In recent years, the entertainment industry has been embracing the wealth of available literary material, resulting in a boom of book-to-screen adaptations and becoming a dominant force. Audiences are increasingly drawn to stories they already know and love, resulting in a surge of adaptations across various platforms. The popularity of established intellectual properties (IP) ensures a built-in fan base, generating substantial interest and creating a fertile ground for successful adaptations.
In 2020, over 60% of the highest-grossing films were adaptations of books, demonstrating the immense commercial potential of these projects. Streaming platforms, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, are actively seeking book adaptations to cater to the diverse interests of their global audiences. Book adaptations have a built-in marketing advantage, with pre-existing fans eagerly anticipating the release and creating buzz around the project. According to a recent survey, 80% of readers enjoy watching film or television adaptations of their favorite books, showcasing the broad appeal of these adaptations.
Some recent book-to-screen adaptations include:
"A Man Called Otto", starring Tom Hanks on Netflix adapted from Swedish author Fredrik Backman’s "A Man Called Ove".
"Knock at the Cabin", directed by M. Night Shyamalan and available on Peacock, adapted from "The Cabin at the End of the World" by Paul Tremblay.
"White House Plumbers", starring Woody Harrelson on MAX adapted from "Integrity" by Egil Krogh.
"Silo", starring Rebecca Ferguson on Apple TV+ adapted from The Silo Series: "Wool", "Shift", and "Dust" by Hugh Howey.
"To All the Boys" available on Netflix adapted from "To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before" by Jenny Han. This also includes the Netflix series "XO, Kitty", a spin-off series based on side characters from the original novels.
"American Born Chinese", starring Michelle Yeoh on Disney+ adapted from "American Born Chinese" by Gene Luen Yang.
"The Crowded Room", starring Tom Holland on Apple TV+ adapted from "The Minds of Billy Milligan" by Daniel Keyes.
"The Last Voyage of Demeter" coming to theater August 11, 2023, adapted from the chapter "The Captain’s Log" in Bram Stoker'ss "Dracula".
"Eva the Owlet" on Apple TV+ kids adapted from "Owl Diaries" by Rebecca Elliott.
These examples showcase the diversity of genres and themes being brought to the screen, catering to a wide range of audience interests. Book-to-screen adaptations highlight the power of well-crafted stories and the ability to captivate audiences across different mediums. They also demonstrate the enduring appeal and commercial viability of adapting beloved books for television and film, showing the ongoing trend of literary storytelling in visual mediums.
If you or an author you know is considering the idea of adapting a written work into a film or television adaption, please feel free to reach out to award-winning screenwriter Jeanelle Warren, who is currently dedicating her time to assisting authors with this very task.
Los Angeles, CA