Books on screen: Artemis Fowl, Good omens, and young adult romance

A whole clutch of novels have been turned into movies and TV series, or are due for release soon. Here's what to read, either in advance of watching on screen, or as a tasty, more fleshed-out mains to the movie or TV appetiser.


Catch-22 - Joseph Heller's classic WWII satire is now a 6 episode series (via streaming platform Hulu). The cast includes George Clooney and Hugh Laurie, so there are comedy chops aplenty.

Good Omens - Coming later this year is a series based on the apocalyptic comedy by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. It's a co-production by Amazon Prime and BBC Two and the cast is quite something - Michael Sheen as an angel, David Tennant as a demon, Benedict Cumberbatch as Satan. The premise is a simple but absurd one - one angel and one demon who have been adversaries for forever work together to stop the apocalypse because, as it turns out, they quite like humanity.

Family friendly

Artemis Fowl - Disney is bringing the first of Eoin Colfer's beloved children's series to life with Kenneth Brannagh at the reigns. New Zealand release date is 19 September and there will be a 3D version.

The boy who harness the wind - The true story of an industrious teenager living in a village in drought-stricken Malawi learns how to make a windmill from a library book and builds one from scrap parts, bringing electricity to power a water pump that allows his family to farm the land. The movie is the directorial debut of actor Chiwetel Ejiofor (Twelve years a slave, Love actually) and is due out in March.

A dog's way home - You know the story - boy meets dog, dog becomes separated from boy and has to find her way home against incredible odds. Everyone cries. In the movie version coming to New Zealand cinemas later this month Bryce Dallas Howard provides the voice of Bella, the dog. 


Catalogue link for Bird BoxBird box - The movie based on the horror novel by Josh Malerman and starring Sandra Bullock has been one of the most talked about Netflix movies of the year so far. Set in a world where an unknown menace turns people murderously violent and then suicidal on sight, a woman and her two children struggle to survive...

Nightflyers - Now on screening on Netflix as a series, this sci-fi horror is based on the series of novellas (now released as a single volume) by George R. R. Martin. Read Mark's review of the book.

The Passage - Justin Cronin's vampire virus novel (the first of a trilogy that continues in The twelve and The city of mirrors), has been adapted for the small screen and is now available via TVNZ on demand. Read our post about Justin Cronin from when he visited Christchurch in 2016.


Catalogue link for DuneDune - The Denis Villenueve helmed sci-fi epic based on Frank Herbert's sprawling series of novels set on the desert world of Arrakis is due for release until next year, but there are certainly plenty of books in the series to keep you busy until the film hits the big screen. Will it be better/worse/more coherent than David Lynch's 1984 film starring Kyle McLachlan? It's hard to say, though I'd expect it to be visually arresting at the very least.

Captain Marvel - It's taken the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) a goodly long time to make a female superhero movie so here's hoping they can deliver on the legend that is Carol Danvers. Out in New Zealand cinemas on 7 March.

The Umbrella Academy - Due out on Netflix soon is this superhero series based on the graphic novels by Gerard Way. A millionaire inventor adopts a group of super powered children, but it's not all happy families. In adulthood the children reconnect after the death of their adoptive father.

Young Adult

After - Anna Todd's runaway success that started life as One Direction fanfic is now a series of novels, and later this year, a movie. Ralph Fiennes' nephew, Hero Fiennes Tiffin plays the devilishly attractive bad boy.

Catalogue link for Five feet apartFive feet apart - Two teens with cystic fibrosis fall in love, but due to their suppressed immune systems must always stay at least six feet apart. Will love find a way? The film version due out next month stars Riverdale's Cole Sprouse, Haley Lu Richardson, and Claire Forlani.

The knife of never letting go - The first book in Patrick Ness's wildly popular Chaos walking series is coming to screens later in the year with Star Wars' Daisy Ridley and Spider-Man's Tom Holland starring.

The sun Is also a star - Natasha and Daniel fall in love but Natasha's family is about to be deported. Adorable young adult romance with some important things to say.

Any upcoming movies or TV series based on books we've missed? Which of the above are you most looking forward to seeing?

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