Film and TV Adaptations

There seems to be more and more... and more books being adapted into films or tv shows -- more than usual I should say, over the past few years. It's definitely a "popular" thing to do right now if you're a producer...and books definitely seem like go-to materials for studios lately.

Acquire the rights to a successful book that already has a built-in audience (or sometimes books that haven't even come out yet called galleys that you think will become successful) and adapt them into features or a series -- and BOOM! You might have an instant hit (or so you hope -- The Circle, starring Emma Watson and Tom Hanks was just released and didn't perform that well at the box office, among others).  

This year, there are (around) 20 film adaptations being released. I've already seen two of them, The Zookeeper's Wife (book by Diane Ackerman, film adaptation directed by Niki Caro) at a screening back in March and of course one of my favorites (and the SAG Award winning film), Hidden Figures that had its wide release back in January and directed by Theodore Melfi! : ) 

There are numerous tv series adaptations as well, two of which I recently wrote about -- see here: Big Little Lies and 13 Reasons Why.  

However, some books are just better as books.

I know there's a lot that goes into an adaptation -- like some parts of certain scenes have to be changed to fit a film or erased all together. There are those select few that are great as a mini series or stretched out into a tv show with multiple seasons. But, let's be real a sec, some books just don't adapt very well to screen.  

One book I really enjoyed reading recently was The Girl on the Train

The main character in this novel has a lot of internal struggles and an untrustworthy POV as she tells her side of the story. I was really excited to see the film version starring one of my favorite actresses, Emily Blunt.  

However, the film didn't deliver like I would have hoped. Emily gave a great performance, but the novel just didn't translate very well to screen, mostly (in my opinion) due to the heavy internal struggle in the novel. The film felt overly moody, I didn't like certain changes within the script, and it didn't flow too well for me. 

The Girl on the Train (in my opinion) was better as a novel -- and should not have even been made into a film. A lot of the time, books are just better than their screen counterparts.

Sometimes, as a moviegoer, it's better to wait for the film and just experience it in that form. BUT, sometimes it's better to read the novel, as well, so you can fully immerse yourself within the characters. (I mean, there's nothing quite like your own imagination, am I right!?) Waiting until after you've already seen the film or tv show can be great too.

Lately, I've really been into books that I know will get made into a film or series. I like to read them and see this story that someone is paying to make into a film/series. I like to read it from a filmmaker's standpoint, as well as just a reader's standpoint. I like to fully immerse myself in the book and dissect it afterwards -- and then see how it's then translated on screen. :)

But I love love love watching movies. Sometimes I won't read a book if I want to just watch the film, as is, and not get caught up in comparing it to its novel. I decided against reading The Hunger Games book series for this exact reason. I wanted Jennifer Lawrence to take me on this journey with her. I didn't want to "accidently" start comparing it to the book while watching it. :)


Below is a photo of a few books that were recently adapted.

  • Wild by Cheryl Strayed (I quote her a lot on my Insta!) -- film adaptation directed by Jean-Marc Vallee (He also did Big Little Lies)
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn -- film adaptation directed by David Fincher
  • 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher, multiple directors including Oscar winner Tom McCarthy

Wild and Gone Girl were acquired by Reese Witherspoon :) and her former producing partner Bruna Papandrea under their banner, Pacific Standard. 

Gone Girl is one of my favorite books. The read was so engrossing and made me feel so many emotions (lol!). I never wanted the book to end. I was glad that David Fincher signed on to direct this film and I was really happy with the way it turned out. 

I'm also really looking forward to the mini series adaptation of the award winning book, The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (not pictured). It was announced a few months ago that Oscar winner Barry Jenkins will be at the helm of that mini series -- which should be incredible. 

What are some of your favorite (newer) books turned films/tv series? 

Let's chat! :)