Books to Movies & TV in 2019: 50 Upcoming Adaptations

2019 has some really promising book adaptations being made into movies and TV series, great news for book lovers and film alike. 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! :)

A Dog’s Way Home (IMDB)
Release Date: January 11, 2019

A Dog’s Way Home is by W. Bruce Cameron (he’s also the author of A Dog’s Purpose and A Dog’s Journey). It’s about a dog named Bella that has to find her way home.

Dog’s Way Home on Amazon

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (IMDB)
Release Date: January 25, 2019

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is based on a book of the name name by William Kamkwamba. The movie will be available on Netflix and is Chiwetel Ejiofor’s directorial debut. It is the true story of a boy (Kamkwamba) who helps to save his village in Malawi by building a wind turbine after reading about them in a library book.

The Boy on Amazon

Polar (IMDB)
Release Date: January 25, 2019

Polar is based on the action noir graphic novel Polar: Came from the Cold by Victor Santos. “The world’s top assassin, Duncan Vizla, aka The Black Kaiser (Mads Mikkelsen), is settling into retirement when his former employer marks him as a liability to the firm.

Polar on Amazon

The ABC Murders (Amazon Prime Series)
Release Date: February 1, 2019
Watch It: The ABC Murders on Amazon Prime Video

The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie (one of her many Poirot mystery novels) is getting a miniseries adaptation via Amazon Prime Video (30-day trial). John Malkovich stars as Hercule Poirot and Rupert Grint (Ron in Harry Potter) is in the cast, too.

I love Agatha Christie, so I’ll be watching this, though I’m not enthusiastic about the casting or the tone of it. Malkovich is a little dark and intense for Poirot, I think. Poirot has always been more of a good-humored and likeable character, even if overly meticulous and boastful. He’s a good listener with a keen eye for detail, but a sunny disposition and a twinkle in his eye. I’m not sure this series captures the spirit of Poirot, which don’t tend to be dark books.

The ABC Murders on Amazon

The Umbrella Academy (Netflix Series) (IMDB)
Release Date: February 15, 2019

The Umbrella Academy, a new superhero series soon to hit Netflix, is based on a comic book series of the same name by Gerard Way. It’s about a dysfunctional family of superheroes who reunite after their adoptive father dies.

Umbrella Academy on Amazon

The Rhythm Section (IMDB)
Release Date: February 22, 2019

The Rhythm Section by Mark Burnell is getting a star-studded adaption with Blake Lively, Jude Law and Sterling K. Brown. It’s a spy thriller about a woman who joins a covert intelligence agency and dons a new identity to seeks revenge after her family dies in a plane crash. Trailer hasn’t been released yet, but I’ll update when it’s out!

Rhythm Section on Amazon

Where’d You Go, Bernadette (IMDB)
Release Date: March 22, 2019

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple 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.

Where’d You Go on Amazon

Where’d You Go on B&N

Five Feet Apart (IMDB)
Release Date: March 22, 2019

Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott is a YA romance about a boy and girl who both have cystic fibrosis and fall in love. Due to their weakened immune systems, they must stay five feet apart at all times. The film adaptation stars Cole Sprouse, Haley Lu Richardson, and Claire Forlani.

Five Feet Apart on Amazon

The Informer / Three Seconds (IMDB)
Release Date: March 22, 2019

The Informer is based on the novel Three Seconds by Anders Roslund and Börge Hellström. It’s a crime thriller about an ex-con who goes undercover to infiltrate a prison.

Three Seconds on Amazon

Wounds / Visible Filth (IMDB)
Release Date: March 29, 2019

Wounds, a horror flick starring Arnie Hammer and Dakota Johnson, is coming out soon, and is based on the novella Visible Filth by Nathan Ballingrud.

Visible Filth is a modest 68-page-long novella. It’s a dark and twisted story set in New Orleans about a guy whose life descends into a nightmare after he finds a cell phone.

Visible Filth on Amazon

Good Omens (Amazon Prime Series)
Release Date: First Half of 2019
Watch It: Good Omens on Amazon Prime Video

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 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.

Good Omens on Amazon

Catch-22 (Hulu Limited Series) (IMDB)
Release Date: Spring 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 a 6-episode series 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.

Catch-22 on Amazon

Catch-22 on B&N

Otherhood / Whatever Makes You Happy (IMDB)
Release Date: Spring 2019

Otherhood is based on the book Whatever Makes You Happy by William Sutcliffe. “Three suburban moms who have long been friends decide to show up unannounced at the homes of their thirty-something layabout sons. Their goal: to swoop in and set things right.

The movie will be released on Netflix, and the cast includes Patricia Arquette, Heidi Gardner and Jake Lacy.

Whatever on Amazon

The Best of Enemies (IMDB)
Release Date: April 5, 2019

The Best of Enemies by Osha Gray Davidson is based on the true story of the unlikely friendship between a KKK leader and a civil rights activist in Durham, North Carolina. The movie adaptation will star Taraji P. Henson and Sam Rockwell.

Best of Enemies on Amazon

Pet Sematary (IMDB)
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…

Pet Sematary on Amazon

Pet Sematary on B&N

After (IMDB)
Release Date: April 12, 2019

After by Anna Todd is mostly notable because the author started off her book series on the online platform Wattpad as a One-Direction fanfic and ended up with over 1.5 billion reads. It’s about the nice girl who falls for the bad boy, etc.

It stars Josephine Langford and Hero Fiennes Tiffin (he played the kid version of Tom Riddle and he’s the nephew of Ralph Fiennes).

After on Amazon

Breakthrough / The Impossible (IMDB)
Release Date: April 21, 2019

Breakthrough is a faith-based movie that is based on the book The Impossible: The Miraculous Story of a Mother’s Faith and Her Child’s Resurrection by Joyce Smith. It stars Chrissy Metz (from This is Us), Topher Grace and Josh Lucas.

The Impossible on Amazon

The Aftermath (IMDB)
Release Date: April 26, 2019

The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook is set in post-WWII Germany. Kiera Knightly plays a woman who is newly reunited with her husband after the war, ready to move into a new home. He husband decides to allow the previous owner (Alexander Skarsgård) and his daughter remain in the home, igniting an emotional drama about loyalties and betrayal.

The Aftermath on Amazon

NOS4A2 (AMC Series) (IMDB)
Release Date: April 30, 2019

NOS4A2 (pronounced Nosferatu) is a supernatural suspense/horror novel by Joe Hill that’s being adapted by AMC. It’s about a woman who has the power to open portals to other places. She was the only kid to escape from a killer with supernatural powers who targets children. Now, many years later, is trying to protect her son from the the same killer, who has set his sights on her son.

NOS4A2 on Amazon

A Dog’s Purpose 2 (IMDB)
Release Date: May 17, 2019

A Dog’s Purpose is by W. Bruce Cameron, and the adaptation, which was directed by Lasse Hallstrom, came out in 2017. They’re releasing a sequel in 2019.

Dog’s Purpose on Amazon

The Sun is Also a Star (IMDB)
Release Date: May 17, 2019

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon (Everything, Everything) is done filming and will be coming out in 2019. This YA adaptation stars Yara Shahidi and Charles Melton. Natasha is a science geek who is facing possible deportation when she falls in love with Daniel. Get ready for adolescents everywhere to swoon.

Sun is Also a Star on Amazon

Sun is Also a Star on B&N

The Irishman / I Heard You Paint Houses (IMDB)
Release Date: 2019

This highly anticipated movie directed by Martin Scorsese will have a short cinematic run, followed by Netflix availability sometime in 2019. (Netflix reportedly paid $105 million to buy this movie.) It’s based on the book I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt. It tells the story of the killing of Jimmy Hoffa.

“I Heard You Paint Houses” (in mob-speak it means to kill someone because of the blood on the walls) were the first words he reportedly spoke to the man who would later kill him. This movie has a lot of big names (Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Ray Romano, etc.) and is almost sure to generate a lot of buzz as it gets closer to being released.

The Irishman on Amazon

The Last Thing He Wanted (IMDB)
Release Date: 2019

last thing he wanted anne hathaway

Joan Didion‘s novel The Last Thing He Wanted is being adapted into a movie starring Ben Affleck, Wilem Dafoe and Anne Hathaway. There’s no release date yet, but it’s marked as being in post-production. The movie will be released on Netflix.

The Last Thing He Wanted is a (fictional) crime/suspense thriller about a reporter who walks off her job as a reporter covering the 1984 election to take care of her father. However, in a turn of events, ends up working for a covert agency as an arms dealer for the U.S. Government in Central America.

The Last Thing on Amazon

The Laundromat / The Secrecy World (IMDB)
Release Date: 2019

Netflix will be releasing a movie about the Panama Papers called The Laundromat, based on the book The Secrecy World by Jake Bernstein. Steven Soderbergh is directing and Meryl Streep is starring.

If you’re not familiar with it, the Panama Papers were a trove of leaked documents that revealed a lot about offshore financial arrangements, politicians, etc — basically a lot of financial information about wealthy individuals.

Secrecy World on Amazon

Artemis Fowl (IMDB)
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.

Artemis Fowl on Amazon

Artemis Fowl on B&N

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (IMDB)
Release Date: August 9, 2019

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz is a collection of scary short stories that have been scaring children (and some adults) for decades, myself included. I made the mistake of reading this collection when I was at home by myself at night when I was a kid, which was probably the most scared I’d ever been in my life at that point.

Guillermo Del Toro is directing an adaption of this book, which will be about a group of teens in a town where a series of horrific murders are taking place.

Scary Stories on Amazon

It: Chapter 2 (IMDB)
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.

IT on Amazon

IT on B&N

The Art of Racing in the Rain (IMDB)
Release Date: September 27, 2019

art of racing in the rain garth stein

There are so many movies for dog-lovers coming out in 2019! The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein has been a popular book for a long time and is finally getting a big-screen adaptation starring Amanda Seyfried, Kevin Costner and Milo Ventimiglia.

It’s a touching story about a dog and his race car driver owner and their lives together, as told from the dog’s point-of-view.

Art of Racing on Amazon

The Woman in the Window (IMDB)
Release Date: October 4, 2019

Amy Adams The Woman in the Window

The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn 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 homages 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.

Woman in the Window on Amazon

Woman in the Window on B&N

Lovecraft Country (HBO Series) (IMDB)
Release Date: 2019

Lovecraft Country Matt Ruff Jordan Peele HBO Adaptation

I’d actually never heard of the book Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff before, but this looks like it’ll be fantastic. Jordan Peele (of Get Out fame) is directing this adaptation for HBO. The book is a melange of Lovecraftian horror and fantasy about a road trip to find a missing person, set in 1950’s Jim Crow-era America.

This is definitely on my reading list. I’m hopeful I’ll get to it before the show comes out!

Lovecraft Country on Amazon

The Kitchen (IMDB)
Release Date: October 20, 2019

The Kitchen is a DC comic about a group of women in Hell’s Kitchen (NYC) in the 1970’s whose mafia husbands have been locked up in prison. They continue to operate their husband’s rackets and end up being both better and more vicious at it.

The movie adaptation will star Elizabeth Moss, Tiffany Haddish and Melissa McCarthy.

The Kitchen on Amazon

The Goldfinch (IMDB)
Release Date: October 19, 2019

The Goldfinch Adaptation

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.

The Goldfinch on Amazon

The Goldfinch on B&N

The Good Liar (IMDB)
Release Date: November 15, 2019

good liar

The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle adaptation will star Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen. It’s a psychological thriller about a man who meets a wealthy widow online and spins a web of lies to try to woo her.

The Good Liar on Amazon

The Good Liar on B&N

Motherless Brooklyn (IMDB)
Release Date: 2019

Motherless Brooklyn

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.

Motherless Brooklyn on Amazon

Motherless Brooklyn on B&N

Cats (IMDB)
Release Date: December 20, 2019

Cats Movie Adaptation Working Title Films

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.

Practical Cats on Amazon

Practical Cats on B&N

Little Women (IMDB)
Release Date: December 25, 2019

Little Women Greta Gerwig Adaptation Movie

Greta Gerwig is directing an adaptation of Little Woman by Louisa May Alcott 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.

Little Women on Amazon

Little Women on B&N

All the Bright Places (IMDB)
Release Date: 2019

All the Bright Places Movie

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!

Bright Places on Amazon

All the Bright Places on B&N

Secret Garden (IMDB)
Release Date: 2019

secret garden colin firth

This classic book by Frances Hodgson Burnett is getting a new adaptation! Colin Firth, who was in the 1987 TV movie version (not the well-known 1993 adaptation) as the adult version of the boy in the wheelchair, will be in the 2019 adaptation as well. This time, he’ll be playing the boy’s father.

Secret Garden on Amazon

David Copperfield / The Personal History of David Copperfield (IMDB)
Release Date: 2019

David Copperfield is getting yet another movie adaptation. Ben Whishaw, Gwendoline Christie, Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie will all be in this 2019 update of the famous Dickens novel, though Dev Patel will be starring as our titular character.

The movie is being described as a “modern retelling” of the story. If you’ve been meaning to read or re-read this, no better time than the present to cross this off your TBR!

David Copperfield on Amazon

Call of the Wild (IMDB)
Release Date: December 25, 2019

Karen Gillam, Harrison Ford, Dan Stevens and Wes Brown are all slated to star in this live-action CGI-animated adaptation of Jack London‘s classic tale, Call of the Wild.

In it, Buck (a dog) gets stolen and sold to freight haulers in the Yukon during the Alaska Gold Rush.

Call of the Wild on Amazon

Call of the Wild on B&N

Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase (IMDB)
Release Date: 2019

Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase, a movie adaptation of the second Nancy Drew book, is done filming and due to be released 2019. It stars Sophia Lillis (Sharp Objects) as Nancy Drew.

Nancy Drew #2 on Amazon

The Turning / The Turn of the Screw (IMDB)
Release Date: 2019

The Turning is being executive produced by Steven Spielberg and is based on the supernatural horror novella The Turn of the Screw by Henry James (the movie The Others was partially based on this as well).

Turn of the Screw on Amazon

Stargirl (IMDB)
Release Date: 2019

The much-loved YA book, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli, is getting a movie adaptation in 2019. Grace VanderWaal will star as stargirl in this upcoming Disney release.

Stargirl on Amazon

The Watchmen (HBO Series) (IMDB)
Release Date: 2019

A TV-series version of The Watchmen comic has been announced as part of HBO’s 2019 slate. Alan Moore’s The Watchmen features a slate of costumed superheros in the 1950’s. It’s part of the DC comic universe. HBO’s release on the new show is here, including casting details, etc.

The Watchmen on Amazon

The Earthquake Bird (IMDB)
Release Date: 2019

Netflix seems to be making lots of bets on book adapations. This one stars Alicia Vikander and is an adaptation of The Earthquake Bird by Susanna Jones. It’s a crime/mystery drama — “a young ex-pat living in Tokyo is suspected of murder, which uncovers a mysterious love triangle.”

Earthquake Bird on Amazon

The Sunlit Night (IMDB)
Release Date: 2019

I’ve never heard of this book and it seems to have pretty mediocre reviews, but apparently The Sunlit Night by Rebecca Dinerstein is being adapted into a movie starring and being produced by Jenny Slate.

Sunlit Night on Amazon

Native Son (IMDB)
Release Date: January 24, 2019

Native Son by Richard Wright is a coming of age story about Bigger Thomas, an African American kid in the South Side of Chicago (yay! this was my hood during grad school!), growing up in the 1930’s. It looks like this will be more of an indie film than a big blockbuster-type movie.

Native Son on Amazon

The Nightingale (IMDB)
Release Date: January 25, 2019

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. (There’s another movie called The Nightingale that came out in 2018 which is totally different.)

The info on this one seems to be a bit fuzzy. It’s listed as being in pre-production, but has a release date of January 25, so I’m guessing something is not updated properly.

The Nightingale on Amazon

The Nightingale on B&N

The Rosie Project (IMDB)
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.

The Rosie Project on Amazon

The Rosie Project on B&N

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: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, Witness for the Prosecution by Agatha Christie, Death Comes As the End by Agatha Christie, and 1984 by George Orwell. There’s also a TV series adaptation of The Expatriates by Janice Y.K. Lee starring Nicole Kidman being released by Amazon Video that’s been ordered but that looks likely to be coming in 2020.

Looking for Alaska by John Green is also becoming a Hulu Limited Series, but no release date has been announced. Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials is a maybe for a BBC series in 2019-ish it seems. Also it looks like there might be an adaptation of The Rook. Cornelia Funke’s Dragon Rider is in-production but may end up as a 2020 release.

Updated 12/14: Added trailers and a bunch of stuff. Death on the Nile was previously listed here, but looks like it’s been pushed to October 2020.

Updated 4/19: Lots of updates. Note that the Tom Hanks Greyhound/The Good Shepherd adaptation has been pushed to 2020.

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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