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Incredible queer stories being adapted for the screen that you really need to read

Jonny Yates August 2, 2021
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Television and film adaptions of novels

Ben Whishaw, Lady Gaga and Harry Styles are among the stars bringing book adaptions to the screen.

There’s some amazing novels being adapted into films and TV shows over the next year – including queer stories.

From Harry Styles playing a gay policeman to Ben Whishaw fronting a BBC series about a gay doctor-turned-comedian, there’s plenty of LGBT+ stories being brought to the screen.

So if you’re somebody that likes to ask the age old question, “did you prefer the book or the film?” then you can get prepared by reading some of the big upcoming releases.

Below we’ve put together a list of 14 books that are being adapted – including some incredible queer stories – who’s starring in them and when they’re being released.

This article contains affiliate links, PinkNews may earn revenue if you click through and purchase products through the links.

1. This Is Going to Hurt

Ben Whishaw will star in the television adaption of This Is Going to Hurt.
Ben Whishaw will star in the television adaption of This Is Going to Hurt. (Adam Kay & Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

This Is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor is the 2017 bestselling memoir by former doctor-turned-comedian Adam Kay. The book sees Adam open up about his experience of working for the NHS in a series of hilarious, heartbreaking and squeamish diary entries. Kay who is gay will be played by Ben Whishaw in the seven-part series which is set to air on the BBC in autumn 2021.

The plot of the series will see the character “clinging to his personal life as he is increasingly overwhelmed by stresses at work: the 97-hour weeks, the life and death decisions, and all the while knowing the hospital parking meter is earning more than him.”

To get the book head to bookshop.org.

2. The Girls I’ve Been

Psychological thriller The Girls I've Been is being adapted for Netflix.
Psychological thriller The Girls I’ve Been is being adapted for Netflix. (Tess Sharpe & Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)

Millie Bobby Brown is producing and starring in the Netflix adaption of The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe. The story follows Nora, her girlfriend and her ex-boyfriend who are taken hostage during a bank heist. As an ex-con artist herself, Nora has always managed to get herself out of tricky situations however this time she doesn’t have an escape plan including the fact her ex-boyfriend doesn’t know about her new girlfriend but they’re all trapped together.

The Netflix adaption was announced in 2020 by Deadline so fans can expect some more updates soon.

To buy the book head to bookshop.org.

3. My Policeman

My Policeman starring Harry Styles
Harry Styles will star in the upcoming adaption of My Policeman. (Bethan Roberts & Neil Mockford/GC Images)

The first behind-the-scenes images of Harry Styles filming the Amazon Studios-adaption of My Policeman are already breaking the internet. The former One Direction star will appear in the upcoming film based on the 2012 novel of the same name by Bethan Roberts.

He plays Tom Burgess who falls in love with Marion – played by The Crown’s Emma Corrin – on the Brighton coast in the 1950s. But two becomes three as museum curator Patrick Hazelwood (David Dawson) develops feelings for policeman Tom. They embark on a passionate affair at a time when homosexuality was illegal and the story fast-forwards to the late 1990s as a frail Patrick – played by Rupert Everett – reenters the lives of Marion and Tom. It’s set to be released on Amazon Prime Video in 2022.

To get the book head to bookshop.org.

4. Heartstopper

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman is being adapted into a Netflix series.
Heartstopper by Alice Oseman is being adapted into a Netflix series. (Alice Oseman & Instagram)

Heartstopper is a graphic novel by Alice Oseman who has also penned the upcoming television adaption for Netflix. The first season recently wrapped filming – which will feature eight episodes – so viewers can expect a release date announcement soon. The story follows Charlie and Nick – played by Joe Locke and Kit Connor – who are at the same school but have never met each other, that’s until they’re made to sit together in class. They quickly become friends and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick even though he doesn’t think he has a chance.

Oseman, who identifies as asexual recently posted on her Instagram: “Nick and Charlie’s story started as a hand-drawn comic I drew in a £1 sketchbook as a distraction from my A Levels and now we’ve filmed a whole TV show of it. Thank you to every single person who was involved in bringing this story to life. We are genuinely SO HYPED for you all to see what we’ve made!!!”.

To buy Heartstopper: Volume One and others in the series go to bookshop.org.

5. One of Us Is Lying

The bestselling YA novel One of Us Is Lying by Karen M McManus is being adapted into a television series which is coming very soon. The first trailer recent dropped for the show which will be released on streaming service Peacock and Sky in the UK. The plot reads: “One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five high schoolers walk into detention and only four make it out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.”

It follows the “brain”, the “criminal”, the “princess” and the “jock” as well as Simon, the outcast who runs a gossip blog, with the book also featuring a main queer character who is expected to feature in the series.

To get the book head to bookshop.org.

6. They Both Die at the End

 

Adam Silvera They Both Die at the End
Adam Silvera has penned a number of YA novels focusing on queer romance. (Adam Silvera & Rich Fury/Getty Images for GLAAD)

Adam Silvera, who is an openly gay author has written a number of novels focusing on queer romance. This includes They Both Die at the End which follows Mateo and Rufus who are both given some bad news: they’re going to die today. Despite being total strangers they meet on the app Last Friend for one final adventure – to live a lifetime in a single day.

A television adaption is in development at HBO, while another of Silvera’s novels entitled More Happy Than Not is also set to be adapted. In May 2021 he tweeted that it’s his “legit dream” to adapt They Both Die at the End for TV as the creator, screenwriter and executive producer.

To buy the book head to bookshop.org.

7. House of Gucci

“Father, son and house of Gucci”, the instantly iconic and camp trailer for House of Gucci starring Lady Gaga and Adam Driver recently dropped and sent everyone into a frenzy. From the accents to the wigs and costumes there was plenty of talking points from the much-anticipated Ridley Scott film. But some fans may not know that it’s an adaption of the 2001 book House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed by Sara Gay Forden.

The book chronicles the ugly underbelly and rise and fall of one of fashion’s most prominent families including the 1995 murder of Maurizio Gucci, which has inspired the stranger-than-fiction biopic starring Gaga as Gucci’s ex-wife and convicted murderer. The film adaption is due for release in cinemas on 26 November.

To buy the book head to bookshop.org.

8. She Said

She Said will star Carey Mulligan
Carey Mulligan is set to star in the film adaption of She Said. (Rochelle Brodin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor are the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters who broke the story of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct allegations for The New York Times that helped create a movement in Hollywood and around the globe. Their book She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement, tells the story of how they did it and it’s getting the big screen treatment in a film set to star Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan as the pair.

It will also have Netflix’s Unorthodox director Maria Schrader at the helm and Oscar-winning screenwriter Rebecca Lenkiewicz penning the script. The film is said to champion the dedication of the all-women team of investigative journalists who persevered amid threats of intimidation, rather than focus on Weinstein and his abuse.

The film is set to be released in cinemas in 2022 and you can buy the book from bookshop.org.

9. Nine Perfect Strangers

Nicole Kidman stars in this adaption of Liane Moriarty’s novel of the same name as a mysterious wellness guru at Tranquillum House. It follows nine stressed out city-dwellers looking to overhaul their lives at a luxury resort in a star-studded cast featuring Luke Evans, Melissa McCarthy, Michael Shannon, Regina Hall, Samara Weaver and Manny Jacinto.

However when they arrive not all is what it seems (obviously), and viewers can catch the adaption very soon as it arrives to Hulu in the US and Amazon Prime Video worldwide from 18 August.

To get the book head to bookshop.org.

10. Where the Crawdads Sing

Where the Crawdads Sing
Reese Witherspoon is producing the film adaption of Where the Crawdads Sing. (Delia Owens & Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

If Reese Witherspoon is producing it you know it’s going to be good. From Little Fires Everywhere to Gone Girl and Big Little Lies to The Morning Show and now she’s getting ready for her latest adaption which is Where the Crawdads Sing. The film is based on the 2018 debut murder mystery bestseller by Delia Owens.

It will star Daisy Edgar-Jones from BBC’s Normal People as a ‘Marsh Girl’ who raises herself in the wild after being abandoned by her family in America’s Deep South in the 1950s. Plus the project will be helmed by women including director Olivia Newman and screenwriter Lucy Alibar, with a release date set for June 2022.

To read the book ahead of its release go to bookshop.org.

11. Daisy Jones & The Six

Daisy Jones & The Six
Riley Keough will star in the television adaption of Daisy Jones & The Six. (Theo Wargo/WireImage)

Another upcoming Reese Witherspoon-produced adaption is miniseries Daisy Jones & The Six. The show will premiere on Amazon Prime Video and is based on the book by Taylor Jenkins Reid which is in turn inspired by the rise and break-up of Fleetwood Mac. The show will be presented in a documentary style including background interviews with the fictional rock band in a story that captures the essence of the gritty and glamorous 1970s music landscape.

The air date of the series is yet to be announced but Suki Waterhouse, Sam Claflin and Riley Keough have been confirmed for the cast.

To get the acclaimed book head to bookshop.org.

12. Children of Blood and Bone

Tomi Adeyemi's Children of Blood and Bone
Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone is being adapted by Lucasfilm. (Cindy Ord/Getty Images for POPSUGAR Play/Ground)

We featured Children of Blood and Bone in our list of fantasy novels to read that aren’t penned by JK Rowling and it was confirmed in December 2020 by Disney that Lucasfilm are developing an adaption of Tomi Adeyemi’s bestselling novel. The story follows Zélie Adebola who remembers what it was like before magic disappeared from her land – before Maji were killed under the orders of a ruthless king. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic… but to do so, she must outrun the crown prince, who wants to eradicate magic for good.

To get your hands on the novel go to bookshop.org.

13. Conversations with Friends

Sasha Lane stars in Conversations with Friends
Queer actor Sasha Lane will star in Conversations with Friends as Bobbi. (Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)

Following the huge success of Normal People in 2020, Sally Rooney’s Conversations with Friends will now get the screen adaption treatment. The 12-part drama will air on BBC Three and Hulu and is set to star Joe Alwyn, Sasha Lane, Jemima Kirke and newcomer Alison Oliver.

The story follows Frances, a student in Dublin and an aspiring writer who performs spoken word with her best friend Bobbi – who used to be her girlfriend. When they are interviewed and then befriended by Melissa, a well-known journalist who is married to Nick, an actor, they enter a world of beautiful houses, raucous dinner parties and holidays in Provence, beginning a complex menage-a-quatre. And in Sally Rooney fashion things get intense and messy between the four main characters.

The series is set to premiere in 2022 and you can get the novel from bookshop.org.

14. The Nightingale

The Nightingale will star Elle and Dakota Fanning
Elle and Dakota Fanning will star in the film adaption of The Nightingale. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Sisters Dakota and Elle Fanning will team up to star in the adaption of Kristin Hannah’s historical coming-of-age novel, The Nightingale. They will play Vianne Mauriac and Isabelle Rossignol, two sisters surviving during World War II amid the German occupation of France in a story about what it was like to be a woman during the time when their stories were often forgotten or overlooked. Separated by years and experience they each embark on their own path towards survival in a war-torn France.

The film is set to be released in cinemas on 23 December, 2022 and you can get the book from bookshop.org.

Related topics: ben whishaw, Harry Styles, lgbt tv shows, Millie Bobby Brown, My Policeman

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