The best book adaptations coming to a screen soon

15 December 2017

With some of this year's small screen smash-hits The Handmaid’s Tale, Poldark, Game of Thrones and American Gods all adapted from fiction, there’s no wonder screenwriters are inspired by their bookshelves when looking for inspiration. 

Here's our pick of the new TV and film adaptations that we can't wait to watch, including the hugely exciting adaptation of Jessie Burton's The Miniaturist, coming to BBC One on Boxing Day 2017. 


The Miniaturist cast photo, copyright BBC/ The Forge.

The Miniaturist

Adapted from Jessie Burton’s Sunday Times best-selling debut novel, The Miniaturist has been shot and produced by The Forge and adapted by John Brownlow. Set in Amsterdam in 1686, it’s the story of 18-year-old Nella Oortman, a new marriage, and the gift of an exceptional dolls house. Starring Anya Taylor-Joy as Nella and Romola Garai as Marin, the two part adaptation is set to be as much of a smash-hit as the book when it airs on BBC One on 26th and 27th December 2017.

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Little Women

Little Women

Staring Maya Thurman-Hawke as strong-willed sister Jo, the new adaptation of Louisa May Allcott's classic novel is coming to BBC One in December 2017 (the first part airs just before The Miniaturist at 8pm on 26th December). The three part series will also star Dame Angela Lansbury in the role of wealthy relative Aunt March and Michael Gambon as neighbour Mr Lawrence.  

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Our Souls at Night

This Netflix original film stars Jane Fonda and Robert Redford and is based on the book of the same name by Kent Haruf. Completed shortly before his death in 2014, Our Souls at Night is a love story about growing old with grace set in Colorado, USA. Watch the full film trailer for Our Souls at Night below.

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The City & The City

The TV adaptation of China Mieville's genre-busting thriller is being produced by Mammoth Pictures for BBC Two and is pencilled in to air in 2018 - more news will be coming soon. The City & The City stars David Morrissey as Inspector Borlu, who in the course of a murder case unravels a secret that the fictional city of Besźel has spent years trying to keep under the surface. The four part drama has been shot on location in Manchester and Liverpool, and also stars Maria Schrader, Christian Camargo & Mandeep Dhillon.

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Alias Grace

Hot on the heels of one of the most talked about shows of the year - The Handmaid’s Tale - Alias Grace is the latest Margaret Atwood book to be adapted for the small screen. Based on the novel of the same name, Alias Grace was inspired by the true story of Grace Marks, an Irish immigrant convicted of murdering her employer and his housekeeper in 19th-century Canada. The six part adaptation, which stars Sarah Gadon as Grace Marks, is available to watch in full on Netflix now.

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Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool

Based on the memoir by Peter Turner, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool is the story of a Hollywood film star, her Liverpudlian former lover and the exceptional circumstances in which they were reunited. The all star cast of this moving, heartwarming film includes Julie Walters, Vanessa Redgrave, Jamie Bell and Annette Bening and was released in UK cinemas on 17th November 2017. 

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Strike: The Cuckoo's Calling

Written by J. K. Rowling under her Robert Galbraith alias, the three Cormoran Strike novels follow the private detective & his assistant Robin Ellacott as they navigate the streets and crimes of modern London. The TV adaptation of the first book, titled Strike: The Cuckoo’s Calling, stars Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger as Strike & Ellacott, who are called to  investigate a suspicious suicide in London's wealthy Mayfair district. The three part adaptation of Strike: The Cuckoo's Calling and the second adaptation, The Silkworm aired in September 2017, with the third novel Career of Evil coming to BBC in 2018. 

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Goodbye Christopher Robin

You probably know Winnie the Pooh, Piglet and Tigger too, but what about their owner? Goodbye Christopher Robin is adapted from the acclaimed biography of the A. A. Milne by Ann Thwaite, with a screenplay co-written by Frank Cottrell-Boyce. The film will offer a unique glimpse into the life of one of the world’s best-loved children's authors, and the impact of fame on an otherwise ordinary family in interwar Britain.

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Selection Day

As part of Netflix’s recently launched programme of original Indian drama, Selection Day, by Booker-prize winning author Aravind Adiga is being adapted into a drama series for the subscription based platform. The novel is a coming-of-age story of two Indian brothers being raised by a sport-obsessed father, set in a world of cricket and corruption, and it is out in paperback now.

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The Woman in White

Often cited as the first mystery novel, and certainly an inspiration for today’s crime writers, Wilkie Collins’ 1859 classic is being adapted into a five part drama for BBC One this year. The series will star Ben Hardy as Walter Hartright, and Jessie Buckley, of War and Peace fame as Marian Halcombe. The Woman in White is being published into the Macmillan Collector’s Library in Spring 2018, and is available to pre-order now.

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