Looking for your next high-quality box set or movie? More than 50 Booker Prize 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, 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

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

Schindler’s Ark (Schindler’s List), Oscar and Lucinda, The Remains of the Day, Heat and Dust, The English Patient, Midnight’s ChildrenDisgrace, Last Orders, The Sense of an Ending, The Line of BeautyThe White Tiger, True History of the Kelly Gang, Possession, Hotel du LacLife of Pi , TroublesWolf Hall, Rites of Passage (To The Ends of the Earth) and The Sea.

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.

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.

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. 

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Film still of Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson in The Remains of the Day.

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. 

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. 

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Film and TV series adapted from books that were shortlisted for the Booker Prize

AtonementEileenStaying On, The Dressmaker, Room, Figures in a Landscape, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, On Chesil Beach, Breakfast on PlutoCloud Atlas, Notes on a Scandal, Restoration, Morality Play (re-named The Reckoning)The Butcher Boy, Brick Lane, The Van, The Bookshop, The Little Stranger, A Month in the Country, The Comfort of Strangers, Empire of the Sun, The Garden of Evening Mists, Fingersmith (re-named The Handmaiden), The Driver’s Seat, Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont, An Artist of the Floating World, Never Let Me Go, The Night Watch, Pascali’s IslandWaterlandThe Handmaid’s TaleArthur & George, The Old DevilsThe Luminaries and Alias Grace 

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.

Kiera Knightley and James McAvoy in a still from Atonement.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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. 

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.

Room, 2015

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.

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.

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. 

Cloud Atlas film still Zhu Zhu

Restoration (1995) - An American historical drama directed by Michael Hoffman, based on the 1989 book by Rose Tremain. It stars 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. 

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.

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.

A still from The Handmaiden.

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 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.

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.

Honor Kneafsey and Emily Mortimer in The Bookshop, 2017

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.

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 .

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.

The Garden of Evening Mists

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.

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.

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.

Kiera Knightley and Carey Mulligan looking windswept in Never Let Me Go.

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.

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.

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.

Pascali's Island

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Empire of the Sun

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.

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. 

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.

Notes on a Scandal

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.

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.

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.

BBC television adaptation of The Luminaries, 2020

Film and TV series adapted from books that were longlisted for the Booker Prize

The Underground RailroadAny Human HeartThe Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Us

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.

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 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

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 (Euphoria). It is based on 2014’s Booker-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.

A Brief History of Seven Killings (release date tbc) - Potentially in development for Netflix and based on Marlon James’ 2015 Booker-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.

Shuggie Bain (release date tbc) - Author Douglas Stuart, who won the Booker Prize in 2020 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 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.

Small Things Like These (filming from March 2023) - Irish actor Cillian Murphy is said to be producing 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. The Wexford town of New Ross will provide the main filming location with additional scenes to be shot in Dublin.

Elena Sabe (Elena Knowsdue for release on Netflix in late 2023 - Starring Mercedes Morán and Érica Rivas, the film is directed by Anahí Berneri who co-wrote the screenplay with Gabriela Larralde. It is adapted from the book Elena Knows by Claudia Piñeiro, which was shortlisted for the International Booker Prize 2022, and is being filmed in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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

Browse the winners on Bookshop.org