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While release schedules might be in flux, there are still hundreds of films and TV shows coming out in 2021 — and because Hollywood loves nothing more than existing (and proven) intellectual property, plenty of those projects are based on books.
If you’re one of those people who likes to read the book before you watch the movie, this list is for you — we’ve rounded up a few of the highest-profile literary adaptations hitting screens this year and included synopses, links to where you can read the books, and where you’ll be able to watch said projects when they come out. (And if you’re looking for books that should become TV shows, click here.) Now get to reading!
“Dune” by Frank Herbert
Release Date: Oct. 1, 2021 in theaters and on HBO Max
3-Book Box Set
Frank Herbert’s sci-fi saga has made it to the screen before, but Warner Bros. and Legendary’s big-budget, star-studded adaptation from Denis Villeneuve (with Timothée Chalamet, Oscar Isaac, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Jason Momoa, Charlotte Rampling, Josh Brolin, Dave Bautista, and Javier Bardem — among others) was slated for a Dec. 2020 release, but will now hit theaters and HBO Max in late 2021.
Prepare for the film by reading (or re-reading) Herbert’s 1965 novel, which George Lucas has cited as an inspiration for “Star Wars.” Five sequels — “Dune Messiah,” “Children of Dune,” “God Emperor of Dune,” “Heretics of Dune,” and “Chapterhouse: Dune” — have also been published since then. Purchase the first three in a handy combo package, or just the first solo. The official synopsis for the original novel, if you want a vague description of what you’re getting into: “’Dune’ is set far in the future, amidst a sprawling feudal intergalactic empire, where planetary fiefdoms are controlled by noble Houses that owe allegiance to the Imperial House Corrino. The novel tells the story of young Paul Atreides, heir apparent to Duke Leto Atreides and scion of House Atreides, as he and his family relocate to the planet Arrakis, the universe’s only source of the spice melange.”
“French Exit” by Patrick DeWitt
Release Date: Feb. 12, 2021
This 2018 novel from Patrick DeWitt, about a wealthy widow and her son who head to Paris from New York in the wake of scandal served as the basis for comedy of the same name, starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Lucas Hedges, that closed out the 2020 …read more