The Book-To-Movie Adaptations We're So Excited About

A great story is priceless. And in an age when Hollywood is reticent to make wholly original movies (see: the four dozen superhero movies released in the last decade), great books are as good as gold.

The number of literary adaptations we see on the big screen seems to get bigger every year. Why? For studios, they're a safer bet, with built-in audiences and plots ready to go. But perhaps more importantly, there's the fact that literary writers are some of the most imaginative storytellers there are — they're talented at fusing rich characters, intricate plots, and resonant themes into masterful page-turners. And with the right people behind and in front of the camera, a great novel can be become a fantastic film.

We've already seen a number of movies based on books hit the big screen this year, like Allegiant, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, The BFG, and Girl on the Train. In addition to our 2016 favorites, we're previewing film adaptations coming out in 2017 that we're most excited to see.

Rebel in the Rye
Released September 8

Based on: The formation of The Catcher in the Rye
What It's About: J.D. Salinger's life, up until the point of his writing his famous coming-of-age novel. He's an arrogant student and aspiring writer. He's a war veteran with PTSD. And he's no the verge of something iconic.
Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Kevin Spacey, Sarah Paulson, Zoey Deutch
The Dark Tower
Released August 4, 2017

Based On: A series of eight books by Stephen King

What It's About: The battle between good and evil, personified. The Gunslinger is locked in an eternal battle with the Man in Black for control over the Dark Tower, which keeps the universe in place.

Starring: Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey
Murder on the Orient Express

Released November 22, 2017

Based On: The Agatha Christie mystery novel of the same name

What It's About: A group of strangers is brought together when a wealthy American woman is murdered on their train. Thank goodness Belgian mastermind Hercle Poirot is there to solve it.

Starring: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Josh Gad, Judi Dench, Leslie Odom Jr.
Brain on Fire
Out 2017

Based On: The memoir by Susannah Cahalan
What It's About: A woman battles a month of mysteriously and rapidly deteriorating health, ranging from violent behavior to catatonia.
Starring: Chloë Grace Moretz, Jenny Slate, Tyler Perry, Carrie-Anne Moss
Ghost in the Shell

Released March 31, 2017

Based On: Japanese manga by Masanume Shirow

What It's About: Major is the best soldier on earth. As the first cyber-enhanced human ever, she's designed to track down and stop the biggest threats to humanity.

Starring: Scarlett Johannson, Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche.
The Zookeeper’s Wife

Released March 31, 2017

Based On: A biography of the same name by Diane Ackerman

What It’s About: The Zookeeper’s Wife tells the extraordinary story of Antonini Zabrinskie, a Polish zookeeper who saved 300 Polish Jews during WWII.

Starring: Jessica Chastain, Daniel Brühl
Before I Fall
March 3, 2017

Based On: The YA novel by Lauren Oliver
What It's About: A popular teenage girl who dies in a car crash is forced to relive that fateful day seven times over. Her initial goal is to somehow change her fate, but the journey ends up becoming a beautiful study in empathy, compassion, and selflessness.
Starring: Zoey Deutch, Halston Sage, Jennifer Beals, Logan Miller
Photo: Courtesy of Broad Green Pictures.
Brain on Fire
Release date TBD 2017

Based On: The memoir by Susannah Cahalan
What It's About: A woman battles a month of mysteriously, rapidly deteriorating health, ranging from violent behavior to catatonia.
Starring: Chloë Grace Moretz, Jenny Slate, Tyler Perry, Carrie-Anne Moss
Photo: Courtesy of Knopf Publishing Group.
All The Bright Places
Release date TBD 2017

Based On: The YA novel by Jennifer Niven
What It's About: Two depressed teens in a small town in Indiana find romance after a dark first encounter and working on a joint school project.
Starring: Elle Fanning
Photo: Courtesy of Anchor.
The November Criminals
Release date TBD 2017

Based On: The novel by Sam Munson
What It's About: An ambitious high school grad living in D.C. investigates the senseless murder of one of his classmates.
Starring: Ansel Elgort, Chloë Grace Moretz, Catherine Keener
Photo: Courtesy of McSweeney's.
The Circle
Out April 28, 2017

Based On: The dystopian technology thriller by Dave Eggers
What It's About: A new employee at a powerful technology company loves her new job, until she starts uncovering the dark realities of her firm's omnipotent operating system.
Starring: Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, Karen Gillan, John Boyega
Photo: Courtesy of Lionsgate.
Out April 7, 2017

Based On: The novel by Raquel Jaramillo, pen name R.J. Palacio
What It's About: A young boy with a facial deformity and a big heart struggles to fit in.
Starring: Julia Roberts, Jacob Tremblay, Owen Wilson
Photo: Courtesy of Amazon Studios/Bleecker Street.
The Lost City of Z
Out April 21, 2017

Based On: The historical nonfiction book by David Grann
What It's About: An early-20th-century British explorer ventures into the Amazon to find a mythical civilization — and is never seen again.
Starring: Tom Holland, Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller
Photo: Courtesy of Signet.
The Dark Tower
Out July 28, 2017

Based On: The sci-fi fantasy series by Stephen King
What It's About: A young boy enters an alternate dimension where he joins a lone Knight on a quest to save his strange universe from demise.
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Idris Elba
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Live By Night
Out Dec. 25, 2016

Based On: The crime novel by Dennis Lehane
What It's About: Set in Ybor City, Florida in the 1920s and '30s, the story follows a bootlegger who becomes a ruthless gangster.
Starring: Ben Affleck, Elle Fanning, Brendan Gleeson, Sienna Miller, Zoe Saldana, Chris Cooper
Out Dec. 23, 2016

Based On: The novel by Shusaku Endo
What It's About: In the 17th century, two Jesuit Portuguese missionaries travel to Japan to minister to outlawed Christians.
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
Released November 2016

Based On: The award-winning war novel by Ben Fountain
What It's About: A young soldier returns home from Iraq for a disingenuous victory tour — involving a Super Bowl halftime show performance — that obscures the reality of war from the American public.
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Vin Diesel, Steve Martin, Chris Tucker, Joe Alwyn
American Pastoral
Released October 2016

Based On: The novel by Philip Roth
What It's About: In postwar America, a succesful Jewish businessman from New Jersey sees his life and family threatened by his daughter's new political dalliances.
Starring: Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Connelly, Ewan McGregor, Uzo Aduba
The Girl on the Train
Released October 2016

Based On: The psychological thriller by Paula Hawkins
What It's About: Rachel Watson wakes up hungover and battered, with no memory of the night before. But she believes she witnessed a terrible crime involving a missing woman.
Starring: Emily Blunt, Laura Prepon, Luke Evans, Rebecca Ferguson, Justin Theroux
Released October 2016

Based On: The fourth book in the mystery thriller series by Dan Brown
What It's About: The DaVinci Code and Angels & Demons' Robert Langdon races against time to recover from memory loss, evade the manhunt for him, and solve a complex new mystery.
Starring: Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Omar Sy
Queen of Katwe
Released September 2016

Based On: The biography by Tim Crothers
What It's About: This extraordinary true story is about the journey of a young girl who becomes a Ugandan chess prodigy and competes worldwide.
Starring: Lupita Nyongo, David Oyelowo
The Light Between Oceans
Released September 2016

Based On: The novel by M.L. Stedman
What It's About: A lighthouse keeper and his wife living on the Australian coast after WWI rescues a washed-up baby and adopts her as their own — with unforeseen consequences down the line.
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, Rachel Weisz
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Released September 2016

Based On: The YA novel by Ransom Riggs
What It's About: After the murder of his grandfather, a young boy goes to the orphanage where his grandpa once lived, and where the strange residents and time itself are not quite what they seem.
Starring: Eva Green, Samuel L. Jackson, Rupert Everett, Judi Dench, Allison Janney
The Legend of Tarzan
Released July 2016

Based On: The character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs in his Tarzan series
What It's About: Years after moving to London to live with Jane, Tarzan is called to return to his home in the jungle.
Starring: Alexander Skarsgård, Samuel L. Jackson, Margot Robbie, Christoph Waltz
Into the Forest
Released July 2016

Based On: The apocalyptic novel by Jean Hegland
What It's About: In the near future, two sisters living in a cabin in the middle of nowhere discover that the outside world is on the brink of an apocalypse and fight for their lives.
Starring: Ellen Page, Evan Rachel Wood, Max Minghella
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates
Released July 2016

Based On: The memoir by Mike and Dave Stangle
What It's About: Two reckless American bros need to find dates for their sister's wedding...but the women they bring aren't who they expected.
Starring: Zac Efron, Adam DeVine, Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza
Released July 2016

Based On: The children's book by Roald Dahl
What It's About: A big, friendly (and old) giant kidnaps an orphan girl to keep him company on his adventure to Giant Country.
Starring: Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhill, Jemaine Clement, Bill Hader, Rebecca Hall
Released July 2016

Based On: The YA thriller by Jeanne Ryan
What It's About: A high school student gets teamed up with a mysterious stranger for a popular online game of truth or dare that begins to blur the lines between the real and the virtual.
Starring: Emma Roberts, Dave Franco, Juliette Lewis, Kimiko Glenn
Alice Through the Looking Glass
Released May 2016

Based On: Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll
What It's About: The sequel to Alice in Wonderland follows Alice's journey back to Underland to save the Mad Hatter.
Starring: Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen
Me Before You
Released May 2016

Based On: The romance by Jojo Moyes
What It's About:l A quadripilegic man who wants to end his life falls in love with his caretaker.
Starring: Emilia Clarke, Sam Claflin, Jenna Coleman
The Jungle Book
Released April 2016

Based On: The story collection by Rudyard Kipling
What It's About: An orphaned boy named Mowgli comes into his own with the help of his forest guardians.
Starring: Neel Sethi and the voices of Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong'o, Scarlett Johansson, Christopher Walken
Released March 2016

Based On: The first half of of the final book in Veronica Roth's YA Divergent trilogy
What It's About: Tris and Four finally venture beyond the wall around Chicago and learn shocking truths about the outside world, as the battle for humanity rages on.
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ansel Elgort, Naomi Watts, Miles Teller, Octavia Spencer, Zoë Kravitz
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Released March 2016

Based On: The memoir The Taliban Shuffle by Kim Barker
What It's About: A TV news producer takes an assignment in Afghanistan, plopping her right in the middle of a risky war zone where she gets to know other journalists.
Starring: Tina Fey, Martin Freeman, Margot Robbie, Billy Bob Thornton
The Choice
Released February 2016

Based On: The romance novel by Nicolas Sparks
What It's About: A ladies' man falls for his new next-door neighbor, a spunky med student — with a serious boyfriend.
Starring: Benjamin Walker, Teresa Palmer, Alexandra Daddario, Maggie Grace
How to Be Single
Released February 2016

Based On: The novel by Liz Tuccillo
What It's About: A college grad decides she needs a break from her longterm boyfriend and moves to NYC, where her crazy coworker shows her how fun single life can be.
Starring: Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Alison Brie, Leslie Mann
The 5th Wave
Released January 2016

Based On: The YA novel by Rick Yancey
What It's About: A girl teams up with a mysterious stranger on her quest to reunite with her brother, as the extinction of the human race is spurred by alien attacks, disease, and natural disaster.
Starring: Chloë Grace Moretz, Liev Schreiber, Alex Roe, Nick Robinson
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