Sure, television shows and movies are great, but have you ever watched your favorite novel in living color? No? Then we have much to discuss. This fall, these books are being adapted for big and small screens, and you’re not going to want to miss it! Stephen King alone can boast of three screen adaptations, including a Netflix film of his and Joe Hill’s short story IN THE TALL GRASS and the second half of IT, a film that creeped us out early September. Stay tuned for a list of more page-turning books coming to a screen near you.
9 Books to Read Before You Watch the Adaptation This Fall
Let’s kick things off with a master storyteller on page and screen, Stephen King. His latest film adaptation is a sequel to a classic novel and film, The Shining. In DOCTOR SLEEP, Dan Torrence (played by Ewan McGregor in the film) is all grown up and settling in in a New Hampshire town where he joins AA and works in a nursing home. Here his “shining” power is put to use as he comforts the dying and adopts the name “Doctor Sleep.”
In Theaters November 8
In this groundbreaking, first-person account, lawyer Rob Bilott represents a farmer in a legal battle against corporate bigwigs who the farmer believes have poisoned a nearby landfill, putting hundreds of thousands of people at risk. In the film called Dark Waters, Mark Ruffalo plays the role of Rob Bilott alongside Anne Hathaway, Tim Robbins, and more.
In Theaters November 22
Produced by Reese Witherspoon and starring Octavia Spencer and Lizzy Caplan, the series adaptation of TRUTH BE TOLD (formerly titled ARE YOU SLEEPING) will likely have us all on the edge of our seats in December. This Serial-esque novel centers on Josie Burhman, whose quiet life is turned upside down when a wildly popular podcast reopens the long-closed case of the murder of Josie’s father. Reunited with her estranged twin sister, and once again swept up in the lies and terrors of her past, Josie finds herself at the center of a national obsession.
Premieres on Apple TV+ on December 6
Thanks to HBO (home of adaptations like BIG LITTLE LIES and yet another upcoming King creation, THE OUTSIDER), Tom Perrotta’s MRS. FLETCHER is getting the small-screen treatment. This adaptation stars Kathryn Hahn as Eve Fletcher, a single mom who’s experiencing empty-nest syndrome for the first time now that her son has moved away to college. Because the novel covers such topics as sexuality, parenthood, and self-discovery, we’re excited to reread this book in between episodes. You might recall that Tom Perrotta’s THE LEFTOVERS had a three-season run on HBO, so this series will surely not disappoint.
Now airing on HBO
Helen Mirren, Ian McKellen, a sweeping romance and . . . an elaborate con? In THE GOOD LIAR by Nicholas Searle, Roy (played by McKellen in the film of the same name) woos a beautiful woman (Dame Helen Mirren, so we understand) and moves in with her—all part of his final con, a plan to slink off with her life savings.
In Theaters November 15
From podcast to novel to television show, LIMETOWN is an irresistible story that must be consumed in as many mediums as possible. Jessica Biel stars in this thrilling digital series as Lisa Haddock, a journalist who investigates the disappearance of 300 people at a research facility—and then things get strange. Stanley Tucci also stars.
Now streaming on Facebook Watch
Did I mention you’ll be seeing a whole lot from Stephen King this fall? Here’s one you might have missed: the second season of Castle Rock features a familiar unhinged nurse in her early years. Nurse Annie Wilkes—who you might recall captured her favorite author and held him captive in her home in MISERY—drops by Castle Rock and begins to wreak murderous havoc on the already unlucky town. Lizzy Caplan plays a young Wilkes, and her performance is delightfully sinister.
Now Streaming on Hulu
When novelist Paul Sheldon is in a terrible car crash on a wintry night, he is rescued by nurse Annie Wilkes, who just happens to be his biggest fan. But when his latest novel isn't to Wilkes's liking, Sheldon becomes prisoner to her violent temper. The novel is gripping and nightmarish and the 1990 film features Kathy Bates at her creepy, demented best.
I say, the more John Green adaptations, the merrier. LOOKING FOR ALASKA, Green’s debut novel, is set at a boarding school where Miles meets a new student, Alaska Young, and an exciting new world opens up for the once-sheltered Miles.
Now streaming on Hulu
This five-part investigative documentary and the nonfiction book of the same name illuminate the mystery of the Jeff Davis 8—eight vulnerable women murdered in Jennings, Louisiana, between 2005 and 2009 whose killings have gone unsolved.
Now airing on Showtime