2020 looks set to be another big year for TV and cinema, especially in the realm of book adaptations. Already this year we’ve been treated to some major book-to-film releases, such as Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women at the end of 2019, Jane Austen’s Emma and Jack London’s The Call of the Wild, and the rest of the year doesn’t look to be slowing down either.
While we love immersing ourselves in the pages of a novel, we equally love watching our favourite books, as well as lesser known titles, come to life on the big, and small, screen. It’s always fun to see if the characters match up with how you imagined them in your head, as well as shouting ‘it wasn’t like that in the book!’ to anyone who will listen and discovering brand new stories from unknown titles.
Here are some of the best book to film adaptations coming up this year. Consider this your 2020 reading (and then watch) list.
12 books that are being turned into films or TV shows in 2020
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Reese Witherspoon snapped up the TV rights to Celeste Ng’s award-winning novel, which she will star in alongside Kerry Washington. The story follows a free-spirited mother who moves to Ohio with her teenage daughter and becomes involved with a middle-class family. As a custody battle over a Chinese-American baby ensues, secrets began to reveal themselves.
Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
Malorie Blackman’s hugely popular Noughts and Crosses series is coming to BBC One on 5th March. Set in a world where black people (crosses) are superior to white people (noughts), the book explores themes of prejudice, racism and forbidden romance.
The Last Letter from your Lover by Jojo Moyes
Following the roaring success of Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You film adaptation, Netflix has taken on The Last Letter From Your Lover, which follows the character of Jennifer as she wakes up in hospital after a crash with her memory seemingly wiped, and uses letters written by her lover to piece together her life and who she is. Starring Shailene Woodley, Felicity Jones and Ncuti Gatwa, this one’s pegged for a late 2020 release.
Normal People by Sally Rooney
The TV adaptation of Normal People is highly anticipated by anyone who’s read the book, and should be airing in the next few months. Over 12 episodes, set to air on BBC Three and Hulu, the story, set in Ireland, follows the complicated relationship of Connell and Marianne as they navigate their way through young adulthood and their final years of school and then university.
Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
From the author who brought us Big Little Lies, Nine Perfect Strangers is set at a wellness retreat and follows, you guessed it, nine people who are all strangers to each other – at first, anyway. Nicole Kidman stars and also executive produced the series, and it’s expected towards the end of 2020.
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Another in the line of great modern reboots of period tales, Rebecca tells the story of an anonymous woman who jumps at the chance to climb the social ladder by marrying the widowed Maxim de Winter. However, not all is as it first seems as she discovers her new husband and house are haunted by the memory of his late first wife, Rebecca.
The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn
Anna Fox is the main character in this thriller, a reclusive woman who spends her days drinknig heavily and spying on her neighbours, when one day, she sees something sinister. Amy Adams plays the lead in what was a compelling page-turner of a book from A. J. Finn, and we expect a similar rollercoaster of a film. The on-screen version is set for release in May.
This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay
Adam Kay’s hilarious, emotional and revealing diary of life as a junior doctor on the NHS frontline was a storm of a book on its release, and now the doctor-turned-comedian is adapting his award-winning memoir into an eight-episode series for BBC2. No names nor dates have been released as yet, but this is one we can’t wait for.
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
When a young girl, Mary, is sent to live with her uncle in Yorkshire after the death of her parents in India where she grew up, she discovers a locked garden full of mystery and secrets. An iconic tale for children that can be appreciated at any age, the film version will be released in April.
A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
Set in 1950s India, A Suitable Boy follows the lives of four families as the country prepares for a politcal election as a result of its newly acquired independence. This one will be a six-episode series for BBC1 and it’s being adapted by Andrew Davies, the man who brought Les Miserables to the small screen. Expected June 2020.
Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney
Just announced this week, another Sally Rooney novel being portrayed on the screen, Conversations with Friends follows the intertwining relationships and friendships of Frances, her ex-girlfriend and the older married couple they befriend. We’re expecting this one towards the end of the year, and it will be a 12-part series.
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
The hugely popular Artemis Fowl series, which is seven books strong, depicts the life of child-genius and criminal mastermind, Artemis Fowl II. Written as children’s literature, the whimsical books appeal to young and old, as we’re sure the screen adaptation, which will star Judi Dench and is set to drop around May this year, will too.