When it comes to books being adapted for the screen, the results usually end up being either huge successes or major misses – they rarely tend to fall in the middle. Some screen adaptations haunt the readers of the original book series, such as the original movie adaptions for “Eragon” or “Percy Jackson.” Others become just as beloved as the book series, despite their differences, such as the “Harry Potter” film series. With the raging success of Netflix’s recently released TV adaptation of “Heartstopper,” based on the graphic novels by Alice Oseman, I decided to take a look at other book-to-screen projects that are in the works.
One of the adaptations coming out this summer is “Where the Crawdads Sing,” based on the book by Delia Owens. The book has been one of Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club picks and has been flying off the shelves in recent months as one of the popular titles on “BookTok.” The story follows a girl, Kya, who was raised in the wilds surrounding a small fishing town. She lives off of the land in solitude, outcasted from the rest society, but once the murder of a local girl is brought to light, Kya is the first name on the suspect list. The book is both a small-town mystery and coming-of-age story rolled into one, as Kya tries to not only clear her name but also tries to warm up to the other locals. The film adaptation has been widely anticipated, as it stars Daisy Edgar-Jones, who is known for her roles in the movie “Fresh” as well as the TV show “Normal People.” And it is supposed to feature a soundtrack by Taylor Swift as well, which is exciting news for all of the “Swifties” out there. “Where the Crawdads Sing” is set to come out in theaters July 15.
One of the more controversial adaptations expected to come out this year is “My Policeman”, which is based on the book by Bethan Roberts. The book takes place in Brighton in the 1950s and focuses on Marion as she falls for her best friend’s brother and eventually marries him, only to realize her marriage isn’t what it seems. Her husband, Tom, is dating Patrick, a museum curator and the second narrator of the book. However, in an age where homosexuality is still condemned, Tom is forced to stay with Marion, as that is the safer option. The book follows this complex love triangle as the two lovers share Tom, until eventually the relationships reach a breaking point.
A lot of the controversy surrounds the LGBTQ+ representation in the book, as it is very surface-level, despite being one of the driving points of the plot. This is mainly since a lot of the LGBTQ+ elements, such as the trauma of being a gay man in the 1950s, is viewed through the eyes of a straight woman, which just doesn’t sit well to those in the LGBTQ+ community. Nonetheless, despite some of the controversy, many still find it to be a beautifully tragic read and are looking forward to the film adaption. However, while the book itself hasn’t been super popular by any means, a lot of the hype for the film is due to its star actor – Harry Styles. Styles has been well-loved for years for his music and has been slowly working his way to the big screen, starring in films such as “Dunkirk” and having a brief cameo in Marvel’s “Eternals.” In “My Policeman,” Styles will be playing Tom, the complicated love interest of Marion and Patrick. The film is expected to come out this upcoming fall.
While some of the newer film and TV adaptations have exceeded expectations, such as “Heartstopper,” it’s hard for readers to get excited when their favorite books hit the big screen, as many past adaptations have been downright horrible. Personally, I’m rather excited yet nervous about the upcoming “Percy Jackson” Disney+ series, since I was an avid fan of the books as a kid. But the films had left a rather horrible taste in my mouth, making me leery for this show. Nonetheless, I sincerely hope that the upcoming screen adaptations make readers happy. And, if either of these titles piqued your interest, it wouldn’t hurt to brush up on the source material before their film release dates.