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Back to the Theater!

Get Ready for an Exciting Book-to-Screen Season

By Ashly Moore Sheldon • October 07, 2021

When theaters shut down due to the pandemic, film releases got pushed back, while television series got a bump. Now the tables are turning! As we highlight current and upcoming book-to-screen adaptations, we selected a handful of excellent series that are streaming now. Plus a bumper crop of compelling movies coming out before the year's end. We're excited to watch! (But only after we've read the book, of course.)

Streaming Now

Nine Perfect Strangers, starring Nicole Kidman, is a drama series streaming on Hulu. The show is based on Liane Moriarty's book of the same name about a diverse group of people hoping that a stay at a mysterious health-and-wellness resort will transform their lives.

The Underground Railroad, a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Colson Whitehead, has been adapted into a much-lauded limited series on Amazon Prime. The story follows the path of Cora, a young slave in the antebellum South who makes a run for freedom.

Based on the novels by Isaac Asimov, Foundation is a futuristic Apple TV+ series starring Jared Harris as a mathematician who has developed an algorithmic science that allows him to see into the future.

Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive is a memoir by Stephanie Land that inspired a new Netflix series starring Margaret Qualley as a young mom scraping by as a housekeeper to make ends meet.

October Releases

The Last Duel: A True Story of Crime, Scandal, and Trial by Combat is a nonfiction book by Eric Jager that inspired the screenplay written by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. The movie, directed by Ridley Scott, is set for release on October 15. Set in medieval France, it is the true story of Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon), a knight, who challenged his friend and squire, Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver), to a duel after Carrouges's wife (Jamie Comer) accused Le Gris of raping her.

The newest version of Dune, starring Zendaya and Timothée Chalamet, comes out on October 21. To read more about that release, as well as other iterations of Frank Herbert's classic sci-fi saga, check out this blog post from a few weeks ago.

November Releases

Passing is the celebrated 1929 novel by Nella Larsen. The film will start streaming on Netflix on November 10. It is the story of two childhood friends who become reacquainted as adults. Irene (Tessa Thompson) identifies as African-American and is married to a Black doctor. Clare (Ruth Negga) "passes" as white and is married to a prejudiced, wealthy white man.

The Power of the Dog, a 1967 novel by Thomas Savage, tells the story of two brothers living in 1920s Montana. Written and directed by Jane Campion and starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Kristen Dunst, Jesse Plemons, a film adaptation is set to come out November 17.

On November 24, The House of Gucci hits theaters. The star-studded film is directed by Ridley Scott and features Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, and Salma Hayek. It is based on the nonfiction book by Sara Gay Forden detailing the 1995 murder of fashion heir Maurizio Gucci.

December Releases

Nightmare Alley by William Lindsey Gresham is a darkly beautiful crime novel revolving around a young carny con man. Written in 1946, the enduring tale has been previously adapted as a 1947 movie, a graphic novel, and even a musical. The newest iteration, directed by Guillermo del Toro, is set for a December 17 release. The killer cast includes Cate Blanchett, Bradley Cooper, Toni Collette, Rooney Mara, and Willem Dafoe.

And last—but certainly not least!—The Tragedy of Macbeth, written for the screen and directed by Joel Coen, is set to come out on December 25. This adaptation of Shakespeare's epic saga will star Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand. O.M.G.

Yeah, we're a tad excited. Hopefully this gives you some ideas about what you're looking forward to watching (and reading) in the upcoming season.

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Read more by Ashly Moore Sheldon

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