Pop Culture

11 Book Adaptations to End 2018 with a Reel Lit Bang

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As we prepare for 2019 and say goodbye to 2018, there’s little time left for us to get our fill of the boatload of book-to-movie (and TV) adaptations released this year. Along with the snow, cold, and holiday celebrations, the December book adaptations are bringing some new twists on old stories, a couple of much anticipated movies for the comics geeks, more than a few bestsellers, and a true story for the history buffs. Here is our pick of the litter!



Aquaman focuses on the battle between the surface world and undersea Atlanteans, who are ready to revolt against the humans. Created by Paul Norris and Mort Weisinger, Aquaman first appeared in More Fun Comics #73. Watch Jason Momoa become “Batman, But Wetter” nationwide on December 21st.

Back Roads

Harley Altmyer must care for his younger siblings after his mother goes to jail for killing their abusive father. While working two dead-end jobs to make ends meet, Harley begins an affair with an older woman, but his life begins to spiral downwards when shocking family secrets are revealed. The movie is based on Back Roads by Tawni O’Dell and is set for limited release on December 7th.

Bird Box

When a mysterious force decimates the world’s population, Malorie must flee with her two children down a river towards the only place left to stay safe. But to survive, they have to take the two-day journey blindfolded. Based on the 2014 novel of the same name by Josh Malerman, Bird Box will be available for streaming on Netflix December 21st.


In Dumplin’, the plus-size teenage daughter of a former beauty queen enters her mom’s pageant as a protest and starts a revolution when other contestants do the same. The theatrical adaptation of Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy is slated for Netflix release on December 7th.

Holmes and Watson

“Step Brothers”, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, join forces once again to play the world’s greatest detective and his loyal sidekick. Holmes and Watson, inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories, is scheduled for nationwide release on December 25th.

If Beale Street Could Talk

Based on the novel of the same name by James Baldwin, If Beale Street Could Talk is a love story told through the eyes of Tish Rivers who recalls her passionate connection with fiancé Alonzo (Fonny) Hunt and how their dream future was derailed when Fonny was arrested for a crime he didn’t commit. This movie is scheduled for limited theatrical release on December 14th.

Mary Poppins Returns

Michael and Jane Banks are all grown up, and after a personal loss, Mary Poppins returns to bring her unique magical skills. Inspired by the Mary Poppins series by P.L. Travers, Mary Poppins Returns hits theaters nationwide on December 19th.

Mary Queen of Scots

Based on Queen of Scots: The True Story of Mary Stuart by John Guy, Mary Queen of Scots explores the turbulent life of Mary Stuart who became Queen of France at 16 and a widow at 18, but refused to remarry. Instead she returns to Scotland to reclaim her rightful throne, threatening the sovereignty of Queen Elizabeth I. Mary Queen of Scots is set for nationwide release on December 7, 2018.

Mortal Engines

In Mortal Engines, based on the first book of the Mortal Engines quartet by Philip Reeves, a mysterious woman joins forces with a London outcast and a dangerous outlaw with a bounty on her head to stop the giant predatory city on wheels from devouring everything in its path. Mortal Engines is set for nationwide theatrical release on December 14th.

Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle

This reimagining of The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling tells the story of Mowgli, a boy torn between the jungle and the world of man, who must navigate the dangers of each to find where he truly belongs. The movie will have a limited release on November 29, but everyone can see Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle on December 7th when it’s released on Netflix.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Existing outside of the live action Spider-Man universe, Into the Spider-Verse follows Brooklyn teen Miles Morales who was introduced by Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli in Ultimate Fallout #4 when Miles took over as Spider-Man after the death of Peter Parker. Into the Spider-Verse is coming to theaters nationwide on December 14th.

So … which adaptation is on your must-watch list?

Did you miss any of the adaptations that came out earlier this year? No worries! We’ve got you covered:

Book Riot’s Most Anticipated Adaptations of 2018

26 Book Adaptations Coming Out in 2018

Sarah Waters talks The Little Stranger adaptation!

7 Book Adaptations from August 2018

A Round Up of Page-to-Screen Adaptations

Rioters’s Thoughts on A Wrinkle in Time

Was the adaptation of Ready Player One better than the book?