Book-to-screen adaptations are my most loved, yet also most hated, form of entertainment. There’s nothing quite like seeing a world and characters you loved, reimagined in a live action format. However, it can be frustrating if it’s not done quite right. I know when I was younger, inconsistency would infuriate me to the point that I could no longer watch an adaptation if it didn’t meet the Goldilocks requirement of it being “just right”. Now, as an adult, I try to let myself enjoy what I’m watching—and not think about it too much. It doesn’t always work that way, but I certainly try my best. After all, what’s the point in watching something if you’re not enjoying it?
Adaptations have been a mainstay of the entertainment industry for decades. And with more streaming services than ever before, screen rights are being frequently acquired. Perhaps it is because production companies know viewers will watch this type of content, though I can’t know for sure. In saying that, fans are always excited at the prospect of seeing their beloved characters come to life. There are many books from my teenage years—and slightly before—that are finally being adapted, or even re-adapted, in the next few years. Personally, I believe that the internet has had a large role in the popularity resurgence of some of these once beloved Young Adult books.
For example, the adaptation of Kiera Cass’s The Selection has often been regarded as “cursed”. There have been three attempts to get this book onto screens since 2012, but none were successful. The series, which was a mainstay of my teenage years, was catapulted back into readers’ lives thanks to being popularised through BookTok over the past couple of years. This led to Netflix acquiring the rights, with the fourth-to-be adaptation attempt steadily heading towards production, with a director and writer attached.
Similar to Cass’s series are Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me and Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses series’. The screen rights to both of these books were originally for movies. However, there were no attempts to bring either off the ground—unlike The Selection. That was, until both Shatter Me and A Court of Thorns and Roses faced a similar treatment to Cass’s series and blew up on TikTok. Since then, both Mafi’s and Maas’s books have been optioned for TV shows on streaming platforms.
Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy, which was once adapted into a movie, is also now being redone in a TV show format. There are many fans who are rejoicing this decision, as the 2014 movie did not live up to expectations. Compared to the others mentioned above, there is more information available on this adaptation as its production is underway—easing the worries of many readers.
Some other adaptations that are coming in the next few years are Benjamin Alire Sáenz’s Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (which I am super excited about), Victoria Aveyard’s The Red Queen, and Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush.
There are many more book-to-screen adaptations that have been announced recently, these are just some examples of ones that are near and dear to my heart—or simply surprised me.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of these adaptations, or if there are any others that you’re excited about! Let us know your thoughts over at the Opus Instagram, @opus.unsa