo: Universal Pictures

Source: Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot (1939)
Premise: It’s, uh, pretty much impossible to explain the concept of Cats without sounding crazy, so here’s our best attempt for the newbies: Told over the course of an evening, a tribe of cats known as the “Jellicles” gather together to make the “Jellicle choice,” which decides what cat is lucky enough to ascend to a heavenly place and come back to a new life. (Remember, cats have nine lives!) There is also lots of singing and lots of dancing. Make sense?
Your helpful actor guide: Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, James Corden

Little Women (December 25)

Source: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (1868)
Premise: Be thankful you didn’t have to come of age in Massachusetts in the mid-19th-century, which is exactly what the iconic sister quartet of Jo, Amy, Beth, and Meg had to do, through all of the love and all of the loss — an upbringing that was loosely based on the upbringing of Alcott and her own sisters. But for all of Little Women’s quintessential teenage angst is the poignant journey of four girls as they prepare for adulthood, and all of the little things that happen in between.
Your helpful actor guide: Meryl Streep, Saoirse Ronan, Timothée Chalamet, Laura Dern

The Call of the Wild (December 25)

Source: The Call of the Wild by Jack London (1903)
Premise: Guaranteed to get the tears flowing for canine lovers in a way not seen since Marley & Me, a dog — specifically, a very in-demand St. Bernard-Scotch collie — is kidnapped from his cushy life in California to live the rest of his years with freight haulers in the brutally cold, laborious confines of Alaska. It’s the start of the 20th century, sled dogs are all the rage because of the gold rush, and this dog has to either adapt to his new surroundings, fast, or risk being killed.
Your helpful actor guide: Harrison Ford, Dan Stevens

19 Book-to-Film Adaptations Coming in 2019