Epic book-to-screen adaptations on Showmax
How true are these series and movies to the books that inspired them?
Did you know that these series and movies were based on books? From classic texts to chick lit, from epic fantasies to real-life memoirs, the source material for all of these binge-worthy shows, now on Showmax or coming soon, first appeared in print (fine, or on ebook).
When the book A Discovery of Witches was published in 2011, The New York Times labeled it as “Harry Potter for grown-ups,” while NPR praised the follow-up, Shadow of Night, as “Twilight for the intellectually restless.” The All Souls trilogy went on to sell over 3.5m copies. Deborah Harkness, the author, is descended from a woman hanged in Salem for witchcraft. “My career in fiction began in September 2008, when I started to wonder, ‘If there really are witches and vampires, what do they do for a living?’ A Discovery of Witches was the unexpected answer to that question…” Season 1 of the fantasy romance drama series is streaming first and only on Showmax. Watch now »
Elena, an elderly woman, has lost her closest friend, Lila, who’s mysteriously disappeared. She recounts their six-decade-long friendship, which began in 1950s Naples, by writing a story about their tumultuous relationship. This touching series is based on the smash-hit bestseller that was the first of the four Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante. The first full season is now on Showmax. Watch now »
Margaret Atwood’s 1985 dystopian feminist novel about an America of the not-too-distant future, in which women are classified into slaves of varying responsibilities, depending on their fertility, had its readership expand substantially when the Hulu series based on the novel took off in 2017. Season 1 is closely based on the book, while Season 2 started at the point where the book left off. Season 3 launches on 10 June 2019, and from the trailer, it looks as if Offred/June’s role in the resistance will be instrumental to destabilising and dismantling the regime of Gilead. (Meanwhile, Margaret Atwood’s sequel to the 1985 novel, called The Testaments, is due for publication worldwide in September 2019 – we can’t wait to see whether it shares any plot points of Seasons 2 and/or 3 of the series.) Seasons 1 to 2 are ready to binge-watch on Showmax, and Season 3 arrives on 10 June. Watch now »
Liane Moriarty literally wrote the book on the deceptions and closet-dwelling skeletons among the upper-middle-class mommies in an affluent coastal town. The book itself made it to the New York Times bestseller list. It’s firmly in the “chick lit” category, but the miniseries made by HBO, which premiered this week on Showmax, is dark and glossy and brooding. The cream of the Hollywood crop bring Moriarty’s characters to life, with Reese Witherspoon as busybody Madeline and Nicole Kidman as retired lawyer and housewife Celeste both nominated for the Emmy for Limited Series Actress. We also love Shailene Woodley as newcomer Jane with a shady past, and Laura Dern is spectacular as vicious career-mommy Renata. Watch now »
Yes, super-fans, we know: Game of Thrones was only based on George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books, the first of which was published in 1996, until Season 5. After that, the series forged bravely on into the great unknown (north of the Wall, if you will) without the guidance of his epic fantasy novels, since it would seem that George can’t keep up with the pace of the HBO show’s scriptwriters. But that’s okay – the world of Westeros is an ever-changing place, and it continues to grow and shape-shift right in front of our eyes. Martin has admitted to one particular change that the show’s writers made that didn’t sit well with him – it’s to do with Lady Stark and the aftermath of the Red Wedding in Season 3 – but really, we could argue that the Game of Thrones cannon is already out of his hands, courtesy of HBO. Seasons 1 to 7 are ready for the binge on Showmax, and brand-new episodes of Season 8 land every Monday at 22:00 on Showmax. Watch now »
Pamela Redmond Satran wrote the book that inspired this romcom series, created by Darren Star of Sex and the City. Redmond Satran is a Glamour contributor and novelist who, fittingly, also wrote the bestselling humour book How Not to Act Old. She says it took 10 years for her book to make it to the screen. Both the book and the show are about a 40-year-old mother who’s just left her gambling scumbag of a husband and has to start to look for work for the first time in 20 years. She can’t get a foot on the publishing ladder because she’s too old – so she gets a makeover, a whole new vocab, and poses as a 26-year-old. She lands her dream job, makes fabulous millennial friends, and bags herself a delectable twentysomething boyfriend. But before long, Liza can’t bear the thought of living a lie – and then she starts falling for her boss, who’s closer to her real age … but if she tells him the truth, she’ll lose her job. Seasons 1 to 6 are only on Showmax. Watch now »
The three-part movie sequel was based on a children’s fantasy novel by English author JRR Tolkien, who also wrote The Lord of The Rings, which targeted an older audience.
The Hobbit was initially published in 1937, whereas the movie’s first sequel hit the silver screen 75 years later and is directed by Peter Jackson who also directed The Lord of The Rings.
American and English actors such as Elijah Woods (Frodo Baggins), Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins), Ian McKellen (Gandalf) and Christopher Lee (Saruman) bring Tolkien’s characters from the bestselling novel to life. All three movies in the trilogy are available on Showmax. Watch now »
Isaac Marion’s 2010 book is a romantic comedy about a male zombie who is still in his early stages of decay during a zombie apocalypse. The zombie, named R, encounters an awkward yet sweet experience with a human girl after consuming the brain of one of his male teenage victims, who happens to be the girl’s boyfriend. This New York Times Bestseller was adapted into a movie in 2013, and although there is a bit of violence that occurs at the beginning of the film, the movie is suitable to watch with kids from the age of 12 upwards. Watch now »
The Lorax is a children’s adventure book written by American author Dr Seuss. Initially published in 1971, the film only saw the light of day in 2012. This is a great pick to keep your little ones entertained, and there’s a valuable message in the fun, colourful film about the importance of protecting the planet. Watch now »