Recently I’ve been getting more into TV shows and movies, and especially those based on books. I know that it’s considered a crime to bookworms everywhere to watch the show or movie before reading the book but my counter to that is that I don’t really care about that anymore. #NoRuPaulogies. Now, it’s not important to me whether I read the book before or after because it doesn’t affect my enjoyment. Another unpopular opinion bound to make people hate me: I don’t always think that the book is better. Fight me. (actually, please don’t. i’ll easily lose) Anyways, I’ve been doing a lot of perusing around Netflix, Amazon, and regular TV for TV shows and movies based on books that I want to watch and I’ve come up with quite a few! Also, spoiler alert: Game of Thrones will not be making an appearance in this post or on this blog ever. No thank you.
I’ve included MPAA ratings and as many trigger warnings as I can, but if you want a more thorough content guide I’d suggest going to IMDb.
Before you think I want to watch this just for Tom Hiddleston, hear me out. You’re half right but this show is actually highly recommended by my parents because they love anything to do with spies (my dad does, my mum just watches whatever). The only thing I’ve seen based on le Carré’s work is Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy but sometimes Cold War stuff gets a little slow and this one takes place in a more modern setting so hopefully it’ll have a quicker pace than his Cold War works. Also, Hiddleston. Yes.
Rated TV-14 for for nudity.
I will admit that I have yet to feel thrilled about a live action Disney remake when they’re announced, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t watch them. Eventually. As in years later when people aren’t talking about them anymore. Cinderella is one of my favourite fairy tales (right after Sleeping Beauty and The Little Mermaid) and the cinematography in this movie looks absolutely gorgeous so of course I want to watch it now. I’m not really sure of what to expect since it’s been a hot minute since people talked about this movie, but I do hope I enjoy it.
Rated PG for mild thematic events.
Trigger warning for abuse.
Fun fact: I watched the animated version of Beauty and the Beast for the first time when I was 19 years old. It was never on TV when I was little and I didn’t have a video tape or a DVD of it so I’d just never seen it. I’ve still only watched it the one time so when this live action version was announced I didn’t really have any reactions because I wasn’t an uber fan of the original version. I will admit that I was sceptical about Emma Watson being cast as Belle but that’s because I’ve only seen her in three films: the first two Harry Potter movies and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. But, I will now have to see if she does the character any justice since the buzz has sort of calmed down now.
Rated PG for some action violence, and frightening images.
I don’t usually consider movies based on memoirs to be truly based on books, but I’m including it in the list because a memoir is still a book despite how pedantic I am about it. Anyways, I used to see screencaps of this movie on Tumblr all the time because it must have been considered ~aesthetic~ or something despite being a very serious movie about mental illness. I’ve had this movie on my radar for years but still haven’t gotten around to watching it yet for reasons that I don’t know. I do have it in my Netflix queue though. I think.
Rated R for strong language and content relating to drugs, sexuality, and suicide.
Trigger warnings for suicide, drug abuse, self harm, mental illness, and references to incest.
Psycho is one of my favourite movies ever (which i still have not read the book it is based on) and this series really makes me curious because prequels have the potential to be good but I do tend to get disappointed by them (looking at you, Gotham). But, I still will give this a go because the movie doesn’t really explore the dynamic that Norman Bates has with his mother in too much detail so I do want to see how this series goes about that and shows how potentially terrible a person Norman’s mother is. Which is always a good thing to me.
Rated TV-MA for strong sexual and violent content.
Trigger warnings for rape and implied incest.
Oh, look. Another Hiddleston thingy, but this time a movie based on a book. Am I back into full-blown obsession with his work? Yes. Is that a big reason why I want to watch this movie? Also yes, but there are other reasons. I love things that take place in the 1970’s and this movie is probably as 70’s as it gets. I don’t really know too much about this movie or what exactly it’s about but that’s okay because going in blind can be a good thing. Also, Tom Hiddleston in a suit in nearly every single one of his scenes. Yes. Please.
Rated R for violence, disturbing images, strong sexual content/graphic nudity, language and some drug use.
Trigger warning for implied rape.
Look at me getting brave! The last time I did a Horror October event I mentioned in a post that I would probably never watch The Exorcist because it looked too scary. I still think it looks too scary but that doesn’t mean that I’m not willing to give it a shot. This movie was made in the early 70’s so the effects may not be as shocking as they were back then so who knows how well it’s aged. This is one of the few movies on this list that I am actually willing to read the book first because horror books don’t really scare me while horror movies do. I really can’t describe why but they just don’t.
Rated R for strong language, horror, and disturbing images.
Warning for flashing images
Another Kubrick movie! I still have yet to finish reading The Shining because I have actually DNF’d it twice but I swear I’m going to get it finished this year because I care about reading the book before watching this movie. Why? Because Stephen King isn’t too fond of it. But, I did like A Clockwork Orange so surely this movie can’t be that bad. Especially with Jack Nicholson in it because Nicholson does unhinged characters better than everyone else, IMO.
Rated R for terror, disturbing violent images, language, and brief nudity.
I actually used to watch this TV show way back when it first started airing in the UK but I stopped watching it for some reason. I’m really not bothered about reading the original books at all because I read the first chapter of Dead After Dark and was completely rubbed the wrong way by Sookie’s narration, which is weird because I did like the TV show. I mean, there’s vampires, so how could I not want to start watching this again?
Rated TV-MA for sexual scenes, graphic bloody violence.
So far I’ve only read the first book in the Hannibal Lecter series which I really liked and haven’t watched either movie of (yes, there’s two and one’s supposed to be garbage). Even though I do want to read the books first, I can’t not imagine Hannibal in my head as anyone other than Anthony Hopkins because he pretty much made the role. I did used to be into the Hannibal TV series before I started getting confused by things that I can’t really mention because they’re spoilers, but obviously I want to watch these original movies first. After I read the books. Which includes the one where a dude is forced to eat his own brains while he’s still alive.
Rated R for strong horror, bloody violence, very strong language.
Trigger warnings for violence against women and implied transphobia
Want to know something about this movie that confuses me? Arthur C. Clarke wrote the screenplay with Stanley Kubrick which was partially inspired by Clarke’s short story The Sentinel, but then Clarke wrote the actual book while the movie was being made and it was published right after the movie was released. Does it matter whether I watch the movie first or read the book first? I have no idea because I’ll probably be confused and amazed by both of them because Kubrick. Dude made some beautiful movies in his time but good grief can they be confusing.
Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material.
Warning for flashing images.
This is one movie that I simply refuse to watch before I read the book because I have a slight feeling that doing that might ruin the story for me. Even though I’ve been told that they’re not the same in any way, but whatever. I’ve been meaning to get into Phillip K. Dick’s books for a long time since I read one of his short stories and I figured that this one would be a good place to start because I’ve wanted to watch the movie for ages. Also, Gary Numan has an album inspired by the book and it’s awesome.
Rated R for violence and nudity.
Whee, more Stephen King! I do plan to read the book this October which may or may not matter because I already know how this one ends. Thank you people who seem to think that spoiler alerts have a limited timescale. Anyways, Carrie is the shortest Stephen King book I have and it has a telepathic girl in it, and I love telepathic characters because that would be the coolest power ever. Once you learn how to control it, that is. I’m still bummed that I know how it ends, though.
Rated R for adult situations, strong horror, language, nudity, and disturbing violence.
Trigger warning for child abuse
Hey, look, it’s Kubrick. Again. Dude didn’t have a huge list of movies that he made so it can be pretty easy to watch all them, and most of them are based on books or short stories but I didn’t want to make this a “all of the Stanley Kubrick movies I want to watch” list. I actually didn’t know that Dr. Strangelove was based on a novel but I guess I can be forgiven for that since it’s loosely based on it and usually, “loosely based” means “we took the basic concept of the story and the characters and then did whatever the hell we wanted to it”. Anyways, I know I said Cold War stuff can be a little slow at times, but this is a comedy so I don’t think pacing will be too much of a problem here. Also, Peter Sellers plays three characters which is awesome because I like Peter Sellers.
Rated PG for thematic elements, some violent content, sexual humour and mild language.
I have actually never heard a single person talk about the book this movie is based on, but plenty of people talk about the movie. For some really weird reason that I’m not sure of I’m drawn to things that talk about how awful drugs are and this film is no exception, mainly because it’s a British film that takes place in Britain. I’m not sure if I’m too interested in reading the book, but we shall see.
Rated R for graphic heroin use and resulting depravity, strong language, sex, nudity and some violence.
Trigger warnings for drug addiction, hallucinations, and death of a child.
I have never read a single Archie comic in my entire life but from the looks of this show it is a completely different take from the original comics. I don’t know much about what goes on in this show other than the fact that Cole Sprouse is in it and his character is asexual and supposedly pretentious. I haven’t seen a lot of people talking about it apart from a few people I follow on Instagram mentioning it in their stories so it looks like I’ll be going in blind.
And here’s another movie I said I would never watch. Most of the horror movies that I know to be based on books are usually based on classic Gothic books or Stephen King books so I was very surprised to find out that The Thing is based on a book. I know that this is supposed to be one of the scariest movies ever made and certainly one of the bloodiest so that makes me a little uneasy but I can get through the chestburster scene in Alien just fine, so I should be able to manage this movie just fine. I think.
Rated R for strong graphic sci-fi/horror violence and gore, grisly images, language, and minor drug content.
Trigger warning for animal cruelty.
What book-based TV shows and movies do you want to watch? What would you recommend?