Books Becoming Movies in 2023 (Classics Edition)


Here are the upcoming book-to-movie adaptations for classic literature to get excited about in 2023 and beyond! If you love period drama and classic books, add these books becoming movies and TV to your watch list.

Collage with movies stills from the book-to-movie adaptation of The Three Musketeers

Classic Books Becoming Movies and TV Series in 2023

I love seeing stories translated across different mediums: finding a favourite fairy tale depicted in a lush illustration, or encountering a literary character interpreted in a song or poem. And even though I admit to usually being a “book is always better” person, I’m always excited to see what movies based on books I can look forward to each year!

Film is such a powerful way to immerse us in stories. In the case of classic books adapted to film, it can really bring a past author and era to life. It will be interesting to see how filmmakers handle these upcoming movie versions of classic novels! Read on to see what’s coming to theaters and streaming this year and beyond…

I’ll update this post throughout the year, so you may want to pin it to save for later!

Classic Book-to-Film Adaptations to Watch in 2023

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot

January 8, BBC/Masterpiece release. Adapted as All Creatures Great and Small: Season 3.

This beloved television series is back for its third season! The All Creatures Great and Small television show is an adaptation of a series of books by author James Herriot (James Alfred Wight), who based his stories on his experiences as a veterinary doctor in the Yorkshire Dales. Episodes can be watched on the Masterpiece website.

Watch the All Creatures Great and Small Season 3 trailer:

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

April 5 and December 13, theatrical release (France, Switzerland, and Belgium). Adapted as The Three Musketeers: D’Artagnan and The Three Musketeers: Milady.

Although this is a French film, I’m mentioning here because it looks awesome, and I’m expecting theaters or one of our U.S. platforms will stream it with subtitles! (I’ll update here when I find more specifics on that!) Director Martin Bourboulon is splitting Dumas’s original 1844 novel into two movies, which were filmed simultaneously. Part one, titled The Three Musketeers: D’Artagnan, comes out on April 5. The second part, The Three Musketeers: Milady, releases December 13, 2023.

Watch The Three Musketeers trailer:

The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling by Henry Fielding

April 30. BBC/Masterpiece release. Adapted as Tom Jones.

The BBC is making a romantic comedy based on Fielding’s 1749 book, which was one of the first English novels ever written. (And according to the Masterpiece blurb “has delighted and scandalized readers” ever since!) Solly McLeod and Sophie Wilde are set to star, with Gwyneth Hughes (of Miss Austen Regrets, Vanity Fair, and The Mystery of Edwin Drood) writing and producing.

Watch the Tom Jones trailer:

Foundation series by Isaac Asimov

Summer 2023, Apple TV+ release. Adapted as Foundation: Season 2.

Although immensely popular and influential, Asimov’s series of classic science fiction books was never filmed until Apple TV+ released season 1 of their adaptation in 2021. Expect season 2 to arrive on the streaming platform in summer 2023, with more seasons likely in the works. Although Asimov’s original short stories and novels provide plenty of material to adapt, my science fiction-fan husband reports that the showrunners are taking significant liberties with the source material.

Watch the Foundation: Season 2 trailer:

“The Captain’s Log” (chapter from Dracula) by Bram Stoker

August 11, theatrical release. Adapted as Last Voyage of the Demeter.

Over the years there have been many film adaptations of Stoker’s gothic novel, but few of those have devoted screen time to telling the story of how Count Dracula travels from Transylvania to England. This story is told in one chilling chapter in the original novel, and will now be expanded into a feature-length film based on a screenplay by Bragi F. Schut that’s been waiting to come to life since 2002.

Last Voyage of the Demeter, which has been years in the making, is finally in post production. It’s directed by Norwegian filmmaker André Øvredal and stars a cast of little-known actors. That doesn’t bother me one bit, although I’m disappointed that Viggo Mortensen and Ben Kingsley stepped out. (Sidenote: I’ve always thought Kingsley would make an excellent Van Helsing, so maybe we’ll save him for that role!)

Although I’m not a Dracula film buff, I am a fan of the novel, so I’m very interested in this movie. I remember reading the book and finding “The Captain’s Log” chapter to be very creepy, so I’m pleased that other people see the episode’s potential.

Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie

September 15, theatrical release. Adapted as A Haunting in Venice.

This adaptation is the next in the series of Kenneth Branagh’s Poirot films (preceded by Murder on the Orient Express in 2017 and Death on the Nile in 2022). Branagh will once again direct the film and play the role of Agatha Christie’s detective, Hercule Poirot.

The original novel takes place in an English village and centers around a murder that occurs during a Halloween party. In the film, the setting will be moved to Venice, and involve murder at a séance. Unlike Branagh’s two previous Christie films, A Haunting in Venice will have a less high-profile cast, although we do get to see Tina Fey in a murder mystery, so that should be fun!

I’m always up for a Christie adaption, but I admit I’m less excited about this than Branagh’s previous offerings. I thought Murder on the Orient Express was excellent. Branagh’s Death on the Nile was a step down in my book, but I did like how he used his Shakespeare expertise to make Antony and Cleopatra connections to the film.

Dune by Frank Herbert

November 3, theatrical release. Adapted as Dune: Part Two.

Frank Herbert’s 1965 science fiction classic finally got the big-budget screen adaptation it deserved when Dune: Part One hit theaters in 2021. Director Denis Villeneuve left us on a cliffhanger, though, as that film only adapted the first half of the novel! This year we’ll get to see the second half of the novel when Dune: Part Two hits theaters in the fall.

In all, Herbert wrote six novels in the Dune universe (and other novels were added by other authors), so perhaps we’ll get a whole Dune movie franchise to rival Star Wars. Which in my book is only fair, considering George Lucas borrowed so heavily from Herbert to create his Star Wars mythology!

“The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe

Date TBA, Netflix release.

Horror filmmaker Mike Flanagan will be adding another series to Netflix’s horror anthology, The Haunting, with this adaption based on several of Poe’s short stories. Flanagan’s previous creations for The Haunting anthology included The Haunting of Hill House (an homage to Shirley Jackson’s novel of the same name) and The Haunting of Bly Manor (an homage to Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw).

I say “homage” because Flanagan’s horror series were clearly not adaptations of the originals, and I’m sure we can expect his Poe offering to take an equally loose approach.

Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

Date TBA, Disney+ release. Adapted as Peter Pan and Wendy.

This year Disney will release a live-action remake of its 1953 animated film Peter Pan, which was itself an adaptation of J. M. Barrie’s 1904 play (and later novel). Peter and Wendy will be played by newcomers Alexander Molony and Ever Anderson. Jude Law will play Captain Hook, while Smee will be played by the comedian Jim Gaffigan!

Movie still of Miss Havisham and Pip from Great Expectations 2023

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Date TBA, TV release (BBC and FX).

Just as Branagh is making Poirot movies and Mike Flanagan is doing horror series for Netflix, director Steven Knight is the BBC’s new Dickens guy. His first foray was in 2019, with the edgy, F-bomb-dropping version of A Christmas Carol we never asked for. Despite A Christmas Carol‘s chilly reception, the BBC is moving forward with Knight’s 6-part series of Great Expectations, which will star Olivia Colman (who played the Queen in The Crown), as Miss Havisham.

Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne

Date TBA, BBC/Masterpiece release. Adapted as Around the World in 80 Days: Season 2.

After running its first season on U.S. streaming in 2022, this adaptation of Verne’s classic adventure novel will return for a second season some time this year. David Tennant, Ibrahim Koma, and Leonie Benesch return as the central trio.

Books becoming movies in 2024 and beyond (rumored or in the works)

Although we have less concrete details about the following projects, there are several other classic page-to-screen adaptations potentially to look forward to in the next few years. Unfortunately, movie productions get stalled all the time, or occasionally get axed altogether (RIP, Mahalia Belo/Sarah Snook Persuasion). So, let’s hope some these see the light of day:

  • The Buccaneers by Edith Wharton. Apple TV+ release.
  • The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton. Apple TV+ release. Directed by Sophia Coppola! (Coppola makes quality, artistic work…this would be fantastic.)
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Netflix release. Directed by Guillermo del Toro.
  • The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery. (No words for how excited I am about this!)
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Animated theatrical release. Directed by William Joyce.
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Limited TV series.
  • The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio. Netflix release. (Indeed. You can bet your Boccaccio this won’t be a family-friendly series.)
  • Death Comes As The End by Agatha Christie. BBC release.
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. Netflix release, adapted as Macondo.

Classic book-to-movie adaptations from recent years

I’ve been tracking classic book-to-film adaptations for a few years now, so you can browse these posts to find more classic books that have been made into movies recently:

Which book-to-movie versions are you most excited about? What other classic books would you like to see on screen? I’m still hoping someone will make a new Enchanted April or adapt one of these underrated classics.

Books Becoming Movies in 2023 (Classics Edition)

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    1. I know!! It’s about time, right? I don’t think it will be all that hard to adapt, because Montgomery really gives you everything: the excellent characters, dialogue, a tight plot and all that. I hope it turns out amazing!

  1. I see I have several books to read before I watch any movies, but The Three Musketeers…wow. This was one of the books I read as a kid, not required (or even mentioned yet) by a teacher, that made me fall in love with classic books. Grandma had a small stack and couldn’t keep me out of them. Treasure Island, Black Beauty, Robinson Crusoe to name a few. I used to sit on the floor and plow through them. I had forgotten about that…thanks for the memories!

    1. That’s wonderful. I think those first books that get us into reading a certain genre or type of literature will always hold a special place in our hearts! For me, it was Jane Eyre and Oliver Twist that got me into classics. Good for your grandma for having good books lying around! I hope my children and grandchildren will discover treasures on my shelves, too!

  2. I’m really glad that some classic novels and stories are being made into movies and miniseries. The BBC, Netflix, and PBS have seen the success that many of these productions have had.

    1. Yes, I think that all the streaming platforms are actually helping period dramas and classic book adaptations! Everyone wants to get in on the market and put it on their own venue, so we’re not just limited to what Masterpiece releases from the BBC (grateful as I am for them)!

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