People sometimes say that they’ll wait for the movie version. That’s not us—we look forward to the movie precisely because we loved the book so much. On that score, there’s a lot to look forward to in 2018. Here are 16 books coming to the screen this year.
12 Strong, based on Horse Soldiers, by Doug Stanton (January 19)
Led by Chris Hemsworth, this film follows Stanton’s non-fiction account of a small band of Special Forces who, vastly outnumbered, captured Mazar-i-Sharif in Afghanistan before finding themselves besieged. Michael Shannon and Michael Peña also star.
Paperback $10.75 | $10.99
Maze Runner: The Death Cure, based on the novel by James Dashner (January 26)
The Maze Runner trilogy is set to conclude with this adaption of the final book (if you don’t count the ongoing prequel series). The truth behind WCKD and the tests will be revealed, but not before the Gladers run one more maze in the legendary Last City.
Fifty Shades Freed, based on the novel by E. L. James (February 9)
You know the score by now: Christian and Ana’s R-rated naughtiness is going to get complicated. Classed as an erotic psychological romantic thriller, the big finish sees the two happily married until Ana’s old boss begins stalking and threatening her, and Christian’s former dom and lover (played by Kim Basinger) pops back into town.
The War with Grandpa, based on the novel by Robert Kimmel Smith (February 23)
The multiple award-winning children’s novel is getting a film adaption with an all-star cast, including Robert DeNiro, Christopher Walken, and Uma Thurman. The novel is the story of Peter and the grandfather he adores—until grandpa comes to live with the family and takes over Peter’s room. From there, it’s war. With DeNiro in good form, it sounds like the movie will be fun.
Every Day, based on the novel by David Levithan (February 23)
Levithan’s young adult novel follows Rhiannon, a 16-year-old who develops a relationship with a traveling spirit named A. Every day, A wakes up in a different body and thus lives a variety of human experiences. Rhiannon encounters the traveller when A wakes up in the body of Justin, her troubled boyfriend. If the filmmakers can translate Levithan’s humanistic and empathetic style to the screen, it should do well.
Annihilation, based on the novel by Jeff VanderMeer (February 23)
Multi-talented director/novelist/screenwriter Alex Garland is helming the adaption of VanderMeer’s first Southern Reach novel. The series is all about the mystery of Area X, a region of the southern U.S. that’s been cut off for decades by a strange barrier. Each expedition into Area X has produced wildly different results and observations, with the most recent trip leaving only one grievously injured survivor, husband to a biologist played in the movie by Natalie Portman. She volunteers for a new expedition into the zone in order to figure out what exactly happened. There’s been some behind-the-scenes scuffling about the finished film being overly cerebral (and diverging greatly from the source material), but that doesn’t necessarily make for a bad film.
Red Sparrow, based on the novel by Jason Matthews (March 2)
Matthews’ novel goes deep into the intertwined worlds of Russian and American espionage to tell the story of Dominika Egorova, an operative trained from an early age in the arts of infiltration and seduction, and whose synesthesia allows her to see the world in unique ways. She might sound a bit like Marvel’s Black Widow, but there are no superheroics in Matthews’ world. Jennifer Lawrence stars.
A Wrinkle in Time, based on the novel by Madeleine L’Engle (March 9)
It’s not the first adaption of L’Engle’s beloved, influential, and controversial 1962 science fantasy novel, but this one should make a much bigger splash than the earlier television production. For starters, multiple-award winner Ava DuVernay is directing an all-star cast, led by Oprah Winfrey. Newcomer Storm Reid stars as Meg Murray, who fights to save her father from captivity on a distant planet.
Love, Simon, based on Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, by Becky Albertalli (March 16)
Greg Berlanti, best known these days for his work writing and producing the various DC shows on the CW, is directing the adaption of Albertalli’s coming-of-age story about a closeted high schooler coming to terms with his sexuality. Simon has an online relationship with a boy he knows as “Blue,” but the correspondence is uncovered by one of his classmates who blackmails Simon into setting him up with a girl named Abby.
Ready Player One, based on the novel by Ernest Cline (March 30)
Just a few months after the release of historical drama The Post, Steven Spielberg’s much-anticipated adaption of the Cline novel is coming to the big screen. It’s the story of a dystopian future world in which there’s not much to do but hang out in a virtual space called the OASIS. The creator dies and promises ownership of the realm to anyone who can find his hidden easter egg. Like the book, the movie promises a plethora of 80s pop-culture references.
Guernsey, based on The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (April 20)
Note to the producers: the original novel’s title is better, if tough to squeeze onto a marquee. Shaffer and Barrows popular novel introduces Juliet Ashton, a London writer looking for a new book subject following the Blitz. Unexpected correspondence draws her into the funny, eccentric, charming, and weird world of occupied Guernsey.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette, based on the novel by Maria Semple (May 11)
A new Richard Linklater film is always an event for true movie buffs. The Before Midnight/School of Rock/Boyhood director is taking on Semple’s funny, quirky novel about an agoraphobic mom who goes missing. Her daughter Bee, who had been preparing for a family trip to Antarctica, searches through documents and correspondence in order to figure out exactly what happened.
Crazy Rich Asians, based on the novel by Kevin Kwan (August 17)
Kwan intended his 2013 novel, based partly on his childhood in Singapore, to provide a contemporary view of Asian culture for Americans. Probably not a bad idea. It’s the story of a marriage between the incredibly rich Colin Khoo and his fashion icon fiancée. The original book has been followed by two sequels thus far, so a successful film could potentially kick off a franchise.
Paperback $14.40 | $16.00
Boy Erased, based on Boy Erased: A Memoir, by Garrard Conley (September 28)
Conley’s 2016 memoir, describing his experiences in gay conversion therapy, serves as a testimonial to the dangers of such programs, as well as a nod toward the belief systems that encourage them. Conley was the son of a Baptist minister in a small town who was outed during college and pressured into conversion therapy. It didn’t go well. Lucas Hedges stars, with Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman as his parents.
Paperback $13.56 | $16.95
The Girl in the Spider’s Web, based on the novel by David Lagercrantz (October 5)
Bear with me now: this is the fifth film adaption of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series, about world-class hacker Lisbeth Salander and investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist. It’s based on the fourth book in the series, the first not to have been written by Larsson, but it’s also reboot of the David Fincher’s series of American adaptations, which only ever got around to adapting the first book. In short, it’s a whole new start, so don’t worry about it! The Crown’s Claire Foy takes over as Lisbeth, with Don’t Breathe director Fede Alvarez directing.
First Man, based on First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong, by James R. Hansen (October 12)
Hansen’s 2005 biography focuses largely on Armstrong’s life before and after the moon landing, charting his upbringing and involvement in the space program, as well as life as one of the most famous people in the world. Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy star.
What’s on your book-to-movie calendar for 2018?