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Books Becoming Movies/TV Series in 2021

woman holding a TV remote and eating popcorn

January 11, 2021

Sometimes, it’s difficult to choose between relaxing with a good book or sitting back and watching a movie or binge watching a favorite TV show. So why not combine the two and watch a movie or TV series based on a great book?

Numerous new TV series and movies (in theaters, and streaming on digital platforms) are set to be released throughout 2021, and we’ve taken the time to compile a list of some of the most anticipated adaptations! Take a gander at the list below and, if any of the synopses sound appealing, you can check out the book from any Marathon County Public Library location and read it before you watch the movie/TV version.

Please note that some of these projects are tentatively planned to be released this year. Due to the unpredictable nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, release dates may be pushed back or put on hold until a later date.


Book Cover: FIREFLY LANE

"FIREFLY LANE" by KRISTIN HANNAH

Two teen girls forge a friendship during the summer of 1974, and the novel chronicles their lives over the next 30 years. 

This 2008 novel will be released as a TV series starring Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke. Season 1 is due to premiere on Netflix in February 2021. 

Book Cover: THE DIG

"THE DIG" by JOHN PRESTON

In the summer of 1939, Britain is preparing for war. But on a riverside farm in Suffolk, there is excitement of another kind. Mrs. Pretty, the widowed owner of the farm, conducts a dig that reveals historic artifacts, dating back hundreds of years, buried on the property.

The film adaptation of this novel, starring Carey Mulligan, Ralph Fiennes and Lily James, will premire on Netflix in January 2021. 

Book Cover: THE WHITE TIGER

"THE WHITE TIGER" by ARAVIND ADIGA

Born in a village in the dark heart of India, Balram Halwai has always aspired to more. Over the course of seven nights, Balram tells the terrible and transfixing story of how he came to be a success in life - having nothing but his own wits to help him along. Through his eyes, we see India as we've never seen it before.

The film adaptation of this novel, starring Priyanka Chopra Jonas, premieres on Netflix in January 2021.

Book Cover: FRENCH EXIT

"FRENCH EXIT" by PATRICK DEWITT

In this dark comedy, Frances Price - a tart widow, possessive mother, and Upper East Side force of nature - flees New York City for Paris along with her adult son, Malcolm, in the wake of scandal and financial ruin.

The film adapation of this novel, starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Lucas Hedges, is due to hit theaters and VOD in February 2021. 

Book Cover: THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO

"THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO" by PATRICK NESS

In this futuristic sci-fi thriller, young Todd and Viola set out across the New World searching for answers about his colony's true past and seeking a way to warn the ship bringing hopeful settlers from Old World.

The film adaptation of this YA novel, titled Chaos Walking, stars Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley. It's set to be released in theaters in March 2021.

Book Cover: NINE PERFECT STRANGERS

"NINE PERFECT STRANGERS" by LIANE MORIARTY

Nine people gather at a remote health resort - some to lose weight, some to reboot their lives, some for reasons they can't even admit to themselves. Among them is Frances, a formerly bestselling romance novelist, who's nursing a bad back and a broken heart. But there's something unconventional and unsettling about the resort's owner, Masha. Should Frances and the other guests let themselves be transformed, or run for their lives while they still can?

Hulu is turning this best-selling novel into a limited series, to premiere sometime in 2021. The series will star Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy. 

Book Cover: CHERRY

"CHERRY" by NICO WALKER

A young man is just a college freshman when he meets Emily, and the pair fall hard and fast in love. Desperate to keep their relationship alive, they marry before he ships out to Iraq. But as an army medic, he is unprepared for the grisly reality that awaits him. He and Emily try to make their long-distance marriage work, but when he returns from Iraq, his PTSD is profound, and soon he is hooked on heroin, and so is Emily. With their money drying up, he turns to the one thing he thinks he could be really good at - robbing banks.

The film adaptation of this novel, starring Tom Holland, is due to be released in February 2021. 

Book Cover: SHADOW & BONE

"SHADOW & BONE" by LEIGH BARDUGO

Orphaned by the Border Wars, Alina Starkov is taken from obscurity to become the protegé of the mysterious Darkling, who trains her to join the magical elite in the belief that she is the Sun Summoner, who can destroy the monsters of the Fold.

Shadow & Bone is the first novel in Bardugo's "Grishaverse." The television series adaptation will debut on Netflix later this year.

Book Cover: PASSING

"PASSING" by NELLA LARSEN

Childhood friends Clare and Irene, both African American women who are light-skinned enough to pass as white, reconnect with one another after many years apart. Clare has chosen to pass as white while Irene has embraced her racial heritage and become an important member of her community. The novel chronicles the different paths each woman's life takes.

The film adaptation of this novel, which dates back to the Harlem Renaissance, stars Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga. It's set to be released later this year.

Book Cover: ALWAYS AND FOREVER, LARA JEAN

"ALWAYS AND FOREVER, LARA JEAN" by JENNY HAN

In this YA novel (the third book in the To All the Boys I've Loved Before series), Lara Jean looks forward to her father's remarriage and seeing her sister, but she must choose a college, prepare to leave home, and possibly leave her beloved Peter behind.

The film version, called To All the Boys: Always and Forever, Lara Jean, will debut on Netflix later this year. 

Book Cover: WITHOUT REMORSE

"WITHOUT REMORSE" by TOM CLANCY

In this 1993 best-seller, John Kelly befriends a young woman with a checkered past as the Pentagon is preparing an operation to rescue a key group of prisoners in a North Vietnamese POW camp.

The film version, starring Michael B. Jordan, will be released later this year on Amazon Prime Video.

Book Cover: THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW

"THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW" by A.J. FINN

Anna Fox lives alone, a recluse in her New York City home, drinking too much wine, watching old movies...and spying on her neighbors. Then the seemingly perfect family moves in next door. But when Anna sees something she shouldn't, her world begins to crumble. What's real? What's imagined? In this Hitchcockian thriller, no one is what they seem.

The film version, originally slated to be released last year (but pushed back due to the pandemic), stars Amy Adams. It will be released by Netflix later this year.

Book Cover: TWO KISSES FOR MADDY

"TWO KISSES FOR MADDY" by MATTHEW LOGELIN

Matthew Logelin writes a courageous and searingly honest memoir about the first year of his life following the birth of his daughter and the death of his wife.

Kevin Hart stars in the film adaptation of this book, called Fatherhood. The movie is scheduled to be released in theaters in April 2021. 

Book Cover: THERE YOU'LL FIND ME

"THERE YOU'LL FIND ME" by JENNY B. JONES

18 year-old Finley decides to spend senior year in Ireland. There, she questions her faith, prepares for an audition at a prestigious music conservatory, and meets teen movie idol Beckett Rush, who has personal issues of his own.

The film version of this YA novel, called Finding You, is scheduled to be released in January 2021.

Book Cover: FEAR STREET

"FEAR STREET" by R.L. STINE

R.L. Stine's long-running anthology series of YA horror/suspense novels is getting turned into a trilogy of films, to debut summer 2021 on Netflix. It's unclear which books or storylines will be incorporated into the films.

Book Cover: DARK HARVEST

"DARK HARVEST " by NORMAN PARTRIDGE

Everybody in this small Midwestern town knows who the October Boy is and how he rises from the cornfields every Halloween, a bloody butcher knife in his hand, and makes his way toward town. It's October 1963, and Pete McCormick knows that killing the October Boy is his one chance to escape a dead-end future in this one-horse town. But before Halloween is over, Pete will discover the terrifying true secret of the October Boy.

The film adaptation of this horror novel will be released in fall 2021. 

Book Cover: DEATH ON THE NILE

"DEATH ON THE NILE" by AGATHA CHRISTIE

Linnet Doyle is young, beautiful, and rich. She and her new husband take a cruise on the Nile, where they meet the brilliant detective Hercule Poirot. It should be an idyllic trip, yet Poirot has a vague, uneasy feeling that something is dangerously amiss aboard the ship.

Due to originally be released last year, the film's release was pushed back due to COVID-19. The film is now set to be released in theaters in fall 2021 and features an all-star cast, including Kenneth Branagh, Gal Gadot, Annette Bening, and more. 

Book Cover: DUNE

"DUNE" by FRANK HERBERT

Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of Paul Atreides, who will become the mysterious man known as Muad'Dib. Paul's noble family is named stewards of Arrakis, whose sands are the only source of a powerful drug called "the spice." After his family is brought down in a traitorous plot, Paul must go undercover to seek revenge, and to bring to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dream. 

This new adaptation of Dune will star Timothy Chalamet, Oscar Isaac, Zendaya, and will be released in theaters in fall 2021.

Book Cover: ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL

"ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL" by SARAH VAUGHAN

Sophie's husband, James, is a loving father, a handsome man, and a charismatic and successful public figure. And yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to rip them apart. Kate is the lawyer hired to prosecute the case. She's an experienced professional who knows that the law is all about winning the argument. She is certain James is guilty and is determined he will pay for his crimes. Who is right about James - Sophie or Kate? 

Netflix is turning this best-selling novel into a series, set to star Michelle Dockery and Sienna Miller. It will premiere on the streaming service in autumn 2021.

Book Cover: THE HOUSE OF GUCCI

"THE HOUSE OF GUCCI" by SARA GAY FORDEN

This book chronicles the tumultuous life of Maurizio Gucci, the family's lucrative business of luxury goods, and the 1995 murder of Gucci by his ex-wife, Patrizia.

The film House of Gucci features an all-star cast including Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, Jared Leto and Lady Gaga. 

Book Cover: THE NIGHTINGALE

"THE NIGHTINGALE" by KRISTIN HANNAH

Viann and Isabelle have always been close, despite their differences. Younger, bolder Isabelle lives in Paris while Viann lives a quiet and content life in the French countryside with her husband, Antoine. When World War II strikes and Antoine is sent off to fight, Isabelle goes to the countryside to help Viann cope. As the war progresses, it's not only the sisters' relationship that is tested, but also their strength and their individual senses of right and wrong.

The movie version of The Nightingale will sar real-life sisters Dakota Fanning and Elle Fanning, and is due to hit theaters in December 2021. 

Book Cover: KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

"KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON" by DAVID GRANN

This book presents a true account of the early 20th century murders of dozens of wealthy Osage and law-enforcement officials, citing the contributions and missteps of the FBI, which eventually uncovered one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert DeNiro are set to star in the adaptation of this best-selling nonfiction book, which will debut later this year on Apple TV+.

Book Cover: BLONDE

"BLONDE" by JOYCE CAROL OATES

In this novel, originally released in 2000, Joyce Carol Oates reimagines the inner, poetic, and spiritual life of Norma Jeane Baker - the child, the woman, the fated celebrity, and idolized blonde the world came to know as Marilyn Monroe.

Ana de Armas will star as Monroe, which will debut later this year. 


Adults Authors Books Movies Reading Recommendations

image credit: Pixabay