15 books you should read before they become Netflix Originals


The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is just one of several fantastic books soon to be adapted into Netflix Originals. Netflix has adapted its fair share of novels into movies and television shows; most recently, projects like Luckiest Girl Alive, The Midnight Club, and The School for Good and Evil were based on books or book series.

Soon, even more novels will be adapted, including movies like the upcoming White Noise and All Quiet on the Western Front, and there are several additional adaptations in the works for 2023 and beyond.

Books to read before they become Netflix Originals

WHITE NOISE – (L-R) Greta Gerwig (Babette), May Nivola (Steffie), Adam Driver (Jack), Samuel Nivola (Heinrich) and Raffey Cassidy (Denise). Cr: Wilson Webb/NETFLIX © 2022

White Noise

Director Noah Baumbach is adapting Don DeLillo’s 1985 novel into a movie set to be released this December on Netflix. The film will go to theaters starting on November 25 before debuting on the streaming service on December 30.

Previously thought to be “unadaptable,” DeLillo’s novel is a postmodern U.S. National Book Award for Fiction winner about Jack Gladney (played by Adam Driver in the film), a professor of Hitler studies at a liberal arts college. Jack’s life is thrown into chaos after a train crash creates “The Airborne Toxic Event,” causing chemical waste to seep into the town.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is one of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s best and most popular novels. The story is practically begging to be adapted for the screen, and earlier this year, Netflix announced they would be adapting it into a movie!

Fans are already obsessively waiting with bated breath to find out who will be cast in the title role and the equally important part of Celia St. James. Ana de Armas is one of the most popular fan choices because she’s also Cuban, like Evelyn, but we’ll see what happens!

For those who haven’t read the book yet, I highly recommend it, especially if you’re looking for a compelling LGBTQ+ story. Evelyn Hugo is a classic old-school movie star akin to Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor. Throughout her years in the business, she became known for her multiple failed marriages.

But years later, Evelyn finally wants to pull back the curtain and tell the whole truth about her story. She hand-picks a writer, seemingly from obscurity, at a fictional New York magazine called Vivant to turn her tale into a book. But the reasoning behind Evelyn’s choice is a mystery that runs parallel to her recollections throughout the novel.

Ransom Canyon

Are you a fan of Netflix Originals like Virgin River and Sweet Magnolias? What about the Paramount series Yellowstone? Ransom Canyon promises to be a blend of the two.

Like many other Netflix Originals (such as Virgin River), Ransom Canyon is adapted from a popular book series. Jodi Thomas penned the Western romance saga, and now Netflix is reportedly in the very early stages of developing the novels into a show.

While chatting with Deadline, Netflix’s Head of Drama, Jinny Howe, revealed that Netflix wanted to produce more content in the “comfort romance space.”

Of Ransom Canyon, she said, “It’s a multi-generational family show set on a ranch, and we say it’s Virgin River meets Yellowstone. We think that it’s going to deliver on all the romance and again it will be a really beautiful vista and setting, very escapist. It is in development in early stages, but we’re very excited about it; it feels very promising.”

The Three-Body Problem

The Three-Body Problem is the first novel in Liu Cixin’s Remembrance of Earth’s Past saga. True Blood‘s Alexander Woo is helming the ambitious new sci-fi adaptation, and it will be the first big Netflix project reuniting Game of Thrones writers David Benioff and D. B. Weiss as they serve as writers on the show.

Netflix has invested a lot of time and money into this show, which started filming in November 2021 and was reportedly set to wrap in September 2022. It stars Eiza González, Benedict Wong, Tsai Chin, John Bradley, Liam Cunningham, and Jovan Adepo. The main plot of the series follows humanity’s first contact with a mysterious alien civilization. It will likely be released in 2023.

My Life with the Walter Boys

Ali Novak’s YA Wattpad novel My Life with the Walter Boys is being adapted into a series for Netflix that stars Nikki Rodriguez, Sarah Rafferty, Marc Blucas, Alisha Newton, Ashby Gentry, and Noah LaLonde.

On My Block actress Nikki Rodriguez stars as the recently orphaned Jackie Howard. Jackie, a teen from Manhattan, is in for a major culture shock when she relocates to Colorado after the Walter family—who have ten sons—agree to take her in.

The Fall of the House of Usher

Mike Flanagan is returning with another horror show! If you’re like me and didn’t quite love The Midnight Club as much as his other projects, The Fall of the House of Usher should be more your speed.

The new series is based on the short story of the same name by Edgar Allen Poe, but the series will also incorporate some of Poe’s other works. Flanagan is also reuniting with several key players he has worked with in his other projects, like Carla Gugino, Rahul Kohli, Kate Siegel, Zach Gilford, and more.

All the Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot See is a high-profile Netflix adaptation that will star Hugh Laurie and Mark Ruffalo. Beyond that, the World War II drama is being adapted by Stranger Things‘ Shawn Levy and Peaky Blinders‘ Steven Knight, making the limited drama very high on the most-anticipated list for many fans. The novel it’s based on by Anthony Doerr is also very popular, having won a Pulitzer, so it’s interesting we actually haven’t seen many updates on this upcoming series yet, but there is a good chance it will come out in 2023.

The Pale Blue Eye

A gothic horror mystery based on the book of the same name by Louis Bayard, The Pale Blue Eye stars Christian Bale, Gillian Anderson, Harry Melling, Lucy Boynton, and more! And speaking of Edgar Allen Poe, Melling plays him in this movie as Poe assists veteran detective Augustus Landor in solving a string of murders in 1830. The Pale Blue Eye is releasing in theaters on December 23 and then Netflix on January 6, 2023.

More books becoming Netflix Originals soon

Besides the books mentioned above, Netflix has several other Netflix Originals based on novels.

  • Bodies by Si Spencer (graphic novel)
  • Lockwood & Co. series by Jonathan Stroud
  • A Man in Full by Tom Wolfe
  • 90 Church: The True Story of the Narcotics Squad from Hell by Agent Dean Unkefer
  • The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House by Kate Andersen Brower
  • Confessions on the 7:45 by Lisa Unger
  • Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton

Netflix is also reportedly developing an adaptation of Blake Crouch’s sci-fi novel Recursion and the fantasy children’s series The Chronicles of Narnia, but there haven’t been updates on either of these projects in several years, so it’s unclear if they are still in the works.

Which of the books on this list have you already read? Do you plan to read any other books listed before they become Netflix Originals?





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