Hear that? It’s the sound of the land of make-believe providing us with some much-needed respite from the horrors of the real world in the form of movies and TV. Books, long the safe place for your brain, are also inspiring some of 2018’s most exciting movies and TV shows. Last year’s book-to-TV adaptations included
Big Little Lies, 13 Reasons Why, and The Handmaid’s Tale, so 2018 had some big shoes to fill. Fortunately plenty of them have already delivered (looking at you, Sharp Objects). Take a glance at all the shows that have come out already this year, as well as a handful of titles that we’re still waiting on!
1 Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History by Maureen Orth
What it’s about: The real-life 1997 murder of fashion designer Gianni Versaceat the hands of serial murderer Andrew Cunanan.
Who’s starring: Edgar Ramirez plays Gianni Versace, Darren Criss is Cunanan, and Penelope Cruz stars as Gianni’s sister Donatella. Here’s the full cast.
The premiere date: Jan. 17 on FX
2 The Dangerous Book For Boys by Hal Iggulden
What it’s about: After the McKenna siblings lose their father, they get absorbed in the titular book he leaves behind to have a new spate of adventures.
Who’s starring: Chris Diamantopoulos plays Patrick and his twin brother Terry, Erinn Hayes plays McKenna matriarch Beth, and Gabriel Bateman plays Wyatt.
The premiere date: March 30 on Amazon
3 Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan
What it’s about: Over 300 years in the future, death is no longer permanent now that it’s possible to download human consciousness into various bodies. The sci-fi series focuses on Takeshi Kovacs, a former super-soldier who’s forced to help with an investigation into the murder of wealthy businessman Laurens Bancroft.
Who’s starring: You can see Joel Kinnaman, James Purefoy, and Martha Higareda leading this intergalactic drama. Watch the
trailer for Altered Carbon.
The premiere date: Feb. 2 on Netflix
4 Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
What it’s about: In the distant future, people burn books instead of reading them under the regime of an oppressive new American society.
Who’s starring: Michael B. Jordan, Michael Shannon, and Sofia Boutella make up the main cast. Watch the
trailer for Fahrenheit 451.
The premiere date: May 19 on HBO
5 Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler
What it’s about: Young NY newbie Tess gets a job at a high-profile restaurant, only to have her career expectations, palate, and love life expanded.
Who’s starring: British actress Ella Purnell plays Tess. Watch the
trailer for Sweetbitter.
The premiere date: May 6 on Starz
6 Dietland by Sarai Walker
What it’s about: Our society’s fixation on impossible beauty standards gets skewered in this TV adaptation, in which magazine writer Plum is recruited into an underground feminist organization.
Who’s starring: Julianna Margulies plays high-strung magazine editor Kitty Montgomery, while Joy Nash plays Plum Kettle. Watch the
trailer for Dietland.
The premiere date: June 4 on AMC
7 The Alienist by Caleb Carr
What it’s about: A psychological thriller exploring the vast wealth and extreme poverty present in 1896 New York, which is where a ritualistic killer begins gruesomely murdering boy prostitutes.
Who’s starring: Dakota Fanning, Luke Evans, and Daniel Brühl lead the cast of the 11-episode series. Watch the
trailer for Dietland.
The premiere date: Jan. 22 on TNT
8 Drama High by Michael Sokolove (aka Rise)
What it’s about: The adaptation, which was retitled Rise, follows high school drama teacher Lou Mazzuchelli and his talented students. The series was met with near-instant backlash when it was announced that the character of Lou would be straight in the show, rather than his real-life counterpart, a gay man.
Who’s starring: How I Met Your Mother‘s Josh Radnor played Lou, while Rosie Perez and Moana‘s Auli’i Cravalho also costarred. The show was canceled after one season.
The premiere date: March 13 on NBC
9 Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
What it’s about: The March sisters come of age in Civil War-era America, dealing with love, loss, and ambition.
Who’s starring: Maya Hawke, Kathryn Newton, Willa Fitzgerald, Annes Elwy, and Emily Watson make up the March family. Watch the
trailer for Little Women.
The premiere date: May 13 on PBS
10 Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
What it’s about: Before Gillian Flynn penned Dark Places and Gone Girl, she wrote 2006’s Sharp Objects. In the story, a troubled journalist returns to her hometown to investigate a bizarre string of murders.
Who’s starring: Amy Adams as Camille, Patricia Clarkson as her mother Adora, and Chris Messina as prickly Detective Willis. Watch the
trailer for Sharp Objects.
The premiere date: July 8 on HBO
11 The Terror by Dan Simmons
What it’s about: Two Royal Navy ships sail from England to the Arctic in an attempt to finally discover a navigable passage through the Northwest Passage in the 1800s but end up stuck in the North Atlantic, turning their journey into an icy, survivalist hell.
Who’s starring: Ciarán Hinds and Jared Harris play warring captains John Franklin and Francis Crozier.
The premiere date: March 26 on AMC
12 You by Caroline Kepnes
What it’s about: Twenty-something bookstore manager Joe uses his technology know-how (and insane stalker tendencies) to try to get to the woman he’s in love with.
Who’s starring: Penn Badgley plays Joe opposite Elizabeth Lail as his obsession, Guinevere Beck. Watch the
trailer for You.
The premiere date: Sept. 9 on Lifetime
13 The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
What it’s about: Adapted previously and famously, this time the iconic horror story gets the Netflix treatment. In the classic book, several strangers converge at a haunted house, including a doctor investigating fear. The show is making a few major changes to the source material, instead focusing on a family who experiences truly tragic supernatural events at the home that come back to bite them decades later.
Who’s starring: Henry Thomas, Elizabeth Reaser, Carla Gugino, Michiel Huisman, and Kate Siegel are starring.
The premiere date: Oct. 12 on Netflix
14 Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV by Brian Stelter
What it’s about: Stelter’s book about the real world of morning news is inspiring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston’s untitled new series, which will depict a New York-based morning show. The series has already been picked up for two seasons.
Who’s starring: Witherspoon and Aniston will star and executive produce.
The premiere date: TBD on Apple (C)