Books-turned-movies have become a popular route for producers in the entertainment industry. The same method, however, has also been adopted by small-screen production companies like Netflix, one of the leading streaming platforms worldwide. With Netflix book adaptations garnering popularity, as seen with titles like 13 Reasons Why which was co-produced by Selena Gomez and based on the popular 2007 novel by Jay Asher, more and more novels are seeing their storylines visually translated. People love to see their favorite stories come to life, at least on the small screen.
Below, we list down more book-turned-TV series for your next viewing pleasure.
Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments
Fans of YA Fiction would be familiar with Cassandra Clare’s popular The Mortal Instruments series. The six-part book series heavily referenced various mythologies from different cultures and religions to build its own world. The story followed the life of teenager Clary Fray who discovers a whole new realm when she finds out that she is a Nephilim.
The book series first had its movie adaptation in 2013 when the film The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones came out based on the series’ first installment. The movie starred Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower.
In 2016, Disney’s Freeform picked up the book series and turned it into a TV show starring Katherine McNamara, Dominic Sherwood, Alberto Rosende, Matthew Daddario, Emeraude Toubia, Harry Shum Jr., Isaiah Mustafa, and Alisha Wainwright. It lasted for three seasons before ultimately being cancelled.
Watch Shadowhunters here.
The psychological thriller You starring Penn Badgley received worldwide popularity and shook social media with it’s mind-bending plot. Netflix revealed that 43 million households had watched the entire Season 1 of the show since its premiere, as per Variety.
The series began as a project under American TV network Lifetime, but was streamed internationally by Netflix. By the show’s second season, Netflix had acquired the title for exclusive release and made it part of its Netflix Original series. The show has since been renewed for Season 3.
The first season of the thriller TV series is actually based on Caroline Kepnes’ 2014 novel of the same name, while its second season is loosely inspired by the novel’s sequel, Hidden Bodies, published in 2016. Kepnes revealed in an interview with Rolling Stone that she is currently working on the third and fourth installments of her book series. It isn’t determined, however, if the new season of its TV adaptation will also rely on the unreleased follow-up novels’ storylines.
Watch You here.
If you’re particularly into crime thrillers and understanding the psyche of serial killers, chances are, you’ve already added Mindhunter to your Netflix list. The show stars Jonathan Groff as FBI agent Holden Ford, Bill Tench as FBI agent Holt McCallany, and Anna Torv as psychologist Wendy Carr who work in the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit back when it was still a relatively new department. Their main tasks are to interview and profile various imprisoned serial killers to understand their motivations and thought processes in hopes of establishing a reliable database that could assist in solving existing and future criminal cases.
The show is based on non-fiction novel Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit written by John E. Douglas, a former FBI agent, and Mark Olshaker. The book includes interviews and stories about notorious criminals in the U.S. like Charles Manson and Edmund Kemper.
Watch Mindhunter here.
With themes involving sexuality, friendship, and shoplifting, the 2019 Netflix Original Trinkets is low-key relatable for many of its younger viewers. The show’s cast includes Brianna Hildebrand, Kiana Madeira, and Quintessa Swindell. The three actors portray three high school teens from totally different cliques who meet at a Shoplifters Anonymous session where they start to discover unexpected bonds with each other.
The show is based on a novel of the same name written by Kirsten Smith, who also co-wrote the screenplay for the movie version of Legally Blonde.
Watch Trinkets here.
Post-apocalyptic, dystopian YA novels were a huge thing for younger readers. The success of the film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games trilogy was quickly followed by big screen versions of similar YA fiction books like The Maze Runner series by James Dashner and the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth.
Another successful adaptation from the same genre, however, went into small-screen production instead. The 100, now on its seventh and final season, was based on a YA science fiction of the same name written by Kass Morgan. It's originally a CW series, but Netflix has also acquired the rights to stream it to international audiences. Currently, five seasons are available for streaming on the site.
The story is set 97 years after a nuclear holocaust made the Earth uninhabitable. Humans have retreated to a space station built near Earth for solace and went on to send 100 young convicts down to Earth to find out if it’s healing enough for humans to live in it again. The plot gets more and more complicated every season as the original 100 discover new civilizations and complex political and societal issues in a planet they've never set foot on before.
Watch The 100 here.
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