A Preview of Literary Film Adaptations in 2014

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?

gone

Gone Girl

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

a_most_wanted_man

A Most Wanted Man

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

monum

The Monuments Men

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

giver

The Giver

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

sin

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

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

frank

I, Frankenstein

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

noah_movie_11

Noah

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

dive

Divergent

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

maze

The Maze Runner

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

vamp1

Vampire Academy

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

book

The Hundred-Foot Journey

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

fault

The Fault in Our Stars

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

winter

Winter’s Tale

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

This Is Where I Leave You_PB.indd

This Is Where I Leave You

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

terrible

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

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

mock

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

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

secret

In Secret

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

labor

Labor Day

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

lone

Lone Survivor

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

hobbit

The Hobbit: There and Back Again

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

endless

Endless Love

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

dragon

How to Train Your Dragon 2

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

edge

Edge of Tomorrow

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

unbroken

Unbroken

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

untold

Dracula Untold

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

darkplaces

Dark Places

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