(Almost) Every SFF Adaptation Coming to Television and Movie Theaters!

Thanks to major properties like Game of Thrones and Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, we’ve entered a golden age of sci-fi and fantasy properties being developed for film and television. It seems that nearly every network and studio has snatched up the rights to old and new classics, with a bevy of projects in production or premiering in the coming months. To keep you on top of the latest news, we’ve updated our master list of every SFF adaptation currently in the works, from American Gods to Y: The Last Man. And surprising no one, prolific writers Neil Gaiman and John Scalzi each have a number of projects in varying stages of development.

Check out this list and get your DVRs and Netflix queues ready, because you’re going to be wonderfully busy for the foreseeable future.

 

RUMORED

Watchmen by Alan Moore (writer) and Dave Gibbons (artist)

Watchmen TV adaptation rumoredOriginally published: 1986, DC Comics
Optioned for: Television (HBO)
What it’s about: In alternate-universe 1985—after the emergence of costumed heroes in the 1940s and ’60s turned the tide in historical events such as the Vietnam War—the murder of The Comedian brings these retired vigilantes out of hiding.
Status: “Preliminary discussions regarding Watchmen have occurred, but we have no additional information and no deals are in place,” HBO said after meeting with Zack Snyder, who adapted the graphic novel into a 2009 film.

 

ANNOUNCED

3001: The Final Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke

3001: The Final Odyssey TV adaptation Syfy Arthur C. ClarkeOriginally published: 1997, Del Rey
Optioned for: Television (Syfy)
What it’s about: In 2014, Syfy announced that it would develop a miniseries based on Clarke’s fourth and final Odyssey book, which wraps up the loose ends from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Status: No update since the 2014 announcement, and Syfy seems concerned with plenty of other projects (many of which are adaptations).

 

Aleister Arcane by Steve Niles (writer) and Breehn Burns (artist)

Aleister Arcane Steve Niles adaptation Eli RothOriginally published: 2004, IDW Publishing
Optioned for: Film (Amblin Entertainment)
What it’s about: Weatherman-turned-late-night TV horror show host Aleister Arcane (a.k.a. Green) gets a kick out of airing gory little skits, until the local sponsors in his hometown of Jackson, OK, shut him down. But when a tragic incident gets him taken off the air and forced into early retirement, the local kids realize that Aleister Arcane has laid a curse upon their town.
Status: Eli Roth is teaming up with Jim Carrey (who will star and produce) to adapt Niles’ series. Jon Croker (The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death) will write the screenplay with David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman.

 

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

Alias Grace Netflix miniseries Grace Marks Margaret Atwood adaptation Sarah PolleyOriginally published: 1996, McClelland & Stewart
Optioned for: Television (Netflix/CBC)
What it’s about: Atwood’s novel is a fictionalized account of the true-crime double murder for which domestic servant Grace Marks (along with a suspected accomplice) was convicted. The audience surrogate is the fictional character of Dr. Simon Jordan, a specialist in the burgeoning field of mental illness, who struggles to reconcile the sweet girl who has no memory of the incident, and the gruesome crime for which she is serving a life sentence.
Status: After having previously planned to adapt the novel into a feature film, Sarah Polley (Away From Her, Looking for Alaska) will write and produce the six-hour Netflix miniseries, with Mary Harron (American Psycho) directing. Sarah Gadon will star as Grace Marks, with Anna Paquin playing her deceased employer Nancy Montgomery.

 

All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

All Our Wrong Todays adaptation Elan MastaiOriginally published: 2017, Penguin Publishing Group
Optioned for: Film (Paramount/Pascal Pictures)
What it’s about: Mastai pitched the alternate-universe novel as Kurt Vonnegut trying to tell The Time Traveler’s Wife with the narrative voice of Jonathan Tropper: A man from a utopian AU falls into the very real 2015 and must decide whether he wants to return to his time or try to establish a life in this new reality.
Status: Amy Pascal nabbed the film rights at the 2015 Frankfurt Book Fair. Mastai will write the script for the adaptation and executive produce.

 

Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi

Amulet movie adaptation Kazu KibuishiOriginally published: 2008, Scholastic
Optioned for: Film (20th Century Fox)
What it’s about: Kibuishi’s ongoing graphic novel series (which won the American Library Association’s Best Book for Young Adults in 2008) follows siblings Emily and Navin through a portal into a fantasy world filled with giant robots and man-eating demons. Led by the talking rabbit Miskit, Em (wearing the eponymous amulet) and Navin search for their missing mother.
Status: 20th Century Fox is looking to develop the series into a potential film franchise. Aron Coleite (co-executive producer of the Star Trek TV series) will write the screenplay.

 

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood book movie adaptation Stephenie Meyer Kendare BlakeOriginally published: 2011, Tor Teen
Optioned for: Film (Fickle Fish Productions)
What it’s about: Ghost hunter Cas (Cameron Monaghan) is surprised when Anna Dressed in Blood (Maddie Hasson), a ghost known for killing anyone who sets foot in the abandoned Victorian she calls him, decides to spare his life. As he investigates her curse, these opposites grow closer.
Status: Twilight author Stephenie Meyer will produce, with music video director Trish Sie helming a script from Allison Wood.

 

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

Ancillary Justice original query Ann LeckieOriginally published: 2014, Orbit Books
Optioned for: Film
What it’s about:
 Breq used to be the spaceship Justice of Toren, controlling countless ancillary soldiers, before an accident fragmented her. Now, in a single form, she is returning to the Imperial Radch to confront its ruler, Anaander Mianaai.
Status: In 2014, Ann Leckie shared the exciting news that Ancillary Justice had been optioned for television! Fabrik and Fox Television Studios (who have between them worked on The Killing, Burn Notice, and The Americans, among other series) are interested, especially in terms of dealing with the series’ depictions of gender and race. There’s been no update since, but as Leckie put it, “the potential is there, and that’s tremendously cool!”

 

Astronaut Academy by Dave Roman

Astronaut Academy film TV adaptationOriginally published: 2011, First Second Books
Optioned for: Film and Television (TBD)
What it’s about: Short version: “Harry Potter in space.” Long version: Hakata Soy, along with his friends and crushes Miyumi San and Maribelle Melonbelly, split time at Astronaut Academy between pop quizzes and Fireball Championships and saving the galaxy from threats that adults just can’t handle.
Status: Writer/producer Vivek J. Tiwary (The Fifth Beatle) has optioned the film and TV rights; he is currently in talks with studios, networks, and other creatives.

 

Beacon 23 by Hugh Howey

Beacon 23 Hugh Howey adaptation Studio 8 film TV novellasOriginally published: 2016, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Optioned for: Television (Studio 8)
What it’s about: In Howey’s collection of linked novellas, the notion of the lighthouse keeping boats safe has transformed into lighthouses in space, sending beacons across the Milky Way to ensure safe passage for spaceships. But when the supposedly reliable beacons break down, a shellshocked former soldier must put aside his past to help the ships traveling out in the dark.
Status: Studio 8 has tapped Josh Friedman (creator, The Sarah Connor Chronicles and screenwriter, Avatar 3) to develop the TV series.

 

Biopunk: DIY Scientists Hack the Software of Life by Marcus Wohlsen

Biopunk book TV adaptation Zachary QuintoOriginally published: 2011, Penguin Publishing Group
Optioned for: Television (Legendary Television)
What it’s about: In 2011, WIRED editor Wohlsen delved into a then-mostly-unknown subculture of biohackers working to change how we build and alter genetic code. In the intervening half-decade, biopunk has become much more mainstream, so it’s good timing to reexamine Wohlsen’s book on the small screen.
Status: Zachary Quinto will co-executive produce and star as “the iconoclastic leader of this movement who can’t wait for the future to get here fast enough.”

 

Bone by Jeff Smith

Bone adaptation feature film Warner Bros Jeff SmithOriginally published: 1991, Cartoon Books
Optioned for: Film (Warner Bros)
What it’s about: The series follows the three Bone cousins, Fone, Smiley, and Phoney Bone, after they’re run out of Boneville and have to make a new life for themselves in a forbidding forest. They’re soon caught up in an adventure with a young woman named Thorn, which is gradually revealed to be an epic high fantasy saga.
Status: Warner Bros is planning a trilogy of feature-length animated films: Mark Osborne (Kung Fu PandaThe Little Prince) will direct a script co-written with Adam Kline (Artemis Fowl).

 

Bone Street Rumba by Daniel José Older

Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel Jose OlderOriginally published: 2015, Roc
Optioned for: TBD (Roaring Virgin Productions)
What it’s about:
 Being a “halfie”—not quite dead, not quite alive—makes Carlos Delacruz a perfect soulcatcher for the Council of the Dead in New York City: He tracks down ghosts with unfinished business and keeps them from disturbing the balance between the living and the dead.
Status: Actress Anika Noni Rose optioned Daniel José Older’s urban fantasy series in January 2015, though it’s unclear if she’ll be developing it for film or television.

 

The Book of Joan by Lidia Yuknavitch

The Book of Joan Lidia YuknavitchOriginally published: 2017, Harper
Optioned for: Film (Stone Village Productions)
What it’s about: In this futuristic retelling of the Joan of Arc story, humanity has fled the radioactive surface of the Earth for CIEL, a mysterious hovering platform. Having evolved into hairless, sexless creatures who inscribe stories upon their skin, the surviving humans are galvanized by Joan, “a child-warrior who possesses a mysterious force that lives within her and communes with the earth.”
Status: Stone Village won the movie rights before the book even hit shelves, with Scott Steindorff (The Lincoln Lawyer) and Dylan Russell (Penelope) producing.

 

Borne by Jeff VanderMeer

Borne Jeff VanderMeer Paramount adaptation Scott Rudin AnnihilationOriginally published: 2017, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Optioned for: Film (Paramount)
What it’s about: Borne follows a young woman fighting to survive in desolate near-future city. The woman finds a green lumpish creature called Borne during a scavenging mission, and begins to realize that her new companion may be more than she first thought.
Status: Scott Rudin and Eli Bush, who are currently producing the film adaptation of VanderMeer’s Annihilation with Paramount, will also produce Borne.

 

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

BraveNewWorld_FirstEditionOriginally published: 1932, Chatto & Windus
Optioned for:
Television (Syfy)
What it’s about:
 Aldous Huxley’s scarily prescient vision of the future sees humans born in hatcheries and seduced by consumerism, free sex, and—when those don’t make them entirely happy—the hallucinogenic drug soma, which they can take to get away from it all. But soon a “savage” from the “reservation” threatens the World State.
Status: Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television will adapt Huxley’s iconic novel, with Grant Morrison and Bryan Taylor (Crank) serving as writers and executive producers. No word yet if it will be a miniseries or ongoing series.

 

Camelot, from every Arthurian legend ever

Camelot King Arthur adaptation modern day FoxOptioned for: Television (Fox)
What it’s about: The legend of King Arthur, reimagined as a modern-day police procedural. Hoo boy. I’m just gonna post the synopsis: “When an ancient magic reawakens in modern-day Manhattan, a graffiti artist named Art must team with his best friend Lance and his ex, Gwen—an idealistic cop—in order to realize his destiny and fight back against the evil forces that threaten the city.”
Status: The Jackal Group’s Gail Berman (Buffy the Vampire SlayerThe Rocky Horror Picture Show reboot) and Joe Earley will oversee the project, written by Dan Frey and Ru Sommer (The Black List, Fox’s Saint Patrick) writing.

 

Castle Hangnail by Ursula Vernon

Castle Hangnail movie adaptation Ellen DeGeneresOriginally published: 2015, Dial Books
Optioned for: Film (Walt Disney Company)
What it’s about: Ellen DeGeneres, along with her A Very Good Production partner Jeffrey Kleeman, will produce the story of a 12-year-old witch who travels to Castle Hangnail to become its new master. If she fails at being as wicked as expected, the castle will be decommissioned by the Board of Magic, with its various residents (including a hypochondriac fish and a minotaur afraid of the letter Q) dispersed into the non-magic world.
Status: Recently announced.

 

Chaos Walking by Patrick Ness

The Knife of Never Letting Go Patrick Ness movie adaptationOriginally published: 2008, Walker Books
Optioned for: Film (Lionsgate)
What it’s about: In a dystopian future where all living creatures can hear each other’s thoughts, the sole boy in a town of men flees with his dog after discovering an awful secret, and comes upon a strangely silent girl.
Status: Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow) will direct; both Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and Jamie Linden (Money Monster) have taken stabs at adapting the book. Daisy Ridley has signed on to star, presumably as the silent girl Viola; Tom Holland (Spider-Man: Homecoming) is in talks to play protagonist Todd.

 

The Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny

The Chronicles of Amber television TV adaptation Robert KirkmanOriginally published: 1970, Doubleday
Optioned for: Television (Skybound Entertainment)
What it’s about: Recovering from a loss of memory, Corwin discovers that he is a prince from Amber, one of the two “true” worlds—the other being the Courts of Chaos—waging war for control over the “shadow” worlds, including Earth.
Status: Robert Kirkman and David Alpert will adapt the ten-book series; no writers have been announced yet.

 

Cormoran Strike, from the Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith

The Cuckoo's Calling adaptation Robert GalbraithOriginally published: 2013, Sphere Books
Optioned for: Television (BBC One/HBO)
What it’s about: In Galbraith’s (a.k.a. J.K. Rowling’s) mystery series, war veteran-turned-private detective Cormoran Strike (War and Peace‘s Tom Burke) copes with physical and psychological wounds while solving three complex cases that have stumped the police.
Status: Cormoran Strike will air in three separate event series: the three-hour The Cuckoo’s Calling, two-hour The Silkworm, and two-hour Career of Evil. (HBO and BBC One also worked together on the adaptation of Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy.) Filming began in fall 2016 in London.

 

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

The Darkest Minds movie adaptationOriginally published: 2012, Disney Hyperion
Optioned for: Film (20th Century Fox)
What it’s about: After a pandemic kills most of America’s children and teenagers, the survivors develop superpowers and are placed inside internment camps. Sixteen-year-old telekinetic Ruby Dee (The Hunger Games‘ Amandla Stenberg) escapes the camp, joining up with a group of teens on the run from the government. This Is UsMandy Moore will play a doctor who’s part of a crusade to stop the persecution of the children.
Status: Jennifer Yuh Nelson (Kung Fu Panda 3) will direct the adaptation, with Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum) producing.

 

Black Lightning by various authors and artists

Black Lightning TV adaptation Greg BerlantiOriginally published: 1977, DC Comics
Optioned for: Television (The CW)
What it’s about: Retired vigilante superhero Jefferson Pierce (Hart of Dixie’s Cress Williams) must don the mantel and secret identity of Black Lightning after his daughter is hell-bent on justice and his star student is recruited by a street gang.
Status: Being Mary Jane creator Mara Brock Akil is co-writing the pilot with her husband Salim Akil; both will serve as executive producers alongside Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter. After Fox dropped the pilot, The CW picked it up.

 

Deadly Class by Rick Remender (writer) and Wes Craig (artist)

Deadly Class TV adaptation Russo brothersOriginally published: 2014, Image Comics
Optioned for: Television (Sony Pictures TV)
What it’s about: High school intrigue—first love, gossip, cliques, growing up—at a boarding school for assassins in 1987 San Francisco.
Status: The Russo brothers (directors of the last two Captain America movies) are adapting the shockingly vicious series for the small screen. No word yet on network, though Deadline says the Russos are targeting cable and streaming services.

 

Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant by Tony Cliff

Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant movie adaptationOriginally published: 2013, First Second Books
Optioned for: Film (Disney)
What it’s about: Like the female Indiana Jones and trained in 47 styles of swordfighting, Delilah Dirk breaks out of a Turkish prison and picks up a mild-mannered lieutenant, Selim, as her sidekick for fighting pirates and the like.
Status: Disney is developing a live-action adaptation that could lead to a diverse franchise built on female empowerment.

 

Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey

Dragonriders of Pern movieOriginally published: 1968, Ballantine Books
Optioned for: Film (Warner Bros.)
What it’s about: The possible franchise series would begin with the first book, Dragonflight, which sees orphaned noble Lessa hiding out as a lowly servant after the assassination of her family. But as her telepathic powers grow, a dragonrider recognizes her potential to become the strongest Weyrwoman (that is, the female leader in a Weyr, or group of dragons) in recent history.
Status: As of late 2014, the studio had landed a screenwriter, but no update since then.

 

Electric Dreams: The World of Philip K. Dick, from Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

Electric Dreams: The World of Philip K. DickOriginally published: 1968, Doubleday
Optioned for: Television (Channel 4)
What it’s about: From the title, we’re assuming that Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar GalacticaOutlander) is pulling from PKD’s famous novel–but the ten-part sci-fi series will draw from his entire body of work, adapting his stories in order to “illustrate Dick’s prophetic vision and celebrate the enduring appeal of the prized sci-fi novelist’s work.”
Status: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child writer Jack Thorne will co-write scripts with Moore, who is executive producing alongside Michael Dinner (JustifiedMasters of Sex) and Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), who will also star in at least one episode.

 

Endurance: My Year in Space and Our Journey to Mars by Scott Kelly

Originally published: 2017, Knopf
Optioned for: Film (Sony Pictures)
What it’s about: Astronaut Scott Kelly’s memoir will detail his year spent in space, as well as the post-return to Earth experiments conducted on him and his twin brother and fellow astronaut Mark Kelly to help guide NASA’s plans for eventual travel to Mars.
Status: Sony Pictures picked up the competitive rights to the book; both Kelly brothers will serve as co-executive producers.

 

The Final Six by Alexandra Monir

Originally published: TBD, HarperCollins
Optioned for: Film (Sony Pictures)
What it’s about: The United Nations teams up with international space agencies to create an unprecedented coalition of six intrepid teenagers who will establish humanity’s first settlement on Jupiter’s moon Europa. Not much else is known, but the book will have themes of global unity, leadership, and environmentalism.
Status: Sony optioned the rights based on the first few chapters alone; HarperCollins recently won publishing rights. Josh Bratman at Immersive Pictures is attached to produce.

 

Foundation by Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov Foundation adaptation Jonathan NolanOriginally published: 1951, Gnome Press
Optioned for: Television (HBO)
What it’s about: Foreseeing the imminent fall of the Galactic Empire, mathematician Hari Sheldon creates a foundation of artists, academics, and engineers to preserve and expand on humanity’s knowledge before said fall.
Status: At a 2015 Paley Center panel, Jonathan Nolan said he was still “incredibly excited” about the adaptation and that he was in talks with Robyn Asimov, Isaac’s daughter, about the project. He mentioned that it would be “coming together,” but didn’t give any specifics, so we won’t put this in the In Development category just yet.

 

Gateway by Frederik Pohl

gateway-adaptationOriginally published: 1977, St. Martin’s Press
Optioned for: Television (Syfy)
What it’s about: The discovery of Gateway, a space station belonging to the Heechee alien race, in a hollow asteroid leads to a kind of gold rush for the human race, as they endeavor to learn more about the Heechee and turn these artifacts into fortunes.
Status: Syfy announced in 2015 its intention to adapt the novel to series, with David Eick (Battlestar Galactica) revising a pilot script written by Josh Pate (Falling Skies).

 

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

The Girl Who Drank the Moon adaptation Kelly BarnhillOriginally published: 2016, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Optioned for: Film (Fox Animation)
What it’s about: Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to an unseen witch. But when delivering a baby to waiting families on her yearly journey, witch Xan accidentally feeds moonlight to the infant, filling her with magic. Xan decides she must raise this enmagicked girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own, with the help of a wise swamp monster and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon.
Status: Kubo and the Two Strings co-writer Marc Haimes is adapting Barnhill’s book as a live-action/animation-hybrid film.

 

The Gone World by Thomas Sweterlitsch

Originally published: Not yet published.
Optioned for: Film (Fox)
What it’s about: Not much information is available about the book except that it’s described by Deadline as “a sci-fi time travel procedural.” Read our review of Sweterlitsch’s first novelTomorrow and Tomorrow, for an idea of his work.
Status: Last we heard, Neill Blomkamp was in talks to write and direct the adaptation, but there’s been no confirmation.

 

The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu

The Grace of Kings adaptation DMG EntertainmentOriginally published: 2015, Saga Press
Optioned for: Film (DMG Entertainment)
What it’s about: Bandit Kuni Garu and Mata Zyndu, son of a deposed duke, become friends when fighting to overthrow the emperor. But once the throne is available for the taking, they become leaders of opposing factions, with very different views on the best way to run the world.
Status: DMG Entertainment has acquired the film and licensing rights to the entire Dandelion Dynasty series into a film series.

 

Happiness Is for Humans by P.Z. Reizin

Originally published: TBA, Grand Central Publishing (US) and Sphere Fiction (UK)
Optioned for: Film (Fox 2000/Working Title)
What it’s about: Described as “Sleepless in Seattle meets Her,” the novel follows a pair of AIs who attempt matchmaking with two lovelorn humans.
Status: Fox 2000, which adapted John Green’s Paper Towns and Nicholas Sparks’ The Longest Ride for the big screen, acquired film rights to Reizin’s partial manuscript before the London Book Fair in 2016. Fox 2000 is partnering with Working Title to adapt the novel.

 

Hello, Moto, from “Hello, Moto” by Nnedi Okorafor

Hello, Moto film adaptation Fiery Film Nnedi OkoraforOriginally published: 2011, Tor.com
Optioned for: Film (Fiery Film)
What it’s about: Scientist and witch Rain hopes that her inventions, wigs that allow their wearers to wield influence and power, will help battle corruption. Instead, she watches her friends Philo and Coco themselves become corrupted, turning them against Rain as she attempts to make up for what she’s done.
Status: Nigerian film/TV company/studio Fiery Film optioned the rights in early 2017.

 

HEX by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

HEX Thomas Olde Heuvelt TV adaptationOriginally published: 2016, Tor Books
Optioned for: Television (Warner Bros.)
What it’s about: The residents of Black Spring use apps and video surveillance to keep track of their resident witch, who in turn keeps them trapped in Black Spring. But when a group of teenage boys want to broadcast the existence of Katherine van Wyler outside of their tiny town, they risk unleashing an ancient and dangerous magic.
Status: Not much information beyond the initial announcement, but in the meantime, delve into the creepiness of Black Spring by reading an excerpt.

 

The Hidden Girl, from “The Hidden Girl” by Ken Liu

Originally published: 2017, TBA
Optioned for: Film (Studio 8)
What it’s about: Described as Interstellar meets Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, “The Hidden Girl” follows a group of assassins who can cross between dimensions. And that’s all we know about it so far!
Status: Film rights were optioned before Liu’s story was even published; it will appear in the 2017 anthology The Book of Swords, edited by Gardner Dozois. Find out more about the film adaptation.

 

The Hike by Drew Magary

The Hike adaptation Drew MagaryOriginally published: 2016, Viking
Optioned for: Television (IM Global Television)
What it’s about: On a business trip in rural Pennsylvania, suburban family man Ben decides to take a short hike before his dinner meeting… only to find himself lost in the woods, his path crossed by a talking crab, a futuristic hovercraft, a 16th-century Spanish explorer, and even more surreal encounters.
Status: David S. Goyer (Batman v Superman) is producing the show, with Magary adapting his novel to pilot.

 

The House with a Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs

The House With a Clock in Its Walls adaptationOriginally published: 1973, Dial
Optioned for: Film (Mythology Entertainment)
What it’s about: Bellairs’ eerie middle-grade books follow Lewis Barnavelt and his mysterious warlock uncle Jonathan Barnavelt as they get tangled up with black magic, ancient artificats, and the apocalypse.
Status: Supernatural creator Eric Kripke was attached to adapt the series, but no movement seems to have been made on the project since 2012. In the meantime, read Grady Hendrix’s nostalgic thoughts on Bellairs!

 

The Hunger by Alma Katsu

Originally published: 2018, G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Optioned for: Film, 20th Century Fox
What it’s about: A retelling of the Donner Party tragedy, but with zombies.
Status: 20th Century Fox snapped up the film rights to former CIA analyst Katsu’s book proposal—she is currently writing the novel—with Luke Scott (The Martian) attached to direct the film.

 

Interview with the Vampire by Ann Rice

Interview With the Vampire movie adaptation Josh BooneOriginally published: 1976, Knopf
Optioned for: Film (Universal Pictures)
What it’s about: Louis de Pointe du Lac tells his life story to a reporter—but as life stories go, it’s a doozy, spanning over two centuries of being a vampire alongside his maker Lestat and their bloodthirsty charge Claudia.
Status: For a long time the rumors were that Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) was working on a movie adaptation that combined the plots of The Vampire Lestat and The Queen of the Damned. Then Boone clarified in 2016 that he was remaking Interview, by sharing a page from the script on Instagram. He has also hinted that Jared Leto could play Lestat, though that has not been confirmed.

 

Jake Ellis, from Who Is Jake Ellis? by Nathan Edmondson

Who is Jake Ellis movie adaptation graphic novel Nathan Edmondson Image ComicsOriginally published: 2011, Image Comics
Optioned for: Film (20th Century Fox)
What it’s about: Silas’ life is turned upside-down when he discovers that the voice in his head—an entire personality named Jake Ellis—is a result of human experimentation. With Jake Ellis’ help, Silas flees the people chasing him as he tries to learn what happened to him. (In the comics, Silas was former CIA analyst-turned-criminal Jon Moore; it’s unclear if the film will stick to this original background.)
Status: Josh Mond (James White) will direct the adaptation, taking over for David Yates; they’re currently looking for a screenwriter.

 

The Last Girl by Joe Hart

The Last Girl TV adaptation Joe Hart Amazon StudiosOriginally published: 2016, Thomas & Mercer
Optioned for: Television (Amazon Studios)
What it’s about: Twenty-five years after a worldwide epidemic reduced the female birth population from 50 percent to 1 percent, an entire generation grows up with a population of fewer than a thousand women. Held captive in a scientific facility looking for the cure, Zoey seeks to escape beyond the walls of the facility rather than be subjected to a potentially fatal round of experiments. But after being isolated from her family for two decades, Zoey has no idea what kind of world awaits her outside of the walls of her prison.
Status: According to Publishers Marketplace, Amazon Studios has nabbed the TV rights to Hart’s dystopian novel.

 

The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters

The Last Policeman adaptationOriginally published: 2012, Quirk Books
Optioned for: Television (CBS)
What it’s about: Asteroid 2011GV1 is hurtling toward Earth, the human race has six months left to live, people are leaving their jobs to hole up in churches to pray, and yet Detective Hank Palace is still solving murders.
Status: No updates since the original announcement in 2012, so it’s likely in development hell.

 

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore (writer) and Kevin O’Neill (artist)

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie adaptation reboot Alan MooreOriginally published: 1999, DC Comics
Optioned for: Film (20th Century Fox)
What it’s about: The ongoing comic book series teams up a bevy of Victorian characters from literature—including Mina Murray, Allan Quatermain, Captain Nemo, Doctor Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, and the Invisible Man—to fight various nasties.
Status: The 2003 movie adaptation starring Sean Connery tanked, but Fox is rebooting itself over a decade later. No cast has yet been announced.

 

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

The Lies of Locke Lamora TV adaptation Scott LynchOriginally published: 2006, Bantam Spectra
Optioned for: Television (TBA)
What it’s about: Elite con artists the Gentleman Bastards—counting among their ranks their leader Father Chains and his protege Locke Lamora—rob the rich in the Venice-like city of Camorr on a distant planet. As Locke comes of age, the Gentleman Bastards find themselves fighting the mysterious Gray King, looking to take over the criminal underworld.
Status: Warner Bros. had acquired the film rights shortly after the book’s release in 2006, but those seem to have lapsed. In 2014, TV writer Ryan Condal (The Sixth Gun) claimed that he was writing a pilot; Lynch neither confirmed nor denied that he was confirming or denying the news.

 

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

Little BrotherOriginally published: 2008, Tor Books
Optioned for:
Film (Paramount Pictures)
What it’s about:
 Cory Doctorow’s modern techno-thriller follows a 17-year-old hacker in the wrong place at the wrong time following a terrorist attack on San Francisco, and how he and his friends must fend for themselves when their home becomes a police state.
Status: In 2015, Paramount Pictures acquired Cory Doctorow’s hacker series as its own “reality-based” YA franchise; no update since then.

 

The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu

The Lives of Tao adaptationOriginally published: 2013, Angry Robot Books
Optioned for: Television (ABC)
What it’s about: IT consultant Roen Tan must become a secret agent when he’s taken over by an ancient alien named Tao. He soon learns that whether he likes it or not, he’s part of a terrifying alien civil war—and one side is quite willing to wipe humanity out in order to win. Roen must fight to save his species, while also training to become a real secret agent.
Status: Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas, the executive producers behind Agent Carter, are developing the series with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter‘s Chris Dingess. Chu will serve as a consultant.

 

Lock In by John Scalzi

Lock In adaptationOriginally published: 2014, Tor Books
Optioned for:
Television (Legendary TV)
What it’s about:
 Legendary TV, behind The Expanse and Colony, optioned the rights to Lock In to develop a pilot about the virus that paralyzes one percent (or five million) of the population; these people are called Hadens, after Haden’s Syndrome. Twenty-five years later, the murder of a Haden brings in the FBI, with the main suspect being an Integrator, or one who lets the Hadens use their bodies.
Status: Still very much in the early stages. In a recent interview, Scalzi cautioned fans of his books to “not get too excited” about his various optioned projects until they’ve heard that they’ve been greenlit and/or that production has wrapped.

 

Locke & Key by Joe Hill

Locke & Key Joe Hill adaptation film TVOriginally published: 2008, IDW Publishing
Optioned for: Television (IDW Entertainment)
What it’s about: After the gruesome murder of their father/husband, the Locke family moves in to their family estate on the island of Lovecraft, Massachusetts. As the Locke boys mourn their father, they also discover a set of magical keys that open strange doors in the house… but that also draw out creatures who’ve been looking for those locks and keys.
Status: Locke & Key has gone through a number of failed adaptations, from a Dimension Films movie to a TV series—that Fox greenlit in 2011, only to pass on—to a movie trilogy from Universal Pictures. Now, it sounds as if IDW Entertainment is developing Locke & Key as a straight-to-series project before finding a proper home on a network—possibly a place like Netflix or Amazon Studios. In a statement, Hill mentioned that the six books would work nicely as six seasons of a television series.

 

Logan’s Run by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson

Logan's Run movie adaptationOriginally published: 1967, Dial Press
Optioned for: Film (Warner Bros.)
What it’s about: In the dystopian future of 2116, the population lives only to 21; on citizens’ Lastdays, they are executed, or those who attempt to escape are run down by Sandmen. Logan-5, a Sandman, plans to ring in his 21st birthday by tracking down the rumored Sanctuary that takes in runners; instead, he becomes sympathetic to their cause.
Status: The 1976 movie adaptation became a cult classic but changed some key details (like raising the age from 21 to 30). Joel Silver, Simon Kinberg, and Ryan Condal are teaming up on a new film that will hew closer to the original novel.

 

Lumberjanes by Shannon Watters (writer), Grace Ellis (writer), Brooke A. Allen (artist), and Noelle Stevenson (writer)

Lumberjanes film adaptationOriginally published: 2014, Boom! Studios
Optioned for: Film (20th Century Fox)
What it’s about: Boom! Studios describes its beloved series as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Gravity Falls and features five butt-kicking, rad teenage girls wailing on monsters and solving a mystery with the whole world at stake.”
Status: Emily Carmichael (Powerhouse) will direct the adaptation.

 

Luna: New Moon by Ian McDonald

Luna: New Moon adaptationOriginally published: 2015, Tor Books/Gollancz
Optioned for:
Television (CBS)
What it’s about:
 In 2110, fifty years after the Moon’s colonization, the top ruling families—the Five Dragons—are intermarrying, poisoning, sabotaging, and battling for control of the Moon.
Status: CBS Television Studios won the bidding war over adaptation rights in August. In the meantime, we made a handy chart showing you how everyone is related in this drama some are likening to “Game of Thrones on the Moon.”

 

Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger, from Cloak and Dagger by various authors and artists

Cloak and Dagger TV show FreeformOriginally published: 1983, Marvel Comics
Optioned for: Television (Freeform/Marvel Television)
What it’s about: Marvel is expanding its television universe with a show aimed at teenagers on Freeform (formerly known as ABC Family). Tandy “Dagger” Bowen and Tyrone “Cloak” Johnson are an unusual duo, in that their superpowers are incredibly complementary: She can create daggers of light, while he can engulf others in total darkness. No word yet on which of Cloak and Dagger’s many Marvel Comics plotlines the show will actually be based.
Status: Writer/director Gina Prince-Bythewood (Beyond the Lights, An Untamed State) will direct the pilot, and the leads have been cast: former Disney Channel star Olivia Holt will play Tandy, while The Night Of’s Aubrey Joseph will portray Tyrone.

 

Mika Model, from “Mika Model” by Paolo Bacigalupi

Paolo Bacigalupi Mika Model adaptation movie NetflixOriginally published: 2016, Slate
Optioned for: Film (Netflix)
What it’s about: Bacigalupi’s short story “Mika Model,” written as part of Slate’s Future Tense initiative, has drawn comparisons to Ex Machina for its examination of whether a robot (a sex bot, no less) is capable of murder. Detective Rivera finds himself grappling not only with his attraction to the fantasy-in-the-synthetic-flesh, but also with issues of morality and justice.
Status: Up-and-comer David Weil is in talks to adapt the screenplay, as the subject matter matches one of his spec screenplays that made it onto the 2014 Hit List. Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum, Real Steel) will produce.

 

The Monolith by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray (writers) and Phil Winslade (artist)

The Monolith graphic novel adaptation LionsgateOriginally published: 2004, Image Comics
Optioned for: Film (Lionsgate)
What it’s about: In this modern-day retelling of the golem legend, ex-junkie Alice Cohen inherits a Brooklyn house from her grandmother, only to discover a diary from the 1930s detailing the creation of a monster that would avenge a good man’s death.
Status: Dave Wilson (creative director of the studio that made Deadpool) will direct a screenplay by Barnett Brettler.

 

Mort by Terry Pratchett

Mort Terry Pratchett movie adaptation Narrativia memorialOriginally published: 1987, Gollancz
Optioned for: Film (Narrativia)
What it’s about: Hapless Mort lives up to his name when he becomes the apprentice to Death. But he is torn between helping his master usher souls into the afterlife and the desire to change destiny for pretty princesses and others called before their time.
Status: Recently announced at Pratchett’s memorial. Terry Rossio (Aladdin, Shrek, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl) will write the adapted screenplay.

 

Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve

Mortal Engines adaptation Peter JacksonOriginally published: 2001, Scholastic
Optioned for: Film (Universal Pictures/MRC)
What it’s about: Mortal Engines is the first book in a quartet set in a distant future called the Traction Era. A catastrophic Sixty-Minute War laid waste to Earth, and obliterated national boundaries. People rebuilt society by focusing on “Traction Cities”—that is, mobile city-states that are mounted on tracks and can attack each other for resources as part of a system known as “Municipal Darwinism.”
Status: Peter Jackson will adapt the screenplay (with Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens) and produce the film, with his protégé Christian Rivers directing. As for the cast, Stephen Lang, Jihae, and Leila George have joined the project.

 

Mouse Guard by David Peterson

Mouse Guard movie adaptationOriginally published: 2006, Archaia Studios Press
Optioned for: Film (Fox)
What it’s about: Peterson’s graphic novel series follows the Mouse Guard, a brotherhood of medieval mice in an alternate-history world without humans, protecting their fellow mice from predators.
Status: Rogue One screenwriter Gary Whitta will pen the adaptation, with War for the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves producing. The movie will employ motion-capture technology to try to mimic the art and feel of Peterson’s story.

 

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Murder on the Orient Express movie adaptationOriginally published: 1934, Collins Crime Club
Optioned for: Film (Fox)
What it’s about: Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley, Judi Dench, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Peña, Derek Jacobi, Leslie Odom Jr., and others form the ensemble for Christie’s famous mystery about Hercule Poirot’s attempts to solve a murder aboard the Orient Express, with the murderer among the passengers.
Status: Kenneth Branagh will direct and costar as Poirot.

 

Newsflesh by Mira Grant

Feed Mira Grant movie adaptationOriginally published: 2010, Orbit Books
Optioned for: Film (Electric Entertainment)
What it’s about: In 2040, the post-zombie generation is all infected with a miracle-cure-turned-infection that will cause them to amplify at death, used to routine blood tests and carrying a gun to ward off wild undead, and get all their news from bloggers like the After the End Times. The first book, Feed, sees Georgia and Shaun Mason following the Republican senator on the campaign trail, though they hit a few zombie-shaped stumbling blocks. Learn more about the world of Newsflesh here.
Status: The rights were optioned in 2012, but there doesn’t seem to have been much movement made on the project so far. We want to see the Masons move from the computer screen to the silver screen!

 

October Daye by Seanan McGuire

October Daye optioned film adaptation Seanan McGuireOriginally published: 2009, DAW
Optioned for: Television (Kung Fu Monkey Productions)
What it’s about: After being cursed by someone from the world of Fae, changeling October Daye is ready to embrace only the human half of her heritage. But when she gets geased into investigating a murdered fae, she must return to the kingdom of Fae, hidden just beneath the surface of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Status: The film rights were acquired in 2013, but as of 2014, McGuire had no updates to share on the project. In a recent column, Foz Meadows made the case for adapting the October Daye books—but as a TV series. As it turns out, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries writer Margaret Dunlap is adapting the series for television, but as she explained in a recent podcast, it’s a slow process.

 

The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

The Paper Magician adaptationOriginally published: 2014, 47North
Optioned for: Movie (Walt Disney Company)
What it’s about: After graduating from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony Twill is heartbroken when she’s assigned an apprenticeship with paper magic instead of her true love, metal magic. And once she bonds to paper, she won’t be able to do any other magic. But as she finds herself warming up to bespelling paper, she also discovers forbidden, dark magic, at great price.
Status: Producer Allison Shearmur (The Hunger Games, Rogue One) has picked up the project for Disney.

 

The Passage by Justin Cronin

The Passage adaptation Justin CroninOriginally published: 2010, Ballantine Books
Optioned for: Television (Fox)
What it’s about: Cronin’s trilogy takes place over about a century, and combines elements of a tense conspiracy thriller, a post-apocalyptic horror, and a vampire tale, while focusing on the young girl who is the last hope for humanity.
Status: Fox has committed to a pilot for The Passage. Ridley Scott’s production company, Scott Free, will be working with Fox, Friday Night Lights’ Liz Helden, and Matt Reeves (director of Cloverfield and Let Me In) to adapt the book. Cronin will also be a co-producer.

 

Queen of Shadows, from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass series TV adaptation Queen of Shadows Sarah J. Maas HuluOriginally published: 2012, Bloomsbury
Optioned for: Television (Hulu)
What it’s about: In a land without magic, assassin Celaena Sardothien must fight 23 challengers in order to win her freedom… to become the champion of a tyrannical king.
Status: Kira Snyder (The 100The Handmaid’s Tale) will write the pilot, with Anna Foerster (Outlander, Underworld: Blood Wars) set to direct.

 

Ranger’s Apprentice, from the Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan

Ranger's Apprentice movie adaptationOriginally published: 2004, Philomel (US & Canada) and Random House (Australia & New Zealand)
Optioned for: Film (Dick Cook Studios)
What it’s about: After spending the first fifteen years of his life wanting to be a Ranger, with their dark cloaks and shadowy ways, Will finally gets the chance when he is selected as a Ranger’s apprentice. But he quickly learns that not only are the Rangers the protectors of the kingdom, but there’s a battle brewing that will need every skill he can obtain.
Status: Paul Haggis and his daughter Alissa Sullivan Haggis are writing the screenplay, with Haggis directing and co-producing. Lou Xiaolou, chairman of China-based financier Film Carnival Co. Ltd., said, “Ranger’s Apprentice is only the beginning to our strategic plan of a more comprehensive collaboration.”

 

Redliners, based on short fiction by Charlaine Harris

Originally published: various
Optioned for: Television (NBC)
What it’s about: A pair of former spies living in suburbia are thrust back into the business when a failed hit on one of them leaves the assassin dead. As they dive back into the world of espionage, they find themselves able to apply the life-and-death techniques of spycraft to the more mundane parts of their everyday lives.
Status: Emerald City executive producer Shaun Cassidy and comics creator Kelly Sue DeConnick (also involved with Emerald City) are setting up NBC’s second Harris project, after Midnight, Texas.

 

Redshirts by John Scalzi

John Scalzi RedshirtsOriginally published: 2012, Tor Books
Optioned for:
Television (FX)
What it’s about:
 In the 25th century, five new recruits on the Starship Intrepid start to notice the suspiciously high death toll happening to their crew… but their investigations uncover a meta conspiracy. A year after Redshirts won the Hugo Award, FX bought the rights for a limited series on television. At the 2014 LA Festival of Books, Scalzi discussed the adaptation: “The book is the book; the book will always be the book. The book is designed for this medium: to be a novel. When we transfer it to television, we have to take what works in the novel that will also work in the medium of television. You have to understand when you get on the Hollywood train that your book is a source.”
Status: Still very much in the early stages. See also: Lock In.

 

Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson

Robopocalypse adaptationOriginally published: 2011, Doubleday
Optioned for:
Film (Dreamworks)
What it’s about:
 Basically World War Z with robots, Daniel H. Wilson’s novel provides an oral history of the Singularity and its aftermath.
Status: Steven Spielberg has been circling the project for years, but it’s currently been postponed. In late 2014, Wilson clarified that it’s “basically in the queue” behind Spielberg’s other projects. In early 2016, Drew Goddard (The Martian) put a positive spin on the delays: “There are so many times when projects don’t go at a certain release date but find a better home later” and “It was just a joy to see [Spielberg] in action and learn from him.”

 

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Scythe Neal ShustermanOriginally published: 2016, Simon & Schuster
Optioned for: Film (Universal/Bluegrass Films)
What it’s about: Despite eradicating all disease, hunger, and war, humankind must still keep the population levels manageable, through trained killers known as scythes. Two teens, Citra and Rowan, are unwillingly apprenticed to a scythe, knowing that they must learn this “art” of killing or risk losing their lives instead.
Status: Scott Stuber and Dylan Clark will produce the adaptation for Bluegrass Films.

 

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

Seveneves Neal Stephenson adaptation Ron Howard Brian GrazerOriginally published: 2015, William Morrow
Optioned for: Film (Skydance)
What it’s about: When the Moon unexpectedly blows up, it turns Earth into a ticking time bomb—prompting humans to create a multinational ark in the hopes of finding a new home before theirs is uninhabitable. Five thousand years later, the seven distinct races created from the survivors return to explore the foreign planet Earth.
Status: Director-producer duo Ron Howard and Brian Grazer are reteaming with Apollo 13 screenwriter Bill Broyles to adapt Neal Stephenson’s doorstopper of a generation ship novel.

 

The Shambling Guide to New York City by Mur Lafferty

The Shambling Guide to New York City movie adaptation Mur LaffertyOriginally published: 2013, Orbit Books
Optioned for: Film (Netflix)
What it’s about: Travel writer Zoe takes a shady job in New York City’s publishing industry… writing a travel guide to the Big Apple for the undead.
Status: Netflix, which has begun releasing other feature films including Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny and Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, is counting on The Shambling Guide to hit the sweet spot between YA and urban fantasy with this adaptation.

 

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

The Shining Girls Lauren Beukes movie adaptationOriginally published: 2013, Mulholland Books
Optioned for: Film (MRC)
What it’s about: Beukes’ celebrated time travel centers on Midwest serial killer Harper Curtis, who discovers a wormhole in a house that allows him to jump through time and hunt down the “shining girls” whose auras compel him; and Kirby Mizrachi, the only victim to survive an attack and (as she grows up) his eventual nemesis.
Status: Previously considered for television, The Shining Girls looks to be a film now. Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game, Passengers) is in talks to direct the adaptation, with Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davison Killoran producing. Danny Boyle was previously attached to write the screenplay but left the project; perhaps Beukes, who is adapting her novel Zoo City as a screenplay, will take a stab at it.

 

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

Ship Breaker adaptation Paolo Bacigalupi Paul HaggisOriginally published: 2010, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Optioned for: Film (Far East)
What it’s about: The novel, set after the melting of the polar ice caps, contemplates a world in which many major cities are underwater and follows a young boy named Nailer who tries to help a girl named Nita escape a blackmail plot.
Status: Oscar-winning writer/director Paul Haggis (Million Dollar Baby, Crash) will direct the adaptation, the first in a planned trilogy.

 

The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair adaptation reboot C.S. LewisOriginally published: 1953, Geoffrey Bles
Optioned for: Film (TriStar Pictures)
What it’s about: The fourth Chronicles of Narnia installment sees Aslan calling upon Eustace Scrubb (from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader) and his classmate Jill Pole to recover King Caspian X’s missing son and only heir.
Status: TriStar, The Mark Gordon Company, eOne, and The C.S. Lewis Company are rebooting the Narnia movie franchise, with David Magee (Finding NeverlandLife of Pi) writing the script.

 

Six Months, Three Days by Charlie Jane Anders

six-months-book-coverOriginally published: 2011, Tor.com
Optioned for:
Television (NBC)
What it’s about:
 Charlie Jane Anders’ Hugo-winning Tor.com novellette tracks the doomed relationship between a man who can see the future and a woman who can see many futures.
Status: In 2013, NBC nabbed the rights to adapt the novelette (with Krysten Ritter producing) into “a light procedural” that recasts the man and woman as bickering private investigators who know they’ll fall in love… if they can save him from getting killed in six months and three days.

 

Spin by Robert Charles Wilson

Spin Robert Charles Wilson adaptationOriginally published: 2005, Tor Books
Optioned for: Television (Syfy)
What it’s about: The Big Blackout cuts Earth off from the stars and sun through an alien barrier. With time passing faster outside of the barrier than on Earth, the youngest generation discovers that they may be the last: The sun will die in forty years unless someone figures out how to reverse this apocalypse or find new life on Mars.
Status: Syfy is supposedly planning a six-hour miniseries, but it wasn’t announced with the last crop of premieres, so it’s likely on the back burner.

 

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

station-elevenOriginally published: 2014, Knopf Doubleday
Optioned for: Film (Stone Village Productions)
What it’s about: The Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning novel envisions a post-apocalyptic future twenty years after a flu pandemic wiped out much of civilization. The story is told through Kirsten Raymonde and The Traveling Symphony, a roaming troupe of actors keeping the arts and humanity alive.
Status: Stone Village, who is also adapting Lidia Yuknavitch’s The Book of Joan, recently acquired movie rights.

 

Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein

Stranger in a Strange Land adaptationOriginally published: 1961, Putnam Publishing Group
Optioned for: Television (Syfy)
What it’s about: Heinlein’s classic novel tells the story of Valentine Michael Smith, a human who was raised by Martians, and who has to find way to adapt to human society after coming to live on Earth.
Status: Paramount TV and Universal Cable Productions (who have also collaborated on the series Shooter and Pendergast) are teaming up to adapt the novel.

 

Temeraire by Naomi Novik

Temeraire TV adaptation Peter Jackson Naomi NovikOriginally published: 2006, Del Rey
Optioned for: Film or Television (TBD)
What it’s about: Alternate-history Napoleonic Wars in which protagonist Captain Will Laurence is part of the Aerial Corps, battling the French forces on the backs of fearsome dragons like his own, Temeraire.
Status: Peter Jackson optioned the rights in 2006 but has not made any moves to develop the project. According to quotes he gave in 2009, it would seem that he had originally intended to make a film trilogy, then realized that the material would be better suited to a miniseries. Unfortunately, that was in a pre-Game of Thrones world where epic fantasies didn’t exist so comfortably on the small screen. There’s been no word since, and Jackson is busy with a number of other projects; but more than one outlet has suggested he turn his attention back to Temeraire.

 

The Terror by Dan Simmons

The Terror Dan Simmons adaptationOriginally published: 2007, Little, Brown and Company
Optioned for: Television (AMC)
What it’s about: In 1847, a Royal Naval expedition crew searching for the Northwest Passage is attacked by a mysterious predator that stalks their ships and crew.
Status: Mad Men‘s Jared Harris has signed on to star in AMC’s anthology series, based on Simmons’ novel.

 

The Themis Files, from Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

Sleeping Giants adaptation Sylvain NeuvelOriginally published: 2016, Del Rey
Optioned for: Film (Sony Pictures Entertainment)
What it’s about: After falling through the ground and into the palm of a giant metal hand as a child, Rose Franklin, now grown-up and a physicist, leads a team to discover the answers behind the hand… and where the rest of the body is.
Status: Josh Bratman (Fright Night) and Matt Tolmach (The Amazing Spider-Man) will co-produce the film adaptation.

 

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

These Broken Stars Amie Kaufman Megan Spooner adaptationOriginally published: 2013, Disney Hyperion
Optioned for: Television (Freeform)
What it’s about: When the massive luxury spaceliner Icarus crashes into the closest planet, the only survivors are Lilac LaRoux (daughter of the richest man in the universe) and Tarver Merendsen (a war hero with humble origins). As these literally star-crossed lovers help each other survive, they begin to wonder if they even want to get off their new planet.
Status: Actor and producer Eric Balfour is teaming up with his producing partner Stephanie Varella and Fargo producer Warren Littlefield to adapt the first book in the Starbound trilogy (which includes This Shattered World and Their Fractured Light, both published). Continuum creator/showrunner Simon Barry will write the teleplay.

 

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

This Savage Song film adaptationOriginally published: 2016, HarperCollins
Optioned for: Film (Sony Pictures/Safehouse Pictures)
What it’s about: In the dystopian V-City, violent acts have bred actual monsters. One monster, August, can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. But as he tries to tamp down his murderous impulses, he finds himself teamed up with Kate, the daughter of an extortionist, after an assassination attempt.
Status: Sony has optioned the film rights.

 

Trees by Warren Ellis (writer) and Jason Howard (artist)

Trees Warren Ellis adaptationOriginally published: 2014, Image Comics
Optioned for: Television (Hardy Son & Baker/NBCUniversal)
What it’s about: Aliens land on Earth, but they don’t make contact—they just stand on the surface, exerting silent pressure, refusing to acknowledge humans as intelligent life.
Status: Tom Hardy’s production company is currently developing the TV adaptation.

 

Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Originally published: 2017, Hyperion
Optioned for: Film (Cross Creek Pictures)
What it’s about: Unearthed is the first book of a forthcoming duology by the writing duo behind These Broken Stars and is described as “Lara Croft meets Indiana Jones, set in deep space.”
Status: Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman is planning to direct the adaptation.

 

Untitled Divergent Spinoff, from the Divergent series by Veronica Roth

Divergent spinoff TV seriesOriginally published: 2011, HarperCollins
Optioned for: Television (Lionsgate)
What it’s about: Post-apocalyptic Chicago has been split into five factions, ways to group citizens possessing different affinities: Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless, and Erudite. When Abnegation member Tris discovers that she is Divergent—able to choose more than one faction—she goes for the brave, reckless adventurers Dauntless. Along the way, she uncovers conspiracy upon conspiracy that threaten the entire social system of the city.
Status: The Divergent franchise stumbled in the box office, with the third installment (part one of the third book) Allegiant not doing as well as its predecessors Divergent and Insurgent. Lionsgate has announced that it will release the fourth planned film, Ascendant, as a TV movie, and then develop a spinoff starring an entirely new cast. However, it’s unclear if stars Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller will even return for Ascendant; Woodley said in a recent interview, “I didn’t sign up to be in a TV show.”

 

Uprising, from The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress movie adaptation Uprising Bryan SingerOriginally published: 1966, G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Optioned for: Film (20th Century Fox)
What it’s about: Heinlein’s Hugo-winning novel depicts the revolt of a former Lunar penal colony against the Lunar Authority controlling it from Earth (no doubt where the movie’s title comes from)—a rebellion that counts among its numbers a technician, an academic, and an artificial intelligence committed to the cause.
Status: Fox picked up the movie rights in 2015, with X-Men‘s Bryan Singer attached to direct. This will be the third attempted adaptation of the novel; DreamWorks and Phoenix Pictures both had projects in the works at some point, but each time the rights reverted back to Heinlein’s estate.

 

The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

The War of the Worlds TV adaptation MTV H.G. Wells Teen Wolf creatorOriginally published: 1898, William Heinemann
Optioned for: Television (The Firm/MTV)
What it’s about: An unnamed protagonist in Surrey and his brother in London watch as Martians invade southern London.
Status: Teen Wolf creators Jeff Davis and Andrew Cochran will adapt Wells’ iconic novel for television.

 

The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett

Five Books About Prophecy The Demon Cycle Peter V. Brett The Warded ManOriginally published: 2009, Del Rey
Optioned for: Film (New Harlem Partnership)
What it’s about: Three young survivors of vicious demon (or coreling) attacks step beyond the safe bounds of warded magic to discover secrets about the past and figure out how to level the playing field between humans and corelings.
Status: After Paul W.S. Anderson’s hold on the rights expired, Spike Seldin (The A-Team) and Hans Futterman picked them up. Brett will adapt his novel into a screenplay. New Harlem is currently meeting with potential financiers and distributors.

 

The Warriors by Sol Yurick

The Warriors book adaptation TV Russo brothersOriginally published: 1965, E.P. Dutton
Optioned for: Television (Paramount TV/Hulu)
What it’s about: When they’re framed for the murder of the leader of New York City’s street gangs, the eponymous Warriors must race back to their home turf of Coney Island before the rival gangs tear them apart.
Status: The Russo brothers (Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Civil War) will direct a script from Frank Baldwin as a one-hour drama.

 

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson The Way of Kings Cosmere adaptation DMG EntertainmentOriginally published: 2010, Tor Books
Optioned for: Film (DMG Entertainment)
What it’s about: The first installment in The Stormlight Archive follows Kaladin, a medical apprentice turned slave; Brightlord Dalinar Kholin, commanding one of ten armies in a war that makes no sense; Shallan, an untried woman seeking to train under an eminent scholar and notorious heretic; and the fallen Knights Radiant and the Shardblades they left behind.
Status: DMG Entertainment has made a licensing and film deal for the rights to Sanderson’s Cosmere universe. DMG likened the acquisition to obtaining the rights for a comic-book universe, as the Cosmere contains The Stormlight Archive, Mistborn, White Sand, and more. They are currently fast-tracking an adaptation of Way of Kings; screenwriters Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, the writing team behind several Saw films, will adapt the screenplay. DMG is also adapting the Mistborn series for film but has not determined a screenwriter yet. Sanderson will serve as an executive producer. In the meantime, check out our Way of Kings dream-cast.

 

We Are All Completely Fine by Daryl Gregory

We Are All Completely Fine adaptation Daryl GregoryOriginally published: 2014, Tachyon Publications
Optioned for: Television (Syfy)
What it’s about: Psychotherapist Dr. Jan Sayer brings together the final girls (and final boys) of various horror-movie scenarios for a support group. But in trying to help these survivors, Dr. Sayer unwittingly unlocks the supernatural evils buried within their consciousnesses.
Status: After Wes Craven’s death in 2015, Syfy announced that it still intends to move forward with a number of projects, including We Are All Completely Fine.

 

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

We Have Always Lived in the Castle adaptation Sebastian StanOriginally published: 1962, Viking Press
Optioned for: Film (Further Films/Great Point Media)
What it’s about: One of Jackson’s best-known stories, We Have Always Lived in the Castle centers on a perverse, possibly murderous family whose isolation from the outside world is upended by a distant cousin (Sebastian Stan) looking to uncover dark secrets.
Status: Michael Douglas is producing the thriller adaptation, from a screenplay written by Stacie Passon (Concussion) and Mark Kruger (Damien, Teen Wolf).

 

The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

Wee Free Men Pratchett adaptation movie Rhianna PratchettOriginally published: 2003, Doubleday
Optioned for: Film (Narrativia & The Jim Henson Company)
What it’s about: The first of several Tiffany Aching stories, about the young witch-to-be’s discovery of her powers. Armed with her frying pan and common sense, and aided by the Wee Free Men, Tiffany faces off against headless horsemen, dreams come true (in the worst way), and the Elf Queen.
Status: Pratchett’s daughter Rhianna Pratchett announced back in 2013 that she was adapting the novel as a feature-length film, but there were no updates until the project was confirmed at Pratchett’s memorial. The Jim Henson Company will co-produce with Narrativia.

 

The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan

Wheel of Time TV pilot adaptation rumors statementOriginally published: 1990, Tor Books
Optioned for: Television (TBA)
What it’s about: Everything you need to know is in the Wheel of Time Reread Redux.
Status: In early 2015, a baffling Wheel of Time “pilot” appeared online. Harriet McDougal, the late author’s wife and CEO of the Bandersnatch Group (to whom the movie and TV rights reverted back to in February 2015), released a statement clarifying that the pilot was neither seen nor approved by the Jordan estate. In April 2016, McDougal announced that legal issues had been resolved and “WoT will become a cutting edge TV Series.” Official word to come soon from the studio.

 

Wicked, from Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire

Wicked book musical movie adaptation Gregory MaguireOriginally published: 1996, HarperCollins
Optioned for: Film (Universal Pictures)
What it’s about: Maguire’s political and ethical commentary is a revisionist take on the Wicked Witch’s life—reimagining her as Elphaba, the misunderstood, green-skinned girl who befriends another witch-to-be, Galinda, at Shiz University and stumbles upon corruption in the Emerald City.
Status: Technically, the movie is adapting the beloved Broadway musical Wicked, with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by Winnie Holtzmann. But since their show was inspired by Maguire’s book, I’m counting it. Universal recently announced the release date: December 20, 2019. The only other information we know so far is that Stephen Daldry and Marc Platt—both producers of the long-running show—will direct and produce, respectively.

 

Wild Cards, from the Wild Cards series edited by George R.R. Martin and Melinda Snodgrass

Wild Cards TV adaptation George R.R. Martin Melinda SnodgrassOriginally published: 1987, Bantam Books
Optioned for: Television (Universal Cable Productions)
What it’s about: Martin’s shared-universe anthology tracks the aftermath of an alien virus released after World War II, which killed 90% of those who contracted it but imbued a small number of survivors with extraordinary powers. Some have used them for good, others for evil. The 22 published installments have featured stories by dozens of authors, including Roger Zelazny, Pat Cadigan, Daniel Abraham, Ty Franck, Cherie Priest, Paul Cornell, and more.
Status: Martin recently announced that Universal Cable Productions is adapting the mosaic novels for television, with co-editor Melinda Snodgrass (Star Trek: The Next Generation) as showrunner alongside producer Gregory Noveck from Syfy Films. Martin also invites readers to share their dream casts!

 

Wool by Hugh Howey

Wool Hugh Howey adaptation Nicole PerlmanOriginally published: 2013, Simon & Schuster
Optioned for: Film (20th Century Fox)
What it’s about: In a post-apocalyptic future characterized by a ruined and toxic landscape, surviving humans live in a silo deep underground. When Sheriff Holston breaks the community’s most important rule, asking to go outside, he is replaced by mechanic Juliette. But as Juliette is entrusted with fixing her silo, she begins to discover just how broken their society is.
Status: Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain Marvel screenwriter Nicole Perlman was hired to revise previous drafts of the screenplay. However, there’s been no update on the project since mid-2015.

 

The Wrong Grave, from “The Wrong Grave” by Kelly Link

The Wrong Grave Kelly Link short filmOriginally published: 2009, Text Publishing
Optioned for: Film (Independent)
What it’s about: Sixteen-year-old Miles Sperry digs up the grave of his girlfriend Bethany Baldwin, who hasn’t been dead for much longer than a year, to recover the bad love poetry he buried with her.
Status: You can follow along with the production on Facebook and the official website.

 

Zero K by Don DeLillo

Zero K adaptation Don DeLillo FXOriginally published: 2016, Scribner
Optioned for: Television (FX)
What it’s about: Billionaire Ross Lockhart sends his wife Artis Martineau, diagnosed with a terminal illness, to a secret compound where bodies are preserved and death is staved off. With a personal investment now joining his financial stake, Ross hopes that Zero K can help save Artis’ life… but the story is told from the POV of Jeffrey Lockhart, their son.
Status: The rights were optioned before the book was even published.

 

Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke

Zita the Spacegirl adaptation Ben Hatke Fox AnimationOriginally published: 2011, First Second Books
Optioned for: Film (Fox Animation)
What it’s about: When her best friend is abducted by an alien doomsday cult, Zita leaps to the rescue—encountering ancient prophecies, doomed planets, and mysterious con men along the way.
Status: Screenwriting duo Morgan Jurgenson and Alex Ankeles (Hyperdrive, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil) will adapt Eisner Award winner Ben Hatke’s Miyazaki-esque graphic novel trilogy.

 

IN DEVELOPMENT

100 Bullets by Brian Azzarello (writer) and Eduardo Risso (artist)

100-bulletsOriginally published: 1999-2009, Vertigo Comics
Optioned for:
Film (New Line Cinema)
What it’s about:
 In Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso’s noiry, pulpy comic book series, the mysterious Agent Graves approaches people with a gun, the identity of the person who ruined their lives, and a hundred rounds of untraceable ammunition.
Status: Tom Hardy is on board to produce and potentially star in the movie adaptation.

 

Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan

Altered Carbon adaptationOriginally published: 2002, Gollancz
Optioned for: Television (Netflix)
What it’s about: In a post-cyberpunk future, human consciousness can be stored, downloaded, and reuploaded into “sleeves,” or new bodies. Soldier Takeshi Kovacs (Joel Kinnaman) is downloaded into the body of a disgraced cop to investigate the death of a Meth, or aristocrat, who’s convinced that he was murdered. The rest of the cast includes James Purefoy (as Laurens Bancroft, a Meth), Dichen Lachman (as Takashi’s sister Reileen Kawahara), Leonardo Nam (as Stronghold Kovacs, Takeshi’s former body), and more.
Status: Formerly being developed as a movie with Mythology Entertainment, now Altered Carbon will be a Netflix series produced by Skydance Television. Morgan will act as a consultant (and possibly write some episodes) for the ten-episode season.

 

Bodies by Si Spencer (writer) and Tula Lotay, Phil Winslade, Meghan Hetrick, and Dean Ormston (artists)

Bodies graphic novel adaptation television TV HuluOriginally published: 2014, Vertigo Comics
Optioned for: Television (Hulu)
What it’s about: This miniseries follows four detectives trying to solve four murder cases, all in London but in distinct time periods: the 1890s, the 1940s, 2014, and post-apocalyptic 2050.
Status: Amulet screenwriter Aron Coleite is developing Bodies with Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey’s Team Downey company.

 

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Darker Shade of MagicOriginally published: 2015, Tor Books
Optioned for: Film (G-BASE)
What it’s about: Traveler-magician Kell’s official job is to deliver correspondence between the parallel Londons, but his unofficial job is smuggling visitors to see the flourishing magic of Red London, or the eerie control of White London (though no one is allowed in Black London). When a thief from boring Grey London robs, saves, and then joins Kell, he discovers the perilous magic at the root of everything.
Status: While the original plans for the adaptation was a limited series along the lines of Game of Thrones, the project changed direction in 2017: Schwab will be a producer on the movie version of the first book, with the other two volumes serving as material for a potential franchise.

 

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

A Discovery of Witches All Soul Trilogy Deborah Harkness TV adaptationOriginally published: 2011, Penguin Books
Optioned for: Television (TBA)
What it’s about: Diana Bishop, an alchemical history professor at the University of Oxford, gets caught up with an ancient manuscript that calls to the magic in her blood, and a charming vampire who may also have designs on her blood.
Status: While there was a film adaptation in development back in 2011, now it looks as if the All Souls trilogy will appear on TV. Harkness recently announced that Jane Tranter and Bad Wolf would produce the series; Harkness is one of the executive producers and is writing some of the episodes. They haven’t yet confirmed broadcaster, in the U.S. or the UK.

 

Dune by Frank Herbert

Dune TV film adaptation Legendary EntertainmentOriginally published: 1965, Chilton Books
Optioned for: Film and Television (Legendary Entertainment)
What it’s about: Dune tells the story of Paul Atreides, whose family accepts stewardship of the desert planet Arrakis, the only source of the coveted “spice” in the universe. After a betrayal, Paul leads a rebellion to restore his family’s control over Arrakis.
Status: Legendary Entertainment has reached an agreement with the Frank Herbert estate in which it has acquired the film and television rights to Dune. The agreement calls for the development and production of possible film and TV projects for a global audience. Brian Herbert has confirmed that Arrival and Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve will helm the project.

 

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 movie adaptation HBO filmsOriginally published: 1953, Ballantine Books
Optioned for: Film (HBO Films)
What it’s about: Bradbury’s chilling class envisions a future in which fireman Guy Montag begins to question his job to burn books after meeting a young woman who doesn’t share the empty-headed complacency of his peers. While the last film adaptation was in 1966, Fahrenheit 451 has been adapted as a stage play (1979), a radio play (1982), an interactive computer game (1984), and a graphic novel (2009).
Status: Ramin Bahrani (99 Homes) will write, direct, and executive produce the new film adaptation.

 

The Forever War by Joe Haldeman

The Forever War Joe Haldeman Warner Bros Channing TatumOriginally published: 1974, St. Martin’s Press
Optioned for:
Film (Warner Bros.)
What it’s about:
 Channing Tatum has signed on to star as William Mandella, a soldier fighting a fearsome enemy, only to (thanks to time dilation) return to a world he doesn’t recognize.
Status: The project was initially announced in 2015. Screenwriter Jon Spaihts provided an update in late 2016, saying that the adaptation was still happening but had been delayed by the production of his film Passengers.

 

Fortunately, The Milk by Neil Gaiman (writer) and Skottie Young (illustrator)

fortunately-the-milkOriginally published: 2013, HarperCollins
Optioned for:
Film (Fox)
What it’s about:
 Edgar Wright will direct a part-live action, part-animated adaptation (written by Flight of the Conchords’ Bret McKenzie) of Gaiman’s children’s book. Johnny Depp will star as a father who, with his son, gets caught up in issues of time travel and breakfast cereal.
Status: Currently the aforementioned folks are in negotiations.

 

Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi

Ghost Brigades adaptationOriginally published: 2004, Tor Books
Optioned for:
Television (Syfy)
What it’s about:
 Syfy’s adaptation of John Scalzi’s military sci-fi series Old Man’s War takes the name of the second novel (Scalzi jokes that it’s “sexier”) but will pull from all of the OMW books. Syfy sums up the series as following 75-year-old John Perry, who enlists in an intergalactic war that has soldiers fighting in younger bodies into which their consciousness is transplanted.
Status: The series is still in development, but it’s slow going.

 

Happy! by Grant Morrison

Happy! adaptation Grant MorrisonOriginally published: 2012, Image Comics
Optioned for: Television (Syfy)
What it’s about: After a shootout lands him in the ICU, ex-cop-turned-hitman Nick Sax gets visited by a tiny blue horse named Happy… the invisible friend of a girl being held captive by a child murderer dressed as Santa Claus. As Christmas bells begin ringing, Sax must team up with this figment of a child’s imagination to find her.
Status: Universal Cable Productions is adapting the comic book series for Syfy, with Morrison and writer-director Brian Taylor co-writing the pilot and set as executive producers. Syfy ordered a pilot in fall 2016.

 

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

His Dark Materials TV adaptationOriginally Published: 1995, Scholastic UK/1996, Alfred A. Knopf
Optioned for:
Television (BBC One)
What it’s about:
Lyra, an orphan, and her trusty dæmon Pan travel through parallel universes in order to learn the truth about her parents, prophecies about Lyra’s place in the fight against celestial beings, and the meaning behind the mysterious Dust.
Status: The BBC is partnering with New Line Cinema (who produced the movie version of The Golden Compass in 2007) to adapt all three books for television, with author Philip Pullman drawing comparisons to Game of Thrones and The Wire. Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) will write the teleplay, under the watch of producers Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner (Doctor Who).

 

Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix

Horrorstor TV pilot Fox Grady HendrixOriginally published: 2014, Quirk Books
Optioned for:
Television (Fox)
What it’s about:
The novel follows five employees at the ORSK furniture superstore, as they volunteer to take an all-nighter shift to find out what’s behind the mysterious damage at their store. Fox’s supernatural dramedy (co-written by The O.C. creator Josh Schwartz and produced by Charlie Kaufman) seems to be building out this story into more serialized form, focusing on slacker protagonist Amy.
Status: No update yet.

 

How to Talk to Girls at Parties by Neil Gaiman

How to Talk to Girls at Parties adaptationOriginally published: 2006, HarperCollins/Headline Review
Optioned for: Film (A24)
What it’s about: Enn (Alex Sharp, from The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time on Broadway) and his friends go to a party trying to talk to girls, only to discover that the girls, especially Zan (Elle Fanning), are not what he expected.
Status: Filming began in November 2015, with the movie expected to be released sometime in 2016.

 

Hyperion by Dan Simmons

Hyperion adaptationOriginally published: 1989, Doubleday
Optioned for: Television (Syfy)
What it’s about: On the eve of armageddon brought about by galactic war, seven pilgrims set out to the Shrike, hidden in the Valley of Time Tombs. Each has a riddle, a hope, and a secret.
Status: Bradley Cooper, who has been trying to adapt the novel for years, is now working with Syfy to adapt the novel into an “event series” (i.e., miniseries). Itamar Moses (Boardwalk Empire) is set to write the screenplay.

 

The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss

The Name of the Wind, Patrick RothfussOriginally published: 2007, DAW Books
Optioned for:
Film, Television, & Video Games (Lionsgate)
What it’s about:
 In Rothfuss’ fantasy trilogy—the first two books of which have been published—adventurer and musician Kvothe tells his life story, with the majority of the series made up by the flashbacks.
Status: Lionsgate plans to adapt the books into movies and a TV series and tie-in video games… and perhaps eventually for the stage? At any rate, it’s in good hands: Hamilton‘s Lin-Manuel Miranda will serve as creative producer overseeing this burgeoning franchise, and John Rogers will serve as showrunner of the TV series.

 

Lilith’s Brood by Octavia E. Butler

Dawn Lilith's Brood TV adaptation Octavia E. ButlerOriginally published: 1987, Grand Central Publishing
Optioned for: Television (Bainframe)
What it’s about: Lilith’s Brood is a trilogy, in which the alien Oankali save humans from themselves, but for a price (Dawn); some humans agree to mate and evolve with the Oankali, while others revolt (Adulthood Rites); and there emerges a new generation of human-Oankali hybrids (Imago).
Status: Allen Bain acquired the rights in 2015 and shared with io9 some of his ideas about how to adapt some of the series’ fascinating visuals (organic, not mechanical, ships) and controversial themes (interspecies sex with multiple partners) for television. It sounds as if Bainframe is still focusing on adapting the material before looking for a distributor and network/platform.

 

MaddAddam, from The MaddAddam Trilogy by Margaret Atwood

MaddAddam adaptation Margaret AtwoodOriginally published: 2003, Doubleday/Bloomsbury
Optioned for: Television (HBO)
What it’s about: The speculative fiction trilogy follows the 21st-century human race before and after the Waterless Flood, brought about by corporations’ control and an overabundance of genetically-engineered organisms. The latter two books look at the survivors of the Flood and how they rebuild society.
Status: Darren Aronofsky is adapting the series for HBO, with Atwood acting as a consulting producer. The last update comes from late 2014, in which Atwood says she’s met with the development team to discuss structure and the like.

 

Meg by Steve Alten

Meg adaptationOriginally published: 1997, Bantam Books
Optioned for: Film (Warner Bros/Gravity Pictures)
What it’s about: When a deep-sea submersible is stuck in a trench at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean after an attack by a prehistoric shark called the Megalodon, expert deep sea rescue diver Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) must rescue the crew. Why is he the best man for the job? Because he’s the only one who has encountered this creature before.
Status: Comes to theaters March 2, 2018. Check out the first production photo.

 

The Mist by Stephen King

The Mist Stephen King TV adaptationOriginally published: 1980, Signet
Optioned for: Television (Spike TV)
What it’s about: TWC-Dimension TV, which produced the 2007 movie adaptation of The Mist, will take another stab at King’s eerie novella about a Maine town shrouded in a mist filled with supernatural monsters, and what the townspeople do to survive.
Status: The series begins production in summer 2016, with an expected 2017 premiere. Adam Bernstein, who directed the pilots for Scrubs, 30 Rock, and Fargo, will helm the series.

 

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One adaptationOriginally published: 2011, Crown/Archetype
Optioned for: Film (Amblin Entertainment)
What it’s about: In 2044, most people have abandoned their grim, poverty-stricken reality for the OASIS, a completely immersive MMORPG. When OASIS creator James Halliday passes away, he leaves behind a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-esque Easter egg hunt for his fortune. Leading the search are aspiring gunter (egg hunter) Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan), his best friend Aech, and famous gunter Art3mis.
Status: Coming to theaters March 30, 2018.

 

Real Artists, from “Real Artists” by Ken Liu

Ken Liu Real Artists MIT TRSFOriginally published: 2011, MIT Technology Review of Science Fiction
Optioned for: Film (Semaphore Studios)
What it’s about: Young animator Sophia (Bones‘ Tiffany Hines) is offered her dream job; but at the interview with Palladon (Teen Wolf‘s Tamlyn Tomita), she discovers the unsettling secret behind the company’s creative process.
Status: Now that writer-director Cameo Wood and her team have secured funding, they’re in post-production on their adaptation of Liu’s short story.

 

Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson

J. Michael Straczynski adapt Red Mars Kim Stanley Robinson Spike TVOriginally published: 1993, Bantam Spectra
Optioned for:
Television (Spike TV/Skydance)
What it’s about:
 Red Mars tracks the early colonization and terraforming of Mars, as told through the perspectives of the First Hundred who are chosen to leave behind an Earth suffering from overpopulation, ecological disasters, and the emergence of transnational corporations threatening to overthrow the world’s governments.
Status: Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski will adapt the series for Spike TV, which gave it a straight-to-series order in late 2015. However, Spike has paused the project after showrunner Peter Noah departed in early 2016. The network said in a statement that it will continue to develop the series but that “[w]e are pausing to ensure we get the script right and to deliver fans what they want—a fantastic show that fully captures the spirit of these wonderful books.”

 

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Red Rising movie adaptation Pierce Brown Marc ForsterOriginally published: 2014, Del Rey
Optioned for: Film (Universal Pictures)
What it’s about: Humanity has spread to other planets but has also instituted a color-coded caste system, which means that Reds like Darrow toil beneath the surface of Mars, believing that they are making the surface habitable for future generations. But when he discovers that upper castes made it to the surface long ago, Darrow confronts the godlike Gold caste.
Status: Marc Forster (World War Z) plans to direct the movie adaptation, but it sounds like it’s slow going. In an early 2016 update, Brown explained that he had written two drafts of the script, with a “buddy” helping out on a third go. Most of all, he stressed that Forster “has been very careful” because “he loves the material.”

 

Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky

Roadside Picnic adaptation television pilot Matthew GoodeOriginally published: 1972, Macmillan
Optioned for: Television (WGN America)
What it’s about: This Russian sci-fi novel centers on Red Schuhart (Matthew Goode), who enters “the Zone”—a dimension formerly inhabited by aliens—to collect mysterious artifacts to sell on the black market. But when something goes wrong in his world, Red must return to the Zone over and over again to find answers.
Status: Jack Paglen (Alien: Covenant) is writing the pilot. Interestingly, Roadside Picnic had previously inspired the 1979 film Stalker.

 

Runaways by Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona

Runaways TV adaptation HuluOriginally published: 2003, Marvel Comics
Optioned for: Television (Hulu)
What it’s about: Upon discovering that their parents are supervillains, six teenagers steal or embrace newfound superpowers and fight to right their parents’ wrongdoings.
Status: Josh Schwartz (The O.C.) and Stephanie Savage (Gossip Girl) will write the pilot and executive produce alongside Marvel Television’s Jeph Loeb (who had a hand in Jessica Jones) and Jim Chory (Daredevil). The Runaways and The Pride have been cast, but no release date has yet been announced.

 

The Sandman by Neil Gaiman

sandman-coverOriginally published: 1989, Vertigo
Optioned for:
Film (Warner Bros/DC Entertainment)
What it’s about:
 After escaping nearly a century of imprisonment, Morpheus, the Lord of Dreams and one of the Endless, goes about rebuilding his kingdom. Along the way, he visits Hell and Asgard, attempts to undo massive sins, and searches for his missing brother.
Status: The production team, which includes David S. Goyer (Batman v Superman) and Gaiman executive producing, is trying to condense the massive epic into a movie without going straight-up action movie. The production suffered a slight setback when Joseph Gordon-Levitt exited amid creative differences, but it looks as if Goyer and co. are continuing on. No release date set yet.

 

Skin Trade by George R.R. Martin

Skin Trade adaptation George R.R. MartinOriginally published: 1989, Orion Publishing
Optioned for:
Television (Cinemax)
What it’s about:
 George R.R. Martin describes his 1988 novella as an “offbeat werewolf noir”: Private investigator Randi Wade gets involved in a string of gruesome serial killings (taking the skin of victims) that reminds her of her father’s death two decades prior. But when a close friend becomes a target, she’s pulled into a hairy underworld.
Status: Cinemax has ordered a pilot script, to be written by Kalinda Vazquez (Prison BreakOnce Upon a Time).

 

Time Salvager by Wesley Chu

Time Salvager adaptationOriginally published: 2015, Tor Books
Optioned for:
Film (Paramount Pictures)
What it’s about:
 Convicted criminal James Griffin-Mars is a chronman: He jumps back and forth in time to help delay humanity’s demise in the future. But when he brings a scientist from the past into the future with him, they both become fugitives.
Status: Michael Bay will direct the film adaptation, with Wesley Chu executive-producing.

 

Uprooted Naomi NovikUprooted by Naomi Novik

Originally published: 2015, Del Rey
Optioned for:
Film (Warner Bros)
What it’s about:
 Plain, clumsy, loyal Agnieszka is handed over to the Dragon, a fearsome wizard who takes one girl from her village every ten years. She never expected to be taken—expected he would take her beautiful, brave best friend Kasia—but as Agnieszka begins exploring the magic she never knew she had, it soon becomes clear why the Dragon felt compelled to take her instead.
Status: Naomi Novik is working with Ellen DeGeneres to adapt the novel.

 

The Watch, from the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett

Discworld The Watch TV adaptationOriginally published: 1983, Colin Smythe
Optioned for: Television (Narrativia)
What it’s about: Described as a “Pratchett-style CSI,” this procedural would pull from stories about the Ankh-Morpork City Watch from the Discworld novels.
Status: In the Discworld Monthly Newsletter released in November 2015, Pratchett’s assistant Rob Wilkins wrote, “There will be no news from Narrativia regarding the Discworld Watch series until the first day on set.” That would imply that the project is still in some stage of development, without giving any sort of concrete timeline.

 

Wildwood by Colin Meloy (writer) and Carson Ellis (illustrator)

Wildwood adaptation Colin Meloy LAIKAOriginally published: 2011, Balzer + Bray
Optioned for: Film (LAIKA)
What it’s about: Set in an alternate version of Portland, OR, the middle-grade epic fantasy follows young Prue McKeel, who must enter the Impassable Wilderness after her little brother is abducted by a murder of crows.
Status: LAIKA picked up the rights shortly after publication, but the film, a stop-motion adaptation, has not been released yet.

 

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Originally published: 1963, Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Optioned for: Film (Walt Disney Company)A Wrinkle in Time adaptation Ava DuVernay
What it’s about: Director Ava DuVernay (Selma) and screenwriter Jennifer Lee (Frozen) will make up for the lackluster 2003 TV movie with their new take on the classic story of Meg Murry and her brother Charles Wallace traveling through space and time via tesseract to save their missing father.
Status: Storm Reid has been cast as Meg Murry, and will be accompanied on her interstellar journey by Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling), and Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey). The film comes to theaters April 6, 2018.

 

Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughn (writer) and Pia Guerra (artist)

y-vol-1-coverOriginally published: 2002, Vertigo
Optioned for:
Television (FX)
What it’s about:
 Brian K. Vaughan’s landmark comic book series—and the series that got me hooked on the medium—examines the fallout of a worldwide plague that wipes out everyone with an XY chromosome, except for aspiring escape artist Yorick and his monkey Ampersand. While the female survivors struggle to rebuild society, several groups target the last man and chase him across the Earth.
Status: The producer who wooed Vaughan into adapting his beloved series (which was wrapped up in movie deals for ages) for television? Nina Jacobson, who has a little hit on her hands with the Hunger Games franchise. Fans will be heartened to hear that Vaughan is very involved in the project; in fact, he will co-write the show with showrunner Michael Green (American Gods). Last we heard from FX, the script would be ready by early-to-mid 2017; it will be an ongoing series rather than a limited one.

 

COMING SOON

American Gods (Television, Starz)

American Gods poster Starz premiere date April 30

Courtesy of Starz Entertainment, LLC

Adapted from: American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Originally published:
 2001, William Morrow
What it’s about:
 Showrunners Bryan Fuller (Hannibal) and Michael Green (Heroes) are excited to make Gaiman’s novel, about the battles between old gods and new, into a sort of anthology series. (Not to be confused with his reboot of the old-school anthology series Amazing Stories.) That means that in addition to following protagonist Shadow, they’ll also be touching upon other characters, like Bilquis and (we hope) The Technical Boy.
Status: Fuller and his team are hard at work—sharing Twitter gems like this—and making sure they honor the book’s diversity. Most of the cast has been set, with Ricky Whittle as Shadow, Ian McShane as Mr. WednesdayEmily Browning as Laura Moon, Jonathan Tucker as “Low Key” Lyesmith, and Crispin Glover as Mr. World. Check out this adorable photo from their first table read… then feast your eyes on the first trailerAmerican Gods will premiere April 30.

 

Annihilation (Film, Paramount Pictures)

annihilation-movie-set

Adapted from: Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
Originally published:
 2014, Farrar, Straus & Giroux
What it’s about: The first installment of VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy follows a biologist (Natalie Portman), a psychologist (Jennifer Jason Leigh), a surveyer, and an anthropologist (Tessa Thompson and Gina Rodriguez, whose roles have not yet been clarified) as they venture into the untamed Area X. They are the twelfth expedition, after their forebears’ explorations ended in violence, madness, and death. The biologist, our narrator, is especially concerned with discovering the secrets of Area X, as they relate to her missing husband (Oscar Isaac). Ex Machina‘s Alex Garland is writing and directing; he talks about the process here.
Status: Comes to theaters sometime in 2017.

 

Beautiful Dreamer (Film, The Colony Media)

Beautiful Dreamer Ken Liu Memories of My Mother short film adaptation

Adapted from: “Memories of My Mother” by Ken Liu
Originally published: 2012, Daily Science Fiction
What it’s about: A young woman faced with a terminal illness and two years to live uses space travel and time dilation to visit her daughter every seven years over her lifetime.
Status: After having its West Coast premiere at a film festival in June 2016, this short film should be released online eventually. In the meantime, here’s a calendar of which festivals you can find the film at.

 

The Circle (Film, Playtone/EuropaCorp)

The Circle trailer Emma Watson Patton Oswalt John Boyega Tom Hanks

Adapted from: The Circle by Dave Eggers
Originally published:
 2013, McSweeney’s
What it’s about: Mae Holland (Emma Watson) thinks she’s landed a dream job at The Circle, a powerful social media company. But when the company’s founder (Tom Hanks) pressures her to become an on-camera presence instead of just being behind-the-scenes, she finds herself bombarded by followers and their expectations, which threaten her identity.
Status: In theaters April 28; watch the latest trailer!

 

The Dark Tower (Film & Television, Sony Pictures Entertainment)

The Dark Tower movie film TV adaptation idris Elba Roland Deschain The Gunslinger Jake Tom Taylor

Adapted from: The Dark Tower by Stephen King
Originally published: 2003, Plume Books
What it’s about:
 Stephen King has described the series as his magnum opus: Combining themes from sci-fi, fantasy, horror, and Western, it follows a gunslinger (Idris Elba), the Man in Black he’s following (Matthew McConaughey), and his quest to find a tower that is both physical and metaphorical.
Status: Sony Pictures Entertainment is partnering with Media Rights Capital to produce a number of movies as well as a complementary TV series. Screenwriter Nikolaj Arcel (the Swedish Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), who taught himself English in order to read King’s books, wrote the script. The Dark Tower, the first movie, opens in theaters in summer 2017, after the release date was pushed back from February. (Check out more stills here.) And later in 2017 or in 2018, once the movie is coming to cable or streaming services, the TV show will premiere: Based on Wizard and Glass, it’s a 10-to-13-episode prequel series following a young Roland.

 

The Defenders (Television, Netflix)

The Defenders teaser trailer Marvel Netflix

Adapted from: various Marvel Comics characters
Originally published: N/A
What it’s about: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist team up in New York City against a threat (which will somehow involve Sigourney Weaver).
Status: Premieres sometime in 2017; watch the first teaser.

 

Drink, Slay, Love (Television, Lifetime)

Drink Slay Love Lifetime Bella Thorne

Adapted from: Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst
Originally published: 2011, Margaret K. McElderry Books
What it’s about: After a unicorn stabs her through the heart, eternally-sixteen-year-old vampire Pearl discovers that she’s able to walk around in sunlight without getting burned to a crisp. When the Vampire King of New England chooses Pearl’s family to host his annual feast, she must enroll in high school to procure some fresh meat for the meal. But as she finds friends and love interests in high school, something begins to eat away at her—not bloodlust, but a conscience.
Status: Bella Thorne will co-executive produce Lifetime’s TV movie adaptation of the novel, starring Cierra Ramirez. Premieres in early 2017.

 

Ghost in the Shell (Film, Paramount Pictures)

Ghost in the Shell trailer Scarlett Johansson

Adapted from: Ghost in the Shell by Masamune Shirow
Originally published: 1989, Kodansha Ltd.
What it’s about: Ghost in the Shell follows Major (Scarlett Johansson), a special ops, one-of-a-kind human-cyborg hybrid, who leads the elite task force Section 9. Devoted to stopping the most dangerous criminals and extremists, Section 9 is faced with an enemy whose singular goal is to wipe out Hanka Robotics’ advancements in cyber technology.
Status: Comes to theaters March 31; watch the first trailer.

 

Good Omens (Television, BBC/Amazon Prime)

Good Omens TV adaptation

Adapted from: Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman
Originally published:
1990, Gollancz/Workman
What it’s about:
 Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett co-wrote this comedy about the angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley trying to avoid the End Times, brought about by Satan’s son.
Status: Long rumored, now confirmed: At a recent memorial for Pratchett, Gaiman revealed that the late author wrote him a letter before his death imploring Gaiman to adapt their book on his own. (Gaiman: “At that point, I think I said, ‘You bastard, yes.’”) The six-part miniseries will premiere sometime in 2018.

 

The Handmaid’s Tale (Television, Hulu)

The Handmaid's Tale Hulu first look photos Elisabeth Moss Offred

Adapted from: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Originally published:
 1985, McClelland and Stewart
What it’s about: Offred (Elisabeth Moss) is a handmaid, or concubine, belonging to a wealthy couple in the totalitarian Republic of Gilead. She narrates the story of how Gilead came to be, as well as her small and large acts of sedition within the established hierarchy, and her search for her missing family.
Status: The ten-episode series will premiere on April 26… and Margaret Atwood has a cameo!

 

Iron Fist (Television, Netflix)

Iron Fist trailer, Marvel's The Defenders

Adapted from: the Marvel Comics character created by Roy Thomas (writer) and Gil Kane (artist)
Originally published: 1974, Marvel Comics
What it’s about: Danny Rand (Finn Jones) returns to New York City after 15 years to reclaim his place in his family’s company. But when a threat endangers the city, he must choose between his family’s legacy and his duties as Iron Fist.
Status: Premieres March 17; watch the first trailer.

 

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (Film, Warner Bros.)

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Guy Ritchie

Adapted from: every King Arthur tale ever
Originally published: N/A
What it’s about: In Guy Ritchie’s reimagining of Arthurian legend, Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) doesn’t learn about his royal lineage until he pulls Excalibur from the stone. Fighting alongside the Resistance and the enigmatic Guinevere, he must defeat the tyrant Vortigern to avenge his parents and reclaim his birthright.
Status: Comes to theaters March 24; watch the “dynamic” first trailer.

Marjorie Prime (Film, Passage Pictures)

Marjorie Prime movie Jon Hamm hologram

Courtesy of Fortitude International

Adapted from: Marjorie Prime by Jordan Harrison
Originally published: 2015, Playwrights Horizons
What it’s about: In the age of artificial intelligence, aging Marjorie (Lois Smith), slowly losing her memories, spends her time talking about her life with her handsome companion, Walter (Jon Hamm)—a hologram of her late husband.
Status: Premieres at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival; will likely come to theaters shortly after.

 

Midnight, Texas (Television, NBC)

Midnight Texas TV show NBC Charlaine Harris pilot picked up series

Adapted from: Midnight, Texas by Charlaine Harris
Originally published:
2014, Ace
What it’s about:
 In Charlaine Harris’ series, phone psychic Manfred Bernardo relocates to Midnight, Texas, and then winds up overstaying his welcome—probably because of all the murders. It’s certainly an intriguing town, from the way executive producer David Janollari (Six Feet Under) describes it: “It’s where humans and the supernatural co-exist, and where everyone has a secret. It’s equal parts humorous, sexy, and downright scary.”
Status: Premieres July 25. Watch the latest trailer!

 

Mr. Mercedes (Television, Audience Network)

Mr. Mercedes TV adaptation

Adapted from: Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King
Originally published: 2014, Scribner
What it’s about: When a killer dubbed “Mr. Mercedes” (Harry Treadaway), due to the grisly nature of his automobile crime, taunts retired detective Bill Hodges (Brendan Gleeson) with a series of lurid letters and emails, Hodges must stir himself from his depression to stop Mr. Mercedes from killing again.
Status: David E. Kelley (The Practice) will serve as showrunner. The series is set to premiere in fall 2017.

 

Oasis (Television, Amazon Studios)

Oasis Amazon Studios The Book of Strange New Things

Photo: Amazon Studios/Chris Raphael

Adapted from: The Book of Strange New Things by Michael Faber
Originally published: 2014, Hogarth
What it’s about: Priest Peter (Game of Thrones‘ Richard Madden) leaves his wife Bea and Earth to answer a higher call: traveling to a distant planet to preach to the native population with his Bible (the eponymous book of strange new things). But when her letters describe an Earth in increasing turmoil, Peter must decide which faith to follow. Matt Charman (Bridge of Spies) is writing the pilot and will serve as an executive producer, alongside director Kevin MacDonald (The Last King of Scotland).
Status: The pilot premieres March 17, at which point viewers can vote on it and/or the other new offerings to help determine which will become the next Amazon Original Series.

 

The Punisher (Television, Netflix)

The Punisher TV series Marvel Netflix Jon Bernthal Daredevil The Defenders

Adapted from: the Marvel Comics character created by Gerry Conway (writer) and John Romita, Sr. (artist)
Originally published: 1974, Marvel Comics
What it’s about: Brutal vigilante Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) will bring his own brand of “justice” to Hell’s Kitchen in this spinoff after his supporting role on Daredevil.
Status: Hannibal‘s Steve Lightfoot will serve as executive producer of the series, which is expected to premiere sometime in 2017.

 

Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter (Television, Amazon Prime)

Ronja the Robber's Daughter Studio Ghibli Astrid Lindgren

Adapted from: Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter by Astrid Lindgren
Originally published: 1981, Rabén & Sjögren
What it’s about: Ronia, daughter of the chief of a band of robbers, becomes friends with the son of the rival band of robbers while struggling with the eventual responsbility of leading her clan.
Status: Hayao Miyazaki’s son Gorō Miyazaki, working with Studio Ghibli, adapted the beloved children’s book in 2014. The animated film, which has already aired in Japan, will come to U.S. and UK screens on January 27. Watch the trailer!

 

The Three-Body Problem: I (Film, Youzu Pictures)

The Three-Body Problem movie

Photo via Xinhua

Adapted from: The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu (translated by Ken Liu)
Originally published: 2006, Chongqing Press
What it’s about: During China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military program sends signals into space to initiate first contact with aliens. Years later, a physicist uses the virtual reality video game Three-Body to discover a secret organization and uncover what the aliens might actually want from Earth.
Status: The Three-Body Trilogy is being adapted into six movies, directed by Panpan Zhang, the first of which should be released sometime in 2017. In the meantime, check out the stunning stage adaptation of the novel.

 

Time After Time (Television, ABC)

Time After Time trailer television adaptation ABC Freddie Stroma H.G. Wells

Adapted from: Time After Time by Karl Alexander
Originally published:
 1979, Tor/Forge
What it’s about: Kevin Williamson (Scream, The Vampire Diaries) is adapting Alexander’s alternate-history novel, in which H.G. Wells (Freddie Stroma) chases Jack the Ripper (Josh Bowman) through space and time.
Status: ABC released the first trailer for the series, which will have a midseason premiere.

 

ON THE AIR

Emerald City (Television, NBC)

Emerald City East

Adapted from: The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Originally published: 1900, George M. Hill Company
What it’s about: As writer Kelly Sue DeConnick (Bitch Planet) described this new take on the Land of Oz books at HeroesCon, “It is a stunningly beautiful take on that world where Dorothy has a machine gun and Toto is a German Shepherd.” Vincent D’Onofrio will play the Wizard; Florence Kasumba is the Wicked Witch of the East, above.
Status: Premiered January 6; read our review!

The Exorcist (Television, Fox)

The Exorcist TV show Fox

Adapted from: The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
Originally published: 1971, Harper & Row
What it’s about: Father Tomas Ortega (Sense8‘s Alfonso Herrera) investigates the apparent possession of teenager Katherine Rance, whose family are members of his congregation. On the other side of the world, Father Marcus Brennan (House of Cards‘ Ben Daniels) is a modern-day Templar Knight battling the forces of evil.
Status: Premiered September 23.

 

The Expanse (Television, Syfy)

The Expanse season 2

Adapted from: The Expanse series by James S.A. Corey (Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck)
Originally published:
2011, Orbit Books
What it’s about:
 Hundreds of years in the future, humans have colonized the solar system, but tensions have war simmering among Earth, Mars, and the Asteroid Belt. The disappearance of Julie Mao (Florence Faivre) brings together a hardened detective (Thomas Jane) and a rogue ship’s captain (Steven Strait), pointing them toward a massive conspiracy. Read our reviews of season 1.
Status: Premiered February 1; read our weekly reviews!

 

Legion (Television, FX Productions/Marvel Television)

Legion FX Marvel X-Men trailer SDCC

Adapted from: New Mutants #25 by Chris Claremont (writer) and Bill Sienkiewicz (artist)
Originally published:
 1985, Marvel Comics
What it’s about: David Haller (Downton Abbey‘s Dan Stevens) is a troubled young man who experiences visions and hears voices in his head… only to realize that his supposed mental illness is actually a mutation, and he may even be the son of a member of the X-Men. Aubrey Plaza, Amber Midthunder, Katie Aselton, and Bill Irwin also star.
Status: It’s unclear if this will be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as it’s playing in the X-Men world, but Marvel just announced that the series has been picked up. The creators have not confirmed if they will be pulling plotlines from Legion’s early appearances in New Mutants and X-Factor or just use the comics as inspiration. Legion premiered February 8; read our review. The series has been renewed for a second season.

 

Lucifer (Television, Fox)

Lucifer SFF adaptations Fox

Adapted from: The Sandman by Neil Gaiman (writer) and Sam Kieth (artist), and Lucifer by Mike Carey (writer) and Scott Hampton, Chris Weston, and James Hodgins (artists)
Originally published:
1989, Vertigo
What it’s about:
 Bored of Hell, Lucifer (Merlin‘s Tom Ellis) abandons his throne for Los Angeles, where he opens a nightclub called Lux. But it’s not all fun and games of making people express their darkest desires; when a starlet gets murdered, he decides to team up with the LAPD, even as he’s dodging angels demanding he return to the underworld. Read our pilot review.
Status: Premiered September 19.

 

The Magicians (Television, Syfy)

The Magicians trailer Syfy

Adapted from: The Magicians by Lev Grossman
Originally published: 2009, Viking
What it’s about:
 In this adaptation of Lev Grossman’s bestselling series, Quentin Coldwater (Jason Ralph) discovers that the magical world he read about as a child is real when he is accepted to the prestigious (and very secret) Brakebills University. Alongside old and new friends, Quentin learns that magic is just one part of a curriculum that goes live work play study screw drink cram… drink. Read our reviews of season 1.
Status: Premiered January 25; read our weekly reviews!

 

Riverdale (Television, The CW)

Riverdale The CW adaptation

Adapted from: Archie Comics by Mark Waid (writer) and Fiona Staples, Annie Chu, and Veronica Flash (artists)
Originally published: 2015, Archie Comics
What it’s about: Based on some of the more daring Archie Comics issues of recent memory, Riverdale (executive produced by Greg Berlanti, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, and others) looks to be a mashup of Pretty Little Liars and Twin Peaks: The usual high-school angst and love triangles are all still here, but set against an ominous backdrop that begins with the mysterious death of Riverdale’s golden boy. Watch the first trailer!
Status: Premiered January 26. The series has been renewed for a second season.

 

BACK NEXT SEASON

Daredevil (Television, Netflix)

Daredevil-Ninjas01

Adapted from: the Marvel Comics character created by Stan Lee (writer) and Bill Everett (artist)
Originally published: 1964, Marvel Comics
What it’s about: After an accident takes away his sight but gives him heightened senses, lawyer Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) must protect Hell’s Kitchen from criminals while dealing with other vigilantes like The Punisher (Jon Bernthal), as well as his ex-girlfriend Elektra Natchios (Élodie Yung).
Status: Season 3 will premiere sometime in 2018, but Daredevil will appear in Marvel and Netflix’s The Defenders.

 

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (Television, BBC America)

DIRK GENTLY 1.JPG

Adapted from: Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams
Originally published: 1987, Pocket Books (US) and William Heinemann Ltd. (UK)
What it’s about: Max Landis’ adaptation of Adams’ novel (which he once described as a “thumping good detective-ghost-horror-who dunnit-time travel-romantic-musical-comedy-epic”) follows the adventures of eccentric “holistic detective” Dirk Gently (Samuel Barnett), who believes everything to be interconnected, his sidekick Todd Brotzman (Elijah Wood), and at least one corgi.
Status: Season 2 will premiere in 2017.

 

Jessica Jones (Television, Netflix)

Jessica Jones Purple Man stalker photos

Adapted from: Jessica Jones: Alias by Brian Michael Bendis (writer) and Michael Gaydos (artist)
Originally published: 2001, Marvel Comics/MAX
What it’s about: Superhero-turned-private investigator Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) juggles her messy love life and whiskey habit with helping other wayward souls. After facing off with Kilgrave (David Tennant), she concentrates on keeping Alias Investigations open.
Status: Season 2 will premiere sometime in 2018, and Jessica Jones will appear in Marvel and Netflix’s The Defenders. We don’t know much about the plot so far aside from the fact that it will be a “personal” story.

Luke Cage (Television, Netflix)

Netflix-LukeCage08

Adapted from: the Marvel Comics character created by Archie Goodwin (writer), John Romita, Sr. (artist), and George Tuska (artist)
Originally published: 1972, Marvel Comics
What it’s about: After a sabotaged experiment makes him unbreakable, Luke Cage (Mike Colter) battles for the heart of Harlem while trying to get over the death of his wife Reva as well as his fling with Jessica Jones.
Status: No word yet on when season 2 premieres, but Luke Cage will return in Marvel and Netflix’s The Defenders. In the meantime, read our commentary on season 1.

 

The Man in the High Castle (Television, Amazon Studios)

The Man in the High Castle season 2 trailer NYCC 2016

Adapted from: The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
Originally published:
1962, Putnam
What it’s about:
 The Man in the High Castle presents an alternate history where America loses World War II and is split between Nazi Germany and Japan. Juliana Crain (Alexa Davalos) receives a mysterious film reel from her sister, who is then murdered; the film reel contains glimpses of an alternate reality in which the United States won the war. Juliana sets out to find the person who created the reel—The Man in the High Castle. Read our review.
Status: Season 2 premieres December 16; check out the NYCC trailer and find out more about season 2.

 

Preacher (Television, AMC)

SFF adaptations movies TV Preacher AMC

Adapted from: Preacher by Garth Ennis (writer) and Steve Dillon (artist)
Originally published:
1995, Vertigo
What it’s about:
 After getting accidentally possessed by a heavenly (and hellish) creature called Genesis, Reverend Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper) goes on a quest to find God. Joining him along the way are his ex-girlfriend Tulip O’Hare (Ruth Negga) and wise-cracking Irish vampire Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun).
Status: Preacher recently premiered to overall praise, despite it being more inspired by the source material than a direct adaptation. It’s been renewed for a second season; read our deconstruction of season 1.

 

A Series of Unfortunate Events (Television, Netflix)

Netflix Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events teaser Patrick Warburton Neil Patrick Harris

Adapted from: A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
Originally published:
 1999, Scholastic
What it’s about: Orphans Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are sent to live with their odious guardian Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris), who seeks to murder them and steal their inheritance. Over the course of Snicket’s tongue-in-cheek series, the Baudelaires weather adventures more perilous than the last and discover the truth behind their parents’ death in a fire. The 2004 movie, with Jim Carrey as Count Olaf, was underwhelming.
Status: Netflix has renewed the series for an even more unfortunate second season. No release date yet.

 

The Shannara Chronicles (Television, MTV)

The Shannara Chronicles MTV behind the scenes photos

Photo credit: Kirsty Griffin

Adapted from: Terry Brooks’ Shannara series
Originally published: 1977, Ballatine/Del Rey
What it’s about:
 The Ellcrys, the magical tree keeping demons locked away from the Four Lands, is dying. Elvin princess and one of the Chosen Amberle (Poppy Drayton) sets out with half-Elf Wil (Austin Butler) and thief Eretria (Ivana Baquero) to unlock the ancient magic that will save the Ellcrys. Read our review.
Status: MTV has renewed the series for season 2, and you can learn more about the plot and new characters, but no word yet on premiere date.

 

Wynonna Earp (Television, Syfy)

Wynonna Earp Syfy adaptation

Adapted from: Wynonna Earp by Beau Smith
Originally published: 1996, Image Comics (currently published by IDW Publishing)
What it’s about: The great-granddaughter of Wyatt Earp, saddled with the family curse and a six-shooter, fights the demonic Revenants—ghosts of the criminals Wyatt once put down—in her hometown of Purgatory.
Status: Wynonna Earp has been renewed for a second season.

 

Note: We’re sure we missed a few, but will update the post based on your suggestions!

This article has been updated since its original publication in April 2016.

Natalie Zutter never in all of her dreams thought she’d see this many SFF properties getting adapted at once. Geek out with her about all these adaptations on Twitter.

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