Winter reading: 10 books being adapted for film, TV

Cate Blanchett stars in "Nightmare Alley," a new film based on the William Lindsay Gresham novel. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
1 of 5 | Cate Blanchett stars in "Nightmare Alley," a new film based on the William Lindsay Gresham novel. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 9 (UPI) -- Nightmare Alley, The Lost Daughter, Stay Close and other books are being adapted for film and television this winter.

New adaptations will open in theaters and debut on streaming services in December, January and February.


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

'Station Eleven'

The 2014 sci-fi novel by Emily St. John Mandel takes place in the aftermath of a deadly pandemic. The story follows a group of survivors who are now traveling performers, who encounter a violent cult.

HBO Max is adapting the book as a 10-episode miniseries starring Mackenzie Davis, Himesh Patel, David Wilmot, Nabhaan Rizwan, Daniel Zovatto and Lori Petty. The streaming service shared a trailer for the series in November.

Station Eleven features Patrick Somerville as showrunner and Hiro Murai, Jeremy Podeswa, Helen Shaver and Lucy Tcherniak as directors. The series premieres Dec. 16.


'Nightmare Alley'

The 1946 noir psychological thriller by William Lindsay Gresham follows Stan Carlisle, an ambitious grifter who joins a carnival. After heading to the city, Stan meets his match in Dr. Lilith Ritter, a glamorous psychologist.

The book is being adapted as a film co-written by Guillermo del Toro and Kim Morgan and directed by del Toro. Bradley Cooper plays Stan, with Cate Blanchett as Lilith. Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Richard Jenkins, Rooney Mara and Ron Perlman also star.

Nightmare Alley was previously adapted as a 1944 film directed by Edmund Goulding and starring Tyrone Power and Coleen Gray.

Del Toro's Nightmare Alley opens in theaters Dec. 17.

'The Lost Daughter'

The 2008 novel by Elena Ferrante follows Leda, a divorced mother of two who becomes obsessed with Nina, a young mom, and her daughter, Elena, while on vacation on the Italian coast. Leda's memories of her own early motherhood cause her to unravel.

The book is being adapted as a film written and directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal in her feature directorial debut. Olivia Colman plays Leda, with Dakota Johnson as Nina. Peter Sarsgaard, Ed Harris and Paul Mescal also star.


Johnson discussed the film at AFI Fest in November, saying the movie depicts common feelings that women and mothers experience but rarely see in film.

The Lost Daughter will open in theaters Dec. 17 before its release Dec. 31 on Netflix.

'The Tender Bar'

The 2005 memoir by J. R. Moehringer explores the author's experience as a young man being raised by a single mother in Long Island. The book centers on the bonds Moehringer developed with his uncle and the patrons at a local bar.

The memoir is being adapted as a film written by William Monahan and directed by George Clooney. Tye Sheridan plays Moehringer, with Ben Affleck as Moehringer's uncle Charlie. Lily Rabe, Christopher Lloyd and Daniel Ranieri also star.

Amazon Prime Video released a trailer for the movie in October.

The Tender Bar opens in select theaters Dec. 17, followed by a wider release Dec. 22. The film will start streaming Jan. 7, 2022, on Amazon Prime Video.


'A Journal for Jordan: A Story of Love and Honor'

The 2009 memoir by Dana Canedy explores the true story of Sergeant Charles Monroe King, a soldier who kept a journal for his infant son while deployed in Iraq. Canedy, his fiancée, reflects on her romance with King.

The book is being adapted as a film written by Virgil Williams and directed by Denzel Washington. Michael B. Jordan plays King, while Chanté Adams portrays Canedy.

A Journal for Jordan opens in theaters Dec. 25.

'Stay Close'

The 2012 crime drama by Harlan Coben follows Ray, Megan and Detective Broome, three people haunted by the disappearance of a man 17 years earlier in Atlantic City. When another man goes missing, Broome reopens the investigation and discovers a serial killer may be on the loose.

The novel is being adapted as a miniseries written by Coben and directed by Daniel O'Hara. Cush Jumbo plays Megan, with James Nesbitt as Broome and Richard Armitage as Ray. Eddie Izzard, Jo Joyner, Sarah Parish and Youssef Kerkour also star.

Netflix shared a trailer for the series in December that shows Megan (Jumbo), now a wife and mother, struggle to keep the secrets of her past hidden.


Netflix previously adapted Coben's novels Safe, The Stranger, The Woods and The Innocent. Stay Close premieres Dec. 31.

'The Moon and the Sun'

The 1997 historical romance fantasy novel by Vonda N. McIntyre takes place in 17th century France during King Louis XIV's reign. The book follows Marie-Josèphe, a lady-in-waiting whose brother, Yves, brings a mermaid back to court.

The book is being adapted as The King's Daughter, a new film written by Barry Berman and James Schamus and directed by Sean McNamara. Pierce Brosnan plays Louis, with Kaya Scodelario as Marie-Josèph, Benjamin Walker as Yves and Fan Bingbing as the mermaid.

The Moon and the Sun opens in theaters Jan. 21, 2022.

'Cyrano de Bergerac'

The 1897 play by Edmond Rostand imagines the life of real-life French novelist and playwright Cyrano de Bergerac. The play explores Cyrano's love for the beautiful and intellectual Roxane, which is plagued with Cyrano's self-doubt about his appearance.

The play inspired the 2018 musical Cyrano by Erica Schmidt, which features music by Aaron Dessner and Bryce Dessner of The National and lyrics by Matt Berninger and Carin Besser. The team has now adapted the musical as the film Cyrano, directed by Joe Wright (Atonement).


Peter Dinklage plays Cyrano, with Haley Bennett as Roxanne. Kelvin Harrison Jr., Bashir Salahuddin and Mendelsohn also star.

MGM shared a trailer for the movie in October that shows Cyrano (Dinklage) love Roxane (Bennett) from afar, convinced that the world wouldn't accept their romance.

Cyrano opens in select theaters Jan. 21, 2022.

'Death on the Nile'

The 1937 mystery novel by Agatha Christie features her famous character Hercule Poirot. The book follows Poirot, a Belgian detective, as he investigates a murder while on a steamer ship on the Nile River.

The book is being adapted as a film written by Michael Green and directed by Kenneth Branagh. Branagh also plays Poirot, with Tom Bateman, Annette Bening, Russell Brand, Gal Gadot, Rose Leslie and Letitia Wright as co-stars.

The new movie is a sequel to Branagh's 2017 adaptation of Christie's Murder on the Orient Express.

Death on the Nile opens in theaters Feb. 11, 2022.

'Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber'

The 2019 non-fiction book by Mike Isaac explores the history of ridesharing company Uber and the events leading up to its initial public offering in 2019, including how Travis Kalanick came to replace Ryan Graves as CEO in 2010.


The book is being adapted at Showtime as the multi-season series Super Pumped. The first installment, The Battle for Uber, will feature Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Kalanick and co-star Kyle Chandler, Uma Thurman, Kerry Bishé, Babak Tafti, Mousa Hussein Kraish, Hank Azaria and Elisabeth Shue.

Billions creators Brian Koppelman and David Levien serve as executive producers and showrunners with Beth Schacter.

Super Pumped premieres Feb. 27, 2022, at 10 p.m. EST on Showtime.

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