Reading is our favorite thing to do, but we’ve been known to make good use of our bookmarks when it comes to adaptations. We know not all adaptations can live up to their book counterparts (after all, “the book was better” is the bookworm motto), but that doesn’t stop us from being excited to see our favorite stories on the big and small screens. Here’s a glimpse at the adaptations we’re looking forward to watching in 2020.
The Personal History of David Copperfield
Based on: David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Starring: Dev Patel, Tilda Swinton, Peter Capaldi
Why I’m excited: I’ve never read this book, and don’t think I ever will, but Dev Patel is irresistibly charming in the trailer. Between him and Gwendoline Christie in the cast, I’m ready to throw all my money at this movie when it hits theaters this May.
Little Fires Everywhere
Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Kerry Washington
Why I’m excited: I listened to this when I was first getting into audiobooks last year, and still feel haunted by its final line. I’m looking forward to seeing this cast bring these characters to life on Hulu this March.
Based on: Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, Brie Larson
Why I’m excited: Bryan Stevenson’s memoir has been at the top of my nonfiction TBR list for ages. Now that the movie is in theaters, I’m planning on giving it a watch before diving into what I’m sure will be an unforgettable book.
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Starring: Phoebe Dynevor, Regé-Jean Page
Why I’m excited: I love a good historical drama TV show, but I always wish they focused more on romance. My prayers have been answered by the queen of TV Shonda Rhimes, who is adapting Julia Quinn’s beloved Bridgerton series. I’ve already read The Duke and I, the first book in this series, and fell in love with the giant and hilarious Bridgerton family. Additionally, I’m so happy with the choice to blind cast the actors to bring more diversity to the screen. I hope the Bridgerton series is just the first of many historical romances that we’ll be seeing adapted.
P.S. I Still Love You
Based on: P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
Starring: Lana Condor, Noah Centineo
Why I’m excited: Did we not all fall in love with Lara Jean and Peter K in Netflix’s 2018 adaptation of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before? The fake dating. The pocket twirl. Lara Jean’s clothes. Gahh, it was just too cute for words. The adaptation of the first book in Jenny Han’s YA rom-com series felt so fresh and resonated with audiences in a huge way. I absolutely adored it. I can’t wait to see Jordan Fisher play John Ambrose McClaren, who gives Peter K a run for his money in the book with his kind heart and intelligence. My Valentine’s Day plan is to bake a batch of cookies (Lara Jean’s favorite hobby) and watch P.S. I Still Love You on repeat.
Based on: Emma by Jane Austen
Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Bill Nighy, Josh O’Connor
Why I’m excited: Clueless! The 1995 modernized adaptation was my first introduction to the story of Emma (plus lots of jokes I didn’t understand for years) and I’m thrilled to see a new take on Austen’s classic. The trailer makes it seem like this adaptation might have some of the frenetic weirdness of The Favourite, which I’m extremely here for. One thing I noticed when reading Emma a few years ago is how much gruel the characters eat. By comparison, there is none in Clueless. Will there be gruel in this movie!? I’ll have to see it to find out.
Based on: Normal People by Sally Rooney
Starring: Daisy Edgar-Jones, Paul Mescal
Why I’m excited: I’m usually very skittish about any attempts to adapt a book I love. I feel so protective over the characters and the richness of a novel that’s hard to capture in a few hours. But the lush and evocative set photos from the BBC limited series adaptation of Normal People has me optimistic and eager. Daisy Edgar-Jones as Marianne slumped on a couch, looking both legitimately depressed and also self-styled as a depressed intellectual surrounded by liquor bottles looks perfect.
The Secret Garden
Based on: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Starring: Dixie Egerickx, Colin Firth, Julie Walters
Why I’m excited: My childhood memories of this book are vivid, and the movie trailer immediately captured that magical feeling. Plus, Colin Firth! The cherry on top is Julie Walters, (aka Mrs. Weasley in the Harry Potter movies). All of this fills me with hope that watching this with my daughter will be a special experience for us both.
Based on: The Witches by Roald Dahl
Starring: Anne Hathaway, Stanley Tucci, Octavia Spencer
Why I’m excited: As a child, reading Roald Dahl’s books helped give me a window into understanding that there are dark aspects to being a person. My first book of his was The Twits, which I read repeatedly (and was grossed out, repeatedly). But then I discovered The Witches, which disturbed me even more but also gave me a foothold since it really embraced the tried-and-true ‘kids vs. adults’ trope. I love the original movie from 1990, so I’m excited to see the new adaptation’s treatment of the story next fall.