Five Page-to-Screen Adaptations to Look For in 2024

Adam Sandler in Spaceman (Courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes).

Get ahead on your “Which was better, the book or the movie?” knowledge! This comprehensive list of five upcoming independent film adaptations of books is bound to intrigue both avid film-goers and voracious readers. 

Many recent and wildly popular films have literary roots, and while there has always been an ongoing debate about whether or not to read a book before seeing the film, there is ample time to get your hands on copies of these highly anticipated releases before they hit the big screen. It seems like this year might be the year for page-to-screen adaptations to shine, with massive blockbuster hits like “Dune” and “Wicked” being scheduled for showing soon, but you’d be remiss in overlooking the fact that indie page-to-screen adaptations have just as much to offer. Looking ahead at the prospective releases for 2024 box offices, there is certainly a lot of page turning and popcorn eating to look forward to. 

  1. ‘Spaceman’
Cover of “Spaceman of Bohemia” by Jaroslav Kalfař and “Spaceman” movie poster.

The “Spaceman of Bohemia” is a science fiction adventure novel written by Jaroslav Kalafař, a Czech author. The book was adapted for the screen by Colby Day and follows the story of an astronaut on a mission to the very limits of the known solar system. There he is confronted by a creature that is able to help him pick up the pieces of his life and solve all of his “humanly” problems, i.e. his issues with the state of his life that he left behind. Johan Renck, a Swedish director who previously directed “Downloading Nancy” in 2008, has taken on the project’s direction. With Adam Sandler and Paul Dano co-starring, and in association with Free Association and Tango Entertainment, “Spaceman” is predicted to reflect “Outer space, inner turmoil, fierce ambition and the hunger for love” as noted by the San Francisco Chronicle. It premiered at the 74th Berlin International Film Festival, and is moving onto a limited theater release, and is now available on Netflix as of March 1st. 

  1. ‘Rothko’
Cover of “The Legacy of Mark Rothko” book by Lee Seldes.

The story of legendary American painter Mark Rothko, as detailed in the book “The Legacy of Mark Rothko,” has been turned into a film and is set for release on October 25th of 2024. The book, written by Lee Seldes, follows Rothko’s daughter’s lengthy legal battle concerning her father’s possessions, works, and estate after his passing and her fight to honor his legacy. Director Sam Taylor-Johnson, best known for his questionable direction of “Fifty Shades of Gray,” details that the film is about “Kate Rothko’s journey to protect the seminal paintings from the corrupt men who betrayed her father and stole his art.” Lara Wood’s adaptation of Seldes’ work will star Russell Crowe as Mark himself and Aisling Fransiosi as Kate, and both the CAA media finance company and Super Crispy Entertainment are involved in production. This biographical drama is anticipated to exhibit a timeless and heartfelt story that truly caught the art world off guard.

  1. ‘Asphalt City’
Cover of “Black Flies” novel by Shannon Burke and “Black Flies” movie poster starring Sean Penn and Tye Sheridan.

“Black Flies,” a novel written by Shannon Burke and centered around the story of a paramedic living and working in Harlem, has been set for release in mid-March of 2024. Burke wrote the book based on personal experience as an emergency care worker during the ‘90s, and evidently has skill in expressing the insane levels of tension even in the seemingly mundane aspects of the profession. The thriller, “Asphalt City,” will follow the chaotic journey of Ollie Cross (Tye Sheridan) and his partner Gene Rutkovsky (Sean Penn) as they lay their lives on the line for their careers every day. “La Mule” director Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire is directing the project with backing from production companies Sculptor Media, AZA Films, and Force Majeure. 

  1. ‘Someone Like You’
Cover of Karen Kingsbury’s “Someone Like You” and movie poster of “Someone Like You.”

Karen Kingsbury’s #1 spot holder on the New York Times Best Sellers list, “Someone Like You,” has been making waves as it is adapted for the screen by Kingsbury herself and director Tyler Russell. The movie is set for nationwide release on April 2nd, 2024, and follows a tragic love story between a grieving architect and the secret twin sister of his best friend. Karen Kingsbury Productions, a production company specifically specializing in book-to-movie adaptations headed by Karen Kingsbury, has taken on the project. With stars Sarah Fisher and Jake Allyn as love interests, and the direction of up-and-coming director Tyler Russell, the romantic nature of the story is sure to ring just as true on the screen as it did on the page. 

  1. ‘Mother’s Instinct’
Book cover of Barbara Abels’ “Mother’s Instinct” and film poster for “Mothers Instinct” starring Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain.

Originally a French novel, translated by Susan Pickford and authored by Barbara Abel, “Mother’s Instinct” has been optioned for a film adaptation. While no affirmative release date has been set outside of Argentina where it was released in mid-January of 2024, it is predicted to be shown nationwide within the year. After Sararch Conradt adapted the story under the direction of Benoit Delhomme, a French cinematographer, the project took off. Starring leading ladies Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain as two best friends and next-door neighbors in the wake of a dangerous, deadly, and tragic accident, it is clear why both actors opted to produce the film as well. Working with Chastain’s production company, Freckle Films, as well as Anton and Mosaic, “Mother’s Instinct” is likely to maintain the nightmarish suspense the novel contains. 

About :

Virginia Sipiora is an undergraduate student from San Diego, CA currently living in Boston, MA. She is working as a section editor and the media manager for The Independent Magazine, and the head style section editor for Your Magazine.