4 TV Adaptations of Books You Should Be Excited For

Television adaptations of books are all the rage at the moment - BBC One recently finished airing Love, Nina, a miniseries adapted by Nick Hornby from a book of the same name; Amazon Prime recently had a lot of success with their adaptation of Philip K Dick’s The Man in the High Castle, and you may also have heard of this little show HBO makes called Game of Thrones.

They’re not the only ones out there, of course - there are quite a few other exciting adaptations on their way. Here’s a list of the four you absolutely need to look out for most…

American Gods

Who’s in it?

There’s a huge host of impressive talents attached to this project; you’ve got Ricky Whittle in the title role as Shadow Moon, fresh off his role in The 100, alongside Ian McShane as Mr Wednesday. They’re far from the only ones, though, with Peter Stormare, Crispin Glover, and, most excitingly, Gillian Anderson also joining the cast. You can see the full list here, and it’s a pretty damn impressive one.

When will it air?

At the minute, the series has begun filming; the above image has been taken from a scene early on in the story, set in a rather iconic crocodile themed dive bar. Current estimates suggest that the show will be broadcast in early 2017; in America, it’ll premiere on the Starz network. There’s no word on any UK broadcasters yet though.

Why should be we excited?

In part because of the sheer level of talent involved; not just the cast, as outlined above, but also the fact that Bryan Fuller of Hannibal fame is going to be the head writer and executive producer on this program. Of course, even if that weren’t exciting enough, there’s the fact that this show is building off of a very rich and compelling source material - Neil Gaiman’s American Gods novel is possibly the best fantasy book I’ve read in years, if not ever, and I’m hugely excited to see that story adapted for the screen.

His Dark Materials

Who’s in it?

No one yet, actually. The series is very much still in the development stage, so there aren’t any actors attached to the project as of yet. However, there are some behind the scenes crew who you should be excited about. You’ve got Jack Thorne, an acclaimed playwright who recently tackled Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, on writing duties, as well as Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner as producers - you’d know the pair of them as having been instrumental in the return of Doctor Who to television in 2005.

When will it air?

Again, this is still a fair way off, to the point that there’s nothing even resembling an airdate yet. Personally, were I to make a guess, I’d say that 2018 is around the earliest we’d see it; with the rest of this year turned over to the writing and early production duties, filming and editing would then take place across the bulk of 2017. 

Why should be we excited?

Despite a slightly underwhelming movie a few years ago, the His Dark Materials story is a wonderful one. It’s been a long time since I’ve read them, actually - about ten years - so I’m definitely due for a re-read, but there’s absolutely something fantastic about them. In the words of Jack Thorne himself, “The His Dark Materials trilogy are vast and glorious books full of beautiful characters”, 

Alex Rider

Who’s in it?

Again, this one is in very early stages of development - to the point that it’s actually just “talks”, with no formal deal or arrangement having been made. Still, Anthony Horowitz (the writer behind the books) is hopeful; in a recent interview with Digital Spy, he stated “there is very strong interest, from both America and England, in bringing Alex Rider back to the screen”, as well as that he believes “the chances of it happening in the near future are quite high”.

When will it air?

Well, if you believe Horowitz, it’ll be in ‘the near future’ - though that is, obviously, a fairly vague statement. 

Why should be we excited?

I think that primarily the excitement here is to come from Anthony Horowitz, and indeed from the Alex Rider novels as a whole. Horowitz is a very talented writer who’s enjoyed a lot of success over the past few years, putting out various critically acclaimed dramas - the most recent of which is New Blood, currently airing on BBC One. Similarly, even though “child spy” sounds like a fairly, well, childish concept, the Alex Rider books are in fact an example of quite impressive, and quite mature, YA storytelling.

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Who’s in it?

Well, as you can see from the above image, Count Olaf has been cast - even if you didn’t immediately recognise him. That’s Neil Patrick Harris, perhaps best known from How I Met Your Mother, although obviously he has various other credits to his name. Interestingly, he’ll be joined by Patrick Warburton, who’ll provide the voice of Lemony Snicket. They were both fairly left-field choices that gave me pause when I first heard them, but seeing Harris in his full Count Olaf getup has got my very excited. You can read more about the cast here.

When will it air?

This one will be on Netflix; production on the series began in March, which suggests we’re likely to see the series around early 2017. At the minute, currently available details suggest that the first series will be eight episodes long, and cover the first four books - each of which will have two episodes dedicated to them.

Why should be we excited?

Simply because these were very good books, with a very particular aesthetic that would translate very well to Netflix. You only have to take a look at this trailer (presumed to be fan made, but potentially official) to see what I mean - there’s a wonderful gothic tone to the whole thing, which I’d absolutely love to see. That, coupled with the wry, satirical humour of the original books could well come together to make something really special.

That just about sums it up, then - four books being translated to the small screen you should all be excited about. For fans of these books, it’s looking to be a very exciting few years!

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