It’s impossible to turn on your favorite show or movie without seeing “Based on the novel by…” But did you know that your favorite movie or show may be based on a book? When a studio buys the rights to a movie and creates a world on screen based on an author’s words from the pages, the perfect cinematography, script, and cast can bring your favorite stories to life right before your eyes. And some authors, their work is adapted more and more bringing a catalog of movies based on their most immersive stories. Here are some authors who have multiple stories that have been adapted for screen. You may be surprised to find that some of these stories were based on books!
Stephen King is known for a lengthy bibliography of works that include thrillers, horror, and a plethora of novels including supernatural and strange occurrences. King is one of the greatest minds in literature due to his creative plots, wild casts, and stories that readers just beg to see on screen. Starting with 1982s Creepshow based off from two King short stories, other adaptations include Carrie, Pet Sematary, The Shining, Cujo, Christine, Children of the Corn, Firestarter, Stand by Me, Misery, The Shawshank Redemption, Dolores Claiborne, It, The Green Mile, Dreamcatcher, Secret Window, The Mist, Gerald’s Game, Doctor Sleep, and many more to come.
Not only did Gillian Flynn take the world by storm with her novel Gone Girl, but the film was equally as powerful and popular! Although Flynn only has three novels out, each one has been adapted and filmmakers, actors and actresses, and even Flynn herself had a hand in turning these immersive and darkly thrilling stories into popular movies and television shows. Although Gone Girl was a major hit with Flynn herself writing the screenplay, studios were quick to turn Dark Places into a movie starring Charlize Theron and HBO developed Sharp Objects into a miniseries starring Amy Adams.
Legal thriller expert John Grisham not only practiced law for ten years but won the election as a Democrat to the Mississippi House of Representatives from 1983 to 1990. Using his legal expertise and reliving some of his cases, Grisham was inspired by a case to write the legal thriller A Time to Kill and by the release of his second novel, The Firm, had given up practicing law. Grisham’s bibliography may be lengthy, but the films based on his novels is just as impressive. Grisham could be solely listed as the man who was responsible for some fantastic legal thrillers of the 90s including The Firm, A Time to Kill, The Pelican Brief, The Client, The Chamber, The Rainmaker, and Runaway Jury.
Dean Koontz is a popular author who writes thrillers that feature horror, science fiction, and fantasy elements. Some of Koontz’s most wild stories that have been adapted for film include the Watchers series, Hideaway, Intensity, Phantoms, Sole Survivor, and Odd Thomas. If you like something out of the ordinary with your thrillers that will chill you to the bone, a Dean Koontz movie marathon is just what we recommend.
Thomas Harris took the world by storm when he released the Dr. Hannibal Lecter series. Featuring the novels Red Dragon, The Silence of the Lambs, and Hannibal, all novels were made into successful feature length films. With his story Hannibal Rising, a prequel, also being turned into a movie as well, Harris also wrote the screenplay for the film. If psychological thrillers with scary elements work for you, these films will not let you down.
Clive Barker is not only a popular horror author, but he’s worked on many movies, has directed films, and is also a playwright. Some of the most popular horror movies have been based on Barker’s novels and short stories including Hellraiser (including its reboot), Nightbreed, Candyman, The Midnight Meat Train, Book of Blood, and Dread. If you’re a horror movie buff, you might want to binge these movies again and pick up Barker’s collections of short stories.
Dennis Lehane is a powerful force when it comes to crime fiction by not only working in television on hit shows like The Wire, Boardwalk Empire, Mr. Mercedes, The Outsider, and Black Bird, but he is also the author of almost twenty books that include popular adaptations. If you’re a fan of Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone, Shutter Island, or Live by Night, you can thank Lehane as these films are all based off his novels!
Michael Crichton is responsible for so many action and science fiction movies. Most don’t know that Jurassic Park was actually a novel that the movie was based on. Not only is Crichton responsible for Twister with his then wife Anne-Marie Martin and Jurassic Park, but other novels as well. These include The Great Train Robbery, Sphere, and the drama Disclosure.
James Patterson has been writing crime fiction since the 1990s featuring one of America’s favorite investigators – Detective Alex Cross. With the success of films like Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider introduced film lovers to Cross to the point that 2012’s Alex Cross movie was released. Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club was a television series as well as the recent 2020 film starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Famke Janssen based on the standalone book The Postcard Killings.
Who wasn’t freaking out from 2005 to 2008 when they were introduced to Bella, Edward, and Jacob? Meyer’s Twilight series of books Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn were all made into movies making hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office. The movies not only picked a perfect cast to represent the people (and vampires and wolves) of Forks, Washington but also the mood and atmosphere of these novels.