Book-to-screen adaptations are big this year, giving plenty of fodder to anyone who loves to debate which was better: the book or the movie. From adaptions like Netflix’s recent Anatomy of a Scandal, based on Sarah Vaughan’s best-selling novel, to an upcoming take on Sally Rooney‘s Conversations With Friends on Hulu, readers eager to lay eyes on the characters they’ve only visualized in their heads are sure to be thrilled.
Here are 14 book-to-screen to look forward to in 2022.
Anatomy of a Scandal (Netflix, April 15)
Prepare for slow-burning suspense in this #MeToo-era courtroom thriller, which centers on bad behavior among Britain’s elite. James (Rupert Friend), a prominent politician, and his wife, Sophie (Sienna Miller), are seemingly thriving until James is accused of professional misconduct—and then of far worse things. The novel, published in 2018, was adapted for Netflix by David E. Kelley and Melissa James Gibson. The six-episode TV version is a timely examination of entitlement and consent.
Heartstopper (Netflix, April 22)
Heartstopper, Alice Oseman’s sweet webcomic—which began in 2016 and was eventually published as a series of graphic novels—charts the relationship between Charlie and Nick, two grammar-school boys who unexpectedly fall for each other. While the eight-part Netflix series is unlikely to stop your heart, it will almost certainly warm it.
Under the Banner of Heaven (FX and Hulu, April 28)
Jon Krakauer’s 2003 true-crime bestseller is being adapted into a seven-episode limited series. It investigates the gruesome 1984 murder of Brenda Wright Lafferty (Daisy Edgar-Jones) and her infant daughter in Salt Lake City. Andrew Garfield portrays Detective Jeb Pyre, a devout Mormon who has to wrestle with his faith as he untangles the killings—and how they relate back to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Conversations With Friends (Hulu, May 15)
Perhaps you, too, have been waiting for another adaptation of a Sally Rooney novel since you finished binging Normal People. It’s finally here: the Irish author’s debut novel will be reimagined as a 12-episode series starring Alison Oliver, Joe Alwyn, Sasha Lane, and Jemima Kirke. It follows a pair of best friends—Frances and Bobbi—as they become close with an eccentric married couple and explore their sexuality, testing the boundaries of their friendship.
Where the Crawdads Sing (In theaters July 15)
Delia Owens’ best-selling 2018 novel is finally getting the big-screen treatment. The story focuses on Kya (Daisy Edgar-Jones), who was abandoned at a young age and raised herself in the North Carolina marshes. Years later, the lonely, mysterious girl is accused of murdering town heartthrob Chase (Harris Dickinson), who’d fallen for her but kept their romance secret from his family. Reese Witherspoon is among the movie’s producers, and Olivia Newman is directing. (Taylor Swift recently revealed that she wrote a song for the movie, but she’s faced backlash because of Owens’ controversial involvement with a poaching incident.)
Salem’s Lot (In theaters Sept. 9)
A small New England town is invaded by vampires in Salem’s Lot, the latest Stephen King thriller being adapted into a movie. (The novel—King’s second, published in 1975—was also the inspiration for a 2004 TNT miniseries.) It’s about Ben (Lewis Pullman), a troubled writer who heads home to Jerusalem’s Lot in Maine, where his childhood demons transform into real ones. He bands together with a group of locals to fight the evil vampires.
She Said (In theaters Nov. 18)
New York Times reporters Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor won a 2018 Pulitzer Prize for breaking the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse scandal—which helped birth the #MeToo movement. They chronicled how they did it in She Said, a 2019 book that whisked readers behind-the-scenes of their investigative reporting. Now, Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan are set to portray the journalists in a movie adaptation of the high-profile, game-changing case.
Luckiest Girl Alive (Netflix, 2022)
Jessica Knoll, who wrote the 2015 thriller Luckiest Girl Alive, also penned the screenplay for the movie adaptation, which is due this year—starring and produced by Mila Kunis. The story, which was partly inspired by Knoll’s personal experiences, is about a woman who’s reinvented herself after being raped as a teenager. Years later, she seemingly has it all—until her past comes roaring back, fraying the edges of her carefully constructed life.
A Man Called Otto (In theaters Dec. 25)
In Swedish author Fredrik Backman’s delightful debut novel, A Man Called Ove, the titular curmudgeon has a heart that’s too big—literally, but also, it turns out, metaphorically. That story is getting the big-screen treatment in the U.S., following the success of a Swedish adaptation that was nominated for a 2017 Academy Award. Ove has been renamed the more-pronounceable Otto in this iteration, which stars Tom Hanks (whose wife, Rita Wilson, is among the producers).
The Summer I Turned Pretty (Amazon Prime Video, TBD)
Before To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, there was The Summer I Turned Pretty. Jenny Han’s YA romance trilogy, which launched in 2009, is set to premiere as a Prime Video series this year. It’s about Belly (Lola Tung), a teenage girl who gets a crash course in love when she develops a relationship with two boys who fight for her affections. Expect a fun, fluffy coming-of-age story that makes you long for youthful summers spent at the shore.
Pieces of Her (Netflix, currently available)
What happens when you think you know everything there is to know about your mother—and then find out she specializes in secrets? That question is at the heart of Karin Slaughter’s stirring novel, which was the basis for this eight-episode inaugural season. Andy (Bella Heathcote) and her mother (Toni Collette) are caught up in a shooting at a local diner, which ignites a media firestorm—and forces Andy to realize her mom has an entire shocking history that’s been long concealed.
Death on the Nile (HBO Max and Hulu, currently available)
Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) puts his “little grey cells” to fine use in this movie adaptation of Agatha Christie’s classic murder-mystery. It takes place on a glamorous cruise ship headed down the Nile River in 1937, as newlyweds Linnet (Gal Gadot) and Simon (Armie Hammer) celebrate their marriage. Things get complicated when Simon’s scorned ex-girlfriend, Jackie (Emma Mackey), shows up, and even more so when Linnet ends up dead. Even if you know exactly what the brilliant detective Poirot will figure out, it’s fun to watch the puzzle pieces click into place.
No Exit (Hulu, currently available)
In this thrilling movie based on the 2017 novel by Taylor Adams, a woman named Darby (Havana Rose Liu) becomes stranded at a rest stop where she’s forced to shelter with a group of strangers. That could be uncomfortable during the best of circumstances, but the tension grows quickly when she discovers a young girl tied up and gagged in one of the stranger’s vans—clearly, a kidnapping in progress. Darby has to figure out who’s responsible and how to save the child, and herself, in this claustrophobic adaptation.
Pachinko (Apple TV+, currently available)
Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko, a sweeping historical fiction novel published in 2017, was beloved by many readers—like Barack Obama, who recommended it for its resilience and compassion. The saga follows a Korean immigrant family across four generations. In March, an eight-episode adaptation premiered on Apple TV+ as one of the biggest multilingual shows ever. The series stars Jin Ha, Minha Kim, and Lee Minho.
- Here’s How Effective the Original Vaccines Are Against Omicron
- The Promise—And Possible Perils—of Editing What We Say Online
- How Trump Survived Decades of Legal Trouble: Deny, Deflect, Delay, and Don't Put Anything in Writing
- Flint Is Still Shaken by its Water Crisis—and Residents Are Experiencing Long-Term Mental-Health Issues
- A Beer Shortage Is Brewing. A Volcano Is Partly to Blame
- How Fasting Can—and Can't—Improve Gut Health
- Cities Keep Enforcing Curfews for Teens, Despite Evidence They Don't Stop Crime
- Joe Manchin’s Red Tape Reform Could Supercharge Renewable Energy in the U.S.
- Column: We Should Talk More About What a Brilliant Actor Marilyn Monroe Was