Finding out your favourite book is being adapted for the big screen is exciting at first, until you start to question whether the film version will turn the story you love into something completely unrecognisable. But considering the talent behind these book-to-film adaptations (think a host of critically acclaimed actors, directors and screenwriters) it looks like your much-loved novel is in safe hands. Here are the adaptations we're most looking forward to seeing and why we think the films will do the originals justice.
Nocturnal AnimalsNot just a film about a book, but a film about a book within a book, A Single Man director Tom Ford's latest cinematic project looks seriously creepy – in the best possible way. Susan (Amy Adams) gets a mystery package from her ex-husband Tony (Jake Gyllenhaal): it's a manuscript of his unpublished novel, entitled Nocturnal Animals, which is then dramatised for us on screen. An ultra-violent Texas crime thriller, Susan increasingly interprets the manuscript as a symbolic act of revenge.
Why should I be excited? Because it's getting rave reviews: both The Guardian and The Independent give it 5 stars. "A terrifically absorbing thriller with that vodka-kick of pure malice", says Peter Bradshaw.
When can I see it? Nocturnal Animals is out now; get times and tickets here.
The Light Between OceansBased on Australian writer M L Stedman’s 2012 romantic novel, The Light Between Oceans features Michael Fassbender as Tom, a traumatised WWI veteran who takes a job as a lighthouse keeper on a remote island. The trailer features sweeping shots of the coastline; thank God director Derek Cianfrance has made something that’s easy on the eyes, because judging by the book, it’s not going to be easy on the feels. Offscreen couple Fassbender and Alicia Vikander play husband and wife in this story about a relationship tested to the extreme.
Why should I be excited? Because Cianfrance (The Place Beyond the Pines, Blue Valentine) does narratives about emotionally-warring couples exceptionally well.
When can I see it? The Light Between Oceans is out now; get times and tickets here.
American PastoralIt was only a matter of time before this critically acclaimed Philip Roth book was picked up by the studios. High school athlete Seymour “Swede" Levov (Ewan McGregor) marries beauty queen Dawn (Jennifer Connelly); they have a child (Dakota Fanning), and live happily ever-after in the suburbs `– except, of course, they don’t. This is the sixties; social and political tensions are high, and Fanning’s character, a Vietnam War activist, gets involved in a horrific terrorist bomb plot.
Why should I be excited? Because Ewan McGregor's directorial debut + Philip Roth's Pulitzer prizewinning novel + Oscar winner Jennifer Connelly = undeniably fresh ingredients for a film.
When can I see it? American Pastoral is out now; get times and tickets here.
ArrivalArrival is based on the award-winning, hard science fiction novella "Story of your Life" by Ted Chiang – And judging by both the trailer and the film’s glowing reviews, the adaptation by director Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Sicario) looks set to be just as mesmerising as the original. This is high-intensity sci-fi, but not because of big action scenes of interstellar warfare. Instead, linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is tasked with communicating with an alien craft which has landed on Earth – and as Louise says, “Language can be messy.” Will the aliens understand the difference between a weapon and a tool?
Why should I be excited? Two reasons: Because it looks simply fantastic, and if Villeneuve can do this well, it bodes well for the Blade Runner sequel he’s planning.
When can I see it? Arrival is out now; get times and tickets here.