Here Are the Books Hitting the Big Screen in 2015 

movies-fifty-shades-of-grey-book-tie-in-additionIf it weren’t for books, movie theaters would be a whole lot less interesting. From The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, to Gone Girl, to Unbroken, the most talked-about movies of 2014 were based on books, and 2015 promises more of the same. Make sure you’re part of the conversation by checking out the books below before they hit the silver screen.

Paddington, by Michael Bond
Everyone’s favorite Marmalade-loving bear—such a beloved children’s book character he’s been memorialized in bronze at his namesake train station—is hitting the big screen in a live-action adaptation that pits Paddington and his newly adopted human family against Nicole Kidman’s Cruella de Vil–esque villain. Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville plays to type as the family’s patriarch, and Ben Whishaw voices the trouble magnet Paddington.
Release date: January 16

American Sniper, by Chris Kyle
Former U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle has been called the most lethal sniper in American history, with 160 confirmed kills. His memoir of his time spent on active duty through four tours in Iraq made for harrowing, revelatory reading, and the film adaptation, from director Clint Eastwood and starring Bradley Cooper as Kyle, promises to be one of the year’s most riveting films.
Release date: January 16

The Mortdecai Trilogy, by Kyril Bonfiglioli
Bonfiglioli’s Mortdecai novels—comic capers featuring the antics of a roguish aristocratic art dealer and his long-suffering manservant—seem so perfectly pitched for film adaptation that it’s hard to believe it took 40 years for it to happen. Johnny Depp stars as the title character alongside Paul Bettany and Gwyneth Paltrow in this loose adaptation of the trilogy, which the filmmakers hope will become a franchise.
Release date: January 23

The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch, by Joseph Delaney
Seventh Son, the retitled, long-in-the-can adaptation of the first book in Delaney’s YA series about a young farm boy who, as the seventh son of a seventh son, has the ability to see ghosts, ghouls, and other beasties, looks to be a fun, youth-oriented adventure film in the vein of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Just sub in Jeff “The Dude” Bridges for Nicholas “Ridiculous” Cage in the mentor role and the monster hunt is on.
Release date: February 6

Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James
Kink goes mainstream in this hotly (hotly) anticipated page-to-screen romance. When mousy journalist Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) meets brooding plutocrat Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan), it’s the start of a beautiful friendship, complete with a whip.
Release date: February 13

Serena, by Ron Rash
Ron Rash’s Shakespearean tale pits two newlyweds against the wilds of North Carolina in 1929, where they plan to build a timber empire. But things fall apart when wife Serena discovers she can’t bear children, and sets out to destroy her husband’s illegitimate child. Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper team up for the third time in the film, costarring Toby Jones, Rhys Ifans, and the lawless wilderness.
Release date: February 26

In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex, by Nathaniel Philbrick
Academy Award–winning director Ron Howard brings his sure hand at the rudder to this adaptation of Philbrick’s harrowing true-life account of the 1820 sinking of the whaleship Essex by an enraged sperm whale, the incident that inspired Herman Melville to pen a little novel called Moby-Dick. The cast includes Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, and Ben Whishaw.
Release date: March 13

Insurgent, by Veronica Roth
Things go from bad to worse for Tris and Four in the second volume of Veronica Roth’s dystopian Divergent trilogy, and the film version looks to be upping the stakes as well. If the teaser trailer is any indication, expect action sequences that are even bigger and better than those in the film’s predecessor.
Release date: March 20

The Prone Gunman, by Jean-Patrick Machette
Sean Penn and Idris Elba star in the adaptation of Machette’s thriller, which is being released in theaters as the less punny The Gunman. Penn plays an international spy who wants out of the game—but his employers have other ideas.
Release date: March 20

The True Meaning of Smekday, by Adam Rex
In Adam Rex’s middle-grade instaclassic, renamed Home for its big-screen release, Earth has been overrun by conquering alien race the Boov, arrogant overlords who don’t think twice of, say, emptying Florida of its humans (they want the oranges to themselves). Separated from her mother and on the run, an earthling girl (voiced by Rihanna) pairs up with an exiled Boov named Oh (Jim Parsons) to save their shared planet from destruction.
Release date: March 27

The Longest Ride, by Nicholas Sparks
Nicholas Sparks is coming back to a theater near you, this time with a tale that entwines two love stories, one in its twilight and one just starting to spark, and throws in a car accident, a ghost, and a handsome cowboy. There will be tears.
Release date: April 10

Child 44, by Tom Rob Smith
Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, and Noomi Rapace star in this thriller based on the nail-biting debut of British novelist Tom Rob Smith, with a screenplay by Richard Price. Set in the brutal final days of Stalin’s reign, it’s full of intrigue, treachery, and good old-fashioned murder.
Release date: April 17

Far From the Madding Crowd, by Thomas Hardy
Classic-lit queen Carey Mulligan’s played Kitty Bennet, Ada Clare, and Daisy Buchanan, and now she’s taking on Thomas Hardy’s impetuous heiress Bathsheba Everdene, in the book’s first adaptation since Julie Christie took the role in 1967. Bathsheba juggles an inheritance and a trio of suitors (Michael Sheen, Tom Sturridge, Matthias Schoenaerts) on her way to finding true love.
Release date: May 1

Paper Towns, by John Green
We guarantee this John Green adaptation will have 100% fewer tears and 100% more road trip than 2014’s The Fault in Our Stars. In his second outing as a Green character, Nat Wolff (Fault’s Isaac) strikes out in search of his AWOL dream girl, Margo (Cara Delevingne).
Release date: June 5

Jurassic Park/The Lost World, by Michael Crichton
Sure, after three movies there’s probably little of Crichton’s original novels left to explore onscreen, but from the looks of the trailer, Jurassic World is going to offer enough oh-the-hubris-of-man scientific experimentation and oh-the-tastiness-of-man dinosaur action to satisfy any fans of the books. Also, any reason is a good reason to reread Jurassic Park.
Release date: June 12

Peter Pan, by J.M. Barrie
Pan promises to be a wildly fresh take on J.M. Barrie’s Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up, serving as a prequel to source book Peter Pan, in which a not-yet-supernatural Pan (Levi Miller) teams up with a young, still two-handed Jas. Hook (Garrett Hedlund). Hugh Jackman is nearly unrecognizable as Blackbeard, a nasty sea dog who could eat Christopher Walken’s Captain Hook for breakfast.
Release date: July 24

Goosebumps, by R.L. Stine
In a brilliant stroke of screenwriting, Goosebumps the movie pulls legendary kids’ and teen horror author R.L. Stine (Jack Black) into the fray, in a story that reimagines (OR DOES IT) Stine as a prisoner of his scary creations, who he manages to keep locked up in their books. When the monsters are released, it’s up to two plucky kids to save the day.
Release date: August 7

Black Mass: Whitey Bulger, the FBI, and a Devil’s Deal, by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill
Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Depp play the real-life Bulger brothers, one a politician, one a violent crime boss. Oh, you need more information? This adaptation of Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill’s nonfiction account of a “devil’s deal” between FBI agent John Connolly, Jr. (Joel Edgerton), and Depp’s infamous mobster “Whitey” Bulger will appeal to fans of the back-room intrigue of 2013’s American Hustle, with the added appeal of watching Cumberbatch take on a Boston accent.
Release date: September 18

The Scorch Trials, by James Dashner
In the follow-up to 2014’s postapocalyptic thriller The Maze Runner, the Maze’s young prisoners have breached its walls. Though life beyond the Maze doesn’t offer the release they were hoping for, we can’t wait to watch them navigate their strange new dystopian world.
Release date: September 18

The Jungle Book, by Rudyard Kipling
Rudyard Kipling’s enduring stories about Mowgli, a young orphan raised by a host of jungle animals and befriended by a lovable bear named Baloo, have been brought to the screen countless times (most famously by Walt Disney). This new version, from Iron Man director Jon Favreau, pairs a flesh-and-blood child actor with CGI creatures voiced by a host of Hollywood stars, including Bill Murray, Scarlet Johansson, and Christopher Walken.
Release date: October 9

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins
It all comes down to this: Katniss Everdeen’s role as the reluctant symbol of the rebellion against a ruthless regime will be over, one way or another, as the credits roll on the fourth film in The Hunger Games series, adapting the second half of the third book, Mockingjay. Featuring the final performance of Philip Seymour Hoffman, it’s sure to be an emotional end to one of the biggest blockbuster book adaptations ever.
Release date: November 20

The Martian, by Andy Weir
Weir’s debut novel is possibly the biggest self-publishing success story of all time, going from an ebook-only release, to a best-selling hardcover, to theaters in less than two years. Anyone who gripped the armrests watching Sandra Bullock struggling to survive the cold indifference of space in Gravity will get a similar thrill watching Matt Damon as an astronaut stranded on the Red Planet, forced to endure the tortures inflicted upon him by director Ridley Scott.
Release date: November 25

Brooklyn, by Colm Tóibín
Award-winning Irish author Tóibín nabbed his dream hometown cast—including Oscar-nominees Saoirse Ronan and Jim Broadbent—and no less than Nick Hornby to pen the screenplay for the adaptation of his 2009 novel about a small town Irish girl in the years after World War II dreaming of a better life in Brooklyn. The film will play the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.
Release date: TBA

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
After bouncing between various directors for years (and losing one-time lead Natalie Portman), this horror twist on the Regency classic is finally coming to the screen with Downton Abbey‘s Lily James as Lizzie, Maleficent‘s Sam Riley as Mr. Darcy, and former Doctor Matt Smith as Mr. Collins. Director Burr Steers reportedly rewrote Oscar-winner David O. Russell’s (!) script to include more Austen and less zombies. Color us book nerds excited.
Release date: TBA

Fallen, by Lauren Kate
Lauren Kate’s 2009 teen novel Fallen spawned a legion of sequels, and now it’s becoming a movie starring Addison Timlin and Jeremy Irvine. Timlin is Lucinda, packed off to reform school for her part in a classmate’s mysterious death, and Irvine is Daniel, an angel masquerading as a fellow reform schooler, who has loved Lucinda’s soul through centuries. Expect epic love and forces dark and light.
Release date: TBA

The Price of Salt, by Patricia Highsmith
Nobody does sexual obsession like Patricia Highsmith. In the forthcoming adaptation of her cult classic novel The Price of Salt (to be released with its alternate title, Carol), Rooney Mara’s dissatisfied shopgirl has a chance meeting with Cate Blanchett’s elegant housewife, and love, dreams of escape, and blackmail follow. We can’t wait to see what Todd Haynes, known for his incredible direction of women, does with this one.
Release date: TBA

Dark Places, by Gillian Flynn
In this adaptation of Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn’s second novel, Charlize Theron plays the adult survivor of a horrific childhood trauma: the murder of her family, apparently by a Satanic cult. Twenty-five years after the crime, she begins to reinvestigate what really happened, with the help of a group of amateurs. This movie is set to be just as twisted and even more violent than 2014’s Gone Girl adaptation.
Release date: TBA

A Walk In the Woods, by Bill Bryson 
Bryson’s freewheeling, funny memoir of his attempt to hike the Appalachian Trail with his friend Stephen Katz finally comes to the screen after nearly a decade in development. Robert Redford stars as the author, with Nick Nolte as Katz (a role originally envisioned for Paul Newman). The supporting cast includes Emma Thompson, Nick Offerman, and Kristen Schaal.
Release date: TBA

True Story, by Michael Finkel
And now, James Franco and Jonah Hill team up to do something completely different: In a film based on the memoir of journalist Michael Finkel, subtitled “Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa,” Hill plays Finkel and Franco plays Christian Longo, a killer on the run after the murder of his family landed him on the FBI’s most wanted list. When Longo is captured in Mexico, Finkel learns that the stranger has been living under his identity. The incomprehensible choice leads to a dangerous symbiotic relationship after Longo decides that Finkel is the only journalist he’ll talk to.
Release date: TBA

Macbeth, by William Shakespeare
Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard take on Shakespeare’s deadliest pair of ambitious marrieds, in a straight-ahead adaptation directed by Justin Kurzel and costarring David Thewlis and Jack Reynor.
Release date: TBA

Cell, by Stephen King
Stephen King’s 2006 novel might feature the most terrifying horror premise of the modern era: on a day like any other, a strange signal is transmitted to every cell phone in the world, turning anyone using one at the time into a mindless, bloodthirsty zombie (and keep in mind, the book was written before the iPhone came out, so the same situation today would be much worse). The film reteams John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson, the stars of King short story adaptation 1408, as two “lucky” survivors of the digital plague who band together to discover the source of “the pulse” and stop it before it stops everything else.
Release date: TBA

Truth & Duty, by Mary Mapes
Mapes’ insider account of the 60 Minutes reporting scandal that tarnished Dan Rather’s reputation at CBS News comes to the screen as Truth, featuring Cate Blanchett as news producer Mapes and Redford as Rather himself. Think of it as the flip side of All the President’s Men.
Release date: TBA

The Light Between Oceans, by M.L. Stedman
Michael Fassbender and Rachel Weisz play a war-scarred lighthouse keeper and his wife, whose tranquil life on an isolated Australian shore is poisoned by her inability to carry a child to term. When a boat carrying a dead man and a miraculously living infant beaches itself on their shore, they make a terrible, seemingly inevitable choice, with far-reaching consequences. Derek Cianfrance, expert in creating dark relationship melodramas, directs.
Release date: TBA

Z for Zachariah, by Robert C. O’Brien
This post-apocalyptic survival story, about a teenage girl living in a sheltered mountain valley who seems to be the only survivor of a nuclear holocaust, turns 40 this year, but is still as chilling as the day it was written. It was assigned reading in middle school, and the scenes of the girl desperately scanning the radio waves for signs of other survivors haunt us to this day. The protagonist has been aged up for the film, but we’re still confident that it will make for an excellent thriller.
Release date: TBA

What book are you looking forward to seeing at the movies?