Today, on The Tattooed Book, I’m taking a look at all the incredible book adaptations from the page to cinema and tv screens in 2020.
For as long as I can remember there have been a handful of books adapted to film and TV screens but thanks to Netflix and the general rise in big-budget TV series, book adaptations are more popular than ever. I’ve tried to make this an exhaustive list but I’m sure there are more to be announced and countless more trailers to come. For the moment, here are all the book adaptations of 2020.
On Sky Atlantic from 13 January 2020
The Ousider features It stars Ben Mendelsohn in the lead role of Detective Ralph Anderson who’s responsible for solving the murder of an 11-year old boy in Flint City. Water-tight evidence points to a single suspect…except he was seventy miles away, with an iron-clad alibi.
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
In cinemas 24 January 2020
The Personal History of David Copperfield re-imagines Charles Dickens’ classic ode to grit and perseverance through the comedic lens of its award-winning filmmakers- giving the Dickensian tale new life for a cosmopolitan age with a diverse ensemble cast of stage and screen actors from across the world. Emmy® winners and Oscar® nominees Armando Iannucci (In the Loop, The Death of Stalin) and Simon Blackwell (In the Loop) lend their wry, yet heart-filled storytelling style to revisiting Dickens’ iconic hero on his quirky journey from impoverished orphan to burgeoning writer in Victorian England.
The Turning of the Screw by Henry James
In cinemas 24 January 2020
Kate Mandell takes a job as a nanny for two young orphans at an isolated Gothic mansion in the Maine countryside. She soon learns that the children — Miles and Flora — are emotionally distant and unstable. When strange events start to plague Kate and the siblings, she begins to suspect that the estate’s dark corridors are home to a malevolent entity.
Just Mercy by Bryan Stephenson
24 January 2020
Based on a true story, after graduating from Harvard, Bryan Stevenson heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or those not afforded proper representation. One of his first cases is that of Walter McMillian, who is sentenced to die in 1987 for the murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite evidence proving his innocence. In the years that follow, Stevenson encounters racism and legal and political maneuverings as he tirelessly fights for McMillian’s life.
The Rhythm Section by Mark Burnell
In cinemas 31 January 2020
Stephanie Patrick veers down a path of self-destruction after a tragic plane crash kills her family. When Stephanie discovers it wasn’t an accident, she turns to a former CIA operative who can help her find the culprits. But her quest to uncover the truth soon turns into a full-blown quest for revenge as Patrick decides to punish those responsible.
The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle by Hugh Lofting
7 February 2020
After losing his wife seven years earlier, the eccentric Dr. John Dolittle (Downey), famed doctor and veterinarian of Queen Victoria’s England, hermits himself away behind the high walls of Dolittle Manor with only his menagerie of exotic animals for company.
But when the young queen (Jessie Buckley, Wild Rose) falls gravely ill, a reluctant Dolittle is forced to set sail on an epic adventure to a mythical island in search of a cure, regaining his wit and courage as he crosses old adversaries and discovers wondrous creatures.
The doctor is joined on his quest by a young, self-appointed apprentice (Dunkirk’s Harry Collett) and a raucous coterie of animal friends, including an anxious gorilla (Oscar® winner Rami Malek), an enthusiastic but bird-brained duck (Oscar® winner Octavia Spencer), a bickering duo of a cynical ostrich (The Big Sick’s Kumail Nanjiani) and an upbeat polar bear (John Cena, Bumblebee) and a headstrong parrot (Oscar® winner Emma Thompson), who serves as Dolittle’s most trusted advisor and confidante.
Birds of Prey: Harley Quinn by Amando Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti
In cinemas 7 February
You ever hear the one about the cop, the blonde, the psycho and the mafia princess? Birds Of Prey And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn is a twisted tale told by Harley herself, as only Harley can tell it. When one of Gotham’s most sinister villains, Roman Sionis, and his sadistic right-hand, Zsasz, put a target on a young girl named Cass, the city’s wicked underbelly is turned upside down looking for her. Harley, Huntress, Canary and Renee Montoya’s paths collide and the unlikely foursome have no choice but to team up to take Roman down.
Locke and Key by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez
On Netflix 7 February
Based on the best-selling graphic novels, Locke & Key follows 3 siblings who, after the murder of their father, move to their ancestral home only to find the house has magical keys that give them a vast array of powers and abilities.
P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
On Netflix 12 February 2020
The second season in the To All The Boys series adapts the second book in the much-loved trilogy by Jenny Han. Lara Jean and Peter have just taken their romance from pretend to officially real when another recipient of one of her love letters enters the picture.
In cinemas 14 February
Jane Austen’s beloved comedy about finding your equal and earning your happy ending is reimagined in this delicious new film adaptation of EMMA. Handsome, clever, and rich, Emma Woodhouse is a restless queen bee without rivals in her sleepy little town. In this glittering satire of social class and the pain of growing up, Emma must adventure through misguided matches and romantic missteps to find the love that has been there all along.
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
In cinemas 14 February 2020
The Call of the Wild vividly brings to the screen the story of Buck, a big-hearted dog whose blissful domestic life is turned upside down when he is suddenly uprooted from his California home and transplanted to the exotic wilds of the Yukon during the Gold Rush of the 1890s. As the newest rookie on a mail delivery dog sled team–and later its leader–Buck experiences the adventure of a lifetime, ultimately finding his true place in the world and becoming his own master.
The Invisible Man by H. G.Wells
In cinemas 28 February 2020
What you can’t see can hurt you. Emmy winner Elisabeth Moss (Us, Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale) stars in a terrifying modern tale of obsession inspired by Universal’s classic monster character.
Trapped in a violent, controlling relationship with a wealthy and brilliant scientist, Cecilia Kass (Moss) escapes in the dead of night and disappears into hiding, aided by her sister (Harriet Dyer, NBC’s The InBetween), their childhood friend (Aldis Hodge, Straight Outta Compton) and his teenage daughter (Storm Reid, HBO’s Euphoria).
But when Cecilia’s abusive ex (Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House) commits suicide and leaves her a generous portion of his vast fortune, Cecilia suspects his death was a hoax. As a series of eerie coincidences turns lethal, threatening the lives of those she loves, Cecilia’s sanity begins to unravel as she desperately tries to prove that she is being hunted by someone nobody can see.
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
28 February 2020
All the Bright Places tell the story of Violet and Theodore, who meet and change each other’s lives forever. As they struggle with the emotional and physical scars of their past, they discover that even the smallest places and moments can mean something. You can read my review of the incredible novel now. I’m just hoping this adaptation is as good as the book!
Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman
BBC series starts on 3 March 2020
Set in an alternate world where people of colour are superior to the white race, the novel features a tale of love within a racially charged dystopia. This is the book adaptation of 2020 that I’m most looking forward to.
In cinemas 13 March 2020
After he and his wife are murdered, marine Ray Garrison is resurrected by a team of scientists. Enhanced with nanotechnology, he becomes a superhuman, biotech killing machine – Bloodshot.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
On US TV screens from 18 March. UK date TBC.
Based on Celeste Ng’s 2017 bestseller, Little Fires Everywhere follows the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and an enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. The story explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, the ferocious pull of motherhood – and the danger in believing that following the rules can avert disaster.
The New Mutants by Ed Brisson, Jonathan Hickman and Rod Reis
In cinemas 10 April
Marvel’s The New Mutants is a horror thriller set in an isolated hospital where a group of young mutants is being held for psychiatric monitoring. When strange occurrences begin to take place, both their new mutant abilities and their friendships will be tested as they battle to try and make it out alive.
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
In cinemas 17 April 2020
When Mary Lennox’s parents suddenly die, she is sent to live with her uncle, Archibald Craven, on his remote country estate deep in the Yorkshire moors. While exploring, she discovers a hidden magical garden.
The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn
In cinemas 15 May 2020
An agoraphobic woman living alone in New York begins spying on her new neighbors, only to witness a disturbing act of violence.
In cinemas 29 May 2020
Descended from a long line of criminal masterminds, 12-year-old genius Artemis Fowl finds himself in a battle of strength and cunning against a powerful, hidden race of fairies who may be behind his father’s disappearance.
Newcomer Ferdia Shaw plays the title character, with Lara McDonnell (“Love, Rosie”) playing Captain Holly Short, a feisty, spirited elf, who is kidnapped by Artemis for a ransom of fairy gold.
In the underground fairy world of Haven City, Academy Award®-winner Dame Judi Dench (“Skyfall”) plays Commander Root, the leader of the reconnaissance division of the LEPrecon, the fairy police force, and Josh Gad (“Beauty and the Beast”) plays Mulch Diggums, a kleptomaniac dwarf, who attempts to help rescue Holly.
Above ground, Nonso Anozie (“Cinderella”) plays the Fowl family bodyguard, named Butler, and Tamara Smart (“The Worst Witch”) plays Butler’s niece Juliet. Miranda Raison (“Murder on the Orient Express”) plays Artemis’ mother Angeline.
The Green Knight (Sir Gawain and The Green Knight) by Simon Armitage
In cinemas 29 May 2020
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate (book trailer)
In cinemas 14 August 2020
Inspired by a true story, a gorilla named Ivan tries to piece together his past with the help of an elephant named Stella as they hatch a plan to escape from captivity. Features the voices of Sam Rockwell and Angelina Jolie.
In cinemas 18 September 2020
John Clark, a Navy SEAL, goes on a path to avenge his wife’s murder only to find himself inside of a larger conspiracy.
Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie
In cinemas 9 October 2020
While on vacation on the Nile, Hercule Poirot must investigate the murder of a young heiress.
In cinemas 16 October 2020
This remake of the 1983 book and 1990 movie will feature Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer. Stanley Tucci, and Chris Rock.
When a young boy is staying with his grandmother at a hotel, he’s turned into a mouse by witches.
In cinemas 18 December 2020
There’s no trailer available yet but Dune will feature Jason Momoa and Timothée Chalamet in the massive sci-fi epic about the son of a noble family entrusted with the protection of the most valuable asset and most vital element in the galaxy.
West Side Story by Irving Shulman
In cinemas 18th December
Two teenagers from different ethnic backgrounds fall in love in 1950s New York City.
Announced but no release date:
The BBC3/Hulu adaptation of Normal People features Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar Jones playing young couple Connell and Marianne. There’s no date for it yet but it looks like late 2020.
The Undoing (You Should Have Known) by Jean Hanff Korelitz
Life for a successful therapist in New York begins to unravel on the eve of publishing her first book, when her husband disapppears.
There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
The Netflix adaptations on this YA horror is thought to be hitting screens around Haloween.
It’s been almost a year since Makani Young came to live with her grandmother in landlocked Nebraska, and she’s still adjusting to her new life. And still haunted by her past in Hawaii.
Then, one by one, the students of her small town high school begin to die in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer, Makani will be forced to confront her own dark secrets.
Stargirl by Geoff John and Lee Moder
DC’s latest female TV superhero, Stargirl doesn’t have a UK release date yet but the re-release of the comic is being published in May so it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s released around this time.
The UK release date for this Disney adaptation is unknown but the US date is set for 13 March 2020 (anyone thinking manic pixie dream girl much?!)
The Last Letter from your Lover by Jojo Moyes
Expected on Netflix in late 2020 and featuring Shailene Woodley, Felicity Jones and Ncuti Gatwa.
China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan
The sequel to Rich Crazy Asians doesn’t have a release date yet but it sounds like the same cast will return to their former roles.
This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay
This award-winning memoir is being adapted into an eight-part series for BBC2 but no dates or actors are confirmed yet.
Both Lily James and Armie Hammer are confirmed for the lead roles in this adaptation but Netflix are yet to confirm a date we’ll see it on our screens.
Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
As with Liane Moriarty’s adaptation of Big Little Lies, Nicole Kidman stars and executive produces the forthcoming series, which is expected t0 premiere in late 2020.
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
The 2013 Man Booker Prize-winning novel is getting a six-part adaptation for BBC2 and will feature Eva Green as the leading lady.
Stephen King’s apocalyptic tome will be getting the mini-series treatment and will feature Alexander Skarsgård, Whoopi Goldberg and Jovan Adepo
Greyhound (The Good Shepherd) by C. S. Forester
Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman feature in the story of Nazi U-boats pursuing a convoy of Allied ships during the early days of World War II.
Infinite (The Reincarnationist Papers) by D. Eric Maikranz
Haunted by memories of two past lives, a troubled young man stumbles upon a centuries-old secret society of similar individuals and dares to join their ranks. Features Mark Wahlberg and Dylan O’Brien.
Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke
An animated tale of a young silver dragon teaming up with a mountain spirit and an orphaned boy on a journey through the Himalayas in search for the Rim of Heaven.
A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig
This is the story of Father Christmas, the tale of a young boy named Nikolas (Henry Lawfull) as he goes on his adventures. This Christmas movie is based on a book of the same title by Matt Haig and will include snow, elves, kidnapping, more snow, and Dame Maggie Smith. What more could you want in a holiday movie?
Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland
Henry Page, a hopeless romantic and film buff, is smitten as soon as Grace Town walks into his classroom. But Grace – who looks in need of a good bath, is dressed in guy’s clothing, and walks with a cane – is unlike any leading lady he’s ever obsessed over. And when Henry and Grace are both offered positions as editors of their high school newspaper, the mystery of Grace begins to captivate him.
Guards! Guards by Terry Pratchett
Rebranded under the title The Watch, BBC America will be bringing us this eight-part Terry Prachett adaptation sometime in 2020, with Adam Hugill as Corporal Carrot, Richard Dormer as Sam Vimes, Jo Eaton-Kent as Constable Cheery, Marama Corlette as Corporal Angua, Lara Rossi as Lady Sybil and Sam Adewunmi as Carcer Dun.
There you have it, an epic list of book adaptations of 2020. If I’m missing any or there’s any book to screen news you’d like me to know, comment below. Which book adaptation of 2020 are you most looking forward to?
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