ByEleanor Tremeer, writer at
MP staff. I talk about Star Wars a lot. Sometimes I'm paid for it. Twitter: @ExtraTremeerial | Email: [email protected]
Eleanor Tremeer

In this era of franchises and cinematic universes, the name of the game in Hollywood is adaptation. With the success of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and The Hunger Games, it's easy to see why so many studios are making book-to-screen movies these days. Of course, it's not just about films. There are also plenty of TV shows that are based on books, and even more coming soon. So let's count them out!

1. The Dark Tower

After years of failed attempts to bring it to the big screen, Stephen King's hugely popular series The Dark Tower will be coming to a movie theater near you in February 2017.

Idris Elba will play Roland in "The Dark Tower."
Idris Elba will play Roland in "The Dark Tower."

The book series focuses on the character of Roland Deschain (played by Idris Elba in the movie) as he attempts to save his dying world by journeying to the legendary Dark Tower, which stands at the apex of several realities. Along the way he's joined by his ka-tet: the amputee Susannah, a junkie by the name of Eddie, and the young boy Jake. The characters are relentlessly pursuing the Man in Black, a shadowy, ominous figure who wants to use the Tower to rule over all the worlds.

We don't know much about this adaptation, but we do know the first film will not be drawing exclusively from the first book in the series, The Gunslinger, but from another one in the eight-book series. EW speculated that this could be The Waste Lands, as the third novel brings together much of the wider mythology as the ka-tet attempts to contact Jake.

Fan art: Ka-tet by Cordania.
Fan art: Ka-tet by Cordania.

Fans are already excited for the long-awaited film adaptation, as the books are known for their genre-defying blend of fantasy, sci-fi and Western. With plenty of plot potential, it's likely that The Dark Tower will only be the first of many installments of Stephen King's series.

2. American Gods

Another in the dark fantasy/modern-day fusion genre, Neil Gaiman's American Gods features a plethora of old world deities who still exist today thanks to a handful of people still believing in them.

Neil Gaiman will pen the adaptation.
Neil Gaiman will pen the adaptation.

But these old gods are not alone. A new order of deities has arisen; icons of modern-day media, wealth and technology. And the two mythical factions don't exactly get along with one another. The plot follows an ex-convict named Shadow (played by The 100's Ricky Whittle) as he travels America and gets caught in the crossfire of this legendary struggle.

Starz is producing the TV adaptation, which will premiere in early 2017. Hannibal's Bryan Fuller is helming the show, with author Neil Gaiman on board to write several episodes. The cast is also set to include Emily Browning (Sucker Punch), Ian McShane (John Wick) and the legendary yet mysterious Crispin Glover (Hot Tub Time Machine).

3. A Series Of Unfortunate Events

And no, we don't mean the 2004 movie. Netflix has ordered a TV adaptation of this children's novel series, which will premiere in August of this year.

The Baudelaire orphans: Violet, Sunny and Klaus.
The Baudelaire orphans: Violet, Sunny and Klaus.

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket tells the story of the Baudelaire children and the events following a fire that consumes their home, and their parents with it. The orphans bounce from foster parent to foster parent, trying to escape the clutches of the reprehensible Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris). The books are renowned for their complex conspiracy-like plot, as Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire uncover the cause of their parents' deaths.

The author of the award-winning book series, Daniel Handler (a.k.a Lemony Snicket) is writing this new show. So far, the leaked set photos have revealed that if nothing else, the cast fit the bill, perfectly replicating the illustrations from the books. If your expectations for this adaptation are high, there's a good chance they'll be fulfilled.

4. His Dark Materials

Another popular fantasy series, another TV adaptation. In late 2015 BBC ordered a TV adaptation of Philip Pullman's trilogy His Dark Materials.

Will Parry in "The Subtle Knife."
Will Parry in "The Subtle Knife."

Critically acclaimed, much loved, and banned in several US schools and libraries for its complex discussion of religion, the trilogy boasts a rich mythology and fantastically compelling characters. The story is thrilling and poignant, as young Lyra Belacqua's quest to save her friend Roger takes her through parallel universes, plunging her into an interdimensional war between angels and mortals.

The TV series is being produced by New Line Cinema and Bad Wolf (best known as the people behind Russell T. Davies' revival of Doctor Who), with Pullman executive producing the show. No release date has been set, so we might not see this until late 2017, or even early 2018).

5. Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them

And of course, no list of upcoming film adaptations would be complete without J.K. Rowling's Fantastic Beasts, a spinoff from the Harry Potter franchise.

Eddie Redmayne in "Fantastic Beasts."
Eddie Redmayne in "Fantastic Beasts."

This film is set to release on November 18 this year and we've already seen several teasers and trailers. The plot follows Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) as he journeys to New York City, promptly loses his briefcase full of dangerous creatures, and generally gets embroiled in a mess of trouble.

That's pretty much all we know about the story as the book Fantastic Beasts is little more than an encyclopedia of magical creatures (released to benefit the charity Comic Relief in the UK). This is pretty exciting, as it means Rowling, who penned the screenplay, got to create a whole new story within the world of Harry Potter.

Of course, there are a few more adaptations coming out soon, but these are the ones we're most excited about.

Which adaptation are you most looking forward to?


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