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12 Books to Read before they Hit the Screen

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For those readers, who have been secretly dreaming of their favourite books falling into the hands of screenwriters, the moment of truth has finally arrived. We have compiled a list of twelve most anticipated book adaptations that will grace both big and small screens in 2021. From gripping thrillers and dark comedies to heart-wrenching dramas, these scintillating adaptations will offer a fully immersive experience to film buffs and book lovers alike.

Firefly Lane (Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah)

Image credit: St Martins Publishing

Image credit: NBC Universal

It is 1974 and the summer of love is finally drawing to a close. Kate Mularkey has accepted her place at the bottom of the secondary school social food chain. Then, to her amazement, the coolest girl in the world , Tully Hart the girl all the boys want to know - moves in across the street and wants to be her best friend. For thirty years Tully and Kate buoy each other through life, weathering the storms of friendship, jealousy, anger, hurt and resentment. They think they’ve survived it all until a single act of betrayal tears them apart.

Release date: 3 February 2021 on Netflix
Staring: Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke

French Exit (French Exit by Patrick deWItt)

Image credit: Bloomsbury Publishing

Image credit: Sony Pictures Classics

“The story of a dysfunctional relationship between an unpleasant mother and her very odd son (not to mention the deceased father who may now be living within the body of the pet cat) is a very strange offering indeed. Wealthy widower Frances Price had gained notoriety – and social exclusion – as a result of her having discovered her husband’s lifeless body in the marital bed and then instead of notifying the appropriate authorities choosing to chase of to the ski slopes for the weekend. Very soon she’d picked up her son from the boarding school and launched into a self destructive spending spree. When the cash ran out she took the only option available which was to abscond to Paris where she set herself and her son up in a borrowed flat.” - A. Smith

Release date: 12 February 2021
Staring: Michelle Pfeiffer, Lucas Hedges

Peter Rabbit 2 (The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter)

Image credit: Cyber Crayon Cover

Image credit: Columbia Pictures

Inspired by a heartfelt letter written to a sick boy, The Tale of Peter Rabbit has captivated the hearts of millions of young readers around the world. Exuberant and troublesome, Peter is often compared to his well-behaved sisters Mopsy, Flopsy and Cotton-tail as they leap from the pages of a beloved story to entertain and caution errant children of the severe consequences of mischief.

Release date: 21 April 2021
Staring: Rose Byrne, Domhnall Gleeson and James Corden

Shadow and Bone (Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo)

Image credit: Square Fish

Image credit: 21 laps Entertainment

“The great nation of Ravka is troubled by war with her neighbours and by the Shadow Fold, a mysterious force of darkness which has cut off the west coast from the rest of the kingdom. Only the Grisha, the magic-wielding servants of Ravka, can cross the Fold in safety. A young mapmaker, Alina Starkov, is recruited to help such a crossing but she manifests the powers of the Grisha along the way. Recruited into the order, Alina discovers she has the power to summon light, the power to perhaps destroy the Shadow Fold forever...and a power that some will do anything to possess.”- A. Whitehead

Release date: April 2021 on Netflix
Staring: Ben Barnes, Freddy Carter, Danielle Galligan

Death on The Nile (Death on The Nile by Agatha Christie)

Image credit: Center Point Publishing

Image credit: 20th Century Studios

A luxury cruise along the Nile welcomes the crème de la crème of Western society to explore the oriental allure of Egypt. Honeymoon for some, revenge vehicle for others, for an unsuspecting Hercule Poirot- this seemingly idyllic voyage has a chance to turn into a working holiday. While passengers follow in the footsteps of pharaohs soaking up the Byzantine culture, evil penetrates each corner of the boat executing a monstrous plan. Despite being disguised as an ancient curse, the perfect murder conspiracy soon begins to crumble under the weight of the famous sleuth and his “little grey cells”.

Release date: 17 September 2021
Staring: Kenneth Branagh, Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer

The Last Duel (The Last Duel by Eric Jager)

Image credit: Cornerstone

Image credit: Backgrid

“This is a riveting story about the last judicial duel fought in 1386 by Jaques Le Gris and Jean de Carrouges. The author takes us through the lives of the two combatants and what led to the final outcome. Using primary sources that detail the trial and the combat and all the surrounding events, the author pulls together as best as he can what happened.

“The 14th Century was not a good time in which to be born, particularly if you're a woman. Rape and abuse ran rampant. The Black Plague killed many people who may have survived the knights pillaging. Nonetheless a certain rule of law existed. This book details that rule of law and how it applied to this famous event.” - Joan Curtes

Release date: 15 October 2021
Staring: Matt Damon, Adam Driver, and Jodie Comer

Dune (Dune by Frank Herbert)

Image credit: Ace Books

Image credit: Warner Brothers Pictures

“Melange, or 'spice', is the most valuable - and rarest - element in the universe; a drug that does everything from increasing a person's life-span to making interstellar travel possible. And it can only be found on a single planet: the inhospitable desert world Arrakis. And whoever controls Arrakis controls the universe.

When the Emperor transfers stewardship of Arrakis to House Atreides, the Harkonnens fight back, murdering Duke Leto Atreides. Paul, his son, flees into the desert, and, on the point of death, is rescued by a band for Fremen, the native people of Arrakis, who control the planet’s second great resource: the giant worms that burrow beneath the burning desert sands. In order to avenge his father and retake Arrakis from the Harkonnens, Paul must earn the trust of the Fremen and lead a tiny army against the innumerable forces aligned against them.”- Hodder

Release date: 21 October 2021
Staring: Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya

The Woman in The Window (The Woman in The Window by A. J. Finn)

Image credit: Blanvalet Verlag

Image credit: 20th Century Studios

“This thriller thrives on allusion. And yet it wears its cleverness casually. In fact, all the cinematic references are in many ways, a misdirection. For at its heart, this is a deeply compassionate novel which explores the abyss of devastating loss and tentatively offers the possibility of resurrection. A word of warning- Beware of your assumptions! Perceptual bewilderment dominates the novel. The twists initially flatter you then pull the carpet away.” -J.S. Lewson

Release date: Expected in 2021
Staring: Amy Adams, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gary Oldman

Artemis (Artemis by Andy Weir)

Image credit: Crown

Image credit: Audible

“Jazz Bashara is a low-level porter on Artemis. She longs for a better life but doesn't have the motivation to do anything more than what she does, even though she has the brains and the talent for much more. Instead, she ekes out a living as a criminal, smuggling in contraband from Earth for anyone willing to pay her.

One day, one of Jazz's wealthy regular customers offers her a part in a scheme that seems almost too good to be true. Yet it isn't long before Jazz realizes she's in the middle of something much bigger than a get-rich-quick scheme—there's corruption, and people are willing to go to any lengths to protect what they believe is theirs. Jazz is going to need more than just her street smarts if she's going to survive this.”- Larry H.

Release date: Expected in 2021
Staring: Judi Dench, Colin Farrell, Lara McDonnell, Ferdia Shaw

Macbeth (Macbeth by William Shakespeare)

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Image credit: Movie Story

Written in the 17th century, Macbeth exposes all-destructive political ambition to rise to the power and tyranny. Shakespeare’s shortest tragedy tells the story of a Scottish general who receives a prophesy from three witches predicting a royal future for the soldier. Driven by dark desires and spurred on by his wife, Macbeth unleashes his deadly obsession with power setting in motion his murderous plan to fulfil his ambition to the throne. Notorious for its superstition and witchcraft, Macbeth is often considered to be cursed by many actors.

Release date: Expected in 2021
Staring: Denzel Washington, Frances McDormand, and Brendan Gleeson

Nine Perfect Strangers (Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty)

Image credit: Flatrion Books

Image credit: Frederick Brown/Thinkstock

“Nine guests come to stay at a health resort, each of them having reached a difficult point in life - recovering from divorce or bereavement or career downturn, and/ or simply dealing with the effects of ageing. The health resort is a blend of draconian strictness and blissfully therapeutic - hidden alcohol is confiscated from the guests' luggage, but if you're secretly feeling down about your age, you'll be magically whisked off for a rejuvenating facial. Yet the resort owner has a sinister secret agenda, and the guests must bond together to extricate themselves from some bizarre challenges. Every one of the guests uses this time at the resort to come to terms with the past, reassess their identity and find the strength to face the future.” - Kirsten

Release date: Expected in 2021 on Hulu
Staring: Nicole Kidman

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Image credit: Harper Collins

Image credit: GQ Australia

Nestled between the emerald mountains of Columbia, lies the mythical town of Macondo, which harbours the dark secrets and incestuous relationships. Built upon the hopes and dreams of tormented exiles, the city of mirages witnesses the curse of the Buendia family, whose fragile existence is slowly corrupted by technological advances, exploitation and isolation, leading them to their tragic end. Whimsical and thought-provoking, this multi-generational saga skilfully interweaves lyrical magic with harsh reality into one heady brew of decadence, passion and oblivion.

Release date: Expected in 2021 on Netflix

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