Books Becoming Television Shows in 2019 (Part Two)
In the first part of our article (insert link) we looked at novels like Catch-22, The Witcher, The Underground Railroad, NOS4A2, and The Rook that will all receive television adaptations this year. With the budgets and production values soaring, television shows are no longer perceived as inferior to movies. In fact, a lot of books benefit more from the episodic format of television shows compared to how rushed movie adaptations can feel. Watching a television series based on novels that you have already read can give you "insider knowledge" of whether the adaptation is faithful to the source or not. On the other hand, many people prefer to watch the series first instead, so that none of the plot twists and turns are spoiled. Whichever camp you fall in, here are a few more books becoming television shows in 2019 and beyond.
Summary: It is not often that creative geniuses, such as Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman team up, but fortunately it did occur in 1990 with the release of Good Omens. The lead characters in the book are a demon named Crowley and an angel, Aziraphale, who have become rather comfortable on Earth after living here for so long. This is why the two are rather perturbed by the coming of the Antichrist, which will result in the Apocalypse. Seeing no other option, the two then decide to prevent this from happening by any means possible. David Tennant will be playing Crowley in the television series, while Michael Sheen is portraying Aziraphale. The show will consist of six episodes and, seeing as Neil Gaiman was involved with it, there is a could chance that it will be very faithful to the book.
Network: Amazon Prime Video is set to release this series in May of this year.
Based on: The V-Wars anthology edited by Jonathan Maberry
Summary: The V-Wars print anthology was first published in 2012 and featured a collection of stories about the first Vampire War. The protagonist is a doctor, named Luther Swann, who finds out about the Vampire World when his best friend is turned into one due to a mysterious disease. As the disease continues to spread, it sparks an all out battle between the remaining humans and all the vampires. Dr. Swann ends up having to confront his former best friend, who became a powerful vampire leader after his transformation. In the television show Ian Somerhalder, who played in The Vampire Diaries, will take on the role of Dr. Luther Swann, while Adrian Holmes is Michael Fayne.
Based on: The Expatriates by Janice Y. K. Lee
Summary: The Expatriates is the second novel by author Janice Y. K. Lee. Her protagonists are three very different women who all struggle with their own personal issues while living in Hong Kong. All three of them live in the same expat community, but a series events cause their lives to become entwined.
These women not only have to deal with all the usual problems related to their careers, marriage and children, but must do so while living as outsiders in a foreign country. The book explored a lot of complex themes in a very engaging manner and the television show looks like it will be following suit. Not much is known about it, apart from the fact that Alice Bell is the screenwriter and that Nicole Kidman's Blossom Films will be working on it.
Network: Amazon Prime Video
His Dark Materials
Based on: His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
Summary: His Dark Materials is a trilogy of fantasy novels that started with Northern Lights in 1995, followed by The Subtle Knife in 1997, and ending with The Amber Spyglass in 2000. The television series won't be the first time that the books by Sir Philip Pullman is adapted for screen either as New Line Cinema released The Golden Compass, based on the first book, back in 2007. An eight part series based on the books were supposed to be released back in 2017 already, but this was postponed. Filming has since been completed and the cast includes names like James McAvoy as Lord Asriel and Dafne Keen as Lyra Belacqua. The 2007 movie also included a few big names, but never managed to win over critics, so hopefully the television show will be able to do a better job.
Network: HBO is set to release the series somewhere in 2019 for American airing and international distribution
The Name of the Rose
Based on: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
Summary: The historical murder mystery, The Name of the Rose, is one of the best-selling books that has ever been published, so a television series is long overdue. The book already had a film adaptation in the eighties, which cast Sean Connery as William of Baskerville and Christian Slater as Adso. The television series will be split into eight episodes and star John Turturro as William of Baskerville while Adso is played by Damian Hardung.
Network: Sundance TV is set to release the show in America sometime in 2019.
The Vampire Chronicles
Based on: The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice
Summary: After the success of Interview with the Vampire in 1994, it is surprising that it has taken this long for a television show based on the books by Anne Rice to be announced. The author’s son, Christopher Rice, is working as co-executive producer for the series, while Dee Johnson will be the series showrunner. Seeing as how many books there are in The Vampire Chronicles series, there is plenty of source material for the television show to draw on. The vampire Lestat, who was played by Tom Cruise in the film, will be the protagonist of the television series, but so far it seems like an unknown actor will be stepping into the role instead of someone famous.
Network: The series is still in development at Hulu and the release date has not yet been announced.
With so many great books available and more channels than ever before investing in shows
There are so many great books available and more channels than ever before investing in shows, so the future is looking good for book adaptations. There is a fine balance between remaining faithful to the source material from the books and creating something that is compelling to watch on television, so only time will tell how many of these shows please fans as well as newcomers.