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When a book is adapted for the big screen, we always hope it lives up to how we imagined it. Hence the ongoing debate whether a movie can actually be better than the book. Will the actor live up to that perfect character you pictured in your head, or will the screenwriter completely butcher the story? (If you bawled while reading Jo Jo Moyes’ Me Before You but didn’t shed a tear during the film — you’re not alone).
Though, on some occasions, we have been pleasantly surprised. Last year’s book to movie adaptations like Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them and The Queen of Katwe blew us away, so we’re gearing up for 2017’s line up! From romantic comedies to crime novels, we’re certain there’s a book (and soon-to-be film) for your preference.
1. Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James
Starring: Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan
Release Date: February 10, 2017
While we’re not quite sure we’ve recovered from the first installment, we’re definitely invested in this duo’s unconventional love story. If you’ve read the books, you know this is when the story really starts to pick up. It’s never too late to jump on the Fifty Shades bandwagon.
2. Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach
Starring: Alicia Vikander, Cara Delevingne, Zach Galifianakis, and Christoph Waltz
Release Date: February 24, 2017
Developed around the Tulip mania of 17th century Amsterdam, this story of forbidden love is everything you want in both a book and a film. The story is about an artist who falls passionately in love with his married subject. We’re ready to escape into this world, for sure.
3. The Shack by William P. Young
Starring: Octavia Spencer, Sam Worthington, Radha Mitchell, Ryan Robbins, and Tim McGraw
Release Date: March 3, 2017
This story starts off in a dark way with the abduction and brutal murder of Mackenzie Allen Philips’ youngest daughter during a family vacation. Four years later, while still in a deep depression, Philips receives a letter inviting him back to the shack where his daughter’s body was found. It is a story that questions faith, unspeakable pain, and recovery. It’s sure to be an incredible on-film experience.
4. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
This drama has subtle Ground Hog’s Day vibes. It tells the story of Samantha Kingston, who was living a perfect life, until she suddenly dies. However, Sam still wakes up the next morning. She is given a week to relive the last day of her life and untangle the mystery of her death. This book — and film — is sure to keep you on your toes!
Starring: Zoey Deutch, Halston Sage, and Logan Miller
Release Date: March 3, 2017
5. The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
This novel, and film, will surely take you on a wild ride. The story follows middle-aged Tony Webster as he contends with a forgotten past. His closest childhood friends return with vengeance, one from the grave and another extremely present. Yikes! After being told about a mysterious legacy he is forced to rethink his place in the world. We can’t wait to see this flick!
Starring: Jim Broadbent, Harriet Walter, Michelle Dockery, and Emily Mortimer
Release Date: March 10, 2017
6. The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman
Starring: Jessica Chastain and Johan Heldenbergh
Release Date: March 31, 2017
This true story is both heart wrenching and heartwarming. Ackerman artfully retells the story of Jan and Zabinski and how they used their zoo to save over three hundred people from the Nazis. After their zoo was bombed, they managed to hide people in animal cages, giving animal names to their guests and human names to their animals. This is one story we truly hope lives up to the hype on film.
7. The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann
Starring: Sienna Miller, Charlie Hunnam, Tom Holland, and Robert Pattinson
Release Date: April 14, 2017
Looking for adventure? This story is just what you need. The book (and film) tells the tale of British explorer Percy Fawcett and how he ventured into the Amazon jungle in 1925, never to return. It’s an enchanting mystery that we can’t wait to see play out on screen.
8. The Circle by Dave Eggers
Starring: Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, Karen Gillan, Bill Paxton, John Boyega, and Patton Oswalt
Release Date: April 28, 2017
Techies! This one’s for you. A young woman, Mae, is hired to work for a powerful Internet company and feels like she’s hit the job jackpot. The facility is very advanced, lively, and a bit wild. Mae’s story begins as one of ambition but soon unravels into a heart-racing story of suspense. If the description of this book hasn’t piqued your interest, we’re sure the star-studded cast will.
9. The Dinner by Herman Koch
Starring: Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Steve Coogan, and Rebecca Hall
Release Date: May 5, 2017
We always say we’d do absolutely anything for our kids, right? You may find yourself relating to the parents in this thriller. The story begins with two couples (who are in-laws) politely eating dinner together, avoiding an inevitable conversation about their children who have committed a horrific act. As the story goes on, you’ll see just how far these parents will go to protect the ones they love.
10. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Starring: Amandla Stenberg, Nick Robinson, and Anika Noni Rose
Release Date: May 19, 2017
This book-turned-movie is sure to capture your hearts. The protagonist, Maddy, is allergic to everything. She’s like a modern day Bubble Boy who sadly cannot leave her house. She doesn’t interact with anyone except for her mother and her nurse … until she falls in love with the boy next door. We can’t wait to see this film!
11. The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger by Stephen King
Starring: Katheryn Winnick, Matthew McConaughey, and Idris Elba
Release Date: July 28, 2017
If you know anything about Stephen King, it’s that you can expect to be pleased by anything he writes. This novel, which was partly inspired by Robert Browning’s narrative poem, “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came,” is a compelling story about good and evil. The main character is trying to track the “Man in Black” in a spellbinding journey.
12. The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin
Starring: Idris Elba and Kate Winslet
Release Date: October 20, 2017
This tender, page-turner will captivate you right away. The story begins with main characters Ben and Ashley getting aboard a chartered flight. When their pilot has a heart attack mid-flight, they come crashing down into a harsh and remote wilderness within the U.S. The pair learns about survival, love, and healing while trapped on a mountain. We can’t wait to see Elba and Winslet’s portrayal of this story.
13. Let It Snow by John Green, Lauren Myracle, and Maureen Johnson
Release Date: November 22, 2017
Looking for a guilty pleasure read? Look no further. Famed for his heart wrenching young adult novels (we’re still crying from The Fault in Our Stars), Green teams up with two other lovely writers to create three interconnected stories. The book is filled with young love, Christmas magic, and of course, snow. What more could you ask for?
14. Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Missi Pyle, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Alex Wolff, Bobby Cannavale, and Nick Jonas
Release Date: December 22, 2017
We all know and love the classic story of Jumanji — about a board game that comes to life, promising “it must be finished or it will go on forever.” We’ve seen the original film starring the great Robin Williams, so we can’t wait for this remake with The Rock.