Share 13 Books You’ll Want to Read Before They Hit the Big Screen

13 Books You’ll Want to Read Before They Hit the Big Screen

Emma Volk is a summer intern at Touchstone, a imprint of Simon & Schuster. She studies English at Columbia University and is the Design Editor for the Columbia Daily Spectator. While classics like THE GREAT GATSBY and THE HOUSE OF MIRTH will always hold a special place in her heart and on her shelf, she also enjoys a range of modern and literary fiction.

In classic Hollywood style, everything old is new again. They say the book is always better than the movie, but I’m of the mind that nothing’s better than experiencing your favorite stories first on the page and again on the big screen. So grab some popcorn, dim the lights, and check out these eleven books before their hotly anticipated adaptations arrive at a theater near you.


Dark Places
by Gillian Flynn

Gillian Flynn’s mega-bestseller Gone Girl was adapted into one of the most talked-about films of 2014, and now her second novel is getting the Hollywood treatment. If you thought Amy was an unreliable narrator, just wait until you meet Charlize Theron’s Libby.

Release date: August 7, 2015

Dark Places
Gillian Flynn

Gillian Flynn’s mega-bestseller Gone Girl was adapted into one of the most talked-about films of 2014, and now her second novel is getting the Hollywood treatment. If you thought Amy was an unreliable narrator, just wait until you meet Charlize Theron’s Libby.

Release date: August 7, 2015

MENTIONED IN:

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Paper Towns
by John Green

John Green’s second book to hit theaters is more mystery than tearjerker, but don’t rule out a repeat of the swoon-worthy scenes that made last summer’s The Fault in Our Stars so beloved.

Release date: July 24, 2015

Paper Towns
John Green

John Green’s second book to hit theaters is more mystery than tearjerker, but don’t rule out a repeat of the swoon-worthy scenes that made last summer’s The Fault in Our Stars so beloved.

Release date: July 24, 2015

MENTIONED IN:

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A Walk in the Woods
by Bill Bryson

A middle-aged duo attempts to trek the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail in Bill Bryson’s hilarious travel memoir, meeting a motley assortment of fellow hikers and black bears along the way. Robert Redford produces and stars in the film adaptation, with a supporting cast that includes Nick Nolte and Emma Thompson. No word yet on who’s playing the bears.

Release date: September 2, 2015

A Walk in the Woods
Bill Bryson

A middle-aged duo attempts to trek the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail in Bill Bryson’s hilarious travel memoir, meeting a motley assortment of fellow hikers and black bears along the way. Robert Redford produces and stars in the film adaptation, with a supporting cast that includes Nick Nolte and Emma Thompson. No word yet on who’s playing the bears.

Release date: September 2, 2015

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Black Mass
by Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill

What happens when an infamous mobster spends years as a secret informant for the FBI? Drug dealing, racketeering, and murder—and that’s just the beginning. Starring Johnny Depp as the deliciously slimy Whitey Bulger, Black Mass is heavy on action and corruption.

Release date: September 18, 2015

Black Mass
Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill

What happens when an infamous mobster spends years as a secret informant for the FBI? Drug dealing, racketeering, and murder—and that’s just the beginning. Starring Johnny Depp as the deliciously slimy Whitey Bulger, Black Mass is heavy on action and corruption.

Release date: September 18, 2015

MENTIONED IN:

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The Martian
by Andy Weir

Stuck on Mars after a space mission gone awry, astronaut Mark Watney makes a desperate bid to survive despite near-impossible odds. The adaptation stars Matt Damon, who has some experience with stranded spacemen—he was in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar just last year. But don’t get the two tales confused: according to Damon himself, The Martian is “totally f****** different.”

Release date: October 2, 2015

The Martian
Andy Weir

Stuck on Mars after a space mission gone awry, astronaut Mark Watney makes a desperate bid to survive despite near-impossible odds. The adaptation stars Matt Damon, who has some experience with stranded spacemen—he was in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar just last year. But don’t get the two tales confused: according to Damon himself, The Martian is “totally f****** different.”

Release date: October 2, 2015

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Strangers on a Bridge
by James B. Donovan

This insider account of the dramatic Cold War spy exchange on the bridge connecting East and Wester Berlin is part memoir, part espionage thriller, and now the subject of a major motion picture. Directed by Steven Spielberg with a script written by the Coen brothers and starring the acting talents of Tom Hanks, Alan Alda, and Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies is guaranteed to be one of this fall's hottest films.

Release Date: October 16, 2015

Strangers on a Bridge
James B. Donovan

This insider account of the dramatic Cold War spy exchange on the bridge connecting East and Wester Berlin is part memoir, part espionage thriller, and now the subject of a major motion picture. Directed by Steven Spielberg with a script written by the Coen brothers and starring the acting talents of Tom Hanks, Alan Alda, and Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies is guaranteed to be one of this fall's hottest films.

Release Date: October 16, 2015

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Brooklyn
by Colm Tóibín

Acclaimed character actress Saoirse Ronan takes center stage as Eilis Lacey, a young woman who abandons small-town Ireland and the comfort of her mother's home for the anonymous shores of New York City. In Brooklyn, she finds a city in flux—a city where immigrants from Ireland and Poland live amongst Jewish and black communities—and just as she is beginning to fall in love with a young man, devastating news from Ireland threatens the promise of her new life.

Release Date: November 6, 2015

Brooklyn
Colm Tóibín

Acclaimed character actress Saoirse Ronan takes center stage as Eilis Lacey, a young woman who abandons small-town Ireland and the comfort of her mother's home for the anonymous shores of New York City. In Brooklyn, she finds a city in flux—a city where immigrants from Ireland and Poland live amongst Jewish and black communities—and just as she is beginning to fall in love with a young man, devastating news from Ireland threatens the promise of her new life.

Release Date: November 6, 2015

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The Danish Girl
by David Ebershoff

Call her Lili, and call this an Oscars shoo-in. Eddie Redmayne plays Lili Elbe, the first recorded person in history to undergo gender-reassignment surgery. If director Tom Hooper’s previous films, The King’s Speech and Les Misérables, are any indicators, this drama promises to be just as moving as its ink-and-paper counterpart.

Release date: November 27, 2015

The Danish Girl
David Ebershoff

Call her Lili, and call this an Oscars shoo-in. Eddie Redmayne plays Lili Elbe, the first recorded person in history to undergo gender-reassignment surgery. If director Tom Hooper’s previous films, The King’s Speech and Les Misérables, are any indicators, this drama promises to be just as moving as its ink-and-paper counterpart.

Release date: November 27, 2015

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Room
by Emma Donoghue

Adapting a child narrator for the screen could make a screenwriter’s life hell—but the author herself penned the script in this case, so there’s hope that the book’s celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child will have the adaptation it deserves.

Release date: Fall 2015

Room
Emma Donoghue

Adapting a child narrator for the screen could make a screenwriter’s life hell—but the author herself penned the script in this case, so there’s hope that the book’s celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child will have the adaptation it deserves.

Release date: Fall 2015

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In the Heart of the Sea
by Nathaniel Philbrick

Based on the true events that inspired Moby Dick, Ron Howard’s latest project follows a sunken whale ship whose crew is stranded at sea for ninety days, in a story of incredible courage—and unthinkable sacrifice. Chris Hemsworth puts aside Thor to play a different kind of superhero: the ship’s captain who refuses to give up.

Release date: December 11, 2015

In the Heart of the Sea
Nathaniel Philbrick

Based on the true events that inspired Moby Dick, Ron Howard’s latest project follows a sunken whale ship whose crew is stranded at sea for ninety days, in a story of incredible courage—and unthinkable sacrifice. Chris Hemsworth puts aside Thor to play a different kind of superhero: the ship’s captain who refuses to give up.

Release date: December 11, 2015

Close

The Price of Salt
by Patricia Highsmith

More than sixty years after it was published, this groundbreaking novel is going Hollywood with Carol. Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara are superbly cast as a pair of star-crossed lovers in 1950s New York whose relationship becomes fodder for blackmail. While the script was written fifteen years ago, the female-driven storyline struggled to find support. Skeptics were disproven when the premiere got a standing ovation at Cannes and was nominated for the Palme d’Or.

Release date: December 18, 2015

The Price of Salt
Patricia Highsmith

More than sixty years after it was published, this groundbreaking novel is going Hollywood with Carol. Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara are superbly cast as a pair of star-crossed lovers in 1950s New York whose relationship becomes fodder for blackmail. While the script was written fifteen years ago, the female-driven storyline struggled to find support. Skeptics were disproven when the premiere got a standing ovation at Cannes and was nominated for the Palme d’Or.

Release date: December 18, 2015

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Steve Jobs
by Walter Isaacson

This adaptation of Walter Isaacson's phenomenal bestseller stars Kate Winslet, Seth Rogan, Jeff Daniels, and, most importantly, Michael Fassbender as the enigmatic and divisive Apple co-founder who revolutionized life in the digital age.

Release Date: October 9, 2015

Steve Jobs
Walter Isaacson

This adaptation of Walter Isaacson's phenomenal bestseller stars Kate Winslet, Seth Rogan, Jeff Daniels, and, most importantly, Michael Fassbender as the enigmatic and divisive Apple co-founder who revolutionized life in the digital age.

Release Date: October 9, 2015

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