With Divergent premiering this Friday, we thought we’d take a look at some of the books being adapted for film and television in 2014.
1. Gone Girl
Gillian Flynn’s third novel Gone Girl was hugely successful, both in terms of sales and critical acclaim, so it came as no surprise that Hollywood decided to adapt her psychological thriller about a husband and wife into a feature length movie. Directed by David Finch, with screenplay written by Flynn herself, the novel’s main couple will be played by Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. Considering Fincher and Flynn are teaming up for yet another project, to remake the British drama series Utopia for HBO, we’re anticipating that Gone Girl will be a success.
Release Date: October 3rd
2. Dark Places
Another one of Gillian Flynn’s novels is being adapted for the big-screen this year – her debut novel, Dark Places. (We highly recommend Flynn’s second novel, Sharp Objects, as well.) Dark Places is led by Charlize Theron, with a supporting cast that includes Chloe Grace Moretz, Nicholas Hoult, Christina Hendricks, and Corey Stoll. The novel centers on a woman whose mother and two sisters were murdered when she was a child, and the secret society known as “The Kill Club” that takes interest in her.
Release Date: September 1st
Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Divergent, the next YA book series to get the Hollywood treatment. Despite already drawing comparisons to another dystopian movie series about teenagers, we don’t see Divergent coming anywhere close to the success of The Hunger Games. The movie opens nationwide this Friday, March 21st, and early reviews are not favorable.
Release Date: March 21st
4. The Fault in Our Stars
Shailene Woodley seems to be on a roll when it comes to these YA book-to-movie adaptations. She also starred in last year’s Sundance darling, The Spectacular Now, and this year she’s starring in two very big, very anticipated films – Divergent and The Fault in Our Stars. Written by John Green, who has a pretty large Internet cult following, The Fault in Our Stars is a love story about two teenagers dealing with serious illnesses. Ansel Elgort, who also stars in Divergent, plays co-lead Augustus Waters.
Release Date: June 6th
5. The Maze Runner
James Dashner’s The Maze Runner is about a group of boys, and one girl, trapped in a maze. Dylan O’Brien stars as main character Thomas, with supporting roles being filled by Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee, Patricia Clarkson, and more. The best-selling book, which is a bit Lord of the Flies and The Hunger Games meets LOST, has received mixed reviews. Watch the action-packed trailer here.
Release Date: September 19, 2014
Serena is Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper’s third feature film together, following in the footsteps of Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle. The book, written by Ron Rash, takes place in the mountains of North Carolina in 1929. Lawrence and Cooper play newlyweds Serena and George Pemberton. The plot follows the ruthless Serena who is intent on murdering George’s illegitimate son.
Release Date: TBA 2014
7. The Strain
Guillermo Del Toro’s The Strain series is coming to television. The show centers on a diverse casts of characters, including a scientist from the CDC and a rat exterminator, who must deal with a viral outbreak which mimics symptoms of vampirism. It’ll premiere on FX in July and stars Corey Stoll, David Bradley, Mia Maestro, Sean Astin, and Kevin Durand.
Release Date: July 2014 on FX
8. The Leftovers
Even more post-apocalyptic fiction, The Leftovers deals with a Rapture-like event that results in the disappearance of millions of people. The book focuses on the people who are left behind and how they react to this mysterious event. Some characters join a cult known as the Guilty Remnants, but above all The Leftovers deals with these characters’ pain and sense of loss. The TV series, created by Damon Lindelof, stars Justin Theroux as newly-elected mayor Kevin Garvey, Amy Brenneman as his wife Laurie, Carrie Coon as Nora Durst, and much more.
Release Date: Summer 2014 on HBO
Diana Gabaldon’s historical romance series Outlander is about a World War II nurse who time travels back to Scotland 1743. The series is packed with action, drama, romance, politics, and intrigue and now Outlander is being adapted for television on Starz. No doubt the network is hoping for Outlander to give them some semblance of Game of Thrones‘ success. Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Lotte Verbeek, and Game of Thrones‘ very own Tobias Menzies will star.
Release Date: Summer 2014 on Starz
10. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Jonathan Strange & Ms Norrell by Susanna Clarke is a historical fantasy novel that takes places during the Napoleonic Wars. Two men, Jonathan Strange (Bertie Carvel) and Mr Norrell (Eddie Marsan), bring magic back to England. The book is being adapted into a seven-part miniseries on BBC One and will air on BBC America in the United States. Alice Englert and Charlotte Riley also star.
Release Date: TBA 2014 on BBC One and BBC America