12 Most Anticipated Book to Screen Adaptations in 2019

Listeners and bibliophiles all around, rejoice! 2019 is going to be one for the books! From long-awaited adaptations to reboots of classics, avid bookworms will see a host of fantastic books hitting both the big and small screens. Whether you like tearjerkers or award-winners, small screen production or big screen spectacles, there will be something to dive into for everyone. So, brush up on your listening, because this year is sure to be a treat for the eyes and the ears.

A Dog’s Way Home by W. Bruce Cameron, narrated by Ann Marie Lee
Expected release date: January 11

90 minutes of watching an adorable dog do adorable things? Sign me up! A Dog’s Way Home, based on the novel by W. Bruce Cameron who also wrote A Dog’s Purpose and A Dog’s Journey, stars Bryce Dallas Howard and Ashley Judd and tells the story of one resilient dog who travels more than 400 miles to make its way back to its owner. Are you feeling the puppy love yet?

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The Passage by Justin Cronin, narrated by Scott Brick
Expected release date: January 14

The Passage, the first in Justin Cronin’s epic three-part series, is finally coming to the small screen after initially being optioned for a big screen production. A gripping tale of catastrophe and survival, The Passage tells the story of orphan Amy Bellafonte (Saniyya Sidney) who is pursued by the shadowy figures behind a government experiment of apocalyptic proportions. When Special Agent Brad Wolgast (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) is sent to track her down, he becomes disarmed by the curiously quiet girl and risks everything to save her.
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The Knife of Never Letting Go (Film Adaptation: Chaos Walking) by Patrick Ness, narrated by Nick Podehl
Expected release date: March 1

Daisy Ridley, Tom Holland, and Nick Jonas are joining forces to bring to life Patrick Ness’s bestselling Young Adult series. Based on the first novel in the Chaos Walking Trilogy, The Knife of Never Letting Go, the story is set in a dystopian town called Prentisstown where everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts. When the only boy in town, Todd (Holland), discovers an awful secret, he’s forced to run for his life.

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Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple, narrated by Kathleen Wilhoite
Expected release date: March 22

Maria Semple’s bestselling dramedy begins when notorious and opinionated Bernadette Fox, played by Cate Blanchett, disappears out of the blue. In an effort to track down her mother, Bernadette’s 15-year-old daughter, Bee, combs through email messages, official documents, and secret correspondences to piece together the story of her mother’s troubled past.

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Pet Sematary by Stephen King, narrated by Michael C. Hall
Expected release date: April 5

After the massive success of It, horror fans will be eager for another flick adapted from Stephen King’s vast body of work. Pet Sematary, first adapted in 1989, returns to the big screen starring Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz, and John Lithgow. The story centers on a doctor who, after learning about a mysterious pet cemetery that sits on an ancient burial ground, makes the doomed decision to bury his deceased son there in hopes of resurrecting him.

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The Best of Enemies: Race and Redemption in the New South by Osha Gray Davidson, narrated by Keith Sellon-Wright
Expected release date: April 5

Based on a true story, the movie, starring Taraji P. Henson and Sam Rockwell, will be adapted from Osha Gray Davidson’s book of the same name that tells the story of the unlikely friendship between Ann Atwater, an outspoken Civil Rights activist, and C.P. Ellis, a Ku Klux Klan leader.

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The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon, narrated by Dominic HoffmanBahni TurpinRaymond Lee
Expected release date: May 17

Nicole Yoon fans rejoice! The second novel by the bestselling author of Everything, Everything is being adapted for the big screen and is set to be released on May 19. The story begins with Natasha, a pragmatic teenage girl who meets and falls in love with a boy named Daniel hours before her family is going to be deported back to Jamaica.

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The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, narrated by David Pittu
Expected release date: October 11

Based on Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, this adaptation starring Nicole Kidman, Ansel Elgort, Sarah Paulson, and Jeffrey Wright tells the story of a teenage boy named Theo Decker (Elgort) whose life is changed after surviving a bombing that killed his mother at a museum. Following the shock of the attack, Theo makes a split-second decision to steal a painting which then leads his life down wild and unexpected paths.

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Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, narrated by Barbara Caruso
Expected release date: December 25

Christmas just got a whole lot better with the upcoming adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved novel about four sisters growing up in New England during the Civil War. Greta Gerwig, the writer and director of 2017’s acclaimed coming-of-age movie Lady Bird, is taking on the latest adaptation of the classic novel with a star-studded cast including Meryl Streep, Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan, and Laura Dern. (Is it Christmas yet?!)

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Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, narrated by Martin Jarvis
Expected release date: first half of 2019

It’s an apocalyptic year for the small screen. Scheduled for release sometime in 2019, Amazon Prime’s adaptation of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s collaborative novel, Good Omens, has an all-star cast featuring David Tennant, Michael Sheen, John Hamm, and Nick Offerman just to name a few. The six-part miniseries begins with a prophesied doomsday, which then sees an angel named Aziraphale (Sheen) and a demon named Crowley (Tennant) teaming up to prevent the coming apocalypse.

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The Golden Compass (Film Adaptation: His Dark Materials) by Philip Pullman, narrated by Philip Pullman
Expected release date: 2019

Although there’s no release date set for BBC’s adaptation of His Dark Materials, production has wrapped for the eight-part series, and fans will soon see the first book in the trilogy, The Golden Compass, come to life on the small screen. Dafne Keen, best known for her role as Wolverine’s daughter in the movie Logan will play the hero, Lyra Belacqua. The series also stars James McAvoy, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Ruth Wilson and will follow Lyra through parallel universes as she meets a host of fantastical creatures.

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All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven, narrated by Ariadne MeyersJennifer Niven, and Kirby Heyborne
Expected release date: 2019

Netflix is adapting Jennifer Niven’s heart-wrenching YA bestseller about two teenagers, Violet Markey (Elle Fanning) and Theodore Finch (Justice Smith), who find each other at difficult points in their lives. Together, they set out to discover the wonders of the world around them. Grab your tissues, this is going to be a tearjerker!

Read more and sample the audio.

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A Sneak Peek at the Set of A Discovery of Witches

When I attended Oxford University for a month-long publishing program, I didn’t expect to go to school with witches and vampires.

It was a chilly September day when my train arrived from London. The cobblestone streets and sea of spires didn’t look familiar, even though I had visited the city less than ten years ago. I’d always wanted to live in a castle—a desire stemming from my Harry Potter obsession that was finally being realized—but I also knew that come morning, my boyfriend would be off on a bus to Heathrow Airport while I’d be meeting 70 strangers who would, for better or worse, be my only company for the next month.

As the days passed and I settled into my new home at Exeter College, I savored the thrilling feeling of exclusivity as I strutted past hordes of weekend tourists to my always-too-cold dorm room (I was told by the porter that heating wouldn’t be provided until the fall term began). Every night when I sat in my room overlooking Broad Street and Trinity College, I felt as if I had been transported back in time to land squarely in a gothic romance.

That’s what Oxford does: it makes you feel special and not quite yourself.

When the end of my time at Oxford was looming near and I had been feeling particularly gloomy, an unusual email from my professor popped up in my inbox. “Filming in College,” it read. As it turns out, A Discovery of Witches was going to be filmed in the very college I was staying in. A thrill went through my spine—I bought the book just two months ago and had been dying to read it.

“This will not disrupt our schedule,” my professor insisted—only it did, in a minuscule, exciting way that only happened to bystanders who wished to take part in an important event. Daily journeys to the dining hall became riddled with thrills and suspense: ducking behind posts when the director yelled “action,” holding our breaths as the actors walked past, and dashing madly through the film set toward our coveted meal before filming started once more.

The film crew setting up in the Front Quad in front of the Dining Hall.

On the last day of filming—coincidentally my last day in Oxford—the weather was relaxing and sunny, a departure from its usual overcast gloominess. My friend Abby and I pressed our noses up to her window to watch the film crew below, who waved at us when they discovered our hiding spot.

Teresa Palmer, who plays the lead character Diana Bishop—a witch—stood by in a heavy black coat, while Matthew Goode, who portrays her vampire boyfriend Matthew Clairmont, walked past in a matching black jacket. When Abby and I ventured out for our shopping trip, we tried to be discreet and nonchalant, although I suspect we failed miserably at both.

When afternoon came and my class gathered in Fellows’ Garden for one last sherry hour, Teresa strolled past wearing a new athletic outfit and peeked at the crowd. “I want to be a part of their party,” I heard her say.

But who would believe I partied with a witch?

A Discovery of Witches premieres in the UK on Sky One on September 14 and in the US and Canada on Sundance Now and Shudder at a yet to be announced date.


A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, narrated by Jennifer Ikeda

Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Read more and sample the audio.


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