If you could pick any book in the world to make into a movie, what would it be and who would you cast? I’ve had my nose in a book as long as I can remember, so my answer comes easy: Tamora Pierce’s Alanna: The First Adventure, and Florence Pugh in color contacts. The point is, every true book lover has one novel they’re secretly dying to see perfectly recreated on-screen — and complain all you will that “Hollywood has run out of good ideas,” but there are still plenty of cinematic novels out there waiting to get their due. In 2020 alone, there are movie remakes I’ve been tracking for years (hello, A. J. Finn’s The Woman in the Window), and even remakes of remakes that look — dare I say it? — better than the original. With Disney’s long-awaited Artemis Fowl out June 12, I’m adding one more title to this year’s must-watch book-to-movie adaptations.
So, what novelistic goodness have you been missing out on? This year, Emma starring Anya Taylor-Joy and Invisible Man starring Elisabeth Moss have already hit streaming services to rave reviews — the latter in particular drawing praise for its piercing portrayal of domestic abuse. And while Covid-19 has undeniably thrown distribution plans off-track, upcoming releases are planned for two daring adaptations-of-adaptations: The Witches, starring Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer, and Stanley Tucci, and The Secret Garden, starring Colin Firth and Julie Walters.
At a time when things feel so uncertain, there’s something cozy about turning on a movie and knowing how it will end. We recommend checking out these 21 book-to-movie adaptations from 2020.