Books to Movies & TV in 2020: 35 Upcoming Adaptations

books to movies tv 2020

2020 has a host of great books-to-movies adaptations in store and limited series adaptations of books planned as well. I’m hopeful it’s going to be a strong year for books making their way to film and screens. Here’s what’s currently on the docket.

As with the 2019 list, note that this only includes titles that sound reasonably sure to be released in 2020. So, that means they’ve issued a release date or are done filming or a producer has said will be released in 2020, something like that. 

If you’re just interested in stuff that’s in the works in general (not necessarily to be released in 2020), check out the Book Adaptations Tracker.

The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle (IMDB)
Release Date: January 17, 2020

voyages of dr dolittle movie

The chilren’s novel The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle will be getting a star-studded adaption, to be released in January. Plus, if any Avengers fans want to see Robert Downey Jr. reunited with Tom Holland, here’s your chance to do it. Plus, Emma Thompson, Selena Gomez, Rami Malek and pretty much every other famous person is in it too.

The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle is about a doctor who discovers he can talk to animals.

Dr. Dolittle on Amazon
Dr. Dolittle on B&N

Just Mercy (IMDB)
Release Date: January 17, 2020

just mercy movie

Just Mercy by Bryan Stephenson is a true story about Bryan Stephenson, who founded the Equal Justice Initiative, which is dedicated to representing people in need.

From IMDB: “After graduating from Harvard, Bryan heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned, with the support of local advocate Eva Ansley (Larson.) One of his first, and most incendiary, cases is that of Walter McMillian (Foxx,) who, in 1987, was sentenced to die for the notorious murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite a preponderance of evidence proving his innocence and the fact that the only testimony against him came from a criminal with a motive to lie.

In the years that follow, Bryan becomes embroiled in a labyrinth of legal and political maneuverings and overt and unabashed racism as he fights for Walter, and others like him, with the odds-and the system-stacked against them.”

Just Mercy on Amazon
Just Mercy on B&N

The Turning / The Turn of the Screw (IMDB)
Release Date: January 24, 2020

turning movie Spielberg

From IMDB: “A young governess is hired by a man who has become responsible for his young nephew and niece after the deaths of their parents.” It stars Mackenzie Davis, Finn Wolfhard, Brooklynn Prince.

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

Rebecca (IMDB)
Release Date: 2020 (or earlier)

rebecca movie arnie hammer lily james

Rebecca is a classic ghost story by the Dame Daphne du Maurier. It was previously adapted into an Academy Award Best Picture-winning film by Alfred Hitchcock.

There’s no set release date, but filming started in June 2019, so it can reasonably be expected to come out in 2020 (or possibly earlier). Arnie Hammer and Lily James will star in this Netflix movie adaptation.

This book has been on my reading list for an embarrassingly lengthy amount of time (according to Amazon, I bought it in 2015), so I’m really, really hoping to tackle it before the movie comes out. So, I’m slating it as 2020 as a conservative estimate, but also in hopes I have a little more time to get to it.

Rebecca on Amazon
Rebecca on B&N

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before 2 (IMDB)
Expected Date: Early 2020

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before 2 will be an adaption of the second book in the trilogy by Jenny Han, entitled P.S. I Still Love You. The original cast is all back, with the addition of Jordan Fisher as the character of John Ambrose.

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before 2 doesn’t have a set release date yet, but filming is already wrapped and it’s in post-production, so it’s expected in early 2020 (or maybe even 2019. IMDB lists it as 2020 as of right now, so I’m going with that.)

To All the Boys on Amazon
To All the Boys on B&N

Peter Rabbit 2 (IMDB)
Release Date: February 7, 2020

peter rabbit 2 movie

There’s a sequel to 2018’s Peter Rabbit adaptation coming out in February. Stars Rose Byrne, Domhnall Gleeson and James Corden.

Peter Rabbit on Amazon
Peter Rabbit on B&N

Call of the Wild (IMDB)
Release Date: February 21, 2020

call of the wild 2020 harrison ford movie cgi

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 Call of the Wild, 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

The Invisible Man (IMDB)
Release Date: March 13, 2020

invisible man moss monsters

H.G. Well’s classic sci-fi horror story The Invisible Man is being adapted once again. This time Elizabeth Moss will helm the vehicle that represents Universal’s Monster series Reboot.

The movie was originally part of Universal’s Dark Universe. While it looks like that has been scrapped, they’re still planning on a series of classic monster movies.

From IMDB: “The film follows Cecilia, who receives the news of her abusive ex-boyfriend’s suicide. She begins to re-build her life for the better. However, her sense of reality is put into question when she begins to suspect her deceased lover is not actually dead.”

Invisible Man on Amazon
Invisible Man on B&N

Greyhound / A Good Shepherd (IMDB)
Release Date: March 22, 2019

This Tom Hanks movie is an adaptation of The Good Shepherd by C.S. Forester, but will be titled Greyhound. This is not the same story as the movie The Good Shepherd that came out in 2006 starring Matt Damon.

Greyhound is a war drama about a navy officer commanding a convoy of allied ships in WWII with Nazi U-boats in hot pursuit.

Good Shepherd on Amazon

Artemis Fowl (IMDB)
Release Date: March 29, 2020

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 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. This was also originally slated for 2019, but was pushed to 2020.

Artemis Fowl on Amazon
Artemis Fowl on B&N

Fatherhood / Two Kisses for Maddy (IMDB)
Release Date: April 3, 2020

fatherhood movie kevin hart

The memoir Two Kisses for Maddy is being adapted into a movie called Fatherhood, starring Kevin Hart.

It’s a book about love, grief and fatherhood by Matt Logelin. Synopsis: “Matt and Liz Logelin were high school sweethearts. After years of long-distance dating, the pair finally settled together in Los Angeles, and they had it all: a perfect marriage, a gorgeous new home, and a baby girl on the way. Liz’s pregnancy was rocky, but they welcomed Madeline, beautiful and healthy, into the world. Just twenty-seven hours later, Liz suffered a pulmonary embolism and died instantly, without ever holding the daughter whose arrival she had so eagerly awaited.

Though confronted with devastating grief and the responsibilities of a new and single father, Matt did not surrender to devastation; he chose to keep moving forward-to make a life for Maddy.”

Two Kisses on Amazon
Two Kisses on B&N

Secret Garden (IMDB)
Release Date: April 17, 2020 (UK)

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

Dragon Rider (IMDB)
Release Date: August 17, 2020 (Germany)

Cornelia Funke’s children’s novel Dragon Rider is getting an animated adaptation. From IMDB: “A young silver dragon teams up with a mountain spirit and an orphaned boy on a journey through the Himalayas in search for the Rim of Heaven.”

Dragon Rider on Amazon
Dragon Rider on B&N

The One and Only Ivan (IMDB)
Release Date: August 14, 2020

The One and Only Ivan is a children’s book by Katherine Applegate (she also wrote the Animorphs). It’s being adapted to the big screen an an animated movie by Disney.

The adapation will be voiced by a number of stars such as Angelina Jolie, Helen Mirren, Bryan Cranson, Sam Rockwell and so on.

Synopsis: “Having spent twenty-seven years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes.”

One and Only Ivan on Amazon
One and Only Ivan on B&N

Death on the Nile (IMDB)
Release Date: October 9, 2020

Death on the Nile Adaptation Starring Kenneth Branaugh

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.

Gal Gadot, Tom Bateman, Arnie Hammer, Annette Bening and Letitia Wright will also make appearances in Death on the Nile.

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.

Death on the Nile on Amazon
Death on the Nile on B&N

The Witches (IMDB)
Release Date: October 16, 2020

the witches ronald dahl

Anne Hathaway, Stanley Tucci, Octavia Spencer are set to star in Robert Zemeckis’s adapation of The Witches by Ronald Dahl. Alfonso Cuarón and Guillermo del Toro are also serving as producers.

This classic children’s novel is about a young British boy and his grandmother who live in a world where secret societies of child-hating witches exist everywhere. They set out to defeat an evil plot masterminded by the Grand High Witch.

The Witches on Amazon
The Witches on B&N

Without Remorse (IMDB)
Release Date: September 18, 2020

without remorse clancy movie

Tom Clancy’s novel Without Remorse is being adapted into a movie starring Michael B. Jordan.

It’s a story about a former Navy SEAL turned CIA operative who seeks revenge after his girlfriend is killed by a drug lord.

See it on Amazon
See it on B&N

Dune (IMDB)
Release Date: November 20, 2020

dune movie frank herbert

A long-awaited adaption of Dune by Frank Herbert, an epic sci-fi classic, is finally arriving in November of 2020.

Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Stellan Skarsgård will star in the movie, with a ton of other notable names such as Jason Momoa, Dave Bautista, Oscar Isaac, Timothée Chalamet and so on.

From the studio: “Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence-a commodity capable of unlocking humanity’s greatest potential-only those who can conquer their fear will survive.”

Note that this is separate and different from the Dune: The Sisterhood adapatation that is also in the works. Dune: The Sisterhood will be a female-focused limited series. It’s planned for the upcoming WarnerMedia streaming service. A release date for Dune: The Sisterhood is currently unknown, but 2020 looks likely.

Dune on Amazon
Dune on B&N

Cruella (IMDB)
Release Date: December 23, 2020

cruella live action emma stone

A live-action prequel to 101 Dalmations is being produced by Disney. It’ll star Emma Stone and Emma Thompson, and the story follows the life of Cruella de Vil.

101 Dalmations is actually based on a book by Dodie Smith (who wrote I Capture the Castle).

101 Dalmatians on Amazon
101 Dalmatians on B&N

The Woman in the Window (IMDB)
Release Date: 2020

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. 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.

Update: This movie is being pushed to 2020 (originally set for Oct. 4, 2019) due to test audiences being confused by the original cut of the film. They’ll be doing reshoots and re-cutting it. The film was originally a Fox 2000 property, but now is a Disney property due to their acquisition of 20th Century Fox. Disney has been reviewing and retooling their new acquisitions, and it looks like this was one they wanted to make some changes on.

Woman in the Window on Amazon
Woman in the Window on B&N

Nine Perfect Strangers (IMDB)
Release Date: Late 2020

nine perfect strangers kidman hulu

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty has been ordered to a limited series on Hulu. David E. Kelley and John Henry Butterworth are co-writing the series, and Nicole Kidman and Bruna Papandrea are producing.

The book is about nine people gathered for a 10-day getaway at a health resort.

Strangers on Amazon
Strangers on B&N

The Luminaries (IMDB)
Release Date: 2020

Eva Green in the BBC's Adaptation of Eleanor Catton's The Luminaries (2020)

Eva Green in the BBC’s Adaptation of Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries (2020)

The BBC’s Luminaries adaptation has wrapped filming and is likely to air in 2020. It will be a 6-episode limited series. The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton won the Man Booker Prize in 2013.

From the official synopsis: “The Luminaries tells an epic story of love, murder and revenge, as men and women travelled across the world to make their fortunes. It is a 19th century tale of adventure and mystery, set on the Wild West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island in the boom years of the 1860s gold rush.”

For all the details, see Everything We Know About The Luminaries BBC Series.

The Luminaries on Amazon
The Luminaries on B&N

Enola Holmes (IMDB)
Release Date: 2020

enola holmes movie claflin millie cavill

The Enola Holmes series by Nancy Springer is a fiction children’s mystery series about Enola, the younger sister of Sherlock Holmes.

It’s planned for a movie adaptation and is currently filming (as of Summer 2019). Millie Bobby Brown will play Enola and Henry Cavill will be playing Sherlock.

Enola Holmes on Amazon
Enola Holmes on B&N

Brave New World (IMDB)
Release Date: 2020

brave new world adaptation

Aldous Huxley’s dystopian classic Brave New World will be hitting the small screen as a series on the USA Network. It’s being directed by Owen Harris, who is probably best known for directing Black Mirror “San Junipero” and “Be Right Back” (both are fantastic if you haven’t watched them).

The adaptation will star Jessica Brown Findlay, Harry Lloyd (you’ll know him as Viserys Targaryen) and Alden Ehrenreich. I’m guessing most people read this in school, but if you’re somehow not familiar with the story, it’s about a dystopian society where people are given drugs called Soma to suppress their emotions and there’s absolute and very rigid social order. But of course some people are curious to break free.

This probably won’t be as splashy of a release as some other things on this list, but I’m curious about this series since I could see the director doing something interesting with this material.

Brave New World on Amazon
Brave New World on B&N

The Devil All The Time (IMDB)
Release Date: 2020

the devil all the time movie

From Netflix: “In a place called Knockemstiff, Ohio, a forgotten backwoods of this country, where a storm of faith, violence and redemption is brewing. Out of desperation to save his dying wife, Willard Russell turns to prayer which succumbs to sacrifice. This sets protagonist Arvin, Willard’s son (Holland), on his path from bullied kid to a man who knows when to take action. The Devil All the Time involves a nefarious cast of characters that is told across two decades.”

This dark and gritty country noir will hit Netflix sometime in 2020.

See it on Amazon
See it on B&N

Little Fires Everywhere (IMDB)
Release Date: 2020

The 8-episode limited series adaptation of Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere has started filming and is slated for release by Hulu sometime in 2020. Rosemarie DeWitt, Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington will star.

Little Fires Everywhere is about a family that moves into a well-to-do neighborhood and a young girl who has been recently adopted. As a custody fight breaks out over the young girl, cultural and class divisions threaten to split families and the community apart.

Read my review of Little Fire Everywhere.

Little Fires on Amazon
Little Fires on B&N

I Know This Much Is True (IMDB)
Release Date: 2020

i know this much is true wally lamb hbo

Wally Lamb’s I Know This Much Is True is being adapted into a 6-episode series that will air on HBO. It stars Mark Ruffalo, Kathryn Hahn, Juliette Lewis and Imogen Poots.

The story is told by Dominick Birdsey as he recounts his troubled relationship with Thomas, his paranoid schizophrenic twin brother, and his efforts to get him released from an asylum.

I Know on Amazon
I Know on B&N

The Outsider (IMDB)
Release Date: 2020

the outsider stephen king hbo adaptation

Stephen King’s The Outsider will be getting an HBO limited series adaptation. It will be 10 episodes and likely be released in 2020.

The Outsider is horror novel about the murder of a young boy and the perplexing and horrifying investigation to try to find the killer.

The Outsider on Amazon
The Outsider on B&N

Minamata (IMDB)
Release Date: 2020

minamata johnny depp

Minamata is an upcoming movie based on war photojournalist Eugene Deb and Aileen Deb’s book of the same name, Minamata: The Story of the Poisoning of a City, and of the People Who Chose to Carry the Burden of Courage.

Johnny Depp will play Eugene, and the movie will be about him traveling to Japan where he documents the devastating effect of mercury poisoning in coastal communities.

Minamata on Amazon

The Stand (IMDB)
Release Date: 2020

the stand stephen king cbs series

The trend of adapting every Stephen King book to film continues with The Stand, a 10-episode streaming series coming to CBS All Access.

The series will star James Marsden, Whoopi Goldberg and Amber Heard. It’s set to start filming in September 2019. It’s about a world is in ruins, due to a man-made plague, and a battle of Biblical proportions ensues between the survivors.

The Stand on Amazon
The Stand on B&N

The Undoing / You Should Have Known (IMDB)
Release Date: 2020

you should have known kidman hbo

You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz is being adapted into an HBO series slated for 2020.

From IMDB: “Life for a a successful therapist in New York begins to unravel on the eve of publishing her first book.”

See it on Amazon
See it on B&N

Normal People (IMDB)
Release Date: 2020

normal people hulu bbc three

Normal People by Sally Rooney is being turned into a 12-episode Hulu series. It’s set to air sometime in 2020. It’s being produced by Element Pictures and BBC Three. The leads are Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal.

I wasn’t a huge fan of this book (like, at all), but I could see it being a much better TV show than as a book. It’s about a popular guy from a working class family and a unpopular girl from a wealthy family. The book follows them as their relationship develops and changes over the course of five years.

Normal People on Amazon
Normal People on B&N

Untitled Bridgerton Series (IMDB)
Release Date: 2020

Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton Series is getting adapted into a 8-episode series by Shonda Rhimes and Chris Van Dusen. As of right now it is currently untitled, but it will be historical period romance drama set in Regency London high society. It will air on Netflix.

Bridgerton on Amazon
Bridgerton on B&N

Fear Street (IMDB)
Release Date: 2020

fear street trilogy movie 2020

The Fear Street book series created by R.L. Stine is headed for a feature adaptation as a movie trilogy. The first installment of the trilogy is set to be released in 2020.

The horror series almost always involves teenagers getting caught up in horrific plots, so we can probably expect more of the same from a movie adaptation of it.

Fear Street on Amazon
Fear Street on B&N

Chaos Walking (IMDB)
Release Date: 2020 (if ever)

Chaos Walking Patrick Ness Adaptation Movie

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.

Chaos Walking has had a very, very difficult time trying to make the jump to film. It was greenlit nearly a decade ago (in 2011), has six different screenwriters credited to it (with the last one being Patrick Ness himself, who has some screenwriting experience), and has cost well over $100 million.

To make matters worse there’s a nearly two-year-long gap from when the first cut of the film was shot (and deemed unreleasable) and when extensive re-shoots took place. Which means the two stars (Daisy and Tom) may look a little different from scene to scene. Anyway, you can read about all of it here. It’s slated for 2020, but who knows.

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.

Chaos Walking on Amazon
Chaos Walking on B&N

China Rich Girlfriend (IMDB)
Release Date: 2020 (Maybe)

china rich girlfriend movie sequel

The follow-ups to Crazy Rich Asians are filming back to back in 2020, though there’s no guarantee China Rich Girlfriend will be released in 2020. Maybe? Either way, if it manages to come out in 2020, it’ll be later in the year for sure.

China Rich Girlfriend is the second book in the trilogy by Kevin Kwan about the lives of Crazy Rich Asians. Whereas the first book took place in Singapore, the second book is about Rachel’s discovery that her father isn’t dead as she originally thought. This new discovery takes her into the lives of crazy rich Chinese people and also follows up with the storylines about Astrid and Kitty Pong.

I read the first book and liked it, though I’m not sure if I want to delve into the second one. I might just watch the movie, but we’ll see as we near the release date.

China Rich on Amazon
China Rich on B&N

Stargirl (IMDB)
Release Date: 2020

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

Those are the titles that I’m aware of that will be or are very likely to be released in 2020. Feel free to drop a comment if you know of anything else! I’ll be updating this as things progress.

The ones I’m most excited for are probably the Dune and Death on the Nile adaptations. Plus, I’ll probably be watching the Cruella and Dr. Dolittle movies, just cause they look fun. I’m also looking forward to the China Rich Girlfriend, P.S. I Sill Love You, and Little Fires Everywhere adaptations.

Which ones of these are you looking forward to?

P.S. Also see Book to Film Adaptations for 2019.

books to movies film tv adaptations 2020