5 Book-To-Screen Adaptations to Look Out for in 2022

There are few things I look forward to more than a good movie or TV series – particularly one that’s based on a book! Books have the power to stir our imaginations and transport us to different worlds. Often, each of us create different versions of these worlds in our minds while we read them. Watching the story then unfold on screen is exciting for me because I like to see if the director or producer’s imagination of the story is similar to (or better than) mine. Sometimes, of course, the screen adaptations can be a something of a let down, but other times the creation of a literary fantasy into something we can perceive with our own eyes (thanks to special effects and CGI) is nothing short of amazing. Some of my favourite book-to-screen adaptations over the years have been films like the Harry Potter series, the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies, and even the Hunger Games films.

If you are an avid reader just like me, here’s a look at 5 book-to-screen adaptations coming out in 2022 that might excite or interest you. I know I’ll definitely be watching some of them!

1. The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/86/The_School_for_Good_and_Evil_book_1_cover.jpg

What it’s about

This series of fantasy fairytale books by Soman Chainani tells the story of two best friends, the beautiful and pink-loving Sophie and the sulky and graveyard-dwelling Agatha. They are complete opposites! When they are both kidnapped and brought to the School of Good and Evil – a magical school where children are trained to become fairytale heroes or villains – their fortunes turn and their friendship is tested.

Who’s starring

Netflix is developing the story into a film that will reportedly star Sofia Wylie (High School Musical: The Musical: The Series) and Broadway star Sophia Anne Caruso along with big Hollywood names like Charlize Theron (The Addams Family), Laurence Fishburne (Ant- Man and the Wasp) and Michelle Yeoh (Crazy Rich Asians). If the film is successful, Netflix will have plenty more source material to make sequels, with the book being the first in a series of six.

Why you should watch it

If you enjoy reading fantasy stories, then this adaptation is definitely something to look out for. As I have always been fascinated by how magical worlds are brought to life on screen, I am eager to see how this will be done for this book. I am also keen to see how Sophie and Agatha’s relationship will be tested, and how each of them tread the unfamiliar waters of trying to be people they just naturally aren’t. It will be exciting to see how the adaptation explores the universal themes of friendship and discovery of one’s true identity as each character comes to grips with realising who they are.


2. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules by Jeff Kinney

Source: https://kbimages1-a.akamaihd.net/c03af3de-f558-44bc-817c-331ed296cc46/1200/1200/False/diary-of-a-wimpy-kid-rodrick-rules- book-2-1.jpg

What’s it about

Rodrick Rules is the second book in the Wimpy Kid series and, likewise, is the sequel to 2021’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid, which was released on Disney+ in December. The computer animated adaptation of the book continues the story of Greg, the aforementioned “wimpy kid”, who feels good about himself, now that he’s got the hang of middle school. His older brother, Rodrick, takes their mother’s attempts to get the boys to bond as an opportunity to torment Greg, bringing him back down to earth. This is the second film adaptation of Rodrick Rules, the first being released in 2011. This year’s adaption will be released on 3 December 2022 and will see the return of many of the original cast from the first three Wimpy Kid films to voice the characters that readers have come to love.

Who’s starring

Directed by Swinton Scott (The Simpsons, Futurama), and written and produced by Jeff Kinney (the author of the books himself), this animated film will also feature the voices of young talented actors, including Brady Noon (The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers) and Ethan William Childress (Mixed-ish) who voice the main protagonist Gregg and his best friend Rowley respectively.

Why you should watch it

If you love the series, you will definitely be keen on getting to see your favourite cast of characters return in this Disney+ adaptation. The first film is incredibly faithful to the style of the illustrations in the books and it is something that fans of the books can expect to see more of in this sequel. We all need a little bit of down 1me and Wimpy Kid provides light entertainment through the comical situations Greg finds himself in as he tries to manoeuvre the social situations he encounters, just like in the books. What’s more, I’m sure that just like in the first animated film, there will probably be teachable moments about issues like bullying and surviving in the harsh environment of school. If you are looking for a light- hearted film that is fun for the whole family, then do remember to check it out when it streams in December!


3. Matilda by Roald Dahl

Source: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81EFX8e30jL.jpg

What’s it about

The story tells us about Matilda, who escapes into a world of reading as a result of being oHen misunderstood and ignored at home. Despite all odds – terrible parents, an antagonistic school headmistress and poverty – Matilda turns out to be highly intelligent and manages to find parental love in her beloved teacher, Ms Honey.

Who’s starring

This year’s movie, developed by Netflix, is set to be a screen version of the wildly popular stage production and is set for a December 2022 release. It stars Emma Thompson (Harry PoMer/Cruella), Stephen Graham (Pirates of the Caribbean), Lashana Lynch (Captain Marvel) and 11-year-old newcomer Alisha Weir in the title role.

Why you should watch it

This Roald Dahl classic has already seen several adaptations, having already been made into a film in 1996 and even made into a stage musical in 2010! I’m sure fans of the book are excited to see how this new adaptation will update and breathe new life into these iconic characters – Matilda, the Wormwoods, Miss Honey and Miss Trunchbull – that we have all come to love (and hate). Tim Minchin’s original score brings some excellent catchy tunes to the classic story and I’m sure you’ll fall in love with some of them. You can actually listen to the songs from the musical beforehand on YouTube, so you can sing along as you watch the film when it streams on Netflix later this year. My favourites are When I Grow Up and Naughty. Also, who doesn’t love a fun musical movie? All in all, this adaptation is definitely a must-watch for readers who grew up inspired by a clever and spirited girl who is unafraid to stand up for herself.


4. Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi

Source: https://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Pinocchio-Sterling-Illustrated-Classics/dp/1454912685

What’s it about

This one is a bit of a bonus, because we can expect not one, but two Pinocchio movies in 2022!Most of us are no strangers to the story of the puppet who longs to be a real boy and it is going to be interesting to watch these two films side-by-side and pit them against each other.

Who’s starring

The first is a live-ac1on version developed by Disney starring an incredible line up of actors including Tom Hanks (Toy Story), Luke Evans (Beauty and the Beast) and Joseph Gordon-LeviM (Dark Knight Rises) and is planned for a late-2022 release on streaming platform Disney+.

The other is a stop-mo1on animation developed by Netflix and is also set for release towards the end of the year. This is a project that has been in the works since as early as 2008 and originally planned for a 2014 release before being hit by financing problems. However, the wait looks like it’s finally over! When we finally do see it, it will feature the voices of actors like Ewan McGregor (Beauty and the Beast), David Bradley (Harry Potter), Tilda Swinton (Dr Strange) and Cate Blanchett (How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World).

Why you should watch it

Not only are these the retelling of a classic story, but the two versions are set to be vastly different. Disney’s version is a remake of its 1940 animated film and it is definitely for those who prefer a faithful adaptation of the original novel as well as those who loved the

classic animated movie. You can see how the design for Pinocchio in this adaptation resembles very closely to the doll in the original film, right down to its yellow hat with a red feather, in this photograph shared by Disney+ to give fans an exclusive first look at what is in store for them:

Source: https://variety.com/2022/film/news/tom-hanks-pinocchio-disney-plus-first-look-image-1235200143/

If you are like me who find the stop-mo1on film-making technique fascinating, then the Netflix version is going to be a treat. I am also keen to see how one of my favourite Disney characters of all 1me – Jiminy Cricket – is portrayed. He is the voice of reason (or the conscience) in the story and I think he is something we all need in our lives so that we don’t make stop to think before making bad decisions. As such, I cannot wait for this version to air as it promises a new twist on the familiar tale: the story is told from the perspective of Jiminy Cricket (we also learn that his first name is Sebastian!) who lives inside Pinocchio’s heart. Watch this teaser trailer recently released by Netflix to see what I mean!


5. Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Source: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41t9lnhXuFL._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

What it’s about

Different from all the other entries in this list, The Lord of the Rings is being developed into a television series rather than a movie. This series, Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, developed by streaming platform Amazon Prime, was first announced in 2017 and is the most expensive television series ever made (US$1Billion over 5 seasons).

While the story is based on the story of The Lord of the Rings, the events of the series reportedly take place about two thousand years before those of the book itself, making it a prequel to the original The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogies (released in 2012 and 2003 respectively). For some 1me, the actual plot of the series has been kept tightly under wraps but in this recent teaser trailer posted by Amazon, fan were given their first glimpse into Middle-earth in the Second Age. The story seems to begin during a time of relative peace, and covers all major events, including the forging of the Rings of Power and the rise of the Dark Lord Sauron.

Who’s starring

The first season is set for release on Amazon Prime on 2 September 2022 and stars Simon Merrells (Legends of Tomorrow), Lenny Henry (Postman Pat: The Movie) and Maxine Cunliffe (Power Rangers Megaforce), among many other talented actors.

Why you should watch it

The story of The Lord of the Rings is a fascinating tale of adventure, set in a fantastical world of wizards, elves, goblins and hobbits. The story has many layers of meaning to unpack and explores themes of friendship, bravery, loyalty, race, cooperation and teamwork. I am eager to see how this series continues to present and explore such themes through the medium of television and in a new episodic format. Also, if you are a fan of the existing six films, the series is going to treat viewers once again to the majestic scenery that has become the trademark of the movies. Being set in the Second Age, it is possible that familiar characters from the original source material, such as Elrond and Galadriel, may make an appearance, alongside new and interesting characters. Best of all, since Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is meant to be a prequel to The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogies, you do not need to have watched the movies or read the books to understand and enjoy the series even if you are new to the franchise. If magic, fantasy and adventure appeal to you, this is one series that comes highly recommended.

I hope this post has made you as excited as I am to catch these shows when they are released by the different streaming services. Do you have other book-to-screen adaptations that you enjoy? Feel free to share them with us in the comments below! In the mean1me, happy reading and keep a lookout for my next post!


Mr. Joshua

Mr Joshua believes that learning does not happen in a vacuum and strives to bring the real world into the classroom. He enjoys telling stories and works hard to ensure his classroom is a welcoming environment in which all students are comfortable to share their thoughts and ideas – It’s fine to make mistakes as long as we learn from them. Mr Joshua has a passion for English Literature and encourages his students to read widely and write earnestly.

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