Since the inception of cinema, filmmakers have had a penchant for recreating literary favorites — and our current cinema climate is no different. It seems like every time we turn around there is another book-to-film story preparing to make its way to the big screen. This year will see quite a few films based on books, from Gone Girl to The Giver to the next Coen brothers project, and we’ve outlined most of them for you, below. Which ones will make your must-see list?
With two adaptations on our list, Gillian Flynn’s 2014 is shaping up to be a big one so far. The remake of her 2012 bestseller stars Ben Affleck as the husband under suspicion after his wife (Rosamund Pike) goes missing on their fifth wedding anniversary.
Director: David Fincher Author: Gillian Flynn Release date: October 3, 2014
Inspired by the true story of a Turkish citizen who was arrested in 2001 and interrogated at Guantanamo Bay, Philip Seymour Hoffman heads this spy thriller directed by music video guru, Anton Corbijn.
Director: Anton Corbijn Author: John le Carré Release date: January 14, 2014
George Clooney directs and co-stars in this story of a World War II platoon, made of museum directors, curators, and art historians, who set out on a mission to rescue artworks from the Nazis.
Director: George Clooney Author: Robert M. Edsel Release date: February 7, 2014
The “Receiver of Memories” is a teenage boy who must work with “The Giver” (Jeff Bridges) to learn how to use his gift of the senses. Meryl Streep stars as the “Chief Elder,” who rules with an iron fist.
Director: Phillip Noyce Author: Lois Lowry Release date: August 15, 2014
Miller and Rodriguez team up for part two in the Sin City series — a gritty and highly stylized adaptation of Miller’s graphic novel. Stacy Keach plays a German mobster. Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as a cocky gambler. Mickey Rourke reprises his role as the monstrous-looking Marv. Eva Green, Bruce Willis, Josh Brolin, Rosario Dawson, Jessica Alba, and Jaime King round out the fun cast.
Director: Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller Author: Frank Miller Release date: August 22, 2014
Of course you want to see Aaron Eckhart, of In the Company of Men fame, play Frankenstein.
Director: Stuart Beattie Author: Kevin Grevioux Release date: January 24, 2014
Big-screen, biblical bombast from Aronofsky to the total of $125 million, starring Russell Crowe, Anthony Hopkins, Jennifer Connelly, and Emma Watson.
Director: Darren Aronofsky From: The Bible Release date: March 28, 2014
Dubbed the “new Hunger Games,” the futuristic tale reveals a society where the population is divided by virtues, like honesty and braveness. Sixteen-year-olds must choose which faction they join. One girl doesn’t quite fit and faces an authoritarian leader who seeks to exterminate her kind.
Director: Neil Burger Author: Veronica Roth Release date: March 21, 2014
Yet another post-apocalyptic YA adaptation — this one about a young man with no memory who finds himself in a community of boys that are trapped in a maze.
Director: Wes Ball Author: James Dashner Release date: September 19, 2014
Deviating somewhat from the usual teen vamp stories is Vampire Academy, about a Dhampir (half human, half vampire) named Rose who is tasked with protecting the Moroi — a group of peaceful, mortal vamps living amongst humans. What the heck are you doing in this movie, Gabriel Byrne?
Director: Mark Waters Author: Richelle Mead Release date: February 14, 2014
Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey are two of the producers behind the upcoming drama about rival restaurants in France. Helen Mirren stars as eccentric three-star Michelin chef Madame Mallory.
Director: Lasse Hallström Author: Richard C. Morais Release date: August 8, 2014
A teen cancer patient falls in love with a teen amputee in a support group. Kleenex anyone?
Director: Josh Boone Author: John Green Release date: June 6, 2014
Colin Farrell plays a thief who falls for an heiress. After breaking into her mansion and watching her die, he learns she has the gift of reincarnation and sets out to bring her back.
Director: Akiva Goldsman Author: Mark Helprin Release date: February 14, 2014
A non-observant Jewish family honors their father’s final wish and sits Shiva for a week, which forces them to confront their dysfunctional (hysterical) drama. Note: Tina Fey in a movie alert.
Director: Shawn Levy Author: Jonathan Tropper Release date: September 12, 2014
Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner, Megan Mullally, and friends join for what hopefully won’t be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad adaptation of this childhood favorite (a live-action one at that).
Director: Miguel Arteta Author: Judith Viorst Release date: October 10, 2014
Francis Lawrence’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire had a strong finish last year after being met with critical praise for its thought-provoking social and political subtext. The director returns for the last chapter in the trilogy, which finds Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen bringing the carnage against the corrupt Capitol.
Director: Francis Lawrence Author: Suzanne Collins Release date: November 21, 2014
Based on Émile Zola’s scandalous novel, Thérèse Raquin, 1860’s Paris is the setting for an obsessive and passionate romance between an unhappily married woman and her husband’s friend.
Director: Charlie Stratton Author: Émile Zola Release date: February 21, 2014
The film had a limited release in 2013, but opens in theaters this January. Kate Winslet stars as a single mom who falls for an escaped convict (Josh Brolin). She learns his true story, and a love affair develops, but the relationship is threatened by further tragedy.
Director: Jason Reitman Author: Joyce Maynard Release date: January 31, 2014
Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, and Eric Bana play the United States Navy SEALs who were ordered to capture Taliban leader Ahmad Shah during a failed mission.
Director: Peter Berg Author: Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson Release date: January 10, 2014
Smaug’s Lair is the name of our new band. This is the final chapter in Peter Jackson’s adaptation of the Tolkien epic.
Director: Peter Jackson Author: J.R.R. Tolkien Release date: December 17, 2014
Franco Zeffirelli’s 1981 drama, Endless Love, was a film of firsts for many up-and-comers, including Tom Cruise, Jami Gertz, James Spader, and Ian Ziering. This updating brings us back to the story of star-crossed lovers from very different families, who are torn apart by their parents’ agenda.
Director: Shana Feste Author: Scott Spencer Release date: February 14, 2014
This sequel takes place five years after Viking hero Hiccup and friends have entered their teenage years and find themselves at the center of a new battle between humans and dragons.
Director: Dean DeBlois Author: Cressida Cowell Release date: June 13, 2014
Based on the Japanese light novel All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt fight an alien race, but the soldiers find themselves caught in a time loop, doomed to defeat the enemy over and over again.
Director: Doug Liman Author: Hiroshi Sakurazaka Release date: June 6, 2014
Joel and Ethan Coen script this war drama from Angelina Jolie about Italian-American Olympic distance runner Louis Zamperini, who was held prisoner during World War II.
Director: Angelina Jolie Author: Laura Hillenbrand Release date: December 25, 2014
Vampires haven’t faded from the radar just yet. Luke Evans is set to be transformed into Vlad Tepes — the brutal warrior behind the bloody Dracula myth. The film blends fantasy and history.
Director: Gary Shore Author: Bram Stoker Release date: October 17, 2014
Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult and Chloë Grace Moretz headline the second Gillian Flynn adaptation of the year. One woman must revisit her painful and violent past when a secret society reopens an investigation into the brutal murder of her entire family.
Director: Gilles Paquet-Brenner Author: Gillian Flynn Release date: September 5, 2014