2014 Book to Movie Adaptations

I’m sure without any more suggestions, you have plenty to read already. But just in case you’re one of those who likes to read the book before watching its movie adaptation, here’s a list to add to your 2014 reading:

A Most Wated ManA Most Wanted Man by John Le Carré

The most recent John Le Carré novel to be adapted into a movie. He has eight so far. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdam, Robin Wright, Daniel Brühl star. Directed by Anton Corbijn whose last film was the thoughtful The American (2010), a film adaptation I found to be much better than the book. A Most Wanted Man is to be premiered at Sundance Film Festival, Jan. 16-26, 2014, in Park City, Utah.

The DoubleThe Double by Fyodor Dostoyevsky 

A government clerk after seeing his own double–but a completely opposite personality from his introverted and unsure self–ultimately goes down a path of madness. Should be one captivating psychological thriller, but interestingly according to IMDb, it’s a comedy. Jesse Eisenberg stars (I can see the casting is spot on). At TIFF last year. To be screened at Sundance this January.

EVERY-SECRET-THING-199x300Every Secret Thing by Laura Lippman

Acclaimed psychological thriller about missing children and their abductors now turned into suspense drama by director Amy Berg, known for her riveting documentary West of Memphis (2012) about the ‘West Memphis Three’. Adapted screenplay by Nicole Holofcener, who wrote and directed the recent, award winning indie film Enough Said (2013). Dakota Fanning, Diane Lane.


Far from the Madding Crowd

Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

Carey Mulligan stars as Bathsheba Everdene, screenplay adaptation by David Nicholls, who has written other classics adaptations such as Great Expectations (2012), Tess of the D’Urberville (2008). But my personal favourite of his works is the gem When Did You Last See Your Father? (2007) And if you’ve seen the intense Danish film The Hunt (just nom for an Oscar), you’d be curious to see its director Thomas Vinterberg at the helm of this latest Hardy adaptation.


Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

A woman mysteriously disappears on the day of her wedding anniversary. A NYT bestseller, the thriller will be directed by David Fincher, two-time Oscar nominee for The Social Network (2010) and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008). Ben Affleck, Roasmund Pike, and Neil Patrick Harris star.


Hector and teh Search for HappinessHector and the Search For Happiness by François Lelord

Psychiatrist turned writer Lelord’s internationally popular book about a psychiatrist’s globe-trotting search for happiness. Sounds like a delightful read and an original movie idea. Intriguing cast includes Rosamund Pike, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer, Simon Pegg, Stellan Skarsgård. If I’m attracted by the cover to read the book, it will be this one.

Labor-DayLabour Day by Joyce Maynard

From the POV of a 13 year-old boy, how his labour day weekend changes his life as an escaped convict (Josh Brolin) asks him and his mother (Kate Winslet) for a temporarily shelter. Mother and son soon find that he could well be the husband and father they respectively need. But of course, there are twists and turns. Jason Reitman (Up In The Air, 2009) writes the screenplay and directs. Winslet got a Golden Globe nom for Best Actress for her role.

Life Itself A Memoir Book CoverLife Itself by Roger Ebert

Ebert’s memoir is adapted into a documentary by Steve James, whose film ‘Hoop Dreams’ was greatly supported by Ebert twenty years ago. Life Itself the book is an eyewitness history of film criticism in America, on top of a moving personal memoir. The doc will premiere in Sundance beginning today Jan. 16 – 26. Click here to read my personal encounter with the legend.

Madame BovaryMadame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

A quick jump for Mia Wasikowska from Jane Eyre to Emma Bovary. Of course, she’s also Alice in Wonderland, and a sequel of that will be coming out in 2016. Paul Giamatti co-stars. I’m delighted to see all these classics being adapted into modern movies, raising awareness for a new generation of readers. Let’s just hope the film does justice to the literary source.


The Monuments MenThe Monuments Men by Robert Edsel

I’ve mentioned this before. The true but untold story of how a group of rescuers called ‘The Monuments Men’ in war-torn Europe saved art and artifacts from the Nazi’s. In the introduction of the book, the author writes: “Hitler and the Nazis pulled off the ‘greatest theft in history’, seizing and transporting more than five million cultural objects to the Third Reich.” Star George Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin (The Artist), Hugh Bonneville (so Lord Grantham finally gets the chance to go into the battlefield).

The BibleNoah

Read the Bible. This epic adaptation is based on the Biblical account of Noah and the Great Flood. Helmed by Darren Aronofsky, Oscar nominee for Best Director for Black Swan (2010). Russell Crowe is Noah, and Anthony Hopkins is … uh… Methuselah. Others include Emma Watson, Logan Lerman (as Ham), Douglas Booth (Shem), Nick Nolte (?) Interesting postmodern interpretation I suspect.

Winter's TaleWinter’s Tale by Mark Helprin

All ye Downton Abbey and Lady Sybil fans, this is the first movie Jessica Brown Findlay made after Downton, with co-stars Colin Farrell, Jennifer Connelly, Will Smth. Directed by Akiva Goldsman, Oscar winner of Best Adapted Screenplay for A Beautiful Mind (2001). The setting is interesting as it depicts the story from both the beginning and the end of the 20th C. Another time warp fantasy. Click here to the book’s webpage.


More titles mentioned by commenters (A sequel list will come at a later date):

Serena by Ron Rash (Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper)

Suite Français by Irène Némirovsky (Michelle Williams, Kristin Scott Thomas)

Son of God based on The Bible


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If she’s not birding by the Pond, Arti’s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review. Creator of Ripple Effects, bylines in Asian American Press, Vague Visages, Curator Magazine.

41 thoughts on “2014 Book to Movie Adaptations”

  1. I’ve been meaning to read Far from the Madding Crowd, Gone Girl and Winter’s Tale for a very long time. I guess the forthcoming movies are incentive to finally get on with it!


    1. Stefanie,

      I tried to compile a list with titles I’d like to read myself. I know there are some I haven’t mentioned, e.g. the fantasy series like Hunger Games: Mocking Jay, or Fifty Shades of Grey…etc. But I’ve no intention to dwell on them considering the choices I’ve to make in so limited time for a slow reader like myself. This list is to be continued on a later post. So yes, these are titles I’d like to read, and movies I’d like to watch. 😉


  2. I rarely go to the theatre, so I have a few extra months to read them before being tempted by the film! Gone Girl and Winter’s Tale were already on my list.
    Happy New Year, Arti!


    1. Michelle,

      Thanks for stopping by, and a Happy New Year to you too! Best wishes for a prolific and rewarding 2014 for art making. Yes, I think you’ve time to read them before they come out. Enjoy! 😉


  3. These are great! Thanks for the info. I love Phillip Seymour Hoffman. I think he is a brilliant actor. I am an avid reader. I listen to books from Audible.com or read 1 to 2 books a week.
    ….interesting tidbit. My best friend lives in Cape Girardeau, MO where Gone Girl was filmed. I know several people who were extras in the movie! Cool huh?


    1. Courtney,

      How cool is that! It’s always exciting to have a movie being filmed in my area. I don’t live in L.A. or NYC where one would see them often. There have been filmmaking in and around our City, but mostly Westerns. (Open Range, Unforgiven, Legend of the Fall…etc. taking advantage of our open sky and country) And yes, glad you’ve enjoyed the list. PSH is one excellent actor, I agree. 😉


  4. Oh wow! These look great! I am especially excited to read Gone Girl. I am really hoping that my latest read makes it to the movies… “Chasing A Miracle” by Eliot Hartford Bailey http://eliothbailey.com/- book one of a trilogy. It has a little bit of everything – Action, adventure, conspiracy, religion, drama, love, government, travel, sci-fi- everything I would look for in a great movie!


    1. Betty,

      Looks like Gone Girl is on everyone’s TBR list. Glad you’ve found this list useful. Hope you’ll enjoy reading some of these books, and thanks for sharing your latest read. Hope to hear from you again. 😉


  5. Some good looking options here. Having seen the earlier famous version of Far from the madding crowd with Alan Bates, Julie Christie and Peter Finch, I can’t wait to see the gorgeous Carey Mulligan in a new version. I’m also looking forward to seeing Monuments Men – but I won’t be reading the book. My view is that if it’s a book I really want to read, then I’ll read it first if at all possible, but many movies are made of books I probably wouldn’t have planned to read so I don’t have any “must read the book first” rules.


    1. WG,

      I think that applies to me too… it’s hard to read every book before watching the movie adaptation. But there are those I’d want to. After watching the doc The Rape of Europa, I ordered The Monuments Men. Now that I’ve got it, it looks very big and long that I might not start/finish before the movie comes out. O, another one I’ve read to prepare for the film is the play August: Osage County. The script is excellent. And you know… I don’t think the movie is as bad as what many critics say. I’d enjoyed it. Having read the script enhanced my appreciation for it in this case. (And I know many critics admittedly hadn’t)


    2. WG,

      Yes to a new adaptation of Far From the Madding Crowd. Yes, even though the 1967 version with Julie Christie, Peter Finch and Alan Bates is legendary, I feel it’s a bit dated. I’m ready for a new style… esp. with Carey Mulligan.


    3. WG,

      That’s a most interesting idea to think about, one which needs a post or two to explore. But just for a simple response, I think not only films, but books too can make modern readers feel dated, due to its subject matter, language use, or view points if the universal is absent. I admit I haven’t read the original classic, but have only seen the 1967 movie several times over the years. Cinematic productions are more prone to reflect the styling, the visuals, the costumes and make-up, acting etc… of the time. Maybe that’s why they are easier for us to ‘spot the difference’ with contemporary productions. ‘Stardom’ also comes into play. Your view? 😉


      1. No, I was asking you! Seriously though, it’s popped into my head a couple of times lately. The other time was to do with new translations of classics because the old one has dated. I’m not sure of the answer. True lassies don’t date I think, even when the language, style are different to ours … As in Austen, Dickens etc. But perhaps someone else’s re-visioning of a work is, really, a new work, and can itself become a classic or disappear.

        There’s something about the “cover” going on too .. People are more likely to read a new edition of a classic rather than their grandmother’s old yellowing copy (I think!). Maybe a new cinematic version is a new cover! I’m being a bit disingenuous here I know as a new film will also have a new script, etc, and so will be a new work. Could discuss this forever I suspect!


    1. David,

      Yes, those two are coming out in 2014. Actually this list is just getting too long, I know there are some I haven’t included here. I’ll have a sequel list coming out later. But I’ll add these two in as an addendum. Thanks for reminding me. 😉


    1. Alex,

      I’m so glad to hear you like the book TMM. I ordered it after watching the doc The Rape of Europa on TV. Have you seen it? I have a feeling that doc just may be a better production than TMM movie, which I’m sure is more for entertainment than facts finding, unlike the book or a doc. I look forward to reading it and seeing the film adaptation. I’m sure each serves its purpose. 😉


  6. Wow — I don’t even seem to get to all the movies that are NOW, much less those ahead of the game! I just can’t wait, though, for The Monument Men. reading the comments, you remind me of The Rape of Europa, which I am hoping to rent. That’s a book I’d like to add to my list, too.


    1. Jeanie,

      There are so many on my TBR list. I’ve got The MM, but I’m not sure if I can start and finish it in time for the premiere in Feb. I just might see the film first. Another book I forgot to include in the above list is The Railway Man, memoir of Eric Lomax. But not sure when the movie will come our way.


  7. I love it when you do this! I think I am definitely going to try to read Hector and the Search for Happiness and Labor Day. They appeal very much, and I can decide about the movie afterwards. I am certainly in the camp of people who like to read the book first!


    1. litlove,

      And I love doing this. I’ve more coming as a sequel list. But for now, enough books to check out. I’ve read Labor Day already, but I reserve my comment until you’ve read it. Do take a look at Shoreacres’s (Linda) comment. I think you’ll love Tracy Lett’s play August: Osage County. I highly recommend it. Thanks for stopping by, and I’m gratified to know someone is excited about my lists. 😉


  8. Arti, “August: Osage County” was one of the best films I’ve seen in years. I don’t give a flip what the critics said. I thought the performances were strong, I thought the dynamic that held the various subplots together was fantastic and creative, and I thought Streep was fantastic.

    I’ll save other comments in case you’re going to review it – but I will say that any film that begins with a mashup of T.S. Eliot and Clapton’s version of “Lay Down Sally” has my attention from the beginning. (The album cover shown after the funeral was, I believe, from Clapton’s “Slow Hand” album, which contains the song.)

    Very, very interesting that Eliot’s first wife, Vivienne, also was “a nervous sort” (or psychotic, depending on whose commentary you consult) – Vi and Vi, if you will. And there was one line in the first third of the film that I’ve pulled up the script to find – a comparison of the Oklahoma landscape with the blues.

    I would go right back and see it tomorrow. In fact, I will see it again before it leaves at the end of the month. I’d be willing to give it a best picture nomination – and not just because I’ve been there and seen this.


    1. Linda,

      This is the first time I see you so excited about a movie! Awesome. Yes, I’m writing a post on it. it’s not going as fast as I’d like, need to gather my thoughts. But one thing you MUST DO: READ THE PLAY. It’s in book form. Here’s the link to one of the online bookstores where you can have a look inside. I gain nothing from this I must declare. It’s just I found Tracy Lett’s play very intelligent and entertaining… a hilarious satire of the American dysfunctional family and relationships. And yes, it was T. S. Eliot’s lines that grabbed me when I first read it. The movie… I reserve my comment for my review. Coming soon. 😉


      1. Well, I probably won’t read the play, although I’ll take a look since you were kind enough to give me a link. I just don’t like reading plays, and haven’t since I left school and wasn’t forced to. This is a lack on my part, no doubt, but there you have it.

        A couple of thoughts – I didn’t see the film as one lick satirical. Perhaps it’s because I’ve seen families horrifyingly similar to the one here – minus the tussle on the floor. I did come away with a few smiles. There’s no question who the “prickly pear” was that they all went around, sunlight is the best disinfectant, and even when a Gordian knot is being untied, strand by strand, a last flash of the sword can certainly speed up the process!

        It wasn’t until early this morning, though, that I remembered that first verse of “Lay Down Sally”:
        There is nothing that is wrong
        In wanting you to stay here with me.
        I know you’ve got somewhere to go,
        But won’t you make yourself at home and stay with me?
        And don’t you ever leave…



  9. Another Madame Bovary? Jennifer Jones, Edwige Fennech, and Isabelle Huppert – I guess we get a different one every few years. Whatever the actress, Madame Bovary always looked elegant and delicate. I am reading about Gustave Flaubert – in real life he liked dirty jokes, constantly used bad languages and more, so unlike what he showed in Mme Bovary.
    We will go to the movies next week as we usually go before the Oscars – and rarely afterwards. I am not sure which ones are showing near us, but I think they’ll have some that are nominated.


    1. VB,

      You know, I don’t hold high expectation for this upcoming one. Don’t think the young actress Mia Wasikowska is the right person to play Emma Bovary. She’s fine as Alice in Wonderland, or Jane Eyre, but Madame Bovary is a completely different type. BTW, you know Downton Abbey’s Lady Edith, Laura Carmichael, is in that movie too, playing Henriette.

      After you’ve seen your movies, do stop by and share your thoughts. Of course, I may not have written a review of the ones you’ve watched. But will be posting more as the Awards Season picks up speed. Still trying to think through August: Osage County before posting. Will you be seeing that one?


  10. Always good to see your list. The one I’ve been meaning to read, with the push of the upcoming movie now, is Gone Girl, but I read the first couple of pages last week and they made me a bit sick somehow. I wonder if I’d get back to it again.
    ps: Madame Bovary has just gone up my list


    1. mee,

      I haven’t read Gone Girl yet. So many books, so little time. Maybe you’ll like the classics more. I’ve The Monuments Men on my bedside for weeks now, but still haven’t started yet. At present, I’m rereading the play August: Osage County.


    1. Claire,

      I’m sure they will use all the liberty to reimagine. But you’ll never know. Hope they do something that’s worthy of the Source. And hey… good to hear from you again. 😉


      1. Hey Arti, I just remembered.. I’m not sure if you’ve done a post on this yet but Son of God is coming out soon and it’s based on the life story of Jesus Christ. That’s another one from the Bible. I’m more excited about this than I am about Noah. 🙂


    2. Claire,

      Yes, thanks so much for reminding me of Son of God. That’s definitely a Book to film adaptation. I’ll add that in the addendum at the end of the post. Also, I saw the Noah trailer, it looks more traditional than postmodern. 😉


  11. What an interesting list. I didn’t know that there was a new version of Madame Bovary coming out- I’ll definitely line up for that one. Mia also has another book to film movie coming out this year Tracks- about a woman walking across Australia with camels. I’ve read, blogged and loved Hector and the Search for Happiness, although Hector has been made English, not French in the movie which I find sad. Another rather huge book to movie for this year is The Fault in Our Stars- I just read and blogged the book this week so that I’ll be able to see the movie when it comes out mid year. I hope you got to reading the short story for Walter Mitty- it’s very short, only a page or two and available online.


    1. Louise,

      O yes, you must be familiar with Mia’s works since she’s an Australian actress. But don’t you think she’s a bit too young to play Mm Bovary? I mean, Jane Eyre and Alice in Wonderland yes, but not M.B What do you think? As for Hector and the Search for Happiness, i looked for it in a major book chain store today in my city and they don’t even carry it. I’m afraid the international bestseller has not hit this part of the globe yet… and I’m not a bit surprised, we her win Cowtown. ;(

      As for Walter Mitty, you know, the first time I read that short story was in my high school English class decades ago. It had made a deep impression on me. And then recently read it online again via The New Yorker archive. I’ve enjoyed the movie. Have you seen it? It’s a delightful ride. 😉


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