There’s nothing quite like a good thriller or horror book. From Stephen King to H.P. Lovecraft to Dean Koontz, a good horror or thriller writer can suck us into their works and send chills down our spine at every page turn. While nothing will ever replace the unique experience of reading a good book, it’s really cool when film or television adaptations of our favorite spooky literature are announced.
While we really can’t guarantee any of these films or television shows will be true to the source material or even really good (we’re looking at you, Meg), we can guarantee that they’re currently in the works, be it conceptually, pre-production, or post-production. Most of these exciting films or television shows are slated for release within the year or at some point in 2018 or 2019. There may be some spoilers ahead, so tread with caution!
There are a ton of very anticipated science fiction and fantasy book adaptations coming out soon, but what about all the horror and thriller book series we’ve come to love that are being adapted as well?
We’re showing our love for these 15 Horror And Thriller Books You Didn’t Know Were Becoming Movies And TV Shows.
15. Gerald’s Game
Kinks go awry in Stephen King’s Gerald’s Game. The 1992 suspense thriller is about a couple who try to spice things up at their isolated lake house. While handcuffed to a bed, Jessie realizes her husband has suddenly died– and with no neighbors, no phone, and no movement, she must fight for her life or starve to death.
This is one of Stephen King’s most underrated gems, not just for the suspenseful subject matter, but also for the poetically engaging inner dialogue that punctuates Jessie’s attempts to escape. The story would make for a great film, and now it’s finally happened
Mike Flanagan (who is going to have a busy year, apparently) has directed an adaptation of the story, which stars Carla Gugino and Bruce Greenwood. The movie is set for a September 29th, 2017 release on Netflix.
14. The Snowman
Famed Norwegian international best-selling crime writer Jo Nesbø is the author behind The Snowman (Snømannen), a 2007 novel about a serial killer who puts up a snowman at the residence of each murder he commits during the wintertime and the dedicated, nearly obsessed detective that tries to catch him. It’s no surprise that this enthralling, edge-of-your-seat thriller would work wonderfully (and terrifyingly) as a film.
Tomas Alfredson helmed the project, which will be released on October 13th, 2017 by Universal Pictures in Norway and the United Kingdown and October 20th in the United States. The film will star Michael Fassbender as Detective Harry Hole, and will feature Val Kilmer and Charlotte Gainsbourg as well. Jo Nesbø is expected to make a cameo in the film.
Jeff VanderMeer’s 2014 novel Annihilation is the first book in a series called the Southern Reach Trilogy. The book follows a team of women who investigate an abandoned and ominous area of the world known as Area X– all those who have previously attempted to explore the area have disappeared, died, or gone insane. It’s a riveting example of the modern science fiction thriller at its best, and now it will be getting its own film adaptation in 2018.
VanderMeer has been kept in the loop with the filming and writing of the movie and has praised the film: “It’s actually more surreal than the novel. There are a couple places where I was like, ‘I might need an anchor here.’ The ending is so mind-blowing and in some ways different from the book that it seems to be the kind of ending that, like 2001 or something like that, people will be talking about around the watercooler for years.”
12. Sharp Objects
Famed Gone Girl author Gillian Fynn’s mystery thriller Sharp Objects follows a newspaper journalist named Camille Preaker who returns to her hometown to investigate and report on brutal murders that have taken place there. The story is a genuinely terrifying and well-written one, and it’s definitely deserving of its multiple Crime Writers’ Association awards– as well as the upcoming HBO television series adapting it.
The series will star Amy Adams and will be written and run by Fright Night and To The Bone film writer Marti Noxon. Apparently, the series has been tugged back in forth by various production companies, including Netflix, Blumhouse, and Entertainment One. It looks like it has finally settled with HBO, and no release date has been announced as of yet.
Good ol’ MEG. This 1997 science fiction horror-thriller by Steve Alten is pretty self-explanatory by the cover art alone. The novel (plus its five seperate sequels) follow a Navy deep sea diver as he embarks on adventures that involve (you guessed it!) MEGa huge Megalodon that has somehow managed to survive in the deep since the Late Cretaceous period.
A movie based on the book series has been in development hell since the year the first book was released. Now it seems like a Meg movie will actually happen, and it will star Jason Statham, Ruby Rose, and Rain Wilson. The lot deviates slightly from the original text, but we can definitely expect a seventy-foot shark to make an appearance. Meg is slated for an August 10th, 2018 release.
10. The Dark Tower (TV Series)
The recently released The Dark Tower movie was a solid disappointment to many, with its oddly choreographed fight scenes, slow burning plot, and poor writing compared to the original Stephen King horror fantasy series. That hasn’t stopped the film from making a decent profit, and the decision to move forward with a Dark Tower television series sequel is still in motion.
Glen Mazzara (The Walking Dead) will direct the project, which is set to begin production in the next year. Little is known about what will be covered in the series, but it is believed that the series is based on Wizard and Glass, the fourth book in the Dark Tower series. This means we may be getting a prequel and more of an origin story for Roland Deschain. Idris Elba will briefly reprise his role as the Gunslinger for the series.
9. The Haunting of Hill House
The Haunting of Hill House is a 1959 novel by author Shirley Jackson and is widely considered to be one of the greatest novelized ghost stories ever published. The book, which focuses on terror (dread and predictive fear) rather than horror (the feeling of revulsion after a terrifying act), focuses on a scientist’s efforts to research the paranormal with two women, one of which begins to go insane while inside the walls of Hill House.
The psychological horror book has been adapted several times into film. Now Netflix has announced that Mike Flanagan (Oculus, Hush) will be helming an adaptive series based on the book. Though there is no release date yet, the series is set to star Carla Gugino, Kate Siegel, Michiel Huisman, and Henry Thomas.
Canadian author Joanne Proulx has created one of the best characters ever with her 2008 drama thriller Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet. The book is narrated by the funny and smart-ass Luke Hunter, a young man who has erratic premonitions about death that may or may not come to fruition. Where many authors fail to create an honest depiction of the tortured adolescent in favor of cheesiness, Proulx creates a teen male character and a story that are both sharp and fascinating.
The book is going to be adapted into a film called Anthem in 2018, helmed by Robin Hays, and will star Cameron Monaghan as Luke. The film will also star Peyton List and Juliette Lewis. No exact release date has been announced yet.
Firestarter is one of many Stephen King favorites. The 1980 horror thriller novel focuses on a young girl named Charlie who inherits pyrokinetic abilities from her parents, who gained similar abilities after taking a mysterious drug during an experiment run by an even more mysterious government agency known as The Shop.
The book was first adapted in 1984 and quickly became a cult classic, starring Drew Barrymore as Charlie. Now, Oscar winning filmmaker Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind, I Am Legend) will helm an upcoming remake of Firestarter for the production company Blumhouse (Get Out, Split). There’s no available information yet on who will appear in the film or when it is slated for release, though it is likely to be within a year or so.
6. The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Picture of Dorian Gray is a philosophical horror-thriller from famous novelist Oscar Wilde. The book tells the story of Dorian Gray, a young man who becomes wrapped up in the world of aristocratic hedonistic indulgences. He is the object of painter Hallward’s obsession, who paints a portrait of the young man. As Gray’s soul becomes uglier, his personality more selfish, and his attention more wrapped up in physical and sensual beauty alone, the painting begins to change…
The book inspired countless songs, television characters and series, films, and other adaptive works. Now the book will be adapted into another upcoming film for Lionsgate and will be directed by experimental musician-turned-director Annie Clark, a.k.a. St. Vincent. The character of Dorian Gray will also be a woman in this adaptation.
5. The Invisible Man
The Invisible Man, the famous horror thriller novella by author H.G. Wells, has been adapted into many movies, television series, stage shows, and radio shows. Countless characters have been based on see-through scientist Dr. Griffin and pop culture has been referencing the story since its release in 1897. Now the classic story about a scientist who discovers the secret to invisibility is going to be made into a feature film for Universal.
Johnny Depp is set to star in the film, but no director or screenwriter has been announced. It is rumored that Ed Soloman (Men in Black) is interested in writing the project. No release date has been announced. Currently, the film is in the script writing phase and likely won’t be released until late 2018.
4. Castle Rock
The upcoming psychological horror television series Castle Rock isn’t based on any one specific Stephen King novel. On the contrary, the series will mix characters, themes, and stories from the fictional town of Castlerock that King mentions in many of his works.
The series, which will be made available on Hulu, will star Sissy Spacek (Carrie), Bill Skarsgård (It), and Jane Levy (Evil Dead). The teaser trailer for the series alluded to the appearance of Pennywise, but Skarsgård will allegedly be playing a different character in the series, and Spacek will also probably not be playing Carrie either.
No official release date has been released, but J.J. Abrams will be helming the project. We can expect characters and plotlines in the series to involve Cujo, The Dead Zone, and The Body, among other stories set in the fictional location of Castlerock.
3. Lord of the Flies
The 1954 novel Lord of the Flies was author William Golding’s magnum opus. The book follows a group of young British boys who become trapped on an island after a plane crash– and if you remember reading the book in high school, you’ll remember that things go very, very wrong. The book has spawned several film adaptations and a stage performance, and now a gender-swapped version of the film has been announced with no release date as of yet.
There’s been a trend in cinema recently of gender-swapping characters in film adaptations or remakes, from Ghostbusters to Doctor Strange to Road House. Though much of the criticism comes from misogyny, there are some pretty valid criticisms of why an all-female Lord of the Flies wouldn’t work– namely, the whole theme of the book is that young boys absorb toxic masculinity from their fathers and other men, and when put into practice, that unhealthy image of what it means to be a man can be detrimental.
2. The House with a Clock in its Walls
John Bellair’s 1973 novel is the perfect example of gothic horror for kids. The story follows a young orphan who is sent to live with his not-so-magical warlock uncle and the mysteriously hidden clock that threatens to bring about the end times. The book is just one of a vast series of twelve books in the Lewis Barnavelt series.
Now Eli Roth is set to direct an adaptation of the film, which will also star Jack Black. We can definitely expect a more Goosebumps vibe from this film, but who doesn’t love a good horror comedy? There may be a bit of Supernatural in the adaptation as well, as Eric Kripke is slated to write the movie. Cate Blanchett is also rumored to be involved. There is no release date as of yet.
Alright, so maybe you did know this horror adaptation of the 1986 book of the same name by Stephen King was coming out soon. How could you not? It’s advertising campaign and fan anticipation rivaled The Dark Tower, except we have reason to believe that this new edition of It will actually be good and is worthy of an entry on this list. Sorry, Dark Tower. You were a swing and a miss.
But when it comes to the new It adaptation, even Stephen King himself was surprised by how good it was.
It’s difficult to imagine anyone other than Tim Curry as Pennywise, but apparently Bill Skarsgård absolutely nailed the role, as did Stranger Things‘ Finn Wolfhard. The film is out in theaters as of September 7th, 2017.
Are you looking forward to any of these adaptations? Are there any that we missed? Sound off in the comments!
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