10 books you should read before the film comes out

To celebrate World Book Day we get turning the pages on these novels before the big-screen adaptation comes to town


Got a chunk of books on your reading list, waiting for that afternoon you’ll finally get around to opening the first one up? Well, hop to it if any of these are on the list, as they’ll soon be heading to the big screen. 


While there’s plenty to be enjoyed in the films – the beloved cast, the dramatic effects, the music – there’s always the bits from the books that just don’t make it. So get page turning on these titles, before the opening credits roll…

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

This is the second book from Roth’s trilogy to make it to the screen, following on from the smash-hit big-screen adaptation of Divergent, which took more than $100 million during its first two weeks of release in the US. Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) drag us straight back into the futuristic action, as the factions (where individuals live based on their virtue) continue to turn on each other. Robert Schwentke (RED, The Time Traveler’s Wife) takes over directing duties. You’ll have to be quick to make your way through the book, with the film landing in cinemas on March 20th.

This trailer gives very little away… 

In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick

Based on a true story from 1820, In the Heart of the Sea follows a whaling ship preyed upon by a sperm whale, which leaves the ship’s crew at sea for 90 days, thousands of miles from shore. It’s an event of dramatic scale, which eventually inspired the story of Moby Dick. Thor star Chris Hemsworth, Peaky Blinders’ Cillian Murphy, Bond’s Ben Whishaw and Harry Potter’s Brendan Gleeson are among the cast, with Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13) directing. The film was originally slated for a March release, but won’t reach cinemas until December. Giving you plenty more time to pick up the book. 


The Moon and the Sun by Vonda N. McIntyre

The Moon and the Sun comes with a rather intricate plot, with the boiled down version being King Louis XIV intends to eat a captured sea monster (said to give the consumer immortality) while Marie-Joséphe de la Croix – the lady-in-waiting to his niece – battles to stop him after realising she’s no monster, but a woman. Pierce Brosnan takes to the screen as King Louis while Skins and The Maze Runner’s Kaya Scodelario stars as Marie. The film is expected in cinemas on April 10th of this year. 

Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

This is the first novel in a trilogy of books following the life of disgraced MGB Agent Leo Demidov. In this thrilling first installment, the story looks into the gruesome child murders in Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union. Of course, a thriller of this scale wouldn’t be quite right without Gary Oldman, who stars as General Mikhail Nesterov. It’s the ever-impressive Tom Hardy who joins as Demidov, with a cracking accent to boot. Expected in cinemas on April 17th


The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks

First it should probably be mentioned that Nicholas Sparks wrote The Notebook, so if you’re a fan, this one is for you. The Longest Ride is another tale of epic love, this time with two for the price of one. One, the tale of 91-year-old Ira Levinson, stranded after a car crash, who sees a vision of his deceased wife who helps him survive by recounting their days together. The other, a blossoming romance between Sophia and Luke, a cowboy whose lifestyle introduces danger into each day. The two stories eventually become entwined, with unexpected results. It’s Clint Eastwood’s son Scott (Gran Torino, Fury) who takes up the reigns of Luke. The Longest Ride is expected in cinemas on May 29th

Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

Bathsheba Everdene is faced with three suitors in Hardy’s novel; a shepherd, a sergeant and a rich bachelor. There’s romance, betrayal, bloodshed but ultimately a strong friendship at the heart of the tale. Originally released as an anonymous serial in Cornhill Magazine, it will now hit the big screen with Carey Mulligan as Bathsheba. Michael Sheen and Tom Sturridge also star. Due in cinemas on May 1st.  Watch the trailer below, with Mulligan singing a haunting vocal, too.


The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

Following on from The Maze Runner, author James Dashner’s second instalment in this Young Adult fiction sees the Gladers, having escaped from the Maze, find all is not as it seemed on the outside world. They encounter new threats, new challenges and new enemies. The action kicks straight into gear, with Teresa seemingly missing and the boys unsure who to trust. Teen Wolf’s Dylan O’Brien returns alongside Kaya Scodelarios, Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Ki Hong Lee. The up and coming Wes Ball returns as director. Set for a September 18th release.

Black Mass by Dick Lehr and Gerald O’Neill

Black Mass charts the real life story of two brothers; William ‘Bill’ Bulger who built up a career as a politician, claiming to be oblivious to his brother Whitey’s criminal activity, a man said to be both breaking the law and informing on those that did. The big-screen adaptation has already drawn attention with a barely recognisable Johnny Depp filming as Whitey, and Oscar-nominated Benedict Cumberbatch alongside as Bulger. Kevin Bacon has also been cast. Expected in UK cinemas September 25th

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Shelley’s Frankenstein is getting an overhaul in this upcoming live action rework, with the focus turning on Igor, the hunchbacked young assistant to Victor Frankenstein. Fresh from his dramatic turn in Horns, Daniel Radcliffe is taking on the role, with X-Men’s James McAvoy in the title role. Early listing suggest it will be called Victor Frankenstein and is expected in cinemas on the 2nd October. 

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

It’s unlikely you read half of Suzanne Collins’ book in anticipation of the film being split in two, but hey, perhaps you didn’t want the ending ruined when you saw it on the big screen? Anyway, if you do want to know ahead of the final Jennifer Lawrence-fronted instalment (there’s inevitably bits skipped on the big screen after all) pick up a copy of the book before it’s released in November. 


Main picture via Wikicommons by Onderwijsgek