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Film & TV

From the page, to the big screen: Upcoming book-to-film/TV adaptations of 2019

2018 was a great year for the book-to-film adaptation - and 2019 looks set to top it

2018 has had its ups and downs, regarding book to screen adaptations. We have had critically acclaimed TV shows, like the dark comedy show A Series of Unfortunate Events, the dystopian classic, A Handmaid’s Tale, and Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. But we also had overhyped yet disappointing movies like The Mortal Engines. However, things might be looking up for 2019. Many popular classics will be brought to life on the big screen, from childhood classics to scary stories that will keep you up at nights. Here are the upcoming book-to-film/TV adaptations of 2019.

His Dark Materials
Written by Phillip Pullman, this trilogy has revolutionised speculative fiction. Lyra and Pantalaimon’s adventures in the North Pole were subversive and thought-provoking, with biblical references scattered throughout the story. This witty tale is set in an alternate version of England, where daemons (physical manifestations of the soul that take the form of an animal) and humans share an umbilical link. Lyra and her daemon Pantalaimon’s adventure start when they meet the mysterious lady, Marisa Coulter. Marisa instantly takes a liking to the plucky heroine and takes her on business missions. However, things get fishy when Lyra’s friend goes missing. Could his disappearance relate to Marisa?

Bad Wolf and the BBC will distribute this series, whilst Jack Thorne (the writer of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) will recreate Pullman’s unique story. Thorne has confirmed that there will be a few seasons, with the first season covering the events of the first book. The show will have a few household names; Lin-Manuel Miranda and James McAvoy will play Lee Scorseby and Lord Asriel respectively, whilst Dafne Keen stars as Lyra. You will soon see this series on your televisions this summer.

Artemis Fowl
Finally, this series is getting an adaptation! Written by Eoin Colfer, this series was a bestseller back in the day. Many children have longed to live in the shoes of the teen mastermind, Artemis Fowl, as well as see a movie adaptation of this subversive fantasy series. Well, those children are in luck. Disney, the ruler of book-to-film adaptations, has confirmed that the film is scheduled for release this August, with Kenneth Branagh directing.

The story will follow the synopsis of the first novel, where Artemis kidnaps a LEPRecon member, Holly Short, whilst searching for his captured father. Along the way, Artemis exploits fairies, dwarves and even meets the Russian mafia. Many newcomers are involved in this project, with Robert Shaw’s grandson, Ferdia Shaw, starring as the pint-sized mastermind. Watch out, Potterheads and The Godfather fanatics – this film is coming to a cinema near you.

Pet Semetary
Coming to cinemas this April, Pet Semetary will leave audiences shivering in their seats. Based off the cult classic by the ‘King of Horror’, Stephen King, this book screws with zombie horror conventions. Instead of human zombies, the characters’ dead, beloved pets become savage, living carcasses. It is another Stephen King adaptation and you know what that means. Blood and guts, body horror, and troubled characters galore. Not to mention the death of a child. Nobody is safe in Stephen King’s world. Jason Clarke and Amy Seimetz will star as the Creed couple, while John Lithgow will play the superstitious Jud Crandall. Watch out for this thriller!

IT: Chapter Two
Pennywise is back with a vengeance, and hungry for children’s fear – and flesh. After a child is found dead (an eerie parallel to Georgie’s fate in the first film), the Losers Gang reunite, this time as adults, to take down the eldritch abomination. Andres Muschietti returns as the director, to tie the loose ends that the previous film left untied.

The sequel still follows the novel by Stephen King, only without the frame narrative structure. James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain replace the child stars of the previous film, playing Bill and Beverly respectively, whilst Bill Skarsgard returns as the iconic killer clown. So, prepare your balloons, popcorn and candy floss for September; the greatest showdown between man and monster is coming soon.

The Knife of Never Letting Go
This is from the sci-fi series, Chaos Walking, written by the author of A Monster Calls,
Patrick Ness. The story focuses on Todd Hewitt’s teenaged life in the New World, a world
where a mysterious pandemic has killed all women and unleashed a telepathic power called
Noise. He meets a mysterious waif, Viola, who does not have any telepathic powers.
However, she knows many secrets, including the origins of the New World. Will she reveal
what the New World is? Is it really what it seems? Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley will star as
the heroic duo; other stars appearing in this dystopian epic, including Nick Jonas. This
dystopian thriller will hit theatres in March.

2019 is a dream come true for bookworms. This year’s book adaptations look promising. Hopefully they will be faithful to the original books. So, ladies and gentlemen. You know what to do: grab your mug of coffee and read, or reread, these classics before they are released.