Can you believe it? 2020 is upon us! With each new year, many of us make resolutions for ourselves. How often have we written down “read more” and not picked up a single book? As the new decade approaches, here’s a tip to make your goal: make it a point to get into the books that will hit the big screen this coming year. It’s the perfect incentive to not only make your reading goals, but enhance your trips to the movie theater! Check out these books before they are adapted into films in 2020:
The Turn Of The Screw
Hollywood is coming off an incredible year for horror, and 2020 will start off with quite a few new entries into the genre. This January, The Turning is one of them. The movie stars Mackenzie Davis as a young governess who is hired to take care of two peculiar children, played by Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard and The Florida Project’s Brooklynn Prince. Check out the original 1994 novel, The Turn of the Screw, before the terrifying creatures from the mind of Henry James come to theaters on January 24.
The Call Of The Wild
Another adorable trend in recent movies has been regarding a man and his dog (i.e. Disney+ original Togo and The Art of Racing in the Rain). Coming next is the adaptation of Jack London's classic 1903 novel The Call of the Wild, starring Harrison Ford. The Han Solo actor has been leaning into doggo content lately – whether it be that Amazon commercial or The Secret Life of Pets 2, and this upcoming movie is a survival story in the Alaskan wild. It hits theaters on February 21.
Pride and Prejudice fans, rejoice! Another one of Jane Austen’s well-known novels are being adapted to the big screen in 2020. It’s certainly been done before. Gwyneth Paltrow played the eponymous character in a 1996 movie, and so did Kate Beckinsale the same year on television. Now, so will Glass actress Anya-Taylor Joy. The period piece is about a woman who decides to play matchmaker for her friends and neighbors. Read up on the 1815 novel and see Emma in theaters on February 21.
The Invisible Man
Universal Studios has long been trying to set up a Dark Universe based on the famous “monsters” it has the rights to. While the idea of an inter-connected world filled with these monsters doesn't look to be moving forward, The Invisible Man is expected to re-ignite the Dark Universe as a brand. What’s interesting about this movie is it looks to veer far from the source material. This version will follow the titular character’s ex as she catches on to his presence in her life after their abusive relationship. It’s based on H.G. Wells’ 1952 novel of the same name. Catch it in theaters on February 28.
The Magnolia Sword: A Ballad of Mulan
In 2019, Disney really went for it and remade three popular animated movies. Coming in 2020, another famous ‘90s princess is coming to live action: Mulan. This is an especially interesting undertaking for the studio because the Chinese warrior isn’t only one of its famous characters, but she’s also a famous folklore embedded in the Middle Kingdom’s culture. This new Disney release is said to be closer to the Ballad of Mulan. If you’re curious about her origins before seeing the epic, check out this English retelling by Chinese-raised Sherry Thomas. The movie will be released on March 27.
The Woman in the Window
There’s nothing quite like a good page-turner and coming this spring to theaters is the adaptation of A.J. Finn’s thriller is ahead. The Woman in the Window novel is pretty new. It was just published at the top of 2018. The director of Darkest Hour, Pride & Prejudice and Atonement is translating the story about an agoraphobic woman who spies on her neighbors. It stars Amy Adams, Gary Oldman, Julianne Moore and Anthony Mackie, and it looks very Rear Window! Check it out on May 15.
Disney hasn’t had the best luck with adapting classics for the first time in recent years. A Wrinkle in Time and Nutcracker and the Four Realms were big flops for the studio. But another one is coming nonetheless! The first installment of Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl series is finally being brought to the big screen, and hopefully this one sticks. The fantasy novel is about a 12-year-old millionaire, genius and criminal mastermind who kidnaps a fairy. Judi Dench and Josh Gad star alongside Ferdia Shaw, who's bringing Artemis to life. It arrives on May 29.
Death On The Nile
Back in 2017, Kenneth Branagh brought Agatha Christie back to the mainstream with a star-studded remake of Murder on the Orient Express. The director and Detective Hercule Poirot actor is keeping that going with Death on the Nile. The fall release stars Wonder Woman’s Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Annette Bening, Letitia Wright and Russell Brand. The murder mystery takes place on a Nile cruise and sets sail on October 9.
Roald Dahl’s books have spawned quite a few classic movies over the years, such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda. In 2020, another adaptation from his unique imagination is being made. 1983’s The Witches is about a seven-year-old boy who comes across some “real” witches! The movie is being made by the legendary Back to the Future director Robert Zemeckis, and has Anne Hathaway, Stanley Tucci, Octavia Spencer and Chris Rock amongst the cast. The Witches hits theaters on October 9.
But if there’s one book you should check out this year, it’s Dune. Writer/director Denis Villeneuve is adapting the benchmark sci-fi novel into a “Star Wars for adults” epic starring Timothée Chalamet, Oscar Isaac, Jason Momoa, Zendaya, Josh Brolin, Dave Bautista, Javier Bardem and Stellan Skarsgard. That's a lot of huge talent! Villeneuve has impressed over the years with Blade Runner 2049, Arrival and Sicario. The 1965 Dune novel is about Paul Atreides (Chalamet), the heir to Arrakis, a land that holds the most valuable substance in the universe. His family becomes threatened and he must start an uprising with a desert tribe against rival house Harkonnen. Dune comes on December 18.
Ready to get reading? Vote in our poll and sound off in the comments below about which book you're picking up first. Don't forget to also check out every other movie coming in 2020.
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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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