Welcome to another big 2023 & beyond preview, where today we’ll focus on the books adapted by Netflix into various movies and series.
A couple of quick qualifiers before we dig in. As with most of our genre previews, we’ll focus only on the English-language projects below and split the article into three parts.
First, we’ll cover some of the books getting turned into movies, then move into books getting turned into series, and beneath that, we’ll move into speculation with some of the books believed to have been optioned by Netflix.
We’ll notably be excluding three notable book adaptation franchises from this list: the Roald Dahl adaptations in development, the various Dr. Suess books getting adaptations, and the Narnia adaptations in the works. Given we’ve got separate previews for those, we won’t do them an injustice by half-heartedly covering them below.
Books Being Adapted into Movies at Netflix
Coming to Netflix: Fall 2023
Based on: Spaceman of Bohemia by Jaroslav Kalfař
One of the four major Adam Sandler projects coming to Netflix in 2023 will be Spaceman, a sci-fi fantasy epic. Sandler will play the role of Jakub Prochazka, an orphan who always dreamed of being an astronaut and is privileged to be able to fulfill that dream. When in space, he meets an unlikely companion.
Sandler stars alongside Paul Dino, Kunal Nayyar, and Carey Mulligan.
The Electric State
Coming to Netflix: 2024
Based on: The Electric State by Simon Stålenhag
The Russo Brothers have previously teamed up with Netflix to adapt The Gray Man and their next major project will be adapting the visually striking sci-fi book by Simon Stålenhag.
Set to release in 2024, the movie has completed production and is about a girl who is sent to find her missing brother with her robot companion.
Millie Bobby Brown, Chris Pratt, Ke Huy Quan, Stanley Tucci, Jason Alexander, and Brian Cox star.
Leave the World Behind
Coming to Netflix: December 8th, 2023
Based on: Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
Written and directed by Sam Esmail, this drama is Netflix’s equivalent of Knives Out for December this year. It follows a family vacation that gets interrupted, and a crisis unfolds.
Among the blockbuster cast for the new movie includes Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, Ethan Hawke, Myha’la, Farrah Mackenzie, Charlie Evans, and Kevin Bacon.
Coming to Netflix: TBD
Based on: Seesaw Monster by Kōtarō Isaka
Announced in November 2022, Netflix is set to adapt the works of Kotaro Isaka’s where we follow rivals forced to work together. Anne Hathaway and Salma Hayek Pinault are attached to star and produce.
Other Books Being Adapted in Movies at Netflix
Here’s a few more books that we’ll be seeing adapted into movies at Netflix.
- The Perfect Find is adapted from the Tia Williams book. Releasing in June 2023.
- Happiness for Beginners – Romantic comedy starring Ellie Kemper adapting the Katherine Center novel – Releasing in July 2023
- You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah! – Adam Sandler comedy movie adapted from the Fiona Rosenbloom novel. Releasing in August 2023.
- Love at First Sight, set to arrive on Netflix in September 2023, is adapted by The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith.
- Caste – Attached to Netflix (although it’s disputed whether it remains with the streamer) is Ava DuVernay’s adaptation of the Isabel Wilkerson book.
- Family Leave – McG is directing this family movie adapted from the Amy Krouse Rosenthal novel.
- Rez Ball – Based on Michael Powell’s novel Canyon Dreams, this sports drama is directed by Syndey Freeland.
- Scoop – British movie adapting the novel about the true events from the novel Scoops: Behind the Scenes of the BBC’s Most Shocking Interviews by Sam McAlister.
- The Family Treehorn – Animated movie from Ron Howards based on the Florence Parry Heide novel, The Shrinking Of Treehorn.
- The Netherfield Girls – Described as a contemporary update of Pride and Prejudice.
- Uglies – Adaptation of the Scott Westerfeld best-selling 2005 novel starring Joey King.
Books Being Adapted into Series at Netflix
All the Light We Cannot See
Coming to Netflix: November 2nd, 2023
Based on: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps Entertainment is behind this highly anticipated period war drama based on the 2014 novel by American author Anthony Doerr.
The series tells the story of Marie-Laure, a blind teenager, and a German soldier, whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.
Steven Knight is behind the script with Hugh Laurie, Mark Ruffalo and Aria Mia Loberti starring.
Boy Swallows Universe
Boy Swallows Universe, adapted from the Trent Dalton novel, serves as a coming-of-age drama series originating 0ut of Australia.
Here’s what you can expect from the new series:
“The series follows working-class Brisbane teenager Eli Bell in a whirlwind story about drug addiction, ex-cons, poverty, violence and the discovery of hope through the power of love, said local screen agency Screen Queensland.”
Confessions on the 7:45
Charise Castro Smith is on board to serve as the showrunner of this best-selling Lisa Unger novel adaptation. It’s about a working mom meeting a stranger on a train that ends her life.
Jessica Alba boarded the project to star and serve as executive producer.
They Both Die at the End
Based on: They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
Announced in early 2023, Netflix will adapt They Both Die at the End with Entertainment One, Creative Engine Entertainment, and CVD Productions. Chris Van Dusen, best known for his work on Bridgerton, is on board to helm the project.
A Man in Full
Based on: A Man in Full by Tom Wolfe
David E. Kelley Productions and Royal Ties have teamed up for this new political limited series that adapts the Tom Wolfe novel into 6-episodes.
The series follows Atlanta real estate mogul Charlie Croker who lands himself into sudden bankruptcy leading to his political and business interests colliding as Charlie defends his empire.
Jeff Daniels leads the cast, with Diane Lane, Jerrika Hinton, and Josh Pais also set to star.
Other Books Being Adapted into Series at Netflix
Here are some of the other series adaptations that have been announced to be in active-development by Netflix or others:
- Confessions – Universal Television adapting this Jason Smith autobiography about his time in teaching public high school.
- Cuckoo – First announced in 2020, this adaptation
- Department Q – Chandni Lakhani is on board to adapt this Jussi Adler-Olsen novel about Carl, a former top-rated detective in Edinburgh assigned to a new cold case.
- East of Eden – Adapting the John Steinbeck novel, this limited series is set to star Florence Pugh.
- Firekeeper’s Daughter – Mickey Fisher was announced to be the showrunner of this new series based on the debut novel by Angeline Boulley.
- Forever – Adaptation of the Judy Blume 1975 novel about the love story of two Black teens exploring romance and their identities through the awkward journey of being each other’s firsts.
- Free Food for Millionaires – Period drama series from EP Alan Wang adapting the Min Jin Lee novel.
- Geek Girl – Co-production adapting the Holly Smale novel. About a neurodiverse teenager who has their life turned upside down.
- My Life with the Walter Boys – Ali Novak’s novel will be adapted in this series that stars Marc Blucas and Corey Fogelmanis.
- Recursion – Shondaland and 6th & Idaho were attached to adapt this Blake Crouch sci-fi novel.
- Ripley – Patricia Highsmith’s novel has been adapted into a new series that was originally attached to Showtime.
List of Books Optioned By Netflix
And finally, thanks to numerous sources, we can dive into some of the books Netflix has currently optioned. That essentially means that Netflix has picked up a book for a particular amount of time, hoping to adapt it into a new movie or series. Inevitably, not all of these books will be adapted, but merely that Netflix may adapt them in the future.
These are some of the books Netflix has optioned over the past three years, which may be making their way onto your screens in the near future.
- Alienated: Grounded at Groom Lake – Jeff Norton
- Antigua de Fortune of the High Seas – Anna Rainbow, Oli Hyatt
- Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef – Gabrielle Hamilton
- Call Your Daughter Home – Deborah Spera
- Death in a Promised Land – Robert Andrews
- Esther the Wonder Pig: Changing the World One Heart at a Time – Caprice Crane, Derek Walter, and Steve Jenkins
- Epically Earnest – Molly Horan
- Everyone Worth Knowing – Lauren Weisberger
- Hater Book Series – David Moody
- Little Thieves – Margaret Owen
- Mindstorms: Stories to Blow Your Mind by Neal Shusterman
- My Lovely Wife – Samantha Downing
- Nanny Needed – Georgina Cross
- The Last Housewife – Ashley Winstead
- The Last Sunrise – Robert Ryan
- The Man Who F#&%ed Up Time – John Layman
- The Mobster Who Bought His Son a Hockey Team – Rich Cohen (this may be for the Untold documentary series)
- The Mysteries of Harris Burdick – Chris Van Allsburg
- The Stepdaughter – Georgina Cross
- Two Worlds – Douglas Abrams
- Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me – Adrienne Brodeur
What book adaptation are you looking forward to watching on Netflix in the near future? Let us know in the comments down below.