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The Best Book to Screen Adaptations in 2020

The Best Book to Screen Adaptations in 2020

With the movie adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma released  last week, Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield last month and Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women at the end of last year, it got us thinking about all the other book to screen adaptations that we’ve got to look forward to in 2020 - and there’s a lot of them! 

Having your favourite book adapted for the big (or small) screen brings a mixed bag of emotions with it. There’s joy of course but there’s also anticipation and a weird feeling of protectiveness. What if they create something that doesn’t live up to the expectations you’ve created in your head? 

The fear is real, people. 

But the excitement is greater. 

With all of that in mind, we thought we’d write about a few of the book to screen adaptations (big and small screen) that we’re looking forward to most. 


Roald Dahl’s The Witches | Release Date: 16th October 2020

Directed by Robert Zemeckis. Screenplay by Robert Zemeckis and Kenya Barris. Starring Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer, Chris Rock and Stanley Tucci. 

What’s it about?

Roald Dahl’s classic follows the story of a young boy (the narrator) and his grandmother as they make it their mission to bring down all of the world's witches in order to stop them from killing all the children across the globe. Adapted once before in 1990, this feature length film is set to come to cinemas just in time for Halloween!

Sally Rooney’s Normal People | Release Date: TBC (2020)

Directed by Lennie Abrahamson and Hettie Macdonald. Screenplay by Sally Rooney, Alice Birch and Mark O’Rowe. Starring Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal. 

What’s it about?

Set in Ireland, Normal People follows the complicated friendship and the “will-they-or-won’t-they” relationship of Marianne and Connell as they transition from teenagers into adults. The television adaptation will be split into twelve episodes and aired on BBC1, BBC3 and Hulu. 

Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca | Release Date: Autumn 2020

Directed by Ben Wheatley. Screenplay by Jane Goldman, Anna Waterhouse and Joe Shrapnel. Starring Lily James and Armie Hammer. 

What’s it about?

Rebecca follows the story of an unnamed young woman (the narrator) who moves into the home of her new husband and rich widower, Mr de Winter. Here, she discovers that not all is as it seems, with both he and his household haunted by the memory of his late first wife, Rebecca. This thriller film will be available to watch on Netflix later this year. 

Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses | Release Date: 5th March 2020

Directed by Koby Adom and Julian Holmes. Screenplay by Toby Whithouse, Lydia Adetunji and Nathaniel Price. Starring Jack Rowan and Masali Baduza. 

What’s it about?

Noughts and Crosses is set in a parallel universe where racial and prejudicial dynamics are turned on their head. It follows the relationship and lifelong friendship of teenagers Callum and Persephone (Sephy). Callum is a ‘nought’ - a white, second class citizen. Sephy is a ‘cross’ - a black citizen of the ruling class and daughter of a prominent politician. The television adaptation will be split into six hour long episodes and aired on BBC1. 

Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden | Release Date: 17th April 2020

Directed by Marc Munden. Screenplay by Jack Thorne. Starring Dixie Egerickx, Colin Firth and Julie Walters. 

What’s it about?

The Secret Garden follows the story of ten year old Mary. A spoilt child, recently left orphaned after losing both her parents to illness. Mary moves to live with her uncle in a beautiful but miserable and isolated mansion in the countryside. Here, she unintentionally embarks upon a journey of discovery; both of herself and of her surroundings. Unlike the book which is set in the Edwardian era , this particular adaptation is set in post WW2 Britain. 


What are you looking forward to watching?

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