2018 is shaping up to be the year for gripping TV adaptions of best-selling novels.
After kicking off the year with the on-screen version of Misha Glenny’s McMafia, we’ve seen Benedict Cumberbatch take centre stage in the adaptation of Edward St Aubyn’s classic series of Melrose novels, the BBC delve into a new season of ‘Robert Galbraith’, aka JK Rowling’s crime thriller, Career of Evil, and watched ex-Eastenders and X-Men star Ben Hardy return to the small screen as young teacher Walter Hartright in the adaptation of Wilkie Collins’ 1859 psychological thriller, The Woman in White.
However, turns out there’s a lot more in store – so if like us, you need some new reading material, you might want to get ahead of the game and check out the novels set to be transformed into your next TV addictions.
Here are five bestsellers to start with…
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, the man who brought us Big Little Lies, Gillian Flynn’s popular thriller Sharp Objects will hit the small screen this summer starring none other than Hollywood queen Amy Adams. Just like the novel, the new HBO mini-series revolves around murder, family drama and dark secrets – and when we say dark, we mean dark. So much so that the master of horror himself, Stephen King, described Sharp Objects as ‘an admirably nasty piece of work.’ So, if you thought Flynn’s previous bestseller-turned-blockbuster, Gone Girl, was chilling, you’ve yet to see the half of it.
The story follows a reporter (played by Adams) who returns to her hometown to investigate the murder of two young girls, while dealing with her own demons and complex relationship with her mother.
YOU by Caroline Kepnes
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This new Netflix original series is set to be the streaming site’s next big hit, based on Caroline Kepnes’ best-selling novel of the same name. The show has gained traction its co-stars, Gossip Girl‘s Penn Penn Badgley and Pretty Little Liars star Shay Mitchell, but judging by the trailer, there’s a lot more to it than the crazy teen drama seen in the aforementioned shows. According to Netflix, YOU follows ‘the riveting and hypnotic story of Joe Goldberg, an obsessive yet brilliant New Yorker, who exploits today’s technology to win the heart of Beck amid the growing suspicions of her best friend Peach.
‘Joe transforms himself from stalker to boyfriend while doing whatever it takes to eliminate all obstacles standing in his way — even if it means murder,’ they say. ‘Set in today’s 24/7 hyper-connected world, YOU explores how vulnerable we all are to stalking and manipulation online and in real life.’
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
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Upcoming ITV and Amazon Studios drama Vanity Fair is based on William Makepeace Thackeray’s famous 1847 novel of the same name. It follows the life of Becky Sharp, a strong-willed and fiercely ambitious young woman as she attempts to claw her way out of poverty and break into the world of upper class English society. The TV adaptation stars Bates Motel and Ready Player One actress Olivia Cook as Becky and is currently in production. Doctor Foster star Suranne Jones, Murder on the Orient Express’s Tom Bateman and Claudia Jessie from Line of Duty are also among the cast.
The show’s synopsis reads: ‘Becky Sharp’s story of ‘villainy, crime, merriment, lovemaking, jilting, laughing, cheating, fighting and dancing’ takes her all the way to the court of King George IV, via the Battle of Waterloo, breaking hearts and losing fortunes as she goes.’
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
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2011’s romantic fantasy novel A Discovery of Witches has been picked up by Sky One as its latest TV adaptation. The series, based on Deborah Harkness’ popular novel, is expected to air later this year and tells the story of Diana Bishop, an Oxford professor and witch who stumbles upon an enchanted manuscript and is thrust into an alternative magical world where she meets, Matthew Clairmont, an attractive, century-old vampire.
As revealed on Harkness’s Facebook page, the show will be an eight-part series that’ll focus on the stories from the first book in her All Souls trilogy. It will star Teresa Palmer (previously seen in the Oscar-nominated Hacksaw Ridge) as Diana.
The Little Drummer Girl by John Le Carré
If you were a fan of the BBC’s previous John Le Carré adaptation, The Night Manager, you’ll be pleased to hear that another one is on the way: The Little Drummer Girl. Following on from the success of Tom Hiddleston’s Jonathan Pine, the broadcaster is set to create yet another hit series based on the 1983 spy fiction novel starring Florence Pugh from Lady Macbeth and Swedish Hollywood hunk Alexander Skarsgård.
Set in 1970s Greece, The Little Drummer Girl follows aspiring actress Charlie (played by Pugh) as she strikes up a friendship with a stranger while on holiday. That stranger then turns out to be an Israeli intelligence officer named Becker (played by Skarsgård), who involves her in a dangerous and complex plot when she realises his intentions are far from romantic…