The worlds of books and movies collide daily on my desk — and on the 2019 movie release schedule, which is full of adaptations of classic and current novels. Here’s a sampling of what’s coming soon, to whet the literary appetite. Dates are subject to change.
“The Aftermath.” Rhidian Brook’s 2013 novel is set in 1946, and presents a British colonel and his wife living in Hamburg during postwar reconstructions — alongside a German widower whose home has been requisitioned. Keira Knightley, who’s always awfully good at this sort of thing, plays the wife in the elegant-looking film version; Alexander Skarsgard and Jason Clarke co-star. (March 29)
“Pet Sematary.” Yes, this Stephen King thriller involving creepy dead animals was already a movie, back in 1989. But, like many of those creatures of which King writes, it’s baaaack. Jason Clarke (he’s busy!), Amy Seimetz and John Lithgow star. (April 5)
“The Sun Is Also a Star.” YA author Nicole Yoon’s first book, “Everything, Everything,” became both a best-seller and a film; the same thing’s happening with her second, about a Jamaican-American girl who falls in love with a Korean-American boy just before her family is about to be deported. Yara Shahidi (“Black-ish”) and Charles Melton play the star-crossed lovers. (May 17)
“Where’d You Go, Bernadette.” The pedigree for this adaptation of Maria Semple’s beloved set-in-Seattle novel (in which a teenager’s frazzled mother disappears) is stellar, with Richard Linklater (“Boyhood”) directing and the great Cate Blanchett in the title role. But its release date has changed several times — never a good sign. (Aug. 9)
“Artemis Fowl.” The science fiction/fantasy series by Irish author Eoin Colfer, about a genius in a fairy world, has long been in development as a feature film — and it finally arrives, as a Disney family movie directed by Kenneth Branagh, this summer. The cast includes Ferdia Shaw, Lara McDonnell, Josh Gad and Judi Dench. (Aug. 9)
“It: Chapter Two.” The second part of the Stephen King novel (the first half came to theaters in 2017) is upon us, and there’s little I can tell you about it as I’m way too scared to read the book or watch the movie. Apparently there’s a very scary clown involved. Anyway, James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain are in the cast, and I’m still not going to watch it. (Sept. 6).
“The Woman in the Window.” This “Rear Window”-ish tale of an agoraphobic woman who witnesses a crime through her window (or thinks she does), by A.J. Finn, was a best-seller last year and quickly rushed into production as a movie, directed by Joe Wright and starring Amy Adams and Gary Oldman. (Based on a recent New Yorker profile, the life of Finn — real name Dan Mallory — might make a pretty good movie too.) (Oct. 4)
“The Goldfinch.” The long-rumored film adaptation of Donna Tartt’s gripping “The Secret History” looks, alas, never to be. Nonetheless, Tarttlets (a term I just made up, for fans of Tartt’s intoxicating writing) can look forward to seeing her 2014 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, in which a young man grows up after losing his mother in a New York City bombing, on screen this fall. Ansel Elgort, Nicole Kidman, Sarah Paulson and Luke Wilson star. (Oct. 11)
“The Good Liar.” This one sounds irresistible: Ian McKellen plays a career con man and Helen Mirren is the widow who’s his latest mark in this adaptation of Nicholas Searle’s 2016 debut thriller. Bill Condon, reuniting once more with McKellen (“Gods and Monsters,” “Mr. Holmes”), directs. (Nov. 15)
“Little Women.” Can’t quite get the 1994 Winona Ryder version of the beloved Louisa May Alcott sister-fest out of your mind? Consider the cast Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird”) has assembled for this one: Saoirse Ronan as Jo, Emma Watson as Meg, Timothée Chalamet as Laurie, Laura Dern as Marmee and Meryl Streep as Aunt March. Bring it on! (Dec. 25)
“The Call of the Wild.” Jack London’s brief adventure novel, about a sled dog in the Yukon during the Klondike Gold Rush, was first published in 1903, and has been brought to the screen several times (including a 1935 version starring Clark Gable and Loretta Young). The upcoming version, coming for Christmas, features Harrison Ford, Karen Gillan and Dan Stevens. (Dec. 25)
“Native Son.” Richard Wright’s 1940 novel about a young man growing up in urban Chicago is a classic of black literature, and it’s been brought to the screen in an adaptation by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, directed by visual artist Rashid Johnson. The film was acquired by HBO at the Sundance Film Festival last month, but seems likely to have a theatrical release later this year. (to be determined, 2019).