Spring reading: 10 books being adapted for film, TV

Reese Witherspoon plays Elena Richardson in "Little Fires Everywhere," a Hulu miniseries based on the Celeste Ng novel of the same name. File Photo by Christine Chew/UPI
1 of 5 | Reese Witherspoon plays Elena Richardson in "Little Fires Everywhere," a Hulu miniseries based on the Celeste Ng novel of the same name. File Photo by Christine Chew/UPI | License Photo

March 12 (UPI) -- Little Fires Everywhere, David Copperfield, The Woman in the Window, Artemis Fowl and other books are being adapted for film and television.

New adaptations will open in theaters and debut on streaming services in March, April and May, 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 Plot Against America'

The 2004 novel by Philip Roth presents an alternative history in which Franklin D. Roosevelt is defeated by Charles Lindbergh in the 1940 presidential election. The story follows a Jewish-American family as they experience a rise in anti-Semitism during Lindbergh's presidency.


HBO is adapting The Plot Against America as a six-part miniseries starring Winona Ryder, Zoe Kazan, Morgan Spector, John Turturro, Anthony Boyle, Azhy Robertson and Caleb Malis. The series is created by David Simon (The Wire) and Ed Burns.

HBO released a teaser trailer for the miniseries in January that shows Lindbergh's rise to power. The show premieres Monday.

'Little Fires Everywhere'

The 2017 book by Celeste Ng takes place during the 1990s in the author's hometown of Shaker Heights, Ohio. The story follows Elena and Mia, two mothers with very different lives and views, who are brought together through their children.

Hulu is adapting the novel as an eight-episode miniseries starring Reese Witherspoon as Elena and Kerry Washington as Mia. The series is written by Liz Tigelaar and co-stars Rosemarie DeWitt, Joshua Jackson and Jade Pettyjohn.

Washington told Variety this month that playing Mia was a challenge and "coming of age" experience for her as an actress after starring on Scandal. Little Fires Everywhere premieres Wednesday.


'Peter Rabbit'

Peter Rabbit is a children's book character created by author Beatrix Potter. The character, a mischievous and clever rabbit, appeared in the 1902 book The Tales of Peter Rabbit and five other stories.

Peter Rabbit is the protagonist of Sony's upcoming live-action and animated film Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway. The movie is a sequel to the 2018 movie Peter Rabbit, and is also based on Potter's stories.

Peter Rabbit 2 features the voices of James Corden as Peter Rabbit, Colin Moody as Benjamin Bunny, Elizabeth Debicki as Mopsy Rabbit, Daisy Ridley as Cottontail Rabbit and Margot Robbie as Flopsy Rabbit. The film is written and directed by Will Gluck (Easy A).

Sony released a trailer for the movie in January that shows Peter (Corden) and his friends robbing a farmer's market. Peter Rabbit 2 opens in theaters April 3.

'The New Mutants'

The 1982 graphic novel, written by Chris Claremont and illustrated by Bob McLeod, was published by Marvel Comics. The book centers on the titular New Mutants, a superhero team composed of five teenage mutants, Cannonball, Karma, Mirage, Sunspot and Wolfsbane.


Studio 20th Century Fox is adapting the graphic novel as a horror film starring Maisie Williams as Wolfsbane, Charlie Heaton as Cannonball, Blu Hunt as Mirage and Henry Zaga as Sunspot. Instead of Karma, the movie will feature Anya Taylor-Joy as Magik.

Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) directed the film, the 13th movie in the X-Men film franchise. The studio released a trailer in January that shows the New Mutants teaming up to escape from a seemingly haunted hospital.

The New Mutants opens April 3.

'The Secret'

The 2006 self-help book by Rhonda Byrne centers on the law of attraction, or the belief that positive or negative thoughts bring positive or negative experiences into a person's life. The book is based on a 2006 documentary film written and produced by Byrne.

Roadside Attractions is adapting the book as The Secret: Dare to Dream, a romantic drama film starring Katie Holmes and Josh Lucas. The movie follows Miranda (Holmes), a widow with three children, whose life is changed after meeting a mysterious man (Lucas).

The Secret: Dare to Dream is directed by Andy Tennant (Sweet Home Alabama) and opens in theaters April 17. Roadside Attractions released a trailer for the film this month that shows Lucas' character, Bray, helping Miranda after a hurricane.


'Defending Jacob'

The 2012 book by William Landay is a crime novel and family drama. The story follows Andy Barber, an assistant district attorney whose teenage son, Jacob, is accused of murdering a classmate.

Apple TV+ is adapting the book as an eight-episode miniseries starring Chris Evans as Andy, Michelle Dockery as Andy's wife, Laurie, and Jaeden Martell as Jacob. The series is created, written and executive produced by Mark Bomback, who also serves as showrunner.

Apple TV+ released a photo for Defending Jacob in January that shows the Barber family posing on the steps of their home. The show's first three episodes will premiere April 24, with subsequent episodes to air weekly.

'David Copperfield'

The Charles Dickens novel was first published as a book in 1850, and is considered by many to be Dickens' masterpiece. The story centers on the titular character, who recounts his life from infancy to adulthood.

David Copperfield has been adapted several times for film and TV, including as a 1969 movie starring Robin Phillips. Armando Iannucci directs the new film The Personal History of David Copperfield, starring Dev Patel in the title role.


The new film co-stars Tilda Swinton as Betsey Trotwood, Hugh Laurie as Mr. Dick and Peter Capaldi as Mr. Micawber. Searchlight Pictures released a trailer for the film this month that shows Copperfield (Patel) going to live with Betsey (Swinton).

The Personal History of David Copperfield opens in U.S. theaters on May 8.

'The Good Shepherd'

The 1955 book by C.S. Forester is a novel set in 1942 during World War II. The story follows Ernest Krause, a U.S. Navy commander in charge of a destroyer tasked with protecting an Allied convoy during the Battle of the Atlantic.

Sony Pictures is adapting the book as the film Greyhound, starring Tom Hanks as Krause. Hanks wrote and co-produced the movie, with Aaron Schneider (Get Low) as director. Elisabeth Shue, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Stephen Graham and Rob Morgan co-star.

Greyhound opens May 8.

'The Woman in the Window'

The 2018 thriller by Dan Mallory was published under the pen name A. J. Finn. The story follows Dr. Anna Fox, an agoraphobic child psychologist who believes she witnesses her neighbor's murder.


Studio 20th Century Fox is adapting the book as a new film starring Amy Adams as Anna. The movie is directed by Joe Wright (Atonement) and co-stars Gary Oldman as Alistair Russell and Anthony Mackie as Ed Fox.

The studio released a trailer for The Woman in the Window in December that shows Anna searching for the truth about her neighbors (Oldman and Julianne Moore). The movie opens in theaters May 15.

'Artemis Fowl'

The 2001 young adult fantasy novel by Eoin Colfer is the first book in Colfer's Artemis Fowl series. The series follows the titular character, a 12-year-old genius who kidnaps Holly Short, a fairy, in hope of a large ransom.

Walt Disney Studios is adapting the book as a new movie starring Ferdia Shaw as Artemis and Lara McDonnell as Holly. The film is directed by Kenneth Branagh and co-stars Tamara Smart as Juliet Butler, Nonso Anozie as Domovoi Butler, Josh Gad as Mulch Diggums and Judi Dench as Commander Root.


Disney released a teaser trailer for Artemis Fowl in 2018 that shows Artemis (Shaw) being transported to the high-tech and fantastical world of the fairies. The film opens May 29.

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