We have a few universally accepted truths in this world. Water is wet. Puppies are cute. The book is almost always better than the movie.
Of course, just because the book is better, that doesn’t mean you should completely skip the movie. You know you can catch up first in line, supporting any adaptation’s time on the big screen. It’s can be a lot of fun to see how the characters we pictured in our heads turn out on the big screen, and how screenwriters and everyone involved interpret the stories we’ve already come to know and love. So, as you start planning your calendar and budgets for the year, make sure you portion out some time and money for these book to movie adaptations!
While some of them haven’t made it quite past the optioned stage, these are all the projects we’re keeping an eye on in 2019.
Book to Movie Adaptations
CURRENTLY IN DEVELOPMENT
1. Five Feet Apart
Note: Since this article has been published, Five Feet Apart has hit theaters!
If you loved The Fault in Our Stars, which, let’s be real, we know you did, then you’re probably lining up to see this one behind us. Five Feet Apart is in theaters now and stars Haley Lu Richardson alongside Riverdale bae Cole Sprouse. Though the novel was based on the screenplay, we had the chance to fall in love with the book’s story first. We can’t wait to see Stella and Will Newman on the big screen!
Stella Grant likes to be in control—even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions.
The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. He couldn’t care less about his treatments, or a fancy new clinical drug trial. Soon, he’ll turn eighteen and then he’ll be able to unplug all these machines and actually go see the world, not just its hospitals.
Will’s exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. If he so much as breathes on Stella she could lose her spot on the transplant list. Either one of them could die. The only way to stay alive is to stay apart. But suddenly six feet doesn’t feel like safety. It feels like punishment. What if they could steal back just a little bit of the space their broken lungs have stolen from them?
2. The Sun Is Also a Star
Fans of Nicola Yoon’s mega-hit The Sun Is Also a Star won’t have to wait much longer, because it hits theaters on May 17, 2019! We think Yara Shahidi and Charles Melton are perfect choices for bringing Natasha and Daniel to life. You can find everything you need to know about it here.
Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.
Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store–for both of us.
The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?
3. Artemis Fowl
Can you believe Artemis Fowl first came out in 2001?! Since then, studios have debated whether to bring it to life on the big screen, small screen, or no screen at all. Fortunately, Disney finally decided to make it happen, and we can’t wait to see all the action play out this summer!
Twelve-year-old Artemis Fowl is a millionaire, a genius, and, above all, a criminal mastermind. But even Artemis doesn’t know what he’s taken on when he kidnaps a fairy, Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit. These aren’t fairies of bedtime stories; these fairies are armed and dangerous.
Artemis thinks he has them right where he wants them…but then they stop playing by the rules.
4. The Wicked Deep
From the get-to, The Wicked Deep had several suitors—but Netflix ultimately won the rights. Though we haven’t heard any more news about casting, production, or a release date, you know we’re still looking forward to Ernshaw’s next novel, Winterwood.
Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow, where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.
Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.
Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.
5. Chaos Walking
Sometimes, studios opt not to use the book’s title for the adaptation—remember when the news broke about Love, Simon? Such is the case with Patrick Ness’ The Knife of Never Letting Go, which is slated for a 2020 release. Starring Tom Holland, Daisy Ridley, and Nick Jonas, you know we’re counting down the days!
Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him—something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too.
With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn’t she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd’s gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.
6. What If It’s Us
Just before this incredible collab hit shelves, we got the news that it was being optioned for film! While we don’t know much right now (other than that we’re sure it’ll be a perfect balance with Adam’s They Both Die at the End TV series), we’re looking forward to any news we can get.
Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it. Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.
But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them… ?
Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated. Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited. But what if they can’t nail a first date even after three do-overs? What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work and Ben doesn’t try hard enough? What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?
But what if it is?
What if it’s us?
7. Long Way Down
When readers were first #blessed with the poetic emotion of Jason Reynolds’ bestselling Long Way Down, we truly hoped that one day we could see Will’s journey on the big screen. Luckily for us, Universal beat out several other studios and optioned the rights! With John Legend attached to produce the film, we know it won’t go wrong—though it will be interesting to see how the book translates, since the novel is written in verse and takes places over a minute-long elevator ride.
A cannon. A strap. A piece. A biscuit. A burner. A heater. A chopper. A gat. A hammer, a tool for RULE—
Or, you can call it a gun. That’s what fifteen-year-old Will has shoved in the back waistband of his jeans. See, his brother Shawn was just murdered. And Will knows the rules. No crying. No snitching. Revenge. That’s where Will’s now heading, with that gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, the gun that was his brother’s gun. He gets on the elevator, seventh floor, stoked. He knows who he’s after. Or does he?
And so it goes, the whole long way down, as the elevator stops on each floor, and at each stop someone connected to his brother gets on to give Will a piece to a bigger story than the one he thinks he knows.
8. All the Bright Places
Are you ready to cry? Because Jennifer Niven’s beautifully written, heartwrenching book is slated to be released this year! Starring Elle Fanning and Justice Smith, and with a superstar supporting cast that includes Luke Wilson, Alexandra Shipp, and Keegan-Michael Key, we know this is going to be a sucker punch to our emotions.
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.
Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.
You might not think you’ve heard of Spontaneous, but this novel by Aaron Starmer is about students in Mara’s class who spontaneously combust, and, well, that ought to remind you that you definitely have. The movie stars Katherine Langford as Mara and is currently in post-production, so hopefully we’ll get a release date soon!
Mara Carlyle’s senior year is going as normally as could be expected, until—wa-bam!—fellow senior Katelyn Ogden explodes during third period pre-calc.
Katelyn is the first, but she won’t be the last teenager to blow up without warning or explanation. As the seniors continue to pop like balloons and the national eye turns to Mara’s suburban New Jersey hometown, the FBI rolls in and the search for a reason is on.
Whip-smart and blunt, Mara narrates the end of their world as she knows it while trying to make it to graduation in one piece.
10. Hush, Hush
Just this past summer, author Becca Fitzpatrick gave us an update that Hush, Hush would be headed to production soon! Liana Liberato and Wolfgang Novogratz have been cast to play Nora and Patch and Kellie Cyrus, best known for directing episodes of The Originals, The Vampire Diaries, and You, will be in the director’s chair!
Romance was not part of Nora Grey’s plan. She’s never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how hard her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch comes along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Patch draws Nora to him against her better judgment.
But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora’s not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is and seems to know more about her than her closest friends. She can’t decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.
For she is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen – and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost Nora her life.
11. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret
Nearly 50 years after Judy Blume released her immensely popular and iconic Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, it’s officially coming to the big screen! For years, Blume turned down offers to make the novel into a movie, but now she has finally said yes and we are so freaking excited! You can find us re-reading it in the meantime.
If anyone tried to determine the most common rite of passage for preteen girls in North America, a girl’s first reading of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret would rank near the top of the list. Adolescents are often so relieved to discover that someone understands their body-angst that they miss one of the book’s deeper explorations: a young person’s relationship with God. Margaret has a very private relationship with God, and it’s only after she moves to New Jersey and hangs out with a new friend that she discovers that it might be weird to talk to God without a priest or a rabbi to mediate. Margaret just wants to fit in! Who is God, and where is He when she needs Him?
12. Children of Blood and Bone
We cannot wait to see this epic fantasy on the big screen!!! According to author Tomi Adeyemi, it’s currently in development with Fox 2000/Temple Hill Productions, and is being produced by a pair with Maze Runner and Love, Simon credits under their belt!
Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.
But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.
Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.
13. Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets
Though this adaptation, based on the book by Evan Roskos, is currently in post-production, you might have to wait a little longer—it doesn’t yet have a release date. In the meantime, be sure to grab the book. We can’t wait to see how Jason Isaacs brings James to life!
“I hate myself but I love Walt Whitman, the kook. Always positive. I need to be more positive, so I wake myself up every morning with a song of myself.”
Sixteen-year-old James Whitman has been yawping (à la Whitman) at his abusive father ever since he kicked his beloved older sister, Jorie, out of the house. James’s painful struggle with anxiety and depression—along with his ongoing quest to understand what led to his self-destructive sister’s exile—make for a heart-rending read, but his wild, exuberant Whitmanization of the world and keen sense of humor keep this emotionally charged debut novel buoyant.
14. A Very Large Expanse of Sea
We hope you have your tissues ready, because we know that seeing Shirin’s walls break down for Ocean on the big screen are going to make you cry. These two are one of our absolutely favorite couples of the last year—but this story isn’t just about romance, and we’re so glad that Tahereh Mafi’s novel about Islamophobia and coming of age in a world that turns against you on sight is one that more people will get to see.
It’s 2002, a year after 9/11. It’s an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for someone like Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who’s tired of being stereotyped.
Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be. She’s tired of the rude stares, the degrading comments—even the physical violence—she endures as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. So she’s built up protective walls and refuses to let anyone close enough to hurt her. Instead, she drowns her frustrations in music and spends her afternoons break-dancing with her brother.
But then she meets Ocean James. He’s the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know Shirin. It terrifies her—they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds—and Shirin has had her guard up for so long that she’s not sure she’ll ever be able to let it down.
Fox 2000 bought the rights to this short story a couple years ago, but now that “Inertia” is getting a revamped release in the upcoming The End and Other Beginnings, we’re hopeful that more news is on the horizon! The story takes place in the near future where technology allows for “last visitations,” so we hope you’re ready for an emotional rollercoaster.
No world is like the other. Within this masterful collection, each setting is more strange and wonderful than the last, brimming with new technologies and beings. And yet, for all the advances in these futuristic lands, the people still must confront deeply human problems.
In these six stories, Veronica Roth reaches into the unknown and draws forth something startlingly familiar and profoundly beautiful.
With tales of friendship and revenge, plus two new stories from the Carve the Mark universe, this collection has something for new and old fans alike. Each story begins with a hope for a better end, but always end with a better understanding of the beginning.
16. P.S. I Still Love You
Please, hold my scrunchie, because WE’RE OFFICIALLY GETTING A SEQUEL TO TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE! It seemed like the entire Netflix-viewing audience was waiting with bated breath for the news, but it’s official, it’s happening, and we have more Lara Jean and Peter on the way.
Update: Get ready, because Jordan Fisher has officially been cast as John Ambrose McClaren! With other acclaimed actors, such as Holland Taylor, joining the sequel, we know it’s going to be an incredible follow-up to the first.
Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter. She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever. Because when another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too.
Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?
In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.
17. On the Come Up
We are still basking in the glow of On the Come Up, so in between re-reads we’re looking forward to the movie—which has Angie Thomas attached as a producer! The Hate U Give was one of our favorite
adaptations movies of all time, and we know this one will be just as good.
Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least win her first battle. As the daughter of an underground hip hop legend who died right before he hit big, Bri’s got massive shoes to fill.
But it’s hard to get your come up when you’re labeled a hoodlum at school, and your fridge at home is empty after your mom loses her job. So Bri pours her anger and frustration into her first song, which goes viral…for all the wrong reasons.
Bri soon finds herself at the center of a controversy, portrayed by the media as more menace than MC. But with an eviction notice staring her family down, Bri doesn’t just want to make it—she has to. Even if it means becoming the very thing the public has made her out to be.
18. The Diabolic
Sony obviously knew this emotional, quick-paced beast of YA novel would be big, because they snapped up the rights to The Diabolic before the book even hit shelves. As we wait for more information about the cast and official release date of the movie, you should keep an eye out for it on the horizon.
Nemesis is a Diabolic. Created to protect a galactic Senator’s daughter, Sidonia. There’s no one Nemesis wouldn’t kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the galactic court as a hostage, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia.
She must become her.
Now one of the galaxy’s most dangerous weapons is masquerading in a world of corruption and Nemesis has to hide her true abilities or risk everything. As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns that there is something stronger than her deadly force: the one thing she’s been told she doesn’t have – humanity. And, amidst all the danger, action and intrigue, her humanity might be the only thing that can save her, Sidonia and the entire Empire…
19. Eat, Brains, Love
Eat, Brains, Love has been in post-production for a while now, so we’re crossing all of our fingers that this could be the year we see it on the big screen! We wouldn’t say no to a Halloween release…
The good news: Jake’s dream girl, Amanda Blake, finally knows his name.
The bad news: it’s because they both contracted a mysterious zombie virus and devoured the brains of half their senior class. Now Jake and Amanda are on the run from Cass, a teen psychic sent by the government’s top-secret Necrotic Control Division to track them down. As Jake and Amanda deal with the existential guilt of eating their best friends and set off in search of a cure for the zombie virus, Cass struggles with a growing psychic dilemma of her own—one that will lead all three of them on an epic journey across the country and make them question what it means to truly be alive. Or undead.
20. Opposite of Always
Paramount Players has officially closed the deal, and Opposite of Always has been optioned for film to be produced by members of Temple Hill’s creative team! We can’t wait to laugh and cry as we watch this tale play out on the big screen—over and over and over again.
When Jack and Kate meet at a party, bonding until sunrise over their mutual love of Froot Loops and their favorite flicks, Jack knows he’s falling—hard. Soon she’s meeting his best friends, Jillian and Franny, and Kate wins them over as easily as she did Jack.
But then Kate dies. And their story should end there.
Yet Kate’s death sends Jack back to the beginning, the moment they first meet, and Kate’s there again. Healthy, happy, and charming as ever. Jack isn’t sure if he’s losing his mind. However, Jack will learn that his actions are not without consequences. And when one choice turns deadly for someone else close to him, he has to figure out what he’s willing to do to save the people he loves.
Which of these YA book-to-movie adaptations are you most excited for? Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments!