Winter reading: 10 books being adapted for film, TV

By Annie Martin
Robert Downey Jr., stars in "Dolittle," an upcoming adaptation of the Hugh Lofting book "The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle." File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
1 of 3 | Robert Downey Jr., stars in "Dolittle," an upcoming adaptation of the Hugh Lofting book "The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle." File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 27 (UPI) -- Dracula, P.S. I Still Love You, Emma, The Invisible Man and other books are being adapted for film and television.

New adaptations will open in theaters and debut on streaming services in January and February 2020 following the success of such adaptations as the HBO series Big Little Lies, based on the Liane Moriarty novel of the same name.


Some big-name stars are attached to other movies and TV series based on books. Here's a rundown:


The 1897 novel by Bram Stoker follows Count Dracula, a centuries-old vampire and Transylvanian nobleman. The book is considered a masterpiece of the vampire genre and influenced many subsequent works.

Dracula has been adapted for film and TV several times, including as a 1992 film starring Gary Oldman. Netflix and the BBC are developing a new miniseries starring Danish actor Claes Bang, who appeared as Dracula in a trailer last week.


Netflix and the BBC's Dracula is created by Sherlock creators Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat. The show co-stars John Heffernan as Jonathan Harker, Dolly Wells as Sister Agatha and Joanna Scanlan as Mother Superior, and premieres on Netflix in January.

'The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle'

The 1922 novel is the second book in Hugh Lofting's Doctor Dolittle series. The story follows the titular Doctor Doolittle, a doctor with the ability to speak to animals, as he travels around the world.

In 2018, Robert Downey, Jr., signed on to play Doctor Dolittle in a feature film. The Iron Man actor appears in a trailer released for the movie, Doolittle, in October that shows Doctor Dolittle traveling and communicating with creatures great and small.

Doolittle is directed by Stephen Gaghan and co-stars Antonio Banderas, Michael Sheen, Emma Thompson, Rami Malek and John Cena. The film opens in theaters Jan. 17.

'Locke & Key'

The comic book series written by Joe Hill and illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez was first published by IDW Publishing in 2008. The series follows the Lockes, siblings Tyler, Kinsey and Bode and their mom, Nina, who move into a mysterious house after their father's murder.


Netflix is adapting the series as a TV show starring Jackson Robert Scott as Bode, Connor Jessup as Tyler, Emilia Jones as Kinsey and Darby Stanchfield as Nina. The series hails from Carlton Cuse (Lost) and Meredith Averill.

Netflix released a poster for the series this month that teases the story's magical keys. The show premieres Feb. 7.

'P.S. I Still Love You'

The 2015 book is a sequel to Jenny Han's young adult novel To All the Boys I've Loved Before. The book follows the romance between high school students Lara Jean Covey and Peter Kavinsky.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before was adapted as a 2018 Netflix movie starring Lana Condor and Noah Centineo as Lara Jean and Peter. Condor and Centineo confirmed plans in 2018 for a Netflix adaptation of P.S. I Still Love You.

The Netflix film, titled To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You, is directed by Michael Fimognari and co-stars Jordan Fisher, Janel Parrish and Anna Cathcart. The movie premieres Feb. 12.

'High Fidelity'

The 1995 novel by Nick Hornby follows Rob Fleming, a record shop owner in London. The character re-examines his failed relationships and his future following a breakup with his girlfriend Laura.


High Fidelity was previously adapted as a 2000 film starring John Cusack and set in Chicago. Hulu is developing a reimagined version of the book with Zoe Kravitz in the lead role. Kravitz's mother, Lisa Bonet, played Marie in the 2000 movie.

Hulu's series co-stars Da'Vine Joy Randolph, David H. Holmes, Jake Lacy and Kingsley Ben-Adir, and premieres Feb. 14, Valentine's Day.


The 1815 novel by Jane Austen follows the title character, Emma Woodhouse, a "handsome, clever, and rich" young woman who attempts to play matchmaker. The book addresses issues of marriage, gender, age and social status.

Emma was previously adapted as 1996 film starring Gwyneth Paltrow. Anya Taylor-Joy, Johnny Flynn and Bill Nighy will star in a remake written by author Eleanor Catton and directed by Autumn de Wilde.

Taylor-Joy appeared in a teaser trailer for Emma in November. The film opens in theaters Feb. 21.

'The Call of the Wild'

The 1903 novel by Jack London is set in Yukon, Canada, during the 1980s Klondike Gold Rush. The book follows a dog, Buck, who is stolen from his home and sold into service as a sled dog in Alaska.


The Call of the Wild was previously adapted as a 1935 film starring Clark Gable. Harrison Ford will star in a live-action and CGI-animated remake, and appeared in a first trailer for the movie released in November.

The Call of the Wild is directed by Chris Sanders and co-stars Dan Stevens, Omar Sy, Karen Gillan, Bradley Whitford and Colin Woodell. The film opens in theaters Feb. 21.


Bloodshot is a fictional superhero created by Kevin VanHook, Don Perlin and Bob Layton for Valiant Comics. The character was introduced in the 1992 comic Eternal Warrior #4 before making his official debut in Rai #0. He possesses superhuman strength and regenerative powers.

Dave Wilson is directing an adaptation starring Vin Diesel as Ray Garrison, aka Bloodshot. Sony Pictures released a trailer in October showing Bloodshot (Diesel) questioning his reality and coming to terms with the weapon he has become.

The film co-stars Eiza Gonzalez, Sam Heughan, Toby Kebbell, Guy Pearce and Lamorne Morris, and opens in theaters Feb. 21.


'The Invisible Man'

The 1897 science fiction novel by H.G. Wells follows Griffin, a scientist who discovers a way to become invisible and begins to commit increasingly horrific crimes.

The Invisible Man was previously adapted as a 1933 film starring Claude Rains. Universal Pictures is developing a remake starring Elisabeth Moss as a woman hunted by an unseen person after her abusive ex-boyfriend's (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) suicide.

Moss appeared in a trailer in November that shows her character, Cecilia Kass, desperately trying to prove to authorities that she is being targeted by someone who can't be seen. The film is written and directed by Leigh Whannell and opens in theaters Feb. 28.

'All the Bright Places'

The 2015 young adult novel by Jennifer Niven follows Theodore Finch and Violet Markey, two teenagers from a small Indiana town who bond during a school project. The book explores themes of mental illness and young love.

Netflix is adapting the book as a feature film starring Justice Smith as Theodore and Elle Fanning as Violet. The streaming service shared a poster last week that shows the characters sharing a romantic moment.


All the Bright Places is directed by Brett Haley and co-stars Alexandra Shipp as Kate, Keegan-Michael Key as Embry and Luke Wilson as James. The movie premieres Feb. 28.

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