Film adaptations we can't wait to watch in 2018
Books will always be our first love, but sometimes we're left wanting more. Here's 11 film adaptations we're most excited to see on the screen in 2018
On 12 January 2018, one of the most enlightening and revisionist histories of Churchill’s life and politics will be released as a film by the multi award-winning screenwriter of The Theory of Everything. Leaving no stone unturned, it explores his ups and downs, his triumphs and doubts, even documenting the moment in which he considered a peace treaty with the Nazis. This film promises, as the book does, to up-end everything you think you know about Churchill and his part in the war.
Andrew Cunanan was a serial killer known for his relationships with millionaires and, most notably, his murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace in 1997. As one of the FBIs most wanted men, Cunanan had already attracted the attention of investigative journalist Maureen Orth who had long been unpicking his past before his most notorious assassination. The book is a thrilling and in-depth piece of true crime and the BBC looks set to bring it vividly to life in 2018.
In 2008, Misha Glenny, journalist and reporter, wrote a thrilling investigation of international organised crime, called McMafia. It won prizes, uncovered untold depth and detail of mafia cells the world over and, more than anything, scared its readers witless with its stories of money-laundering, trafficking and violence happening under our noses. Little wonder, then, that the writing team behind Drive saw the potential for an electrifying fictional TV series based on the stories Glenny recounts. Keep an eye out in January for what promises to be a true mob saga for the modern world.
James Norton as the English-raised son of Russian exiles with a mafia history in McMafia © BBC/Cuba Pictures/Nick Wall
McEwan has a special way with hand-wringing moral dilemmas and when the film is released in April, we’ll see a high court judge, played by Emma Thompson, wrangling with family law, life and death, specifically a seventeen-year-old who refuses a life-saving blood transfusion. Meanwhile, our judge’s marriage collapses as she reflects on saving other people’s families every day. Speaking of dysfunctional marriages, look out for McEwan’s On Chesil Beach, starring Atonement's Saoirse Ronan – the film is due to be released in June as part of a bumper McEwan year.
Natalie Dormer is no stranger to period dress – in this adaptation she plays one of a group of well-to-do schoolgirls who venture out for a picnic and never return, disappearing with a trace, fuelling fears and rumours of abduction and murder. Joan Lindsay’s book is considered one of the great Australian novels but sadly, in keeping with the suspense of the story, Amazon are keeping us waiting for the release date for this series.
The Handmaid’s Tale, season two
Where to start with one of the most highly anticipated TV series of 2018? Well, admittedly, this isn’t strictly an adaptation because the end of the first season takes us neatly to the end of Atwood’s book. Fear not – Atwood is a producer, writer and consultant for the reprise of this chilling, complex drama as she was on the first season, so we’ll be in safe hands, wherever the plot takes us.
Elizabeth Moss will reprise her role as Offred in the second season of The Handmaid's Tale © Channel 4/MGM
In Love, Simon, the film adaptation of this charming, challenging coming-of-age story, we meet Simon, the seventeen-year-old who is struggling to come out as gay while navigating the already choppy seas of high-school life. On the school message boards, he falls for an anonymous classmate and becomes desperate to identify his romantic interest, failing several times along the way. Eventually, events come to a head in this story of sexuality and social standing.
Nick Robinson in Love, Simon © 20th Century Fox
In the late 70s, Liberal Party leader, Jeremy Thorpe was accused and eventually acquitted of conspiracy to murder his ex-lover, Norman, in an age when homosexuality was illegal. In a bid to avoid implication in the relationship, Thorpe was alleged to have ordered Norman’s killing. So far, so political scandal. What makes this TV miniseries even more appealing is that Hugh Grant has been cast as Thorpe and Ben Whishaw as his lover, Norman, and that Russell T. Davies is the mastermind behind the whole thing.
The world watched in horror in the year 2000, as the news agonisingly unfolded of the deaths of 118 personnel on board the K-141 Kursk submarine in the Barents Sea. A series of negligent and poorly communicated announcements and rescue attempts compounded the tragedy. In June 2018, Colin Firth will take a leading role in the film based on Robert Moore’s investigation of the disaster, as good at the second-by-second technical analysis as it is at the political machinations of the governments involved and emotional torture of the relatives fighting for their loved ones.
Shirley Jackson is one of the greatest literary horror writers of all time. In 2018 Netflix will release a ten-part show telling the story of a terrifyingly haunted house with four inhabitants and various visitors all desperate to unlock the secrets hidden in its walls. Jackson does an amazing job of building suspense and holding back detail, so much so that we begin to wonder if the events are even happening or if it’s just the mind of our poor narrator, Eleanor.
Sherriff’s play about a group of British men in the final months of the First World War was written in 1928, with the war fresh in the national memory. A young school-leaver joins a company of infantryman in the hope of serving alongside his cricketing hero. In the days leaving up to a major assault, each officer processes the trauma differently but each one questioning the senselessness of the war. Sam Claflin, Paul Bettany and Stephen Graham are all set to star in one of the greatest anti-war stories ever written.
Sam Claflin in Journey's End © Lionsgate Pictures
You might like
Never miss a story...
Sign up to the Penguin newsletter for more reading lists and book recommendations.