Books

Adaptation Roundup: June 2024

Grace Lapointe’s fiction has been published in Kaleidoscope, Deaf Poets Society, Mobius: The Journal of Social Change, and is forthcoming in Corporeal Lit Mag. Her essays and poetry have been published in Wordgathering. Her stories and essays—including ones that she wrote as a college student—have been taught in college courses and cited in books and dissertations. More of her work is at https://gracelapointe.wordpress.com, Medium, and Ao3.

The past few months have been exciting for people like me who love literary adaptations. Back in February, One Day (based on David Nicholls’s novel) was one of the best Netflix limited series I’ve ever seen. Then, in May, the movie of John Green’s YA novel Turtles All the Way Down premiered on Max, and American Fiction, adapted from Erasure by Percival Everett, streamed on Prime. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, based on Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games prequel, arrived on Starz on May 14th. The Sympathizer, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Viet Thanh Nguyen, concluded on Max on May 26th.

Dune: Part Two was THE movie to see on the big screen this spring, especially in IMAX. Movie theaters have been inaccessible to me since long before the COVID-19 pandemic began. So, because I have lots of opinions about Frank Herbert’s classic Dune Saga, I anticipated streaming Part Two on Max on May 21st. I bet the cinematic experience was amazing—though I still can’t believe this infamous popcorn bucket was real.

I’m also looking forward to Netflix’s upcoming adaptation of Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, but that’s coming later this year. No date has been announced yet.

Below, I’ve listed 9 exciting adaptations coming to movie theaters and streaming in June 2024. They’re ordered by their release dates. As Courtney Rodgers pointed out with May releases, most are adaptations of white authors’ work. Details are subject to change, with more announced daily. I’ve linked to trailers when I could find them.

Baki Hanma vs Kengan Ashura Netflix banner

Baki Hanma VS Kengan Ashura

Queenie Hulu promo banner

Queenie

Hulu, June 7th

Based on the 2019 novel Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams, the story follows a 25-year-old British Jamaican woman who works at a major newspaper. The trailer shows Queenie’s sense of humor, the racism of her white boyfriend’s family, and a hilarious Bridget Jones’ Diary reference to Queenie’s Playboy Bunny costume.

Bridgerton Season 3 Poster

Bridgerton Season 3B

Netflix, June 13th

The hit show, based on Julia Quinn’s series of romance novels, started its third season in May. The last four episodes of this season premiere on Netflix on June 13th. You can watch the trailer here. This season is adapted from Romancing Mister Bridgerton, and it focuses on Penelope Featherington and Colin Bridgerton’s developing relationship. The Netflix series was also adapted into Bridgerton: The Official Coloring Book in 2023.

The Watchers movie poster

The Watchers

Theatrical Release, June 14

This Warner Bros. film is an adaptation of the Gothic horror novel The Watchers by A. M. Shine. It was adapted for the screen, directed by Ishana Night Shyamalan with her father, M. Night Shyamalan, the producer. From the trailer, this movie seems to have a lot of Gothic, creepy elements, such as getting lost in a mysterious forest that appears out of nowhere. Even a parrot imitating people sounds creepy here!

Queen's Gambit book cover

Firebrand

Limited Theatrical Release, June 14th

This film fictionalizes Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine (or Katherine) Parr, his sixth and final wife. It’s based on the historical novel Queen’s Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle (not to be confused with THE Queen’s Gambit, which was adapted for Netflix in 2020). The movie, which premiered at Cannes, stars Alicia Vikander and Jude Law as the leads. We know Parr outlived Henry VIII, but a fictionalized depiction of her trying to avoid treason charges could be suspenseful. From the trailer, it looks like a tense thriller. Pop culture is fascinated by Tudor England. The 2000s Showtime show The Tudors, the stage musical Six, and the book and movie The Other Boleyn Girl are just a few examples.

Ultraman Rising Netflix poster

Ultraman: Rising

Netflix, June 14th

This Netflix superhero movie is a collaboration between Netflix and Tsuburaya Productions, the creator of the character Ultraman. The alter ego of baseball player Ken Sato, superhero Ultraman, takes care of a baby kaiju in this movie. From the trailer, it looks heartwarming and funny, with beautiful animation. The long-running Ultraman or Ultra Series has inspired dozens of TV shows, movies, and comic books since the 1960s.

Fire & Blood George R R Martin Cover

House of the Dragon, Season 2

Max, June 16th

While Game of Thrones was based on George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire epic fantasy series, House of the Dragon is a prequel based on Fire & Blood, Martin’s pseudo-history book about Westeros. The series depicts the Targaryen dynasty, Daenerys’ ancestors, about 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones. Trailers from March sided with either Team Rhaenrya or Team Alicent. Like Bridgerton, this series was also recently adapted into an adult coloring book.

Apple TV Land of Women promo image

Land of Women

Apple TV+, June 26th

This series is based on the bestselling novel La Tierra de las Mujeres by Spanish author Sandra Barneda. To distance her family from her husband’s crimes, Gala (Eva Longoria) escapes to the same town in northern Spain where her mother once lived. It’s described in press materials as a dramedy about family secrets and was filmed in Spain.

My Lady Jane cover

My Lady Jane

Amazon Prime, June 27th

This 8-episode limited series is based on the historical fantasy novel My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows, the first in their Lady Janies series. In real life, Lady Jane Grey was the contested Queen of England for only 9 days in 1553. This story imagines what might have happened if she hadn’t been executed at age 16 or 17. The tagline says, “the damsel in distress saves herself—and then the kingdom.” From the trailer, it looks like irreverent, PG-13-type fun.


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