Lights! Camera! Action! This year is bringing several exciting movies based on books. Be sure to catch these 20 books becoming movies in 2019 before they hit the theaters.
There’s something magical about seeing your favorite movie come to life on the big screen. Suddenly, the characters you love have a tangible physical representation (though not always how you imagined them).
The film industry, ever hungry for new material, loves to plumb the depths of the literary aisle for movie ideas. Movies based on books can be a tricky thing. Book lovers love hearing a beloved book is becoming a movie, but they can be so attached to their story that any change feels like heresy.
As with anything in life, I’m sure that some movies based on books in 2019 will be spectacular and some will fall flat.
If you are like me and always want to read the book first, here are 20 books becoming movies in 2019. From YA to romantic comedy to horror, Hollywood has selected some great choices for book-to-movie adaptations this year.
Books Becoming Movies 2019 – Winter and Spring
W. Bruce Cameron
January 11th – Capitalizing on the success of A Dog’s Purpose, Hollywood has jumped onto the W. Bruce Cameron train. He has two books becoming movies in 2019. In A Dog’s Way Home, the story of Lucas Ray and his adorable puppy, the pit bull Bella, is sure to tug at the heartstrings of any animal lover. Because pit bulls are banned in Denver, Lucas must send Bella to a foster home hundreds of miles away. But not even the harsh Colorado mountains will keep Bella away from her faithful owner.
March 15th – In the aftermath of the Second World War, Colonel Lewis Morgan is stationed in Hamburg. Tasked with rebuilding and de-Nazifying the city, Colonel Morgan is given a fine house along the river. Instead of kicking out the owners, Morgan and his wife and son decide to try to live peacefully with the German widower and his daughter who already reside there.
April 5th – Hoping to capitalize on the success of the hit film It, on the list of books becoming movies in 2019 is another Stephen King novel. The second adaptation of Pet Semetary is based both on the novel and on the 1989 film. The Creed family feel like they hit the jackpot when they move to a beautiful old house in rural Maine. That is until they discover a hidden burial ground in the nearby woods. Let the horror begin in this classic Stephen King novel.
Osha Gray Davidson
April 5th – Some of the best book to movie adaptations show the power of transformation, and this book will fit right in. The Best of Enemies tells the dual biographies of C. P. Ellis, a proud member of the Ku Klux Klan, and Ann Atwater, a single mother from the poor black part of Durham, NC. When Ellis and Atwater meet on opposite sides of the school integration issue, an unlikely friendship ensues. In our era of divisive politics, this true story shows the power of listening to people on complete opposite sides of the aisle.
April 12th – All-American girl Tessa has the perfect life. She’s confident, driven, and has the perfect boyfriend. When she meets Hardin during the start of her freshman year of college, she can’t explain her attraction. As he persists on pushing her away, she becomes more and more determined to dig deeper to figure him out.
April 17th – On a cold winter morning, 14-year-old John Smith fell through the ice while on a lake. For one hour, he lay lifeless until one prayer by his mother and his heart miraculously restarted. Told by John’s mother, this true story is coming to theaters as The Breakthrough.
Books Becoming Movies – Summer 2019
W. Bruce Cameron
May 17th – One of the most successful books turned into movies in 2017 was W. Bruce Cameron’s A Dog’s Purpose. Coming to theaters in 2019 is the sequel, A Dog’s Journey. When his favorite human Ethan dies of old age, Buddy thinks he has finally fulfilled his purpose in life. Until he meets Clarity, Ethan’s granddaughter – a girl very much in need of his love.
May 17th – Of the young adult books becoming movies in 2019, we are very excited for Nicola Yoon’s The Sun is Also a Star. Her book Everything, Everything was successfully turned into a movie in 2017, so we have high hopes this one will fare just as well. Telling the unlikely romance of Natasha, desperately struggling to prevent her family’s deportation to Jamaica, and Daniel, the perfect Korean son burdened by his parents’ expectations, it’s a teen romance even adults will love.
August 16th – Sometimes you just need a clever satire, and I promise you’ll laugh at the ridiculous Bernadette, a Seattle-area mom who takes antisocial to a whole new level. As soon as Bernadette referred to the annoying school moms as “gnats,” I knew I would love this book. I’ll be honest, I didn’t love the ending of this book. Yet, the buildup was so much fun that I still like recommending it to others.
Anders Roslund and Börge Hellström
August 30, 2019 (UK) – Are you ready for more movies based on books by Swedish authors? Following the success of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Series, we have a thrilling new story from Anders Roslund and Börge Hellström. After years spent infiltrating the Polish mafia, police officer Piet Hoffman goes undercover as a Swedish prisoner to unravel an amphetamine distribution ring. After a botched drug deal places Hoffman too close to a murder, his cover is at risk when a driven detective inspector takes the case. Titled The Informer, the movie hits theaters in August.
Books Becoming Movies – Fall 2019
September 13th – Of all the books becoming movies in 2019, we are most intrigued by Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch. Abandoned by his father after his mother’s death, 13-year-old Theo Decker must readjust to a whole new life. His one tie to his mother – a small painting of a goldfinch – will eventually lead him into the intricate underworld of art. At 771 pages, and with a slow pace, the novel might not be for everyone, but you’ll want to check out the film.
A. J. Baime
November 15th – In the 1960s, Henry Ford II teamed up with a young Lee Iacocca and former racing champion Carroll Shelby to bring glory back to the faltering Ford Motor Company. Their ambitious plan: design, build and race a car that would beat Ferrari on the European racing circuit. Starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale, the movie titled Ford v. Ferrari comes to theaters late this fall.
Louisa May Alcott
December 25th – Christmastime is always a wonderful season to pick up Louisa May Alcott’s classic Little Women. The story of the charming March sisters’ New England life during the Civil War is a timeless tale that steals your heart. The book has seen many adaptations so we are curious to see how this latest version, starring Meryl Streep and Emma Watson, fares.
Books Becoming Movies in 2020
After writing this post, I discovered that movie release dates are shifting constantly. Here are a few movies that were originally slated to be released in 2019, but have had their releases pushed back to 2020 due to production schedules.
January 31st – Mark Burnell’s debut novel The Rhythm Section is one of those stories prime for a book to movie adaptation. Stephanie Patrick’s world is torn asunder when her family is killed in a plane crash. After descending into prostitution, drugs, and alcoholism, she meets a reporter who reveals to her the truth behind the tragic plane crash. Now Stephanie must rediscover herself as she takes on different disguises in a search to find the terrorist responsible.
February 21, 2020 – Jack London’s short classic tells the story of a dog named Buck. Stolen from his home on a Californian ranch, Buck is sold as a sled dog in Alaska. As Buck progresses through a series of cruel owners, he becomes more and more feral. Can one last kind owner save him or will he give in to the call of the wild?
A. J. Finn
May 15, 2020 – Imagine Alfred Hitchcock’s movie Rear Window meets the novel The Girl on the Train. 2018’s hottest psychological thriller peeks into the life of Anna Fox, a New York City recluse who, spying on the family across the street, witnesses a shocking event. With its unreliable narrator and layers of secrets, The Woman in the Window will keep you guessing to the end. Hopefully, the movie can do the same.
May 29, 2020 – What if you took a megalomaniac teenager and gave him unlimited resources? Artemis Fowl is rich beyond measure, infinitely clever, and the heir of a criminal empire. When he decides to kidnap a fairy to steal her magic, the very organized and high-tech magical kingdom must fight to get her back and keep their secret safe from the human race.
Books Becoming Movies in 2019 – Postponed
Apparently, some movies were struggling so much, the release was postponed with no release date decided.
TBD – In this classic twist on the opposites attract theme, teenagers Theodore Finch and Violet Markey meet on the ledge of the school’s bell tower. Finch is constantly contemplating suicide while Violet is just counting the days until graduation. Hyped as The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor & Park, we’re curious to see if the movie can live up to the hype. It all depends on how well this book-to-movie adaptation handles the mental health angle of the main characters.
TBD – Professor of genetics Don Tillman has never been on a second date. So when a colleague tells him he would make a good husband, he decides it’s time to get married. He starts the Wife Project – a methodical search for the perfect spouse. Instead, he meets Rosie, not at all an ideal candidate. Rosie has her own project – finding out who her father is. Originally slated for a May release, the movie’s status has switched to in development. Fingers crossed it does come out this year.
TBD – If you are a sci fi lover, you know the genre has a strong track record of amazing movies based on books. In the first book of the Chaos Walking series, we meet Todd Hewitt, the sole boy living in a town of men. In a society where everyone can hear each other’s thoughts, Todd can tell that the men of the town are holding something back. Then one day, he discovers something inexplicable in the woods: a girl. Starring Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley, the film, titled Chaos Walking, is currently undergoing extensive reshoots.
Which of these books becoming movies in 2019 are you most excited to see?