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14 Great New Literary Adaptations

(Psst, You’ll Want to Read the Books First)

By Ashly Moore Sheldon • April 05, 2022

We always enjoy comparing book-to-screen adaptations with their literary counterparts. And so far, 2022 is jam-packed with exciting projects. We've put together a list of current and upcoming shows and movies we're excited to watch. (But only after we review the source material, of course.)

Playing Now

My Brilliant Friend
You can now stream season three of the arresting HBO drama based on Elena Ferrante's sweeping Neapolitan quartet about best friends Lila and Elena growing up in post-war Italy. If you have yet to experience this excellent show, get started with season one.

A new eight-episode series on Apple TV+ draws from Min Jin Lee's tumultuous saga chronicling the lives of four generations of a Korean immigrant family as they struggle against the tides of prejudice and unrest in 20th-century Japan.

Deep Water
Patricia Highsmith's noir thriller inspired the Hulu movie of the same name starring Ben Affleck as a disgruntled husband who has agreed to an open marriage with his wife (Ana de Armas) in order to avoid divorce. But when her lovers start disappearing, he's the prime suspect.

The Viscount Who Loved Me
Each book in the eight-volume series by Julia Quinn centers on one of the Bridgerton children. In season two of the frothy Netflix adaptation, longtime bachelor Anthony has finally decided to marry. But the woman he's chosen needs the approval of her stubborn older sister.

The Sky is Everywhere
Jandy Nelson's emotional YA romance served as the basis for a movie of the same name, streaming on Apple TV+. It is the story of a teenage girl reeling after the sudden death of her older sister.

No Exit
This full-throttle thriller by Taylor Adams inspired a movie streaming on Hulu. A young woman driving through a blizzard gets stranded at a remote rest stop with four strangers. When she discovers a captive little girl locked up in the van of one of her fellow travelers, the stakes rise dramatically.

Slow Horses
Darkly comic, the newly released Apple TV+ series is based on the thriller by Mick Herron. Described as Killing Eve meets Veep, the story centers on a group of disgraced, washed-up M15 spies, dying to get back in on the action after being put out to pasture.

Coming Soon

Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan
American journalist Jake Adelstein's memoir chronicles his work investigating organized crime in Japan. The eight-episode series starring Ansel Elgort and Ken Watanabe premieres this week on HBO Max.

Based on a collection of short stories by Cecilia Ahern, this buzzy anthology series boasts such star power as Issa Rae, Nicole Kidman, and Cynthia Erivo. Offering a surreal, dark take on womanhood, the show premieres on Apple TV+ on April 15.

Anatomy of a Scandal
Sarah Vaughan's incisive and suspenseful thriller follows a British politician accused of rape and the wife who stands by his side. The Netflix series will premiere on April 15.

We've simply fallen in love with the YA graphic novel series by Alice Oseman about two British teens who make a sweet connection at an all-boys grammar school. Another Netflix series, the adaptation comes out on April 22.

We Own This City: A True Story of Crime, Cops and Corruption in an American City
Justin Fenton's true crime book chronicles the rise and fall of the Baltimore Police Department's Gun Trace Task Force. The story provides the basis for a gritty drama from David Simon, the creator of The Wire. Premieres on HBO Max on April 25.

Under the Banner of Heaven
The true crime bestseller by Jon Krakauer is finally making it to the screen. The story follows the events that led to a horrific 1984 cult-based murder in Salt Lake City. The limited series will start streaming on Hulu on April 28.

The Shining Girls
A time-traveling serial killer drives the plot of this inventive novel by Lauren Beukes. Intrigued? You can read it now and starting April 29, you can watch its adaptation, an Apple TV+ thriller series starring Elisabeth Moss.

Pretty exciting, huh? We're all trying to figure out how we can clear our schedules to watch (and read!) all of this tantalizing entertainment. How about you? What's getting added to your list?

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Read more by Ashly Moore Sheldon

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