Movie Reviews

Every Book Being Turned Into A Movie Or TV Show In 2024

Summary

  • 2024 will bring a wave of novel adaptations to screens, with Netflix leading the charge in creating new movies and series from bestselling books.
  • From Harlan Coben’s “Fool Me Once” to Scott Westerfeld’s “Uglies,” 2024 will see a variety of novels making their way to theaters and streaming platforms.
  • Novel adaptations like “The Expatriates” and “The Three-Body Problem” have garnered positive reviews for their creative storytelling and engaging performances.



2024 will see a significant number of novels and stories adapted into feature films and TV shows across a range of platforms. Production companies often look to literature for inspiration to create new movies and shows with bestselling books having an established fan base and a fleshed-out story to adapt. With this method of adapting novels being tried and tested, it makes sense that many of the new releases coming out in 2024 will be following this process.

Netflix is one of the largest studios that frequently implements this method, purchasing film rights for popular books and then attaching a creative team to adapt them. In 2024 alone, they will add new seasons to several adapted series already in their libraries, such as Bridgerton season 3, and The Sandman season 2, while also adding new films like Spaceman. In addition, dozens of feature films are expected to be released in theatres having been adapted from original novels.


Release Date

Book Title

Author

January 1

Fool Me Once

Harlan Coben

January 26

The Expatriates

Janice Y.K. Lee

February 2

The Tiger’s Apprentice

Lauren Yep

February 2

Orion and The Dark

Emma Yarlett

February 8

Force Of Nature

Jane Harper

February 9

Frankenstein

Mary Shelley

March 1

Spaceman Of Bohemia

Jaroslav Kalfar

March 1

Dune

Frank Herbert

March 21

The Three-Body Problem

Liu Cixin

March 29

A Gentleman In Moscow

Amor Towles

April 14

The Sympathizer

Viet Thanh Nguyen

April 19

The Spiderwick Chronicles

Tony DiTerlizzi And Holly Black

May 2

Turtles All The Way Down

John Green

May 16

Romancing Mister Bridgerton

Julia Quinn

June 7

The Watchers

A.M. Shine

July 19

Lady In The Lake

Laura Lippmann

August 2

Harold And The Purple Crayon

Crockett Johnson

August 3

Heartstopper: Volume 2

Alice Osman

August 9

It Ends With Us

Colleen Hoover


Release Date

Book Title

Author

November 27

Wicked: The Life And Times Of The Wicked Witch Of The West

Gregory Maguire

December 13

The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers

J.R.R. Tolkien

TBD

The Sandman, Vol 2: The Doll’s House

Neil Gaiman

TBD

The Electric State

Simon Stalenhag

TBD

Trust

Hernan Diaz

TBD

Uglies

Scott Westerfeld

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26 Fool Me Once By Harlan Coben

January 1 – Netflix

Based on a novel by the same name by popular mystery author Harlan Coben, Fool Me Once follows Maya (Michelle Keegan), an ex-soldier, as she uncovers the dark secrets around her husband’s supposed death and possible reappearance.

While Maya believes her husband Joe (Richard Armitage) was murdered, she was given a nanny cam to watch over her daughter and then she sees her husband appear in the camera footage, visiting their daughter. This also might tie into the murder of Maya’s sister.

There were eight episodes in the adaptation, which dropped on Netflix on January 1. The series received average reviews sitting at 67% on Rotten Tomatoes. The biggest talk after the series came out was about the Fool Me Once ending, which set up a tragic finale that also showed that the real villains in the movie’s world would also get what was coming to them. The series was one of the largest Netflix premieres with 238 million hours watched in its first week (via barb.co.uk).


25 The Expatriates By Janice Y.K. Lee

January 26 – Amazon Prime Video

The Expatriates is a 2016 novel by Janice Y.K. Lee, who also wrote The Piano Teacher. The film rights were acquired by Amazon and a TV series was released on Amazon Prime Video called Expats. The series stars Nicole Kidman as Margaret Woo, one of three American women living in Hong Kong after a sudden family tragedy.

The synopsis read that “affluence is celebrated, friendships are intense but knowingly temporary, and personal lives, deaths and marriages are played out publicly—then retold with glee.” The series consists of six episodes, and it received mostly positive reviews from critics, sitting at 84% on Rotten Tomatoes.


While there was controversy about the show’s portrayal of Hong Kong during a time of a deteriorating political situation, the positive reviews accounted for its success on Prime Video. It also earned a Gotham TV Awards nomination for Outstanding Performance in a Limited Series by Ji-young Yoo.

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24 The Tiger’s Apprentice By Lauren Yep

February 2 – Paramount+


This children’s fantasy novel which blends modern life in San Francisco with Chinese mythology is being adapted into an animated adventure series aimed at younger audiences. The story follows a young Chinese-American boy named Tom as he discovers a secret magical world.

When his grandmother is killed in battle, Mr. Hu, a magical Tiger who can transform into a human, takes him as an apprentice, training him to take his grandmother’s place as a protector of the Phoenix egg. This book was the start of a trilogy of novels.

The movie, released on the streaming service Paramount+, has a great Asian voice cast. This includes Henry Golding (Crazy Rich Asians), Lucy Liu (Elementary), Sandra Oh (Killing Eve), and Oscar-winner Michaelle Yeoh (Everything, Everywhere, All At Once). The movie received mixed to positive reviews from critics and is mostly better left for the younger kids to enjoy.

23 Orion And The Dark By Emma Yarlett

February 2 – Netflix


An award-winning children’s book, Orion and the Dark follows a boy named Orion who is terrified of a lot of things. But perhaps most of all, he’s afraid of the dark. When the dark takes a physical shape and reveals himself to Orion in the hopes of helping him overcome his fear, a wild and wacky adventure follows.

The voice cast is great, with Jacob Tremblay, Paul Walter Huser, Angela Bassett, and Ike Barinholtz in the lead roles. What really makes this Netflix adaptation worth looking into is the fact that Charlie Kauffman wrote the script.

Kaufman is responsible for some of the most unique adult-oriented movies (Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), so it seems interesting to see him working with kids’ fare. He previously made I’m Thinking of Ending Things for Netflix, but that also was more adult-flavored. It worked, as the movie has positive reviews, sitting at 91% on Rotten Tomatoes.


22 Force Of Nature By Jane Harper

February 8 – Theaters

A sequel to another novel by Jane Harper, Force of Nature is the second entry in a series following federal police detective Aaron Falk. The movie, titled Force of Nature: The Dry 2, hit theaters in February 2024. When a group of five women go hiking, only four return, and Falk (Eric Bana) is called in to investigate what happened.

This movie starts up a year after the last film (The Dry, also starring Bana as Falk). The movie is based on Harper’s second book in the series as well, keeping the narrative straight.


Force of Nature goes a little deeper into Falk’s past, as his mother was lost and died in the same area where this latest woman disappeared, so he has a chance to possibly help someone else, whereas he couldn’t help his mother so many years before. The sequel finished with a 63% Rotten Tomatoes average score, which is a huge drop from the first movie’s 89% approval score. There is one last book in the trilogy that the studio can make if it believes the audience is there.

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21 Frankenstein By Mary Shelley

February 9 – Theaters


Although a very loose adaptation, Mary Shelley’s classic horror story, Frankenstein, was adapted in 2024 with Lisa Frankenstein. The comedy horror film will star Kathryn Newton as the daughter of Frankenstein who seeks to reanimate the corpse which happens to be the love of her life.

Cole Sprouse plays the Frankenstein monster and love interest, as the pair must find all the parts they need to ensure a long and happy future together. The movie was written by Diablo Cody (Jennifer’s Body) and directed by Zelda Williams (Robin Williams’ daughter).

Lisa Frankenstein was a box office failure and didn’t make back its budget, while also receiving mixed reviews, sitting at 51% on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics praised its production design and aesthetics but pointed out an inconsistent pacing problem and an underdeveloped romantic subplot. Ultimately though, Newton was a highlight and continued her streak of solid performances.


20 Spaceman Of Bohemia By Jaroslav Kalfař

March 1 – Netflix

A sci-fi novel follows a scientist from the Czech Republic who becomes the country’s first astronaut. The premise for Spaceman of Bohemia is unique as it follows Jacub on a mission to Venus where he discovers a giant sentient alien spider with whom he communicates.

The book was a science fiction novel that really subverts the genre by showing a man in the far reaches of space who might be losing his mind, but has every determination to return home no matter who wants to ensure he doesn’t. Adam Sandler stars as Jacub, opposite Paul Dano as the alien (voiceover), and Carey Mulligan as the wife Jakub left behind on Earth.


The movie remains very different from Sandler’s other films on Netflix, as this is not a laugh-out-loud comedy, but more of a dark comedy with existential moments. While the movie only earned a 50% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, critics praised Sandler’s performance, putting it up there with other serious movies like Uncut Gems and Hustle as proof he is more than just a comedy actor.

19 Dune By Frank Herbert

March 1 – Theaters

Dune: Part Two continues Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation and dives deeper into the novel by Frank Herbert. As Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) becomes close with the local inhabitants of Arrakis, the Harkonnen rulers begin to mount their attack to regain control of the spice trade.


Dune is an epic sci-fi novel that requires multiple films to effectively adapt the story with the required level of detail. This second movie follows the main battle with Paul becoming the Dune Messiah by the end. There is a third movie in development, which is when Villeneuve plans to end his run with the franchise.

The movie was a huge success, following in the footsteps of the original, making over $710 million worldwide and ensuring that Dune: Messiah would make it to theaters to end Paul’s story. Critics were also impressed, with Dune: Part Two certified fresh at 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. It is likely that the film will also have several Oscar nominations once again. The first movie won six Oscars.

18 The Three-Body Problem By Liu Cixin

March 21 – Netflix


The popular science fiction author, Liu Cixen’s Three-Body trilogy was adapted by Netflix into a film that connects the past with the present. 3 Body Problem sees alien visitors readying for their arrival on Earth while the citizens of Earth divide into separate camps with alternate feelings about the alien invasion.

There were several worries about the movie coming to Netflix. The novel was dense and had a lot of deeper themes and ideas and many fans were worried about the series doing it right. There were also concerns with the creative team of David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. While they saw great success with Game of Thrones, most people still remember the final season and hold it against them.

However, they seem to have succeeded with the first season of the adaptation, as critics certified it fresh with a 79% Rotten Tomatoes score and the audience score was close to that number, at 78%. Zine Tseng also picked up a Gotham TV Awards nomination for her performance. Netflix recently renewed it for a second season.


17 A Gentleman In Moscow By Amor Towles

March 29 – Paramount+

Ewan McGregor and Mary Elizabeth Winstead star in the adaptation of A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. McGregor plays Count Alexander Rostov, a Russian aristocrat who is placed on house arrest in a luxury hotel opposite the Kremlin after he returns home after the Bolshevik revolution.

The series is set in 1922, during a tumultuous period in Russian history. The book moves through time in the book’s chapters, starting at his arrest and then moving to 16 years later by the end.


The adaption consists of seven episodes on Paramount+ and shows the Count under his lifetime house arrest at the Hotel Metropol Moscow, where he is moved from the luxury suites to the servants’ quarters. As it was in the book, each episode moves ahead in time, starting in 1921 and finally moving past World War II and the introduction of Krushchev as the new Russian leader.

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16 The Sympathizer By Viet Thanh Nguyen

April 14 – Max


The Sympathizer is a Pulitzer Prize-winning debut novel by Viet Thanh Nguyen. The story contains several themes and follows a North Vietnamese mole who is inserted into the South Vietnamese army before being sent to the United States. The book has the narrator as the mole who lives in the United States as an expatriate who helps advise on an American movie (possibly Platoon) before he returns to Vietnam and takes part in a raid against the communists. There was also a sequel called The Committed.

The series premiered on Max in April 2024 by A24. The story is mostly the same, with the Captain forced to flee to the United States near the end of the Vietnam War, but remaining a mole, still sending reports back to the Viet Cong, while living among his new friends. Hao Xuande stars as the Captain while Robert Downey Jr. stars as several different characters in the series. The series is also notable for having Vietnamese people speaking Vietnamese in the series.

15 The Spiderwick Chronicles By Tony DiTerlizzi And Holly Black

April 19 – The Roku Channel


The Spiderwick Chronicles was adapted into a film in 2008 (starring Freddie Highmore), but the movie adapted the overall plot of five books and couldn’t include everything in the series. Roku brought it back with an original series that dives deeper into the story and expands on the earlier adaptation.

Disney+ was originally supposed to make the series, but it cut it when the streaming service was trimming budgets and Roku picked it up and released it with almost no changes to the story. The series’ biggest name in the cast was Christian Slater, who signed on to play Mulgarath, and the kids were mostly newcomers. The reviews were mixed to negative, with the series sitting at 45% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Most critics praised the cast, especially Slater and Joy Bryant. Most of the complaints came from the series removing many of the fantasy elements and replacing them with real-world issues such as mental health, absentee parents, and ostracization, although this helped the series focus more on the horror and less on the magic.


14 Turtles All The Way Down By John Green

May 2 – Max

turtles all the way down poster

Turtles All The Way Down

Director
Hannah Marks

Release Date
May 2, 2024

Studio(s)
Warner Bros. Pictures , New Line Cinema , Temple Hill Entertainment

Distributor(s)
Max

John Green is famous for writing coming-of-age YA novels that explore early adulthood and mental health issues. His previous books that became movies include The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns. Turtles All the Way Down follows Aza Holmes, a young woman with OCD and anxiety who investigates the disappearance of her neighbor’s father, a billionaire accused of bribery (to hopefully earn a $100,000 reward).

The film stars Isabela Merced as Aza, Cree as Daisy (Aza’s best friend), and Felix Mallard as Davis, the billionaire’s son with whom she develops a relationship. However, Turtles All the Way is mostly about Aza learning how to live with herself and find happiness while managing her OCD symptoms. The movie received mostly favorable reviews, sitting at a nice 84% on Rotten Tomatoes, and this young adult drama film is available to stream on Max.


13 Romancing Mister Bridgerton By Julia Quinn

May 16 – Netflix

The popular series based on Julia Quinn’s novels returned in May 2024 on Netflix for its third season. Bridgerton is a period drama romance series with a large ensemble cast and has been adapted as two previous seasons and a spinoff series called Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story. Season 3 follows events from the fourth novel in the series, Romancing Mister Bridgerton, which was published in 2002.

Each of the books in the series follows a different Bridgerton sibling as they find love and get married. After the first two seasons followed the first and second books in the series, the Netflix series skipped the third book to focus instead on Colin’s story.


In this season, he finds love with Penelope, who admits in this series to being Lady Whistledown, but manages to find love anyway, while the season also sets up the story for Benedict (the third book) or maybe Eloise (the fifth) as the next season.

12 The Watchers By A.M. Shine

June 7 – Theaters

The Watchers is a story set in rural West Coast Ireland as a supernatural horror. This is a Gothic horror novel by A.M. Shine about a forest that isn’t on any map. When a woman named Mina ends up stranded there after her car breaks down, she wanders into the woods and finds a woman in a panic, telling Mina to get to safety inside a bunker.


Once inside, she finds herself trapped among strangers, in a glassed-in room. The Watchers, large creatures, observe the captive people and bad things happen to anyone who doesn’t get into the bunker.

The film adaptation comes from Ishana Night Shyamalan, daughter of the legendary thriller director M. Night Shyamalan. The film stars Dakota Fanning alongside a small group of people trapped inside a bunker while mysterious creatures come to claim the victims who didn’t reach cover in time. The only other known cast members are Georgina Campbell, Oliver Finnegan, and Olwen Fouéré (Sally from the 2022 Texas Chainsaw Massacre sequel).

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11 Lady In The Lake By Laura Lippmann

July 19 – Apple TV

Laura Lippman published Lady in the Lake in 2019. She based the book on two deaths in Baltimore in 1969, the first the murder of an 11-year-old girl and the second the mysterious death of a 33-year-old Black woman.

The book sees a Jewish housewife become an investigative reporter looking into the murder of a Black bartender and a young Jewish girl. The main themes deal with racism and misogyny in 1960s America.

Lady in the Lake is being adapted into a television miniseries starring Natalie Portman and Moses Ingram. Apple TV+ produces the series and it will debut on the streaming service on July 19, 2024, set in 1960s Baltimore. When Portman’s character, Maddie Schwartz, gets involved in investigating an unsolved murder, she struggles to solve the mystery while dealing with her own problems of being a woman working in 1960s-era America. Alma Har’el (Honey Boy) is the showrunner.


10 Harold And The Purple Crayon By Crockett Johnson

August 2 – Theaters

Harold and the Purple Crayon is a children’s book from 1955 and the picture book follows a young imaginative boy who sets off on an adventure during the night. The boy, Harold, is four years old and finds a magic crayon capable of bringing the child’s wild imaginings to life by drawing it.

He draws a moon and one appears and he wants to take a walk, and draws a path, which magically appears. A TV show adaptation in 2001 on HBO won a Primetime Emmy Award. The story is now being adapted into a film starring Zooey Deschanel and Zachary Levi.


The movie follows Levi as Harold, now a grown man who still has the magic purple crayon since childhood. He finally gets the idea to draw himself out of the book and into the real world, and here is where real adventures begin. This movie plays out as a sequel to the children’s picture book. Carlos Saldanha, who previously directed two Ice Age movies and both Rio movies, helms this adaptation.

9 Heartstopper: Volume 2 By Alice Osman

August 3 – Netflix

Heartstopper is a graphic novel by Alice Oseman about Charlie Spring and Nick Nelson, two British schoolboys who meet and fall in love. The book is an ongoing LGBTQ+ young adult graphic novel and webcomic that follows the two boys and their friends, many of whom are also LGBTQ+ students.


There are five volumes so far of the series with seven chapters and the sixth will end the story with a prologue when released. The Heartstopper TV series also explores the lives of young adults with various backgrounds and orientations as they navigate love and friendship with Kit Connor and Joe Locke in the main roles.

The upcoming third season will follow the second volume in the series and see Nick as he develops the confidence to come out and make his relationship with Charlie public. Their other friends also navigate their relationships with various complications and all the stresses of growing up.

8 It Ends With Us By Colleen Hoover

August 9 – Theaters


Colleen Hoover wrote her popular romance novel, It Ends With Us, in 2016. However, it experienced a revival in 2021 when it started trending on #BokTok and it shot back to number one in 2022 on the New York Times best sellers list. The story follows college graduate Lily Bloom, who grew up watching her father abuse her mother, causing her to resent both of them.

She has a childhood flame that she still thinks about (Atlas) but marries a successful doctor (Ryle) who begins to abuse her like her dad abused her mother. Justin Baldoni directs the adaptation of It Ends With Us, while also starring in the movie as Ryle.

Blake Lively stars as Lily Bloom, but things start to change up when Lily’s old flame Atlas (Brandon Sklenar) reenters her life. The story deals with difficult issues around relationships and abuse but seeks to find the most healthy way of coping and moving forward.

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