It's often thought that if a good book makes it into the right hands (and it needs to be the right hands), then it will make a good film. If not, a good TV show.
Since the dawn of cinema, thousands of books have been adapted to screen to varying degrees of success. While Twilight and more recently Divergent may spring to mind (yeah we haven't read them either), we take a look at the pre-2005 - and even pre-1805 in some cases - classic novels that are being adapted for the big screen within the next two years.
Frankenstein's Monster is one of the most iconic literary and screen creatures of all time. And if you'd thought all this time that Frankenstein was the name of the monster and not the brilliant scientist who created the creature - shame on you. Adapted to stage and screen time and time again (most recently this year starring Aaron Eckhart), next year's version stars James McAvoy as Victor Frankenstein, as well as Downton Abbey's Jessica Brown Findlay and Daniel Radcliffe as Igor. Which explains the inexplicably long and unkempt hair Radcliffe has been sporting the last few months.
The king (kong) of animal motion capture Andy Serkis tries his hand at directing George Orwell's famed novel. The political satire - as told allegorically with a barnyard background - details events through the Russian Revolution, to Joseph Stalin's Soviet Union from the early to mid-20th Century. We'd be willing to bet Andy Serkis won't just be sitting in the director's chair when casting is announced towards the end of this year.
Gustave Flaubert’s debut novel will see Mia Wasikowska, Paul Giamatti and Ezra Miller fulfil roles in the 19th Century drama. Wasikowska (above) plays the young, married housewife Emma Bovary, who delves into extra-marital affairs to find excitement in her otherwise completely boring existence. Bovary’s doctor husband Charles will be played by Henry Lloyd Hughes, with Miller and Giamatti taking on the roles of Leon Dupuis and pharmacist Monsieur Homais, respectively, when it opens in Autumn this year.
Here’s where it gets slightly confusing. Originally released in 2011 as the documentary-drama Wilde Salomé, (taking an in depth look at Oscar Wilde's Salomé) this alternate version is edited with the behind-the-scenes elements completely removed. You see? Starring Jessica Chastain as Salomé with King Herod played by Al Pacino (who also directed both versions) Oscar Wilde’s Salomé details the Bible story of a young woman’s “dance of the seven veils” in exchange for the execution of John the Baptist. Cheery indeed.
The Sound And The Fury
With a principal cast including Seth Rogen, Danny McBride and James Franco you might be thinking Pineapple Express 2; however, The Sound And The Fury is anything but. A harrowing account of losing faith, money and family, as told from the perspective of 33 year old disabled Benjy Compson (played by Franco), may see the trio show off their dramatic acting chops. William Faulkner's account of rural life within Mississippi didn't exactly make him a house-hold name when it was originally published in 1929; but that didn't stop the book from finding acclaim three years later, in 1931.
Another year, another Shakespeare adaptation. With the 2006 version, starring a pre-Avatar Sam Worthington, not exactly sending audiences into a frenzy, this edition might in fact do just that – due to the titular role being taken on by Michael Fassbender. Macbeth features a largely British cast including David Thewlis, Sean Harris and David Hayman, in addition to France’s national treasure Marion Cotillard playing the menacing Lady Macbeth. This is shaping up to be one of the classic Shakespeare adaptations.
The Jungle Book
Bill Murray leads an all-star cast as the lovable Baloo in Jon Faverau's vision of the Rudyard Kipling collection of short stories. Joined by Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson and Ben Kingsley, Murray's Baloo is set to narrate the tale. Oh, and if you've ever wanted to see Christopher Walken take on the role as King Louie...this still isn't your chance. The crop of stars will only be lending their voices to The Jungle Book, saving second hand embarrassment towards seeing Bill Murray dressed head-to-toe in a black bear costume.
The Price Of Salt
Also known as Carol (which the film will also be named after), the novel - written by Patricia Highsmith - tells the story of a down-and-out department store worker who falls in love with a married older woman. Published in 1952, the book rose to notoriety due to the lesbian relationship of its protagonists, Therese (to be played by Rooney Mara) and the titular Carol (Cate Blanchett). But will we see all the salacious details adapted on screen? Time will tell.