There’s a different kind of experience that takes place when we watch a movie based on a book we’ve read. Spending time reading a book allows us to conjure up our own details and ideas about how a story unfolds in our heads and when we see it on film, it’s someone else’s version of that. This past year we saw Frank Herbert's Dune become a blockbuster, Ridley Scott adapt two true stories in The Last Duel and House of Gucci among other notable films. In the new year, there’s a new and massive stack of books to movies headed our way.
Is this your 2022 reading list? Perhaps a checklist to see how many book-to-movie adaptations you’ve gotten to already on the page? You decide. Between thrilling romances, intense action, horror classics and historical fiction, there’s a lot of exciting titles going from shelf to screen this upcoming year. Let’s break them down:
Redeeming Love - January 21
A classic historical romance from the early ‘90s, Redeeming Love is finally being adapted to the big screen with a movie from Disturbia director D.J. Caruso. The movie starring Abigail Cowen, Famke Janssen, Nina Dobrev and Eric Dane is a retelling of the biblical book of Hosea, set during the California Gold Rush in 1850. It looks to be a sweeping romance with a western flair based on bestselling author Francine Rivers’ first novel.
The Black Phone - February 4
Coming from the opposite side of the library is The Black Phone, an adaptation from a 2004 short story from the son of Stephen King, Joe Hill. The story is about a boy (Mason Thames) who is kidnapped by a serial killer (Ethan Hawke) and trapped inside a soundproof basement. The boy finds a disconnected phone that begins to ring and transmit the voices of the killer’s other victims. The movie was co-written/directed by Scott Derrickson, who famously helmed Sinister.
Death On The Nile - February 11
Following Kenneth Branagh’s first Agatha Christie adaptation, 2017’s Murder on the Orient Express, the actor/director has continued his whodunnit anthology with Death On The Nile. The murder mystery has a stacked cast including Gal Gadot, Annette Bening, Letitia Wright and Russell Brand. The movie has been delayed multiple times, due to the pandemic, and amidst Armie Hammer’s cannibal sexting scandals. The movie follows Branagh’s Hercule Poirot as he investigates the murder of a young heiress while on vacation.
The Amazing Maurice - February 13
On the children’s novel front, STX Entertainment is releasing an animated family film early this year called The Amazing Maurice. It’s based on the fantasy book The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett which is a new take on the classic fairy tale Pied Piper of Hamelin. The movie stars the voice talents of Hugh Laurie, Emilia Clarke, Himesh Patel and David Tennant. It follows Maurice the cat, who tricks a human boy to be his very own rat piper.
Mothering Sunday - February 25
Another romantic drama coming out in early 2022 is Mothering Sunday, starring Olivia Colman, Colin Firth, The Crown’s Josh O’Connor and newcomer Odessa Young. The movie is based on a 2016 novel set in 1924 about a maid as she visits her lover since childhood as he is getting ready to be married. The period romance is sure to be a sultry visit to the movies, and featuring some of the most beloved British talents.
The Unbreakable Boy - March 18
The Unbreakable Boy: A Father’s Fear, A Son’s Courage, And A Story Of Unconditional Love hit bookshelves in 2017, and in 2022 the true story will be told with a movie. It follows a teen boy named Austin, who has a rare brittle-bone disease and is autistic. The book was co-written by Austin’s father, Scott, and the adaptation will see Zachary Levi taking on the role for the screen. The movie is set to be an empowering drama about a real family’s experiences.
The Bad Guys - April 22
Another movie coming off the pages of the children’s section is The Bad Guys. DreamWorks Animation is adapting Aaron Blabey’s best selling series of books about a group of misunderstood reformed criminal animals. The main characters are Mr. Wolf (voiced by Sam Rockwell), Mr. Piranha (Anthony Ramos), Mr. Snake (Marc Maron), Mr. Shark (Craig Robinson) and Ms. Tarantula (Awkwafina). The animated film will be a heist comedy that has the potential of beginning a franchise considering the series is fifteen stories in.
Mrs Harris Goes To Paris - March 4
Based on the beloved 1958 novel Mrs. ‘Arris Goes To Paris, by Paul Gallico, and following a 1992 TV movie adaptation starring Angela Lansbury, Diana Rigg and Omar Sharif, comes an upcoming remake, Mrs Harris Goes To Paris. This version starring Lesley Manville as the titular Mrs. Harris once again follows the story of a widowed cleaning lady in 1950s London who becomes obsessed with a couture Dior dress and goes off to Paris because of it. The movie also stars Jason Isaacs and Isabelle Huppert.
Bullet Train - July 15
After some time off the saddle, Brad Pitt is returning to the action genre for Bullet Train. The thriller directed by Deadpool 2 director David Leitch is about five assassins aboard a fast-moving bullet train who realize their individual assignments are interconnected. Bullet Train is based on the Japanese novel by Kōtarō Isaka and also stars Zazie Beetz, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Joey King, Michael Shannon, Logan Lerman, Hiroyuki Sanada, Brian Tyree Henry, Andrew Koji and Bad Bunny. We expect this one to be a summer hit!
Where The Crawdads Sing - July 22
Delia Owens’ Where the Crawdads Sing has remained a big hit since the novel went straight to the bestseller list in 2018. The book is the latest to be picked up by Reese Witherspoon and her innovative production company Hello Sunshine for an adaptation. The coming-of-age story set on the North Carolina coast will star Normal People’s Daisy Edgar-Jones and unfold the mystery of how a woman who raises herself in the marshes of the deep South becomes a suspect in a murder.
Dark Harvest - September 9
After a long time in the works, and previously set for last year, David Slade’s adaptation of Dark Harvest is expected to finally come out in 2022. Based on the book by Norman Partridge, the story follows a legendary monster called October Boy, who terrorizes residents with his butcher knife in a small midwestern town every Halloween. The Dark Harvest movie will star Elizabeth Reaser, Jeremy Davies and a primarily young cast, just in time for spooky season.
Salem’s Lot - September 9
Another horror story set to get a book adaptation is Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot, which was the author’s second book after Carrie. This story centers on a writer who goes to a town that he finds to have residents becoming vampires. The movie will be directed by Annabelle Comes Home’s Gary Dauberman and will star Lewis Pullman, William Sadler, Alfre Woodard, Spencer Treat Clark and Pilou Asbæk.
She Said - November 18
Hollywood has discussed the #MeToo movement in a variety of ways over the years, and will continue to do so with an adaptation of She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite A Movement. Of course the story we’re talking about is regarding Harvey Weinstein, which was broken by reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey. In the upcoming movie adaptation, Zoe Kazan will play Kantor and Carey Mulligan will play Twohey and break down how it allegedly happened.
All Quiet On The Western Front - TBD
Another classic novel getting the movie treatment in 2022 is Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet On The Western Front, which originally came out in 1928, in between WWI and WWII. This version is being produced for Netflix in a movie that will star Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s Daniel Brühl. The war movie classically takes us on a journey of a group of German soldiers’ tribulations during WWI as they return home from the western front.
Argylle - TBD
Henry Cavill has adapted many beloved characters such as Superman, The Witcher and Sherlock Holmes. Next up, he’ll play the “world’s greatest spy” for Apple film Argylle. The movie directed by Matthew Vaughn of the X-Men prequel and Kingsman from a book by Ellie Conway, except in an odd twist the book has yet to come out either. So this one has an asterisk to it but it seems the author and filmmakers are working together here. Argylle will also star Ariana DeBose, Catherine O’Hara, Bryce Dallas Howard, Sam Rockwell, John Cena and even Dua Lipa.
Blonde - TBD
Ana de Armas is set to play Marilyn Monroe in a Netflix adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’ novel Blonde, which serves as a fictionalized chronicle of the late actress’ life. The movie is written and directed by Killing Them Softly’s Andrew Dominik and also includes Adrien Brody, Bobby Cannavale and Sara Paxton.
Deep Water - TBD
Speaking of Ana de Armas, the No Time To Die actress is also the star of an adaptation of the thriller Deep Water, based on a book by Patricia Highsmith. The movie famously is the set where Ana de Armas met Ben Affleck, leading to them becoming a couple for some time. Deep Water is about a couple in a loveless marriage who become entangled in a murder.
Killers Of The Flower Moon - TBD
Martin Scorsese followup to The Irishman is Killers of the Flower Moon, which will be based on Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI. The bestseller tells one of the most “monstrous crimes in American history.” The movie will star Leo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Brendan Fraser and Jesse Plemons from a script by Eli Roth and land on AppleTV+.
Mr. Malcolm’s List - TBD
Another book adaptation of the period assortment is Mr. Malcolm’s List, which has enlisted the original author of its book Suzanne Allain for the script. The movie will star Freida Pinto, Theo James, Zaw Ashton and Oliver Jackson-Cohen. It’s about a young woman in 1800s England who enlists the help of her friend to get revenge on a suitor who rejected her for failing a requirement on his list.
Persuasion - TBD
Jane Austen books continue to be fruitful to be revisited on film and Netflix is set to make a movie adaptation for her last work, Persuasion. This version will be led by Dakota Johnson, Henry Golding, Suki Waterhouse and Richard E. Grant. Persuasion follows Austen’s most adult heroine in Johnson’s Anne. We’ll be interested to see how this version compares with the two previous BBC versions. It seems as though this will be the first proper Hollywood telling of the story.
School for Good and Evil - TBD
Bridesmaids director Paul Feig is making an adaptation of a fantasy YA series The School for Good and Evil. The movie will be about an enchanted institution where children are trained in ways of becoming heroes and villains. The movie will be led by Charlize Theron as the Dean of the School of Evil and Kerry Washington as the Dean of the School of Good and also star Laurence Fishburne, Michelle Yeoh, among its packed cast.
White Noise - TBD
Award-winning Marriage Story and Frances Ha writer/director Noah Baumbach is back for an adaptation of the 1985 novel White Noise by Don DeLillo. The postmodern novel is about a professor who has made a name for himself by creating the field of Hitler studies. Adam Driver will play the lead role of Jack Gladney alongside Jodie Turner-Smith and Don Cheadle in the cast.
That’s quite the shelf of titles to look forward to in 2022! Period pieces and movies based on books based on true stories seem to be the largest trend of adaptations coming out this coming year. There's a disappointing lack of science fiction following the success of Dune. Aside from the book-to-movie adaptations coming our way, check out CinemaBlend's full list upcoming of 2022 movies to look forward to this coming year.
YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.
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