The quality of books being adapted into movies and TV have improved considerably in recent years, and 2019 looks like it will have some really promising titles. Of course, while most semi-popular books are getting optioned nowadays, actually seeing them make it to the screen is another issue (as opposed to lingering in developmental limbo).
Here’s a list of books with movie or TV adaptations that have actual release dates in 2019, have been filmed or have stated that they will affirmatively be released in 2019. Read them now! :)
Where’d You Go, Bernadette
Release Date: March 22, 2019
Where’d You Go, Bernadette is a story about a woman who is a genius shut-in who lives with her family in Seattle. Her daughter attends private school nearby and her husband works at Microsoft. When her neuroses get the best of her, Bernadette disappears, leaving her daughter to embark on a search for her whereabouts.
I liked the book. I love Cate Blanchette, who will play Bernadette. Kristin Wigg (fantastic) and Judy Greer (also great) star as well. Richard Linklater (Boyhood, Before Sunrise) is directing. The book is funny and heartwarming, and hopefully the movie will be too.
Good Omens (Amazon Prime Series)
Release Date: First Half of 2019
Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and the late Terry Pratchett, is pretty much the funniest book about the apocalypse that you’ll find. The show will be available on Amazon Prime (30-day free trial available here). It’s got David Tennant and Michael Sheen as the main characters, and John Hamm will play Gabriel, the primary messenger of God.
I love Good Omens. It’s in my top five books of all time. As a sidenote, here’s a wonderful article about Terry Pratchett that Neil Gaiman wrote for the Guardian, for any Pratchett-Gaiman fans out there.
Release Date: March 1, 2019
Chaos Walking is an adaptation of Patrick Ness’s The Knife of Never Letting Go which is Book One in his Chaos Walking trilogy. Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland star in the movie.
The YA dystopian sci-fi novel is about a 12-year-old boy, Todd Hewitt, who is the only boy from a town full of men where everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts. He flees from town with his dog when he realizes something is very wrong with the town and comes across a girl that curiously managed to survive whatever wiped out the female townspeople.
Release Date: August 9, 2019
Artemis Fowl is a children’s sci-fi book series by Eoin Colfer that is well-loved and has a ton of fans. The movie, which is being directed by Kenneth Branaugh, stars newcomer Ferdia Shaw (@ferdiashaw) along with Hong Chau, Judi Dench, and Josh Gad.
Originally, the plan was for this movie to cover the first two books of the series. More recent reports have indicated that the movie will only cover the first book.
It: Chapter 2
Release Date: September 6, 2019
The It adaptation released in 2017 was a huge hit, but it actually only adapted part of the book. In the sequel, the first film’s childhood friends return home as adults to confront the supernatural killer Pennywise the Dancing Clow. Bill Skarsgård, Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy star in It: Chapter 2.
The Woman in the Window
Release Date: October 4, 2019
The Woman in the Window book was a surprise hit with a huge bidding war that was actually only released earlier this year. It’s a solid thriller about a woman who believes she sees a crime being committed through the window in a house across the way. The book includes a number of homage’s to Hitchhock’s Rear Window, so I’m curious if the movie will do the same.
I thought the book was pretty good, and Amy Adams is starring in the movie, so I’d be surprised if the movie doesn’t turn out well.
Release Date: October 19, 2019
The pulitzer-prize winning novel, The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt is hitting the big screen with a cast that includes Sarah Paulson, Nicole Kidman, Ansel Elgort and Luke Wilson.
The novel is a bildungsroman about a boy, Theo Decker, who steals a famous painting during a bombing at a museum. It’s an eventful Dickensian-type story, which I found accessible, intelligent and entertaining when I read it many years ago.
Death on the Nile
Release Date: November 8, 2019
Kenneth Branagh is reprising his role as Agatha Christie’s Belgian detective in Death on the Nile. His previous outing as Poirot, Murder on the Orient Express, also released by Fox, grossed over $100 million domestically and close to $250 million internationally.
I was a little underwhelmed by the Murder on the Orient Express movie, though it was beautifully shot. I thought the pacing was a little off, and the tone of it was a little dull. But I love, love, love Agatha Christie, so I’m happy to give a different movie another shot.
In Death on the Nile, Poirot is crusing along the Nile (obviously) when a newlywed heiress is found dead. With a ship full of people who have reason to dislike her, Poirot has his work cut out for him as he investigates her death.
Catch-22 (Hulu Limited Series)
Release Date: 2019
The problem with adapting a classic like Catch-22 is that, let’s face it, the show will always be worse. Even if George Clooney and Hugh Laurie are in it. I’m looking forward to the show, but the book will always be OG.
It’ll be on Hulu (two-week free trial here). And of course there’s no time like the present to crack open Joseph Heller’s classic World War II satire.
Release Date: 2019
Motherless Brooklyn is a classic detective novel by Jonathan Lethem. Lionel Essrog is an orphan with tourettes who works for a small-time mobster and makeshift detective agency owner Frank Minna. When Frank is killed, all hell breaks loose among his men.
Ed Norton is directing and starring, along with Bruce Willis, Willem Dafoe and Alec Baldwin.
Release Date: December 20, 2019
Cats: The Musical! is getting a star-studded movie adaptation with Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift and James Corden in the mix. (Originally, Wicked was slated for this date, but it’s getting pushed to 2020.)
What people sometimes forget, but book lovers tend to remember is that Cats: The Musical is originally based off a T.S. Elliot collection of poems, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. I’ve never read it, but if you want to check out the source material, it’s by one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century.
Release Date: December 25, 2019
Greta Gerwig is directing an adaptation of Little Woman which began filming this month (October) in Boston. You can see Emma Watson walking around as Meg. Plus there’s other videos from the set roaming around as well. Meryl Streep is in it, too, as Aunt March! Plus, Timothée Chalamet.
I’m guessing the movie will be decent at least given how much star-power is there. Gerwig’s version will focus on the character’s lives as adults moreso than the 1994 adaptation. I’m still attached to the Winona Ryder version, but we’ll see. This one is slated for a Christmas release.
All the Bright Places
Release Date: 2019
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven has been tugging at YA hearts everywhere since it was released. It’s the story of two unhappy teens in a small town who find each other. The Netflix movie adaptation will star Justice Smith and Dakota Fanning.
P.S. Many thanks to Sophia Ismaa who alerted me that this was missing from this list!
Release Date: April 5, 2019
This has been adapted before, but Stephen King Adaptations are running rampant right now. It’s a good time to be a King fan, and the people behind the movie have said that they are planning to make this adaptation truer to the original book.
Pet Sematary is about a family who moves to a town in Maine where they discover a cemetery just for pets. But the cemetery holds certain secrets, as the family is about to discover…
The Rosie Project
Release Date: May 10, 2019
There’s not a lot known about the movie version yet, but it’s set to be a summer release for 2019 by Sony Pictures (though it’s looking it it might be pushed back).
If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a story about an autistic man man who sets out to find a wife. It’s a funny and quirky story with a lot of heart. I thought the book was charming, and I like romantic comedies as movies moreso than as books, to be honest. So, keeping my fingers crossed that this one will be a win.
Release Date: August 10, 2019
This movie has a set release date, but no cast has been reported. I’m not sure that I’m hopeful about this movie, since it doesn’t seem like it has a lot of buzz, though the book is very well-received. It will be directed by Michelle MacLaren.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah is the story of two sisters in German-occupied France during World War II. It’s a story of survival and love and the strength of the human spirit.
What do you think about the movie and TV book adaptations coming in 2019?
There’s also a bunch of stuff that didn’t make the list because it’s not clear they’ll actually come out in 2019. If something changes I’ll update. These include adaptations of Call of the Wild by Jack London, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, Witness for the Prosecution by Agatha Christie, and 1984 by George Orwell.
I think Where’d You Go Bernadette, The Goldfinch, Good Omens and Catch-22 are probably at the top of my to-watch list.
Which one of these adaptations are you guys looking forward to the most? See anything missing here? Drop me a line below!
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