2021 Books to Movies

2021 Books to Movies

The 2021 movie release calendar is, for obvious reasons, not exactly solid this year. Many of the release dates will likely change. Many of these may end up on streaming rather than/in addition to a theater. Some may get delayed until 2022 (and/or have already been from 2020). However, all the titles on this list are books in the Library collection, that have movies in production, that you can read now. Click on the title for more information about the book, click on the release date or TBA (in parentheses) for more information about the movie.

Compiled by:
Brandon R.
The Bad Guys

Aaron Blabey
Juvenile Fiction - J Blabey

The animated film adaptation of the humorous children's chapter book series follows the characters Mr. Wolf, Mr. Snake, Mr. Piranha, Mr. Shark and Ms. Tarantula attempting to pull off a heroic heist. (September 17th) Currently delayed until April 15, 2022.

Blithe Spirit

Noël Coward
Adult Non-Fiction - 822.912 Cow

Noël Coward's classic stage comedy has a new adaptation (the 1945 David Lean film is already in the collection): A writer with writer's block holds a seance and inadvertently conjures his dead, first wife, which of course causes problems for him...and his current wife. (February 19th)


Joyce Carol Oates
Adult Fiction - Oates

This is a historical fiction set around the life of Marilyn Monroe, originally novelized by multi-award winning writer Joyce Carol Oates. This will likely be one Netflix's more high-profile releases in 2021 (TBA Netflix).

Chasing the Scream: the first and last days of the war on drugs

Johann Hari
Adult Non-Fiction - 364.177 Har

A smaller portion of this much larger-in-scope-book is used as the basis for the movie, The United States vs. Billie Holiday, that delves into the Federal Department of Narcotics' attempts to entrap singer Billie Holiday in a sting operation and her subsequent affair with the officer involved. (February 26th)


Nico Walker
Adult Fiction - Walker

An Army medic with PTSD returns to civilian life robbing banks to support the cost of his opioid addiction (February 26th ; AppleTV+ March 12th).

Children of the New World

Alexander Weinstein
Adult Fiction - SF Weinste

Based on the short story in this collection, "Say goodbye to Yang", the film (titled After Yang) concerns a particular family in a society where robotic babysitters are purchased to help take care of one’s children. Adapted by Kogonada, who made his previous film in Columbus, Indiana. (TBA)


Clifford the Big Red Dog

Norman Bridwell
Juvenile Fiction - Ej Bridwell

Emily Elizabeth loves her big, red dog in the books, the animated television show, and now the live-action movie! (November 5th)


Deep Water

Patricia Highsmith
Adult Fiction - MYS Highsmi

An affluent husband (Ben Affleck) allows his wife (Ana de Armas) to have affairs to stave off divorce. When one of her lovers disappears, he, of course, becomes the number one suspect. Book author Patricia Highsmith is best known for her Ripley series of novels (which have had a few previous movie adaptations), as well as The Price of Salt (which was made into the movie Carol). (August 13th). Currently delayed until January 14, 2022.

The Dry

Jane Harper
Adult Fiction - Harper
Series: Aaron Falk ; 1

Federal Agent Aaron Falk returns to his rural Australian hometown after a long, intentional absence, to attend the funeral of a childhood friend. Investigation into the nature of this man's death (and his wife and child), as a favor to the family, brings about a revisiting of the death of a mutual friend when they were teenagers. Set during a massive drought, this dryness adds to the already lingering tension (May 21st).


Frank Herbert
Adult Fiction - SF Herbert
Series: Dune novels, Main series ; 1

This best-selling, sci-fi classic is a "stunning blend of adventure and mysticism, environmentalism and politics". The new film, by the director of Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, is set to cover only parts of this first book in the long-running series. The new adaptation is a part of the slate of 2021 Warner Brothers films that are planned to be released both in a theater and on HBO Max at the same time (October 1st).


Brian Catling
Adult Fiction - Catling

This standalone science-fiction novel, by the author of the Vorrh trilogy, concerns the weird, surreal travels of a girl and her black cat meeting a series of horrible and violent circumstances. (TBA)


Jack Kirby

Eternals is one of the more anticipated Marvel superhero movies coming in 2021 (perhaps known by non-fans for the 'Internet-breaking' photo of self-professed nerd Kumail Nanjiani's body transformation for the film). Read some of the original, Neil Gaiman written, or more recent comics through Hoopla (If you are using the Hoopla app, on a smaller mobile screen, its Action View allows viewing each comic panel individually). (November 5th)

Killers of the Flower Moon

David Grann
Adult Non-Fiction - 976.6004 Gra

Many Osage Native Americans in 1920s Oklahoma were some of the wealthiest people in America due to the oil found under their land. When a series of murders are uncovered, an early incarnation of the FBI begins to investigate a conspiracy. Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio will bring the adaptation of this best-selling non-fiction work to Apple TV+. (TBA ; Apple TV+)

The Knife of Never Letting Go

Patrick Ness
Young Adult Fiction - Y Ness
Series: Chaos Walking ; 1

The first in a trilogy of YA novels that will be released as a movie under the trilogy name Chaos Walking. This dystopian story concerns a young man (Tom Holland) who has been infected with the Noise germ, that has reportedly killed off the female population and allows men to hear the thoughts of all those around them. (March 5th)

Last duel : a true story of crime, scandal, and trial by combat in Medieval France

Eric Jager
Adult Non-Fiction - 394.8 Jag

This is the true story of the "duel to end all duels," during the 14th century reign of teenage King Charles VI, where a knight calls for trial by combat to avenge his wife's accusation of rape by an old friend. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck reteam to write and star (also featuring Indiana's own Adam Driver) in this adaptation for Ridley Scott. (October 15th)


William Shakespeare
Adult Non-Fiction - 822.33 Sh

DENZEL WASHINGTON plays Macbeth (adapted and directed by Joel Coen). Do you need to know more? (TBA)

Nightmare Alley

William Lindsay Gresham
Adult Fiction - Gresham

This odd noirish tale of a circus sideshow carny and his grifts is being re-adapted by Guillermo del Toro with Bradley Cooper in the role originally played by Tyrone Power in the 1947 film version. (December 3rd)

The Power of the Dog

Thomas Savage
Adult Fiction - Savage

The story of two brother ranchers in 1920s Montana. Inseparable from birth, when one unexpectedly marries, the other passionately and cruelly takes offense. Jane Campion directs Benedict Cumberbatch, Jesse Plemons, and Kirsten Dunst. (TBA)

The Reincarnationist Papers

D. Eric Maikranz
Adult Fiction - Maikranz

The premise of this sci-fi adventure story concerns a secret society of people who can recall their past lives and use this information across lifetimes to basically become immortal. Our protagonist is newly cognizant of this and, of course, conflict ensues. Mark Wahlberg leads the film adaptation (September 24th).

Those Who Wish Me Dead

Michael Koryta
Adult Fiction - Koryta

This will still likely be the first film adaptation, by Taylor Sheridan, of the book by local author Michael Koryta. Actual local production of the adaptation of So Cold the River (at French Lick Resort) was also completed recently. (May 14th ; HBO Max). 

Without Remorse

Tom Clancy
Adult Fiction - Clancy
Series: Jack Ryan and John Clark novels ; 1

A Navy SEAL (Michael B. Jordan) sets out to avenge his wife's murder, among a much larger government conspiracy, in this first in a series based on the books by Tom Clancy (Amazon Prime Video April 30th).