Looking for your next high-quality movie or binge-worthy television series? Almost 80 of our nominated titles have been adapted for the big and small screen – discover them all here

A picture paints a thousand words, but the reverse can also be true. The books listed here, which have either won or been longlisted or shortlisted for the Booker Prize or International Booker Prize, have all been adapted for the screen, as either feature films or television series. 

Some, such as Life of Pi, have even gone from book to screen and stage, and many of them have won the most prestigious film and television awards, such as the Oscar-winning Schindler’s List, The Remains of the Day and The English Patient, the Emmy-winning The Handmaid’s Tale and the BAFTA-winning Wolf Hall.

Written by Sinéad Sillars

Publication date and time: Published

Winners: Film and TV series adapted from books that won the Booker Prize

DisgraceHeat and Dust, Hotel du LacLast Orders, Life of Pi , Midnight’s ChildrenOscar and Lucinda, Possession, Rites of Passage (To The Ends of the Earth), Schindler’s Ark (Schindler’s List), The English Patient, The Line of BeautyThe Remains of the Day, The SeaThe Sense of an EndingThe White TigerTroublesTrue History of the Kelly Gang and Wolf Hall.

Disgrace (2008) - Set in post-apartheid South Africa, a professor’s complacency contributes to his utter downfall. Based on J.M. Coetzee’s 1999 novel of the same name, it was adapted for the screen by Anna Maria Monticelli and directed by her husband Steve Jacobs, and stars John Malkovich and Jessica Haines in the lead roles.  Trailer >>

Heat and Dust (1983) - A British historical romantic drama, with a screenplay written by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, based on her own 1975 novel. Directed by James Ivory and produced by Ismail Merchant, it stars Greta Scacchi, Shashi Kapoor and Julie Christie. Heat and Dust was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 1983 Cannes Film Festival and earned eight nominations at the 1984 BAFTAs, including Best Film, and went on to win Best Adapted Screenplay for the author.  Trailer >>

Hotel du Lac (1986) - A television adaptation of 1984’s winning novel by Anita Brookner. It stars Anna Massey and Denholm Elliott and was directed by Giles Foster. The story focuses on a novelist who takes refuge from life in a hotel on the misty shores of Lake Geneva.  Trailer >>

Last Orders (2001) - Sorrow and resentment mingle with passion and regret in Graham Swift’s 1996 testament to a changing England, and enduring mortality. The film adaptation, written and directed by Fred Schepisi, stars a who’s who of British film acting talent, including Michael Caine, Tom Courtenay, David Hemmings, Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren and Ray Winstone.  Trailer >>

A still from Schindler's List showing a girl in a red coat

Life of Pi (2012) - Yann Martel’s 2002 modern classic about a boy who finds himself on a lifeboat with a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, and a tiger named Richard Parker. In an adaptation directed and produced by Ang Lee, the film stars Irrfan Khan as the adult Pi, Rafe Spall as The Writer, Tabu as Pi’s mother, and Adul Hussain as Pi’s father. It was nominated for three Golden Globe Awards, including Best Picture - Drama and Best Director, and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score. It was also nominated for 11 awards at the Oscars in 2013, and won four, including Best Director for Lee.  Trailer >>

Midnight’s Children (2012) - Salman Rushdie, the author of the 1981 book, actually narrated the film adaptation. The Times of India said the film was a love letter to India, and wrote that it ‘moves you with its heart and words, especially when Rushdie murmurs, ‘Without passport or permit, in a basket of invisibility, I returned - to my India.’ The film was directed by Deepa Mehta, who also wrote the screenplay with Rushdie, and stars Rajat Kapoor, Shriya Saran, Satya Bhabha and Anita Majumdar.  Trailer >>

Oscar and Lucinda (1997) - A young English clergyman who has broken with his past and developed a disturbing talent for gambling and a country girl of singular ambition who moves to Sydney, driven by dreams of self-reliance and the building of an industrial Utopia. The film adaptation of the 1988 Peter Carey novel stars Cate Blanchett, Ralph Fiennes, Ciarán Hinds and Tom Wilkinson, and was nominated at the 70th Academy Awards for the Best Costume Design. It won five AACTA Awards in Australia.  Trailer >>

Possession (2002) - Two modern-day academics uncover a secret affair between famous fictional poets. Based on 1990’s gloriously exhilarating novel of wit and romance by A.S. Byatt. The screenplay, with its considerable deviations from the book, was written and directed by Neil LaBute and stars Gwyneth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhart.  Trailer >>

Scene from the 2012 film Life of Pi, directed and produced by Ang Lee

To the Ends of the Earth (2005) – Adapted from the book Rites of Passage by William Golding which won the Booker Prize in 1980, this is a haunting account of an epic sea journey, which profoundly affects all those who set sail on it. The tv series stars Benedict Cumberbatch and includes all three books in Golding’s Sea Trilogy. Produced for the BBC, it was directed by David Attwood and was nominated for six BAFTA awards.  Trailer >>

Schindler’s List (1993) ​​- The story of Oskar Schindler, a womaniser and drinker who was transformed by the war into a man with a mission, risking his life to protect beleaguered Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland. The 1982 Thomas Kineally book was published originally as Schindler’s Ark. The US version of the book was titled Schindler’s List, and this title was used for the hugely successful film adaptation, directed by Steven Spielberg. The film won seven Oscars, including Best Picture, as well as seven BAFTAs and three Golden Globes.  Trailer >>

The English Patient (1996) – This epic wartime screen romance was written and directed by the late Anthony Minghella, based on the 1992 novel of the same name by Michael Ondaatje. The film, which stars Ralph Fiennes, Kristin Scott Thomas, Juliette Binoche, Willem Defoe and Colin Firth, won nine Oscars, five BAFTAs and two Golden Globes.  Trailer >>

The Line of Beauty (2006) - This BBC three-part drama series, written by Andrew Davies and directed by Saul Dibb, is an adaptation of the 2004 book by Alan Hollinghurst. The story follows a young British man as he loses his innocence and gets caught up in the boom years of the 80s. Included in its large cast are Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens, Blackadder’s Tim McInnerny and the MCU’s Hayley Atwell.  Trailer >>

Ralph Fiennes and Kristin Scott Thomas dancing in a still from The English Patient.

The Remains of the Day (1993) - Adapted from the 1989 Kazuo Ishiguro novel, the film was directed by James Ivory with a screenplay written by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, herself a Booker winner. Anthony Hopkins takes on the role of the ageing butler, with Emma Thompson, Christopher Reeve and Hugh Grant also starring. Hopkins won Best Actor at the 1993 BAFTA awards for his performance, and the film won three London Film Critics Circle awards.  Trailer >>

The Sea (2013) - The story of a man who returns to the seaside where he spent his childhood summers, in search of peace following the death of his wife. It was adapted for the screen by John Banville, the author of the 2005 book of the same name. Directed by Stephen Brown, the film features an impressive cast of acting talent, including Ciarán Hinds, Sinéad Cusack, Rufus Sewell, Natascha McElhone and Charlotte Rampling.  Trailer >>

The Sense of an Ending (2017) - A middle-aged man is forced to reconsider his life when confronted with his imperfectly remembered past. Based on the 2011 book by Julian Barnes, the film adaptation was directed by Ritesh Batra and written by Nick Payne. It stars Jim Broadbent, Charlotte Rampling, Harriet Walter, Billy Howle, Emily Mortimer and Michelle Dockery.  Trailer >>

The White Tiger (2021) - Written and directed by Ramin Bahrani, who received an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay, The White Tiger tells the story of Balram, who comes from a poor Indian village and uses his wit and cunning to escape from poverty. An adaptation of Aravind Adiga’s 2008 novel of the same name, the film stars Adarsh Gourav, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, and Rajkummar Rao.  Trailer >>

Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson in the 1993 film The Remains of the Day

Troubles (1988) – J.G. Farrell’s novel was adapted into a tv film, produced by London Weekend Television. It stars Ian Charleson, Ian Richardson and Emer Gillespie, in a story set during the period of Northern Ireland’s history commonly referred to as ‘The Troubles’. In 2010, the book was the winner of the Lost Man Booker Prize, a special retrospective award. 

True History of the Kelly Gang (2019) - Portraying Ned Kelly as orphan, Oedipus, horse thief, farmer, bushranger, reformer, bank-robber, police-killer and, finally, his country’s beloved Robin Hood. By the time of his hanging in 1880, a whole country would seem to agree he was ‘the best bloody man that has ever been in Benalla’. This well-received film version of the 2001 Peter Carey book stars George MacKay, Russell Crowe and Essie Davis, and was directed by Justin Kursel.  Trailer >>

Wolf Hall (2015) - This six-part historical fiction series is a TV adaptation of two of Hilary Mantel’s novels, 2009’s Wolf Hall and 2012’s Bring Up the Bodies. It follows the rapid rise to power of Thomas Cromwell in the court of Henry VIII, as the son of a humble blacksmith becomes a chief minister of state. The series was a critical success and received eight Emmy nominations, eight BAFTA nominations, winning three of them, and three Golden Globe nominations, winning for Best Miniseries or Television Film. Directed by Peter Kosminsky, with a screenplay written by Peter Straughan, it features an impressive cast, which includes Mark Rylance, Damian Lewis, Claire Foy, Joanne Whalley and Jonathan Pryce.  Trailer >>

Still from TV show Wolf Hall showing Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell and Claire Foy as Anne Boleyn.

Shortlisted: Film and TV series adapted from books that were shortlisted for the Booker Prizes

Alias GraceA Month in the Country, An Artist of the Floating WorldArthur & George, AtonementA Whole LifeBreakfast on PlutoBrick Lane, Cloud AtlasElena Knows (Elena Sabe)  EileenEmpire of the Sun, Figures in a Landscape, Fingersmith (as Fingersmith and also re-named as The Handmaiden)Hurricane SeasonMorality Play (re-named The Reckoning)Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont, Never Let Me Go, Notes on a Scandal, On Chesil Beach, Pascali’s IslandRestoration, Room, Small Things Like TheseStaying OnSt Urbain’s HorsemenThe BookshopThe Butcher BoyThe Comfort of Strangers, The Dressmaker, The Driver’s SeatThe Garden of Evening Mists, The Handmaid’s TaleThe Little Stranger, The LuminariesThe Night Watch, The Old DevilsThe Reluctant Fundamentalist, The Van and Waterland

Alias Grace (2017) – This six-episode miniseries, directed by Mary Harron and written by Sarah Polley, is based on Margaret Atwood’s 1996 captivating historical fiction novel about the notorious 1843 murders of Thomas Kinnear and his housekeeper Nancy Montgomery. It stars Sarah Gadon, Edward Holcroft, Rebecca Liddiard, Zachary Levi, Kerr Logan, David Cronenberg, Paul Gross, and Anna Paquin.  Trailer >>

Pascali's Island

A Month in the Country (1987) - With a screenplay by Simon Gray and directed by Pat O’Connor, the film is an adaptation of the 1980 book by J.L. Carr and stars Colin Firth, Natasha Richardson, Patrick Malahide and Kenneth Branagh. Set in rural Yorkshire during the summer of 1920, the film follows a destitute WWI veteran employed to carry out restoration work on a medieval mural in a rural church, while coming to terms with the after-effects of the war.  Trailer >>

An Artist of the Floating World (2019) - This made-for-TV film adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s 1986 novel stars Natsuko Akiyama, Shunsuke Daitô and Masato Hagiwara, and is directed by Kazuki Watanabe. The story follows a prominent painter’s struggles to adjust to his new environment after WWII, which then forces him to confront his past role as a propaganda artist.  Trailer >>

Arthur & George (2015) – The screenplay for this three-part British television drama was written by Ed Whitmore, based on the 2005 book by Julian Barnes, which was itself based on the real-life Great Wyrley Outrages of 1903. The story follows Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his trusted secretary as they investigate the strange case of a young Anglo-Indian solicitor, imprisoned for allegedly mutilating animals and writing obscene letters. Martin Clunes stars as Arthur Conan Doyle, alongside Arsher Ali, Charles Edwards, Art Malik and Emma Fielding.  Trailer >>

Atonement (2007) – This romantic war drama was directed by Joe Wright and stars James McAvoy, Keira Knightley, Romola Garai, Saoirse Ronan, and Vanessa Redgrave. Based on the 2001 novel of the same name by Ian McEwan, the film chronicles a crime and its consequences over the course of six decades, beginning in the 1930s. Atonement received seven Golden Globe nominations, winning two, including Best Motion Picture Drama. The film also received 14 BAFTA nominations, including Best Film, Best British Film and Best Director, and seven Oscar nominations, including Best Picture.  Trailer >>

Kiera Knightley and James McAvoy in a still from Atonement.

A Whole Life (2023) - Based on Robert Seethaler’s 2014 novel, this film was adapted for the screen by Ulrich Limmer. Seethaler’s book has been translated into 40 languages, with the English translation by Charlotte Collins shortlisted for the 2016 International Booker Prize. This life story of Andreas Egger is told over eight decades of the last century - a story about finding dignity and beauty in solitude that looks at the moments, big and small, that make us who we are. Shot in the Austrian and Bavarian Alps, the film was directed by Hans Steinbichler and stars Austrian actor Stefan Gorski.  Trailer >>

Breakfast on Pluto (2005) – This Golden Globe-nominated comedy drama was written and directed by Neil Jordan, based on the 1998 novel by Patrick McCabe, with the two writers working together to make big story changes in the screen adaptation. The film stars Cillian Murphy as the transgender foundling searching for love and her long-lost mother in small-town Ireland and London in the 1970s. It also stars Stephen Rea, Brendan Gleeson and Liam Neeson, with a cameo by the book’s author in the film as the lead character’s creative writing teacher.  Trailer >>

Brick Lane (2007) - Directed by Sarah Gavron, who received a BAFTA nomination for this directorial debut, and starring Tannishtha Chatterjee, Satish Kaushik and Christopher Simpson. The film is based on the 2003 novel by Monica Ali, with a screenplay written by Laura Jones and Abi Morgan.  Trailer >>

Cloud Atlas (2012) - This epic science fiction film was written and directed by Lana and Lilly Wachowski and Tom Tykwer. Based on the 2004 novel by David Mitchell, it has multiple plots occurring across six eras in time. The cast members, including Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Ben Whishaw, Susan Sarandon and Hugh Grant, perform anywhere between three and six roles each.  Trailer >>

Cloud Atlas film still Zhu Zhu

Elena Sabe (2023) (Elena Knows) A Netflix production starring Mercedes Morán and Érica Rivas, the film is directed by acclaimed Argentinean filmmaker Anahí Berneri who co-wrote the screenplay with Gabriela Larralde. It’s adapted from the book Elena Knows by Claudia Piñeiro, which was shortlisted for the International Booker Prize 2022. Filmed in Buenos Aires, the film depicts the story of woman with progressing Parkinson’s disease leading a relentless investigation into finding those responsible for the sudden death of her daughter.  Trailer>>

Eileen (2023) - Based on the novel by Ottessa Moshfegh, William Oldroyd directs the film adaptation of Eileen, starring Thomasin McKenzie and Anne Hathaway. Shortlisted for the Booker in 2016, this taut psychological thriller sees a young woman pushed into complicity in a crime that surpasses her wildest imaginings.  Trailer>>

Empire of the Sun (1987) - This epic coming-of-age war film, directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Tom Stoppard, is based on J.G. Ballard’s semi-autobiographical 1984 book. The film tells the story of a young boy, played by Christian Bale, who goes from living with his wealthy British family in Shanghai to becoming a prisoner of war in a Japanese internment camp during World War II. Empire of the Sun was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Cinematography, Original Music Score and Sound, and also nominated for Best Motion Picture (Drama) and Original Score at the Golden Globe Awards. It won three BAFTA awards for cinematography, sound design and music score, with nominations for three more.  Trailer>>

Figures in a Landscape (1970) - Directed by Joseph Losey and written by and starring Robert Shaw. Based on the 1968 book by Barry England, this is a powerful account of two escaped prisoners’ desperate attempt to outrun their pursuers across a dangerous and alien landscape.  Trailer>>

Empire of the Sun

Fingersmith (2005) - This three-part BAFTA-nominated BBC mini-series is an adaptation of Sarah Waters’ 2002 novel of the same name. Set in an evocative Victorian underworld, it follows the linked fortunes of two very different young women, in an intriguing blend of mystery and suspense, secrets and betrayal. Directed by Aisling Walsh, with a screenplay written by Peter Ransley, it stars Sally Hawkins, Imelda Staunton, Elaine Cassidy, Rupert Evans and Charles Dance.  Trailer>>

The Handmaiden (2016) - This psychological thriller is directed by Park Chan-wook and stars Kim Min-hee, Kim Tae-ri, Ha Jung-woo and Cho Jin-woong. The film is inspired by the 2002 book Fingersmith by Sarah Waters, with the setting changed from Victorian-era Britain to Korea under Japanese colonial rule. With a screenplay written by Park Chan-wook and Jeong Seo-kyeong, it won a BAFTA for Best Film Not in the English Language.  Trailer>>

Hurricane Season (2023) - When a group of teens finds a corpse floating in a canal, the brutal reality behind the perverse crime unravels a town’s hidden secrets. The screenplay, written by Daniela Gómez, is an adaptation of Fernanda Melchor’s acclaimed novel. This English language Mexican film was directed for Netflix by Elisa Miller and stars Edgar Treviño, Ernesto Meléndez, Andrés Córdova, Paloma Alvamar, and Kat Rigoni.  Trailer>>

The Reckoning (2003) - This British-Spanish murder mystery drama film was directed by Paul McGuigan and stars Paul Bettany, Willem Dafoe, Tom Hardy, Gina McKee, Brian Cox and Vincent Cassel. The screenplay was written by Mark Mills and based on the 1995 novel Morality Play by Barry Unsworth. The late Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Roger Ebert rated it 3/4 stars and wrote that though there is too much emphasis on the mystery, the film works because of the characters.  Trailer>>

A still from The Handmaiden.

Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont (2005) - A comedy drama based on the 1971 novel by Elizabeth Taylor. Directed by Dan Ireland, with a screenplay by Ruth Sacks Caplin, the film stars Joan Plowright and Rupert Friend. The story centres on the recently widowed Mrs Palfrey who arrives at the Claremont Hotel to eke out her remaining days and strikes up an unlikely friendship with an impoverished young writer, who sees her as inspiration for his novel.  Trailer>>

Never Let Me Go (2010) - This British dystopian romantic tragedy is based on Kazuo Ishiguro’s 2005 novel. Directed by Mark Romanek from a screenplay by Alex Garland, the story is set in an alternative history and centres on Kathy, Ruth and Tommy - portrayed by Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley and Andrew Garfield, respectively - who become entangled in a love triangle.  Trailer>>

Notes on a Scandal (2006) - This psychological thriller was directed by Richard Eyre and adapted from the 2003 novel of the same name by Zoë Heller, with the screenplay written by Patrick Marber. The film stars Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett and centres on a lonely veteran teacher who uncovers a fellow teacher’s illicit affair with an underage student. It was nominated for four Academy Awards, three BAFTAs, three Golden Globes and was the winner of many other awards around the world.  Trailer>>

On Chesil Beach (2017) - Directed by Dominic Cooke and adapted by Ian McEwan from his own 2007 book. It stars Saoirse Ronan and Billy Howle and tells the story of virgins, Florence and Edward, and their first disastrous attempt at having sex on their wedding night. The initial experience, and their differing responses to the failure, have lifelong consequences for both.  Trailer>>

Notes on a Scandal

Pascali’s Island (1988) - An historical fiction drama based on the 1980 novel by Barry Unsworth. The film is set in the summer of 1908 on a Greek island, where a Levantine informer in the pay of the Ottoman authorities, Pascali, has for 20 years been sending in his reports to Constantinople. Now, he fears that the Greeks on the island have discovered what he is, and that his days are numbered. The film was written and directed by James Dearden, and stars Ben Kingsley, Charles Dance, Helen Mirren and Kevork Malikyan.  Trailer>>

Restoration (1995) - An American historical drama directed by Michael Hoffman, based on the 1989 book by Rose Tremain. This extremely entertaining film adaptation boasts a star-studded cast lead by Robert Downey Jr. as a 17th-century medical student exploited by King Charles II. Also starring Sam Neill, Meg Ryan, Ian McKellen and Hugh Grant, the film won two Oscars - for art direction and also for costume design.  Trailer>>

Room (2015) - The screenplay for this harrowing story had actually been written by Emma Donoghue before she wrote the book, which was published in 2010. Directed by Lenny Abrahamson, it stars Brie Larson as a young woman held captive in a suburban garden shed for seven years with her five-year-old son, who was born in captivity. Room has received multiple awards and nominations, including the Best Actress award from the Golden Globes, BAFTA, the Screen Actors Guild and the Academy Awards. The film received three other Oscar nominations - for Donoghue’s screenplay (also BAFTA nominated), Abrahamson’s directing and for Best Motion Picture of the Year.  Trailer>>

Small Things Like These (2024) - Cillian Murphy is both star and producer of this film adaptation of Claire Keegan’s novel, shortlisted for the Booker in 2022. Set in an Irish town in the mid-eighties, a busy coal and timber merchant encounters the complicit silences of a small community controlled by the Church. It also stars Emily Watson and Ciaran Hinds and the film was financed by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s production company. Directed by Tim Mielants, the screenplay was written by Enda Walsh. It had the honour of being the first Irish film to open the prestigious Berlinale in February 2024 as part of Zeitgeist Irland 24, a year-long celebration of Irish culture in Germany.  Trailer>>

Room, 2015

Staying On (1980) - This television adaptation of Paul Scott’s 1977 sequel to The Jewel in the Crown stars Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson as the Colonel and his wife, deciding to stay on in India post independence, despite the general expat exodus to England and the Colonel’s failing health. The film was directed by Silvio Nasizzano, with the screenplay written by Julian Mitchell.  Trailer>>

St Urbain’s Horsemen (2007) - A Canadian two-part television drama based on the novel by Mordecai Richler that tells the story of Jake, a film director of modest success and a man in disgrace. His alter ego, his cousin Joey - Nazi-hunter, adventurer, hero of the Spanish Civil War - is the avenging horseman of Jake’s impotent dreams. The series boasts an impressive cast including David Julian Hirsh, Selina Giles, Elliott Gould and Andrea Martin, with a screenplay written by Gerald Wexler and Joe Wiesenfeld and directed by Peter Moss.

The Bookshop (2017) - Written and directed by Isabel Coixet, the film is based on the 1978 book by Penelope Fitzgerald, in which the lead character attempts to open a bookshop in the coastal town of Hardborough, Suffolk, against local - and vocal - opposition. Starring Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson and Bill Nighy.

The Butcher Boy (1997) - This black comedy was directed by Neil Jordan based on Patrick McCabe’s 1992 novel. McCabe co-wrote the screenplay with Jordan. Set in 1960s Ireland, The Butcher Boy is about a 12-year-old boy who retreats into a violent fantasy world to escape the reality of his dysfunctional family. 

Honor Kneafsey and Emily Mortimer in The Bookshop, 2017

The Comfort of Strangers (1990) - Directed by Paul Schrader, and starring Christopher Walken, Rupert Everett, Natasha Richardson and Helen Mirren. This chilling psychological thriller about love, violence and obsession centres around an English couple on holiday and their encounter with an unsettling stranger. The screenplay by Harold Pinter was adapted from the 1981 book by Ian McEwan.

The Dressmaker (1988) - A British drama directed by Jim O’Brien and starring Joan Plowright, Billie Whitelaw and Pete Postlethwaite. This adaptation of the 1973 novel by Beryl Bainbridge, set in wartime Liverpool, is a darkly comic tale about the shockingly unexpected consequences of a young girl’s heartbreak.

Identikit (1974) - (aka The Driver’s Seat)  - An Italian film directed by Giuseppe Patroni Griffi, who co-wrote the screenplay with Raffaele La Capria. Based on the 1970 book The Driver’s Seat by Muriel Spark, it’s a psychological drama starring Elizabeth Taylor and Ian Bannen, and featuring an uncredited Andy Warhol as an unlikely English lord.

The Garden of Evening Mists (2019) - This Malaysian English-language historical drama was directed by Tom Lin Shu-yu, and stars Lee Sin-je, Sylvia Chang and Hiroshi Abe. Adapted from Tan Twan Eng’s 2012 book, the story follows a woman, still haunted by her experiences in a Japanese internment camp as a child, who travels to Cameron Highlands during the Malayan Emergency and becomes the apprentice of a mysterious Japanese gardener.

The Garden of Evening Mists

The Handmaid’s Tale (1990) - The film adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s 1985 dystopian novel was directed by Volker Schlöndorff, and stars Natasha Richardson, Faye Dunaway, Robert Duvall, Aidan Quinn and Elizabeth McGovern. The screenplay was written by playwright Harold Pinter, and the original music score was composed by Ryuichi Sakamoto.

The Handmaid’s Tale (2017) - The hugely successful TV series adaptation from Bruce Miller of Margaret Atwood’s 1985 dystopian novel goes beyond the original book, running as it does for six seasons. Atwood serves as consulting producer on The Handmaid’s Tale series, contributing to storyline development. She also can be spotted playing a small cameo role in the first episode of this series that stars Elisabeth Moss, Joseph Fiennes, Yvonne Strahovski, Alexis Bledel, Madeline Brewer, Ann Dowd, O-T Fagbenle and Max Minghella. The series has won a cabinet-full of Emmy, BAFTA, Golden Globe and other awards.

The Little Stranger (2018) - Gothic drama directed by Lenny Abrahamson and written by Lucinda Coxon, based on the 2009 book by Sarah Waters. Set in 1948, the plot follows a doctor who visits an old house where his mother used to work, only to discover it may hold a dark secret. The film stars Domhnall Gleeson, Ruth Wilson, Will Poulter and Charlotte Rampling.

Still of Elisabeth Moss as Offred in The Handmaid's Tale

The Luminaries (2020) - Eleanor Catton’s epic novel was adapted for television as a six-part series, directed by Claire McCarthy, with a screenplay written by the book’s author. Starring Eva Green, Himesh Patel and Eve Hewson, the series follows a young adventurer who has travelled from the UK to start a new life for herself in New Zealand during the 1860s West Coast Gold Rush.

The Night Watch (2011) - Based on Sarah Waters’ 2006 book about four Londoners whose lives and secrets during and after the Second World War connect in often startling ways. A made-for-television film, it was adapted by Paula Milne and directed by Richard Laxton, and first broadcast on BBC Two. The cast includes Anna Maxwell Martin, Claire Foy and Jodie Whittaker.

The Old Devils (1992) – The novel by Kingsley Amis, published in 1986, was adapted for BBC TV by Andrew Davies. It stars John Stride, Bernard Hepton, James Grout and Ray Smith in a dark comedy about four Welsh couples, old university friends, now at the retirement phase of life and seemingly bent on growing old disgracefully.

BBC television adaptation of The Luminaries, 2020

The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2012) - With a screenplay written by William Wheeler and directed by Mira Nair, this film stars Riz Ahmed, Kate Hudson, Liev Schreiber and Kiefer Sutherland. Based on the book by Mohsin Hamid, this is a post-9/11 story about the impact of the terrorist attacks on one Pakistani-born man, now a Princeton graduate working on Wall Street, and his treatment by Americans in the aftermath. The film won multiple awards at film festivals around the world.

The Van (1996) - Based on the novel by Roddy Doyle, who also wrote the screenplay, the film was directed by Stephen Frears. It stars Colm Meaney and Donal O’Kelly and is based on the hilarious third novel in Doyle’s Barrytown trilogy, which focuses on the senior Jimmy Rabbitte and his hugely unsuccessful business venture.

Waterland (1992) - Directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal and starring Jeremy Irons, Sinéad Cusack, Ethan Hawke and John Heard. The film is based on Graham Swift’s 1983 book, with a location change from England to Pittsburgh in a screenplay written by Peter Prince.

Director Mira Nair, actors Riz Ahmed and Kate Hudson and author Mohsin Hamid in front of a poster of The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

Longlisted: Films and TV series adapted from books that were longlisted for the Booker Prizes

Any Human HeartThe North WaterThe Underground RailroadThe Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Us 

Any Human Heart (2010) - Based on William Boyd’s 2002 Booker-longlisted novel, Channel 4’s four-part TV adaptation stars Jim Broadbend, Matthew Macfadyen and Sam Claflin as Logan Mountstuart, whose varied life, career and travels as, among other things, a writer, art-dealer and spy, bring him into the orbit of a number of well-known figures of the 20th century. The series won Best Drama Serial at the 2011 BAFTA television awards. 

The North Water (2021) - A five-part television miniseries set in 1859 about a disgraced former military doctor who joins the crew of a whaling boat bound for the Arctic. His attempt at redemption becomes a battle to survival amongst the violent and murderous crew members, as a plot to scupper the vessel for the insurance money goes horrifyingly awry. With a star-studded cast that includes Colin Farrell, Stephen Graham, Jack O’Connell, Tom Courtenay and Peter Mullan, it was a co-production between the BBC and Canada’s CBC. The series was directed by Andrew Haigh, who also wrote the screenplay. The thriller was based on the novel by Ian McGuire, longlisted for the Booker Prize in 2016 and the TV series was nominated for multiple awards in Canada and internationally.

The Underground Railroad (2021) - Amazon Prime’s limited series, created and directed by Barry Jenkins, is based on the 2016 Colson Whitehead novel about a young woman who makes an amazing discovery during her attempt to break free from slavery in America’s deep south. It stars Thuso Mbedu, Chase W. Dillon, Joel Edgerton, Fred Hechinger and Peter Mullan. The series won the Golden Globe for Best Miniseries or Television Film and the BAFTA for Best International Programme, and was nominated for many other awards, including the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (2023) - Rachel Joyce’s first novel was longlisted for the Booker Prize in 2012 and the film’s screenplay was also written by Joyce. Directed by BAFTA winner Hettie Macdonald (‘Howards End’, ‘Normal People’), it stars Jim Broadbent and Penelope Wilton.

Us (2020) - A BBC four-part television comedy-drama series based on the book by author David Nicholls and adapted by him for the screen. The series stars Tom Hollander and Saskia Reeves and is directed by Geoffrey Sax, featuring original music composed by Oli Julian.

The Underground Railroad, 2021

Coming soon: Film and TV adaptations of Booker-nominated books in development

A Brief History of Seven Killings (release date tbc) - Potentially in development for Netflix and based on Marlon James2015 Booker Prize winning novel, the story spans several decades and explores the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in Jamaica in 1976 and its aftermath, through the NYC crack wars in the 1980s and a changed Jamaica in the 1990s.

2019’s Booker Prize winning novel Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo may go into production as an onscreen adaptation, after the UK’s Potboiler Television (The Constant Gardener, The Last King of Scotland) secured the rights to make it in 2020. Telling the stories of 12 different people all living in modern Britain, the multi award winning book became one of the best-selling literary fiction hardbacks of 2019 and spent nine consecutive weeks on the Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller List. 

Klara and the Sun (release date tbc) - Kazuo Ishiguro is executive producing the screen adaptation of his 2021 Booker Prize longlisted novel. This Taika Waititi film has a screenplay written by Dahvi Waller and tells Ishiguru’s story of a physical AI ‘friend’ named Klara, following her enlightening journey of being chosen from a department store to go and live with a girl in her family home. Jenna Ortega (Wednesday) and Amy Adams lead a cast that also includes Mia Tharia and Aran Murphy - actor Cillian Murphy’s son - in his debut movie role.

Love in the Big City (TV mini series due in 2024) - Originally written by Sang-young Park, this is the story of a writer who is HIV positive and depicts Seoul’s young carefree generation in their glittering night-time world, and the bleary-eyed morning after. The book, divided into four novelettes (and translated into English by Anton Hur) was longlisted for the 2022 International Booker Prize. Park has been involved in the production of the screenplay and four different directors are producing two episodes each, with one of these producers, Hong Ji-yeong, also acting as executive creator.

Shuggie Bain (release date tbc) - Author Douglas Stuart, who won the 2020 Booker Prize with this novel, will be adapting the story himself for this TV series, commissioned by BBC and due to be filmed in Scotland. The book is based in Glasgow, and tells the heartbreaking story of an alcoholic mother who dreams of the glamorous life she was supposed to have had, as her son juggles taking care of her and struggling to be a ‘normal’ boy.

The Memory Police (release date tbc) 2024 Golden Globe winner and Academy Award nominee Lily Gladstone is due to star in The Memory Police. The story takes place on an island where the residents are subject to collective amnesia, unable to recall people or daily tasks with the amnesia enforced by an organization called the Memory Police and follows a novelist trying to keep her editor, who can still remember, hidden away from them. It’s adapted by Charlie Kaufman from the original novel, released back in 1994. The English translation of the book, published in 2019, was shortlisted for the 2020 International Booker Prize. Reed Morano will be directing and Martin Scorsese will executive produce along with Yoko Ogawa, the original book’s author.

The Narrow Road to the Deep North (release date tbc) - A five-part series is in production with Sony Pictures Television, to be directed by Justin Kursel and starring Jacob Elordi (SaltburnEuphoria). It is based on the 2014 Booker Prize winning novel by Richard Flanagan about an Australian doctor haunted by memories of a love affair with his uncle’s wife and of his subsequent experiences as a Far East prisoner of war.

The Overstory (Expected in 2024) - Currently being developed for Netflix by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, best known as the creators of Game of Thrones, the story is about nine strangers that are each summoned in different ways by the natural world to save it from catastrophe. It will be executive produced by Hugh Jackman, a huge fan of the 2018 novel by Richard Powers.

Trust (Expected in 2024) - Emmy-winning actor Kate Winslet is both producing and starring in this HBO limited series. The original book was written by Hernan Diaz who is also an executive producer of the television series. This 2022 Booker Prize longlisted novel begins in the roaring twenties and follows the Rasks, a Wall Street tycoon and wealthy aristocrat heiress. Together, they have risen to the very top - but at what cost have they acquired their immense fortune? A literary puzzle about money, power, and intimacy, Trust challenges the myths shrouding wealth, and the fictions that often pass for history.

An adaptation of Esi Edugyan’s Washington Black is in production as a nine-part series (Release date tbc). The story follows the young George Washington ‘Wash’ Black, chronicling his escape from slavery in Barbados and his subsequent adventures with the eclectic array of characters he meets along the way. The novel was shortlisted for the 2018 Booker Prize. Most of the filming has been taking place in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia and the impressive cast list of familiar faces features both Ernest Kingsley Jr. and Eddie Katanga in the lead role, along with Tom Ellis, Sterling K. Brown (also exec producing), Julian Rhind-Tutt, Iola Evans, Billy Boyd, Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine, Edward Bluemel, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Rupert Graves, Shaunette Renée Wilson and the great Charles Dance. Selwyn Seyfu Hinds is exec producing and adapting the novel and will be showrunner for the series alongside series writer Jennifer Johnson. The directors are Wanuri Kahiu and Mo Marable.

Marlon James at The Booker Prize 2022 shortlist announcement at the Serpentine Pavilion

Browse the winners on Bookshop.org

Browse the shortlisted and longlisted books on Bookshop.org