From a cute picture book to an edgy young-adult novel to an offbeat teen romance, these page-turners are headed to the big screen.
Hollywood’s love affair with books isn’t showing any signs of stopping in 2017. Big movie hits like the Harry Potter franchise, the Hunger Games trilogy, Coraline, and The Fault in Our Stars show just how successful film adaptations of kids’ books can be. Will the movie versions be better than the books? There’s only one way to find out: Read ’em before you see ’em. Check out the list of what’s headed for the big screen in 2017.
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (in theaters March 3; targeted to teens)
A teen girl discovers she died in a car accident and relives the 24 hours before the crash over and over. Each time, she examines what she might have done differently to alter the outcome and save her life. The film adaptation of this popular young adult novel stars Zoey Deutch and Jennifer Beals.
The Boss Baby by Marla Frazee (in theaters March 31; targeted to kids)
This very funny picture book imagines a new baby as a demanding boss — complete with suit, tie, and briefcase — who keeps his parents hopping to meet his every need. DreamWorks’ 3D animated adaptation, directed by Tom McGrath (Madagascar), has Alec Baldwin voicing the baby and Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow as his parents.
Wonder by R.J. Palacio (in theaters April 7; targeted to kids)
This beloved middle-grade novel is about Auggie, a boy with a congenital facial deformity who, after being homeschooled his whole life, enters fifth grade at a public school. It deals with bullying and typical middle school drama as it tells the story of the entire school year in multiple voices. The film adaptation, directed by Stephen Scbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower), stars Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson as Auggie’s parents, Mandy Patinkin as his understanding teacher, and Jacob Trembly (Room) as Auggie.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney (in theaters May 19; targeted to kids)
In the ninth book in the popular Wimpy Kid graphic novel series, Greg is stuck on a hilariously disastrous family road trip where things don’t go at all according to plan. The film adaptation, directed by David Bowers (The Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules), stars Alicia Silverstone as Greg’s mom and Jason Drucker as Greg.
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (in theaters May 19; targeted to teens)
A teen girl who can never leave her house because she’s allergic to just about everything falls in love with the new boy next door and starts taking risks in this compelling romance/coming-of-age story. The film adaptation of this young adult novel stars Taylor Hickson (Deadpool) and Nick Robinson (Jurassic World, The 5th Wave).
The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey (in theaters June 2; targeted to kids)
This first book in the best-selling graphic novel series centers on two mischievous elementary school boys who create a mock comic book superhero based on their school principal. DreamWorks’ animated adaptation, titled simply Captain Underpants, features the voice talents of Kevin Hart, Ed Helms, Nick Kroll, and Kristen Schaal. It’s directed by David Soren (Turbo, Shark Tale).
Mary Poppins (in theaters Dec. 25; targeted to kids)
P.L. Travers’ classic children’s novel was already adapted by Disney in 1964. The book is charming and magical in its own way (if a bit old-fashioned). But it still offers timeless lessons about good manners and understanding other points of view. The film sequel, Mary Poppins Returns, will be a musical set in Depression-era London, with Jane and Michael Banks all grown up. It stars Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins, Hamilton star/creator Lin-Manuel Miranda as her lamplighter friend Jack, and Meryl Streep as Mary’s cousin, Topsy. Rob Marshall (Into the Woods, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) directs.
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