20 popular series based on books

Imagination, like the fastest car, can take you to another reality when you read an exciting book. It is no less interesting to find out how a literary plot materializes on the screen, and compare it with your own version. Agree, great success happens in the cinema – did many people know about the novels of George Martin until the Game of Thrones came out? We bring to your attention series based on the books of classics and modern authors, which have attracted the attention of viewers in recent years.

Lupine (2021)

The creators of the series, as well as their character, an emigrant from Senegal Assan Diop, were inspired by a series of works by Maurice Leblanc about the noble thief Arsene Lupin. Our hero lived a completely happy life until his dad tragically died, falsely accused of a crime. Even many years later, Assan has not forgotten what happened and plans to avenge the death of a loved one – to steal an expensive necklace, for the theft of which his father was convicted.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Original title:
Lupin

Genre:
Crime, detective, drama, action

Actors:
Omar Sy, Vincent Londez, Ludivine Sagnier…

Country:
France, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 7.5

Age restrictions:
16+


Chestnut Man (2021)

A highly rated detective series based on the book of the same name by Soren Sveistrup. The Danish show is filmed in the best traditions of Scandinavian cinema and draws you in with a gloomy atmosphere, intricate intrigue and beautiful landscapes. The brutal murder of a woman has stirred up the police department of Copenhagen. The body with a severed limb was found in the forest, and nearby the investigator found a figure of a chestnut man. However, this is not the only shock. The prints of a girl who has been considered dead for a year have been found on the figurine.

Original title:
The Chestnut Man

Genre:
Thriller, detective, crime

Actors:
Danica Churcic, Mikkel Boe Fölsgaard, Iben Dorner Östergård…

Country:
Denmark

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.5, IMDb – 7.7

Age restrictions:
18+


Play Back (2020)

Before us is a happy family from New York. Grace is a successful psychotherapist , Jonathan is a pediatric oncologist, and their son is a student at a prestigious school. Grace, who has devoted her life to helping couples, suddenly realizes that she overlooked the problems in her own home. Trouble begins when, after a charity evening, someone brutally kills the mother of a son’s classmate, and the husband of the main character disappears. The fast-paced thriller, based on the novel You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz, will confuse the viewer with a twisted plot, forcing you to speculate every episode.

Original title:
The Undoing

Genre:
Thriller, drama, detective

Actors:
Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Edgar Ramirez…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 7.4

Age restrictions:
18+


And Fires Smolder Everywhere (2020)

The foreign series, which has gained fans around the world, is based on the book of the same name by contemporary author Celeste Ing. The plot revolves around the confrontation between two women – Helen and Mia. The first lives according to a schedule – a lawn of the same length, taboo topics in a discussion club, sex with her husband only on weekends. The second is a truth-teller in a constant search for herself, free and open, never wanting to accept the rules of the prim inhabitants of the city where she moved. Both women, who do not agree to compromise with each other, commit irreparable acts.

Original title:
Little Fires Everywhere

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Kerry Washington, Alexandra Underwood, Reese Witherspoon…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 7.7

Age limit:
16+


Confrontation (2020 – 2021)

The post-apocalyptic science fiction series is based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King and tells about the consequences of the spread of a deadly virus on Earth. America becomes the epicenter where the infection has settled. Most of the population has already been destroyed. Those who managed to survive are trying to build their lives from scratch. And while people are in turmoil, the mysterious Black Man is gathering followers in a quest for world domination.

Original title:
The Stand

Genre:
Horror, sci-fi, fantasy, thriller

Actors:
James Marsden, Odessa Young, Owen Teague, Alexander Skarsgard, Whoopi Goldberg, Amber Heard…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.1, IMDb – 5.5

Age restrictions:
18 +


Night administrator (2020)

Next on the list of the best series based on literary works is an intellectual foreign project inspired by John le Carré’s spy novel. The life of a night manager in a luxury hotel in Zurich was monotonous and boring until he was recruited by the intelligence service to spy on an international arms baron . However, it is not so easy to complete the mission when there are corrupt employees around.

Original title:
The Night Manager

Genre:
Thriller, drama, crime, detective

Actors:
Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie, Elizabeth Debicki …

Country:
UK, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 8.1

Age restrictions:
16+


Queen’s Move (2020)

One of the most famous Netflix projects, based on the novel of the same name by Walter Tevis, will introduce the viewer to the world of chess . The story of the main character has been shown since 1957. Elizabeth’s mother recently died, and the 9-year-old child ends up in an orphanage at the Catholic Church. Here the orphan meets the janitor, an elderly man who teaches an amazingly gifted girl how to play chess. At 13, Beth is adopted and receives her first book of chess openings. Thus begins her path to world fame.

Original title:
The Queen’s Gambit

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Anya Taylor-Joy, Mariel Heller, Moses Ingram, Thomas Sangster …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.3, IMDb – 8.6

Age restrictions:
18+


War of the Worlds (2019)

Thousands of space objects descend to Earth and are located near the largest settlements. Alien probes emit electromagnetic pulses, destroying everything around. Only those who were deep underground or in rooms sheathed with metal remain alive. The sci-fi series, based on the famous book, retained the spirit of the work of H. G. Wells, but adapted the classic plot to modern realities.

Original title:
War of the Worlds

Genre:
Fantasy, drama, detective

Actors:
Leah Drucker, Daisy Edgar-Jones, Gabriel Byrne …

Country:
UK, France, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 6.3

Age restrictions:
16+


Witcher (2019)

The most popular hit of fantasy literature – the series of books by Andrzej Sapkowski “The Witcher” served as the basis not only for video games , but also for a colorful series. The gray-haired witcher Geralt has incredible strength and magical knowledge. For a fee, a powerful wanderer rids the city of all sorts of evil spirits – werewolves , ghouls , trolls and other creatures of darkness. Fate will bring him together with the sorceress Yennefer, who is desperately trying to regain her ability to bear children, and the heiress Ciri, who is on the run from the pursuers who have seized her empire.

Original title:
The Witcher

Genre:
Fantasy, adventure, drama, horror

Actors:
Henry Cavill, Freya Allan, Joey Baty …

Country:
Poland, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 8.2

Age restrictions:
18+


Sharp Objects (2018)

Many years later, journalist Camilla Parker returns to her native place on a business trip. Horrible murders of little girls take place here, and our heroine is preparing a report on the crimes. However, returning to the past turns into a real nightmare for her. Why did she once run away from home without looking back? And what kind of psychological trauma haunts a beautiful young woman? You will learn the answers to these questions by watching the series based on the popular book by the writer Gillian Flynn.

Original title:
Sharp Objects

Genre:
Thriller, drama, crime, detective

Actors:
Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson, Chris Messina …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.5, IMDb – 8.1

Age restrictions:
18+


Patrick Melrose (2018)

Each episode of the series is one of the books of St. Obina from the Patrick Melrose series and a day in the life of a hero. Patrick is an irresistible aristocrat, playboy and handsome from a wealthy, but dysfunctional and unhappy family in terms of personal relationships. As a child, he suffered from the abuse of a domineering father and saw no protection from his mother. In adulthood, a man was faced with psychological problems, alcohol , drugs and repeated attempts to commit suicide.

Original title:
Patrick Melrose

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Benedict Cumberbatch, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Hugo Weaving…

Country:
UK, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 8.1

Age limit:
18+


Big Little Lies (2017 – 2019)

The list of the best series based on books will continue with the eponymous film adaptation of the twisted detective Liane Moriarty. The action takes place in a coastal resort town. Before us appear five families, five different stories of life, where various secrets are hidden behind ideal facades. The relationship between the characters culminates in a murder at a charity ball. However, viewers are initially left in the dark about who is the victim and who committed the crime.

Original title:
Big Little Lies

Genre:
Detective, drama

Actors:
Shailene Woodley, Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.1, IMDb – 8.5

Age restrictions:
18+


The Man in the High Castle (2015 – 2019)

What if another country had won World War II ? The writer Philip Dick decided to fantasize about this, and directors from several countries, having united, made a film adaptation about it. So, an alternative reality – Germany and Japan won the war. The German dictatorship has spread over half the world, and America is divided among the victorious countries. Many years later, Americans who disagree with such a fate organize an underground movement. People who do not want to put up with the regime are given hope by a book, according to the plot of which Germany and Japan lost the war.

Original title:
The Man in the High Castle

Genre:
Fantasy, thriller, drama

Actors:
Alexa Davalos, Joel de la Fuente, Rufus Sewell …

Country:
USA, UK, Canada

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 8.0


Poldark (2015 – 2019)

The first season of the English series is based on a series of books of the same name by Winston Graham and tells about the soldier Ross Poldark, who returned to his homeland after the war in Africa . At home, the man has long been considered dead, because for three years there has been no news from him. During Ross’s absence, his family’s business went bankrupt, his father died, and the servants fled. However, the main shock for the soldier was that his beloved is now engaged to another.

Original title:
Poldark

Genre:
Drama, melodrama, history

Actors:
Aidan Turner, Eleanor Tomlinson, Jack Farthing…

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.9, IMDb – 8.3

Age restrictions:
16+


Outlander (2014)

1945 A military nurse, reunited with her husband after a long separation, travels to Scotland to start a new life. Studying the history of these places, she visits the legendary stone circles and by some unknown way finds herself in 1743, when the Scottish highlanders fought for freedom with England. In this unknown hostile world, Claire will have to go through many tests. Colorful love series about time travel based on the world bestseller Diana Gabaldon.

Original title:
Outlander

Genre:
Fantasy, drama, melodrama

Actors:
Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Duncan Lacroix …

Country:
USA, UK

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.0, IMDb – 8.4

Age restrictions:
16+


Under the dome (2013 – 2015)

Based on the novel by Stephen King, the events of the fantasy thriller take place in Maine. On an ordinary summer day, the provincial town is under a mysterious dome of unknown origin. Communication with the outside world is cut off, residents cannot leave the territory, and planes and cars crash, crashing into an invisible fence. It would seem that in the city and its environs there is everything necessary for survival , but fear, lawlessness and a thirst for power gradually lead to chaos.

Original title:
Under the Dome

Genre:
Fantasy, thriller, drama, detective

Actors:
Mike Fogel, Rachel Lefevre, Alexander Koh …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 6.6

Age restrictions:
16+


Hannibal (2013 – 2015)

The series is based on the Hannibal Lecter books written by Thomas Harris. In the center of the plot is Will Graham, a gifted specialist in behavioral psychology. The man has an amazing talent to get used to the personality of the criminal and see the situation through his eyes. He cooperates with the FBI , looking for the most brutal serial killers. However, the last case turns out to be too complicated and Will turns to Dr. Lector, one of the best psychiatrists in the country, for help.

Original title:
Hannibal

Genre:
Detective, thriller, crime, drama

Actors:
Mads Mikkelsen, Hugh Dancy, Laurence Fishburne…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.0, IMDb – 8.5

Age restrictions:
18+


Game of Thrones (2011 – 2019)

The basis for the creation of a large-scale fantasy show was a series of novels by George Martin “A Song of Ice and Fire”. The plot takes the viewer to the fictional world of the Seven Kingdoms. As in any state, there is an eternal struggle for power. And while kings weave intrigues and organize conspiracies, something more sinister is already waiting at the gates somewhere far in the North. A war is coming in which everyone will have to take part, including warring clans, tribes of savages , witches and even dragons .

Original title:
Game of Thrones

Genre:
Fantasy, drama, action, romance, adventure

Actors:
Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke…

Country:
USA, UK

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 9.0, IMDb – 9.3

Age restrictions:
18+


Sherlock (2010 – 2017)

The creators of the series took the works of Arthur Conan Doyle as a basis, but moved the action of the novels to the present. Military doctor John Watson returns from the battlefield as an invalid . In search of inexpensive housing, he meets a strange Londoner named Sherlock Holmes. The powerful charisma and original mind of the man impress Watson, and he agrees to become his neighbor. It turns out that the doctor’s new acquaintance is investigating unexplained and mysterious murders. Two gentlemen combine their knowledge and skills to cleanse the streets of London of evil.

Original title:
Sherlock

Genre:
Detective, thriller, drama, crime

Actors:
Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs …

Country:
UK, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.9, IMDb – 9.1

Age restrictions:
12+


Dexter (2006)

Inspired by Jeff Lindsay’s novel Dextor’s Slumbering Demon, the now cult series introduces the viewer to the charming psychopath Dexter Morgan. The bloodthirsty man has learned to control his impulses, releasing rage for the benefit of society. At night, he hunts for the most notorious criminals and methodically kills them, combining business with pleasure. However, soon someone more serious comes across on his way and a real battle of the minds of two monsters begins.

Original title:
Dexter

Genre:
Thriller, drama, crime, detective

Actors:
Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.3, IMDb – 8.6

Age restrictions:
18+


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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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