Books have always been a good source of material for films, but lately more and more screenplays are based on popular novels. The Hollywood Reporter recently listed what they consider Hollywood’s 25 most powerful authors. These authors are a diverse collection that range from established writers like J.K. Rowling who made it to #1 and Stephen King following at #2, to exciting newcomers like Suzanne Collins #12 and Gillian Flynn #7. Not surprisingly, Arkansas’ John Grisham also made the list, but just barely, coming in at #24.
Many bestselling books have ended up on the big screen over the past few months including Flynn’s hugely successful Gone Girl, which was as well received at the box office as it was at book stores. Flynn’s Dark Places will soon be adapted to film, as a thriller starring Charlize Theron.
One of the most profitable sources of material for movies has proven to be book series based on children’s and YA reads. Two of the best examples of book series that have become hit film franchises are J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games. Rowling has moved on to other projects but her book series Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which has been described as a supplement to the Harry Potter books, is serving as the basis for a brand new film series titled Fantastic Beasts. Collins, meanwhile, is continuing to enjoy mega success with the latest installment of The Hunger Games franchise, Mockingjay Part 1, which will be followed by the final installment Mockingjay Part 2, due out November 20, 2015.
Many longtime favorites such as the enormously popular James Patterson, ranked #8, show little sign of slowing down. Best known for crime thrillers, Patterson has written 135 books, several of which have been adapted to the big and small screen. One of the first to be turned into a film was Kiss the Girls. In 2012 Alex Cross made it to the big screen, and a movie based on the author’s Maximum Drive series in currently in the works.
Among the new authors who have recently made a big splash in Hollywood include Matthew Quick, ranked #13, whose novel The Silver Linings Playbook was the basis for the Bradley Cooper-Jennifer Lawrence hit film. The film rights for all seven of Quick’s books have been optioned.
This trend just goes to show that the next time you’re pouring over a great book, there’s a good chance that it will be coming to a theater near you.