18 Book-to-film Adaptations to Look Forward to in 2015

Michael Fassbender as Macbeth
Category: Reading

One should never judge a book by its movie.

One should, however, celebrate the continuing cultural relevance of books and see the movie industry's continued dependence on the written word as a good thing. 

Even if it can be soul-destroying to see your favourite books laid to waste on screen (even if one gets a smugness compensation from telling whoever will listen about how the film doesn't do the book justice), you never know, another Godfather could be just around the corner. Let us therefore grip our ticket stubs as the lights dim in hope that these 18 films will do their source material justice...


1. The Secret Service by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons

Film Title: Kingsman: The Secret Service

UK Release Date: 29 January 2015

Kick Ass director Matthew Vaughn returns to Scottish graphic novel creator Mark Millar’s work for this film version of The Secret Service. It follows the path of an unrefined yet promising street kid who is recruited into an ultra-secret, very hush-hush, network of British secret agents.


2. Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon

UK release date: 30 January

The seemingly infallible Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, There Will Be Blood), teams up with Joaquin Phoenix to follow up on The Master with something completely different. The subject matter is Thomas Pynchon’s 2009 noirish novel about a rather unconventional private eye. It is currently humming with Oscar buzz and contains quite a cast including Reese Witherspoon, Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin.


3. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

UK Release Date: Friday 13 Feburary

In arguably the worst idea for a first date since Travis Bickle took Iris to an adult movie theatre in Taxi Driver, the not-so-long-awaited adaptation of E.L. James bestselling novel arrives just in time for Valentine’s Day. How romantic! 


4. In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick

UK release date: 2 December (revised date)

Happy days. Ron Howard is bringing Nathaniel Philbrick’s award-winning, page-turning non-fiction book, about one of the real life events which inspired the novel Moby Dick, to screen. An exciting cast will take to the high seas on the Whaleship Essex, for an ill-fated voyage, including Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy (Peaky Blinders) Ben Whishaw (Skyfall), and Brendan Gleeson (Calvary).


5. Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky

UK Release Date: 13 March

Suite Française was the title of a five novel series by Irène Némirovsky. Tragically, Némirovsky, a French writer of Ukrainian Jewish origin, was arrested by the Nazis in July 1942 and died in Auschwitz. A notebook containing the first two novels of Suite Française was preserved by her daughters but remained unpublished until 2004. Michelle Williams and Kristin Scott Thomas are set to star in the movie adaptation.


6. Divergent Series: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

UK release date: 20 March

Beatrice Prior (Shaliene Woodley) must continue to grow into her ‘chosen one’ status in part two of Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy. If the original film didn’t do it for you, many other young adult franchises are advancing their trilogies this year.

Read Lynsey Rogers' five arguments on why Divergent the movie was better than the book.


7. The Prone Gunman by Jean-Patrick Manchette.

Film Title: The Gunman

UK Release Date: 20 March 2015

From the director of Taken, Pierre Morel, comes this adaptation of jazz saxophonist, political activist and screenwriter Jean-Patrick Manchette’s 1981 novel. Sean Penn plays Terrier, a professional assassin who wants out of the game. Needless to say, it’s not going to be that easy.


8. Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

UK Release Date: 17 April

America’s NPR acclaimed Tom Rob Smith’s 2008 tale of Soviet-era criminal activity was one of the top 100 thrillers of all time. Muscular actor Tom Hardy will crack the screen with an intense-sounding cast including Gary Oldman, Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister, Game of Thrones) and Noomi Rapace (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo).



9. The Moomins by Tove Jansson

Movie Title: Moomins on the Riviera

UK Release Date: 1 May 2015

There’s no point in being a grown up if you can’t be childish sometimes. That’s why we’ll be queuing with the kids to watch this big screen adaptation of Tove Jansson’s enduring work. Learn more about this unique author’s life in our recent homage to the Moomin’s creator Tove Jansson.


10. Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

UK Release Date: 1 May 2015

Thomas Hardy’s classic love story will return to the silver screen this year in a brand new adaptation, with Danish director Thomas Vinterberg (The Hunt) at the helm. Carey Mulligan seems a suitable choice for Bathesheba, who must choose from three very different suitors in the form of a shepherd, a sergeant and a rich bachelor. Fans of bonnet dramas: prepare for swooning.


11. Paper Towns by John Green

UK Release Date: 19 June 2015

John Green is so hot right now. Indeed, the Hollywood term ‘bankable’ seems to have been invented for him. This 21st Century renaissance man enjoyed seeing his novel, A Fault in Our Stars, do great box office business in 2014. Now, in 2015, his young adult tale of four friends embarking on an epic road trip to find the girl next door looks set to be one of the hits of this summer.



12. Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

Film Title: Pan

UK Release Date: 17 July 2015

Peter Pan is set to get the origins story treatment this summer as director by Joe Wright (Atonement, Anna Karenina) tells the tale of an orphan who finds his destiny, and greatest foe, in Neverland.


13. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Film Title: Victor Frankenstein

UK Release Date: 2 October 2015

Another adaptation of Shelley’s masterpiece shuffles towards us this autumn. Taking a different angle of the source material, this movie version will be told from troubled assistant Igor’s (Daniel Radcliffe) perspective as he witness’ Victor Frankenstein (James McAvoy) become the man and legend we know today.


14. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay (Part 2), Suzanne Collins

UK Release Date: Friday 20 November

Part two of the two-part film version of part three from Suzanne Collins' trilogy will conclude the screen version of The Hunger Games. Will Katniss Everdeen’s rebellion lead to the downfall of President Snow? Find out this November (or, if you can't wait to find out, read the books now).


15. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Graeme-Smith

UK Release Date: TBC, 2015

Austen's classic tale of tangled relationships between the social classes in 19th century England will face a new challenge this year: an army of undead zombies. This big screen version of Seth Graeme-Smith’s mash-up novel will star one of the most kick-ass ladies from the small screen, Lena Headey; aka Cersei from Game of Thrones.

Check out our list of 10 great literary parodies.


16. Peanuts by Charles M. Schultz

Film Title: Snoopy And Charlie Brown: A Peanuts Movie (3D)

UK Release Date: 21 December

Expect a Charlie Brown and Snoopy revival this Christmas as the Peanuts gang take to the big screen...in 3D. This begs the following questions: (a) how are they going to squeeze 3D effects into Charlie Brown’s world and (b) can they capture the gentle childhood innocence of Charles M. Schultz original work?


17. Silence by Shûsako Endô

UK Release Date: late 2015

2016 Oscar buzz is already set to 'Scorsese'. Following his success with The Wolf of Wall Street, the directorial great is returning to literary source material for his next project: an adaptation of Shûsako Endô's meditation about Jesuit missionaries in 17th century Japan. Ambitious.


18. Macbeth by William Shakespeare

UK Release Date: TBC

This Shakespeare adaptation doesn't have a release date yet but it bullies its way onto our list due to the mouthwatering prospect of Michael Fassbender and Marianne Cotillard playing Mr and Mrs Macbeth. Something wicked this way comes for cinema audiences.


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