It’s a consolation that no matter how crazy the world spins, one can always retreat into books for respite. And film adaptations, when done well, can double the enjoyment. And now, there are TV mini series.
As if you need more suggestions to read this fall, here are some titles that are in various stages of development, but this time, not on the big screen but for TV. TV looks to be the next great realm to conquer, for even A-list movie stars and directors have started to cross over. It’s not surprising then that more books are being turned into TV miniseries.*
Here are a few upcoming titles:
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
The 2013 Man Booker Prize winning novel is to be made into a six-part BBC drama series. Author Catton will be writing the adaptation herself. Six parts to put the 832 page book into perspective. Set in the New Zealand gold rush era, the Victorian mystery tale is a first for Catton in TV writing. Other than the longest book to win the Booker Prize, Catton is also the youngest winner at 28.
A thriller, suspense, with lots of characters and stories during the 19th C. New Zealand gold rush; sounds like a wealth of materials to turn into a TV miniseries.
The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
BBC loves suspense thrillers. Here’s another one. The Miniaturist is British actress Jessie Burton’s debut novel that had sold over 1 m copies in 37 countries. Set in 17th C. Amsterdam, the story looks like a version of the movie Crimson Peak. A young bride married to a merchant trader is left in his huge mansion alone with his sister most of the time. Her wedding gift is a cabinet-sized replica of their home. A miniaturist comes in to create the items of the mansion in smaller, parallel version. Secrets begin to unveil as the miniature house takes shape. Sounds eerie.
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
On this side of the Atlantic, we too have the Book into TV kind of phenom. HBO is turning Karen Joy Fowler’s Booker shortlisted, PEN/Faulkner Award winning novel into a miniseries. Now this one I’ve read, and I admit it’s quite incredulous a story. Natalie Portman is to produce and star and is ready to create a sisterly bond with a chimpanzee as they grow up together in the same home. That’s the storyline, but do they now have to train a chimp to star with her?
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Gaiman fans rejoice. A new TV series to come in 2017 based on his multiple award-winning fantasy American Gods, with the author writing the episodes. Gaiman is prolific in various realms and no stranger to TV productions. Many will likely remember his Coraline, turned into the Oscar nominee for Best Animated Feature Film in 2010. For TV, there are Dr. Who, Lucifer, Eternals and his short stories into miniseries. Now American Gods, old mythological super beings challenged by modern day gods in America; they exist as people believe in them. Their names: Media, Technology, Internet, …
Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
Canada will not be left behind. Our own wonder woman Sarah Polley, actress and director, is adapting the work of another prominent Canadian, Margaret Atwood. Alias Grace will be a six-hour miniseries to air on CBC-TV and Netflix. Polley’s previous adaptation of a short story by Alice Munro, retitled Away From Her, brought her an Oscar nom for Best Adapted Screenplay (2008). Alias Grace is in good hands then. Historic fiction inspired by a 19th c. double murder, the story is about a maid named Grace Marks who was convicted, had spent 30 years in prison, and finally exonerated.
Are you aware of other book to TV adaptations? Do fill me in and expand this list.
* See ‘Comments’ for clarification.
Reviews of Adaptations on Ripple Effects (for a complete list, click here):
Stillman’s Love & Friendship: More than Book Illustration
Can a movie adaptation ever be as good as the book?