Welcome to the SheReads Bookish Entertainment column! Each week, enjoy a new article by Garrett Billings— Bookstagrammer, blogger, book-to-screen junkie—on all things Reading + Hollywood. Stars’ book club picks and trailer reveals, book-to-screen news and book pop culture, and of course, Gare’s specialty, choosing his ideal Hollywood casts for book adaptations—Bookish Entertainment has you covered.
If you thought 2021 was a great year for book adaptations, 2022 is going to be a treat! From horror reboots to crime fiction and thrillers, there’s something for everyone coming out in the New Year. Check out this list of some of the adaptations we can’t wait to see on the screen this year.
Where the Crawdads Sing based on the novel by Delia Owens
It’s no surprise Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine production quickly bought the rights to bring this best-selling novel to the screen. In 1969 North Carolina, a handsome man named Chase Andrews is found dead and the town immediately suspects the rumored “Marsh Girl,” Kya Clark. But Kya is nothing like what the town assumes she is; she is intelligent and has survived on her own for years. When two young men from town become intrigued by Kya, and Kya herself is intrigued by the possibility of a new life, nothing will ever be the same.
The Black Phone based on the short story by Joe Hill
Blumhouse Productions is home for some of the best horror productions, including Get Out, Halloween, and The Purge. Knowing a story by Joe Hill is in good hands, this one is expected to be on every horror lover’s must-watch list. After five children go missing in the Colorado suburbs in the ’70s, a young boy finds himself kidnapped by a serial killer and held in a basement. After finding a disconnected phone, he discovers the phone can transmit voices of the killer’s past victims, who try to help him escape. Meanwhile, his sister is having recurring visions that may lead to her missing brother.
The Power based on the novel by Naomi Alderman
Amazon is set to bring The Power by Naomi Alderman to your living room in the New Year. Reed Morano of Handmaid’s Tale will be directing and executive producing the series along with an all-female directing team. The novel by Naomi Alderman includes the lives of a rich Nigerian boy, a foster kid with religious parents, a tough London girl, and an ambitious American politician. After a new force comes into effect, teenage girls now have the power to cause pain and death, causing the world to drastically change.
Salem’s Lot based on the novel by Stephen King
After the huge success of the It reboot based on the novel by King, it’s no surprise that Warner Bros. is taking one of King’s creepiest stories and rebooting it with James Wan of the Saw and Insidious franchises producing. The same screenwriter of It, Gary Dauberman will also be writing the upcoming Salem’s Lot as well. The story involves Ben Mears, a man who returns to his hometown of Jerusalem’s Lot to get inspiration for his next book only to find that his hometown is being preyed upon by a vampire.
Anatomy of a Scandal based on the novel by Sarah Vaughan
It’s no surprise that readers everywhere are looking forward to this miniseries based on the Sarah Vaughan novel. With David E. Kelley of Big Little Lies and The Undoing adapting this story, it is one that is for sure going to be binge-worthy. Sophie Whitehouse’s perfect life is turned upside down when her husband confesses he’s been unfaithful, but that is only the beginning. Soon after, he is accused of a horrible crime in this twisted tale of secrets, love and revenge.
No Exit based on the novel by Taylor Adams
Releasing sometime in 2022 on Hulu, this heart-pounding thriller features Dennis Haysbert and Dale Dickey, who are no strangers to excellent movies. Based on the exciting novel by Taylor Adams, No Exit is about a young college student who gets stuck at a rest stop with a handful of strangers during a blizzard. After she discovers a kidnapped child in one of the cars belonging to the people inside, she not only feels responsible for saving the child, but must keep her guard up as one of the people inside is a dangerous criminal.
My Best Friend’s Exorcism based on the novel by Grady Hendrix
With the resurgence of fun and entertaining horror that came out in 2021 a la Fear Street and There’s Someone Inside Your House, I have high hopes for 2022. One of my most anticipated horror movies of next year is the adaptation of Grady Hendrix’s My Best Friend’s Exorcism. With Christopher Landon of Paranormal Activity and Happy Death Day producing and Jenna Lamia of Good Girls and Awkward writing the screenplay, this one could be a major hit! After experimenting with LSD, with a group of friends, Gretchen disappears into the woods and returns a few hours later claiming nothing happened, but still not acting like herself. Her best friend Abby notices Gretchen’s increasing erratic behavior and begins to believe she’s been possessed by a demon.
Luckiest Girl Alive based on the novel by Jessica Knoll
After being released in 2015, my fingers have been crossed for news and updates regarding the film adaptation of Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll. 2021 really showered me with good news regarding this adaptation when it was announced that Mike Barker from The Handmaid’s Tale would be directing, Mila Kunis and Connie Britton would be included in the cast, and Jessica Knoll herself would be writing the screenplay. Based on the novel by Knoll, Luckiest Girl Alive is about a young woman with the perfect life who is haunted by a secret she’s been keeping since high school that is threatening to destroy everything.
Pachinko based on the novel by Min Jin Lee
Apple Inc. is set to premiere the first three episodes of the eight episode miniseries on March 25th, with each episode after premiering one week later, so you have the perfect amount of time to read the book before binging! The series is created and written by Soo Hugh with South Korean filmmaker Kogonada and Justin Chon executive producing. Based on the NYT bestselling novel, the miniseries will chronicle a Korean immigrant family and follow four generations as they leave their homeland.
Heartstopper based on the graphic novel by Alice Oseman
Netflix will be adapting an eight episode series based on the graphic novel by Alice Oseman with Euros Lyn of Doctor Who and Sherlock set to direct. The series will focus on two boys who meet at a British grammar school and quickly fall in love. Charlie is the openly gay overthinker who meets his match in perfect opposite Nick, a rugby player. As the two quickly become friends, Charlie begins to fall for Nick thinking he has no chance of the imaginary romance ever working out. The series is releasing on Netflix globally April 22, 2022.
Conversations with Friends based on the novel by Sally Rooney
Hulu and BBC Three are teaming up to turn Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney into a 12-episode miniseries. The creative team behind the adaptation of Rooney’s other novel Normal People are set to join forces again, including Lenny Abrahamson and Alice Birch. Based on the novel, this story is about a woman named Frances and her relationship with her best friend, Bobbi and married couple Melissa and Nick. The series is set to premiere on Hulu in May 2022.
The Wonder based on the novel by Emma Donoghue
Netflix will be releasing a movie adaptation of The Wonder based on the novel by Emma Donoghue and starting Florence Pugh in 2022. With Chilean filmmaker Sebastian Lelio set to direct and Alice Birch of Normal People working alongside Donoghue for the screenplay, this one is set to stay relatively close to the plot. The Wonder is a gothic thriller set in the Victorian era about young girls who claim to have religious powers and fast for a long period of time. Lib Wright (Pugh) is a nurse who is sent to the village to observe the girls alongside a journalist.
Persuasion based on the novel by Jane Austen
Dakota Johnson is set to star as Anne Elliott in Persuasion based on the novel by Jane Austen in a modern approach. The novel is about Anne Elliott, who reconnects with her ex-fiancé Captain Frederick Wentworth, causing Anne to reevaluate herself and her relationship with her former love interest. Henry Golding, Suki Waterhouse, Richard E. Grant, and Cosmo Jarvis are also set to star. The film is set to premiere on Netflix later this year.
Shining Girls based on the novel by Lauren Beukes
Coming to Apple TV+ on April 29, 2022, Shining Girls is a chilling supernatural serial killer thriller based on the novel by Lauren Beukes. The series is set to be produced by Media Rights Capital and Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way Productions with Beukes as an executive producer. Wrapping up the cast are Elisabeth Moss, Jamie Bell, Phillipa Soo, and Amy Brenneman. The novel focuses on a man named Harper Curtis who finds a house that is a time-traveling portal and is set to kill the “shining girls” – women with potential. While he stalks them across different eras, he meets his match in Kirby Mazrachi who survives and flips the script when she begins to hunt him.