From a Small Book to the Big Screen

Syringa Garcia, Reporter

Recently a lot of book to movie or show adaptations have been being announced. This isn’t a new concept as we all know from The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, The Maze Runner, and Artemis Fowl. So, book series get turned into movies or television series is common, but there are just so many that were announced in such a short amount of time, it can’t be ignored. The enormous number of announcements began around the time quarantine started and gave book readers a lot to look forward to. Although there are probably a lot of other books out there being adapted this year, all of the ones being hyped on the internet are YA (young adult) and children’s book series as far as I’ve seen. Surprising or not, most of them are being adapted as original content on streaming platforms.

The first major one I can remember was Percy Jackson and the Olypians, a children’s fantasy series written by Rick Riordan. The Percy Jackson series is about a twelve year old boy who finds out he is the son of Poseidon and goes to a camp for demigods (half human, half god). After finding out about someone trying to destroy the gods, Percy has to stop them before they destroy the world. The show adaptation was announced as a video on Rick Riordan’s official tiktok and he also made an announcement on his twitter account too. We know that the show is going to be a live action series on Disney Plus, in fact, Riordan already posted an opening for the show. Each of the five books will get their own season. Everybody remembers the original Percy Jackson and the Olympion film adaptations by Fox, and no matter how much we try to ignore them, they did happen. Yes, they were bad and no, they did not follow the events of the original story whatso-ever. They even messed up the highly lovable character’s personalities! To avoid a repeat of that fiasco, Rick Riordan is personally involved with the project, and according to him, it’s going very well. The script has already been written and is being sent to Disney Plus for approval. If the show does well enough they’re planning on making a sequel to the show based off of the books Heroes of Olympus (Which are basically a continuation of Percy Jackson and the Olympians).

No long after the announcement of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians show, Netflix announced that they had decided to take on another one of Rick Riordan’s series: The Kane Chronicles. The Kane Chronicles is a trilogy about Egyptian mythology. The story’s about two siblings who find out they’re “magicians” descended from the ancient pharaohs. Of course, they need to save the world. The trilogy is a children’s fantasy series and although it is one of Riordan’s least known series, it’s still very, very much loved by the Riordan fandom. Netflix decided to adapt the book series into three live action movies. There still isn’t much information about this movie trilogy.

Despite being announced all the way back in 2019, this series is such a big deal right now, I couldn’t not add it to this list. This Netflix show is coming out this year on April 23, 2021. Based on a YA fantasy book trilogy called Grisha by Leigh Bardugo, this show is already casted and in the process of filming. Grisha is about a teenage girl who grew up in an orphanage. However, this girl has rare powers that make her a target for assassination. A whole war eventually breaks out. Despite the title, Shadow and Bone, which is the title of the first book in the trilogy, the Netflix series is actually going to combine two of Bardugo’s book series. The series take place in the same universe, despite one of the series taking place after the other chronologically. The other book series being Six of Crows. With that being said, it can be assumed that the Netflix adaptation won’t be exactly like the books. How much will change from book to show is a mystery though. Many trailers for the show have been released and fans are ecstatic about the casting choices.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Mass is another YA fantasy book that’s being adapted. This time, by Hulu. A Court of Thorns and Roses tells the story of a mortal who is brought into a high fantasy world after murdering a fairy. You definitely know about this book if you’ve ever been in the book community online, as it’s one of those books that’s either dearly loved or truly hated by a person. Many of the fans, especially the teenage fans, of the books aren’t happy with the adaptation due to the content of the books themselves. The announcement was pretty recent so there isn’t much information on the actual adaptation yet, but needless to say, it’s probably one of the least well-perceived book-to-movie adaptations this year.

Keeper of the Lost Cities is a children’s fantasy series written by Shannon Messenger. The book series is not finished yet, but there are currently nine books out including book eight and a half. Of course, the movie will most likely only cover the first book. Keeper of the Lost Cities is about a young teenage girl named Sophie who finds out that she’s an elf. However, she’s different from any other elves. She has more powers than them, and she doesn’t have the typical features of an elf. She also eventually starts getting contacted by a mysterious group.  Sophie not only has to find out about her past, but she needs to save this new world she’s been introduced to as well. The movie was announced by the author where she linked a news article about it. It’s said that Ben Affleck will be the director. The film is planned to be live action and it’s going to be released on Disney Plus. According to Messenger, the movie is already in development. However, she will have absolutely no control over the project, which is unfortunate. We can only hope for the best. 

The last book to movie adaptation I wanted to talk about was a movie announced for Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. This is the one book on this list that has nothing to do with magic. It’s simply a story about two young Mexican-American boys and growing up in the 1980s. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe has gotten many awards including: being a Printz Honor Book, earning the Stonewall Award, the Pura Belpre Award, the Lambda Literary Award. Despite not winning, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe was a finalist for the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award as well. Although there isn’t much information about the movie yet, we do know that it’s currently in the process of pre-production. Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World is a sequel to Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe that has been recently announced too (to be released October 12, 2021). I’m sure that if the first movie does well, fans will be begging for the sequel to be made into a movie too.

As a reader myself, I’m very excited for these books to be adapted! However, it also makes me very nervous that they’re going to mess up the characters and story. Either way, it certainly gives us a lot to look forward to in the near future.