It’s always thrilling—and a little scary!—to see your favorite book adapted for the big screen. Will the filmmakers be able to capture the intricacies of the plot? Will the actors capture the true awesomeness of the characters? For me as a big lover of young adult novels, the pressure is even greater: lately it seems like almost every popular YA book is getting turned into a blockbuster movie. Whether they turn out to be great adaptations, or real missteps, here are five YA books-to-movies to watch out for in 2016:
Written by J.K. Rowling in 2001, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a user’s guide (or textbook) to magical beasts in the world of Harry Potter. The movie is taking some big liberties with the original story by following “author” Newt Scamander as he tries to track down escaped magical creatures in 1926 New York. We’re not complaining though, especially as it stars Eddie Redmayne and promises to finally show us what the wizarding world is like in America. Rowling wrote the screenplay herself, so make sure you check out this highly anticipated Harry Potter prequel when it’s released on November 18.
Aliens invading earth in increasingly horrific waves? Sign me up. Rick Yancey is the author of this YA series about a teen girl who’s desperately trying to save herself and her younger brother after aliens invade. Chloe Grace Moretz stars in the movie version, which came out January 22. Go see this action-packed story in theaters while you still have the chance!
If ever there was a match made in heaven, it’s Tim Burton and this eerie YA novel written by Ransom Riggs. The book combines antique photographs with a narrative about a boy exploring an abandoned orphanage where unspeakable events might have taken place. Burton is directing the movie version, coming out December 25 and starring Eva Green and Asa Butterfield. I can’t wait to see how Burton brings Rigg’s creepy tale to life.
The third movie in the dystopian Divergent series (written by Veronica Roth) is slated to come out next November, focusing on the first half of Allegiant, the final book. The factions are shattered, their world is filled with violence and Tris is finally able to find out what lies beyond the wall. I’m sure the movie will capture the non-stop excitement of the book, but we all know the question on every fan’s mind: will the final two movies veer away from Roth’s controversial ending? We’ll have to wait until November to find out.
The year just wouldn’t feel right without a John Green book getting adapted into a movie (last year was Paper Towns, the year before that, The Fault in Our Stars). In 2016 it’s all about Let It Snow, a book Green coauthored with Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle. It’s a holiday story about three separate romances that eventually become connected and it’s slated to be released December 9. However, there seems to be no casting news or new developments, so we can only hope that Let it Snow will make it to the movies this year!