15 book-to-film adaptations to watch in the first half of 2019

Adaptations of The Sun Is Also a Star, Pet Sematary, Where'd You Go, Bernadette and more are headed to screens later this year.

These 15 movies based on books are scheduled to appear in Canadian theatres in the first half of the year!

Anthem of a Teenage Prophet

Based on: Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet by Joanne Proulx 

​What it's about: Starring Cameron Monaghan, Peyton List and Juliette Lewis, this film adaptation of the 2007 debut novel by Ottawa-based author Joanne Proulx made its premiere at the 2018 Vancouver International Film Festival. Set for a limited North American screening in January 2019, the coming-of-age story is about a teen — blessed with a gift of premonition — who foresees the death of a friend. 

Release date: Jan. 11, 2019

A Dog's Way Home

Based on: A Dog's Way Home by W. Bruce Cameron

What it's about: Starring Bryce Dallas Howard, Jonah Hauer-King and Ashley Judd, this adventure flick is about a scrappy canine who makes the 400-mile journey home after being separated from its owner. Based on the 2010 novel by American columnist W. Bruce Cameron.

Release date: Jan. 11, 2019

Alita: Battle Angel

Based on: Battle Angel Alita by Yukito Kishiro

​What it's about: This cyberpunk film, based on the popular manga series, is directed by James Cameron and produced by Robert Rodriguez. It stars Rosa Salazar as Alita, a cyborg who has lost all memories and is found in a garbage heap by a cybernetics doctor who rebuilds and helps her uncover her past. 

Release date: Feb. 14, 2019

The Rhythm Section

Blake Lively is an American actor. (Getty)

Based on: The Rhythm Section by Mark Burnell

What it's about: The Rhythm Section stars Jude Law, Sterling K. Brown and Blake Lively. It's a spy thriller — based on the 1999 novel by U.K. author Mark Burnell — involving a woman seeking to uncover the truth behind a plane crash that killed her family. 

Release date: Feb. 22, 2019

Chaos Walking

Chaos Walking stars Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley. (Lionsgate)

Based on:  The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

​What it's about: Chaos Walking stars Tom Holland, David Oyelowo, Daisy Ridley and Nick Jonas. The sci-fi flick is set in a dystopian world where all living creatures can hear each other's thoughts in a stream of images, words and sounds called Noise.

Release date: To be confirmed.

Five Feet Apart 

Based on: Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott 

What it's about: Based on a 2018 YA novel of the same name, Five Feet Apart is a love story involving a pair of teenagers with life-threatening illnesses who meet in a hospital and fall in love. The film stars Haley Lu Richardson, Cole Sprouse and Claire Forlani.

Release date: March 15, 2019

The Informer

Based on: Three Seconds by Roslund and Hellström​

What it's about: Based on the 2009 thriller novel by the Swedish crime-writing team of Anders Roslund and Borge Hellström, The Informer stars Rosamund Pike, Joel Kinnaman, Clive Owen and Common. It tells the tale of a reformed criminal who goes undercover in prison to infiltrate a criminal organization.

Release date: March 22, 2019


Tom Hanks is an American actor, producer and screenwriter. (Getty)

Based on: The Good Shepherd by C.S. Forester

What it's about: Based on the 1955 nautical and war novel The Good Shepherd by C.S. Forester — best known as the creator of fictional Royal Navy officer Horatio Hornblower — Greyhound is set during the Second World War. It stars Tom Hanks as a commander of a naval ship engaged in a battle of wits as he crosses the Atlantic Ocean with German U-boats in hot pursuit. 

Release date: March 22, 2019


Wounds stars Dakota Johnson and Armie Hammer. (Annapurna Pictures)

Based on: The Visible Filth by Nathan Ballingrud

What it's about: Wounds, based on a 2015 dark fantasy novella, is set in New Orleans where a bartender experiences bizarre and disturbing phenomena after recovering a cell phone at his bar. The film stars Armie Hammer, Dakota Johnson and Zazie Beetz.

Release date: March 29, 2019

Pet Sematary 

Based on: Pet Sematary by Stephen King  

What it's about: The latest adaption of Stephen King's 1983 horror novel — it was first made into a film back in 1989 — stars Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz and John Lithgow. It tells the story of a doctor who makes an ill-fated decision to bury his recently-deceased son in a pet cemetery that rests on an ancient burial ground.

Release date: April 5, 2019

The Best of Enemies

Based on: The Best of Enemies by Osha Gray Davidson 

What it's about: Based on a true story, The Best of Enemies centres on an unlikely relationship between Ann Atwater, an outspoken American civil rights activist, and C.P. Ellis, a local Ku Klux Klan leader. The drama stars Taraji P. Henson and Sam Rockwell. 

Release date: April 5, 2019


Based on: After by Anna Todd

What it's about: Featuring Selma Blair, Jennifer Beals, Josephine Langford and Dylan Arnold, After is based on author Anna Todd's 2014 Wattpad story and novel of the same name — which started out as erotic fan fiction inspired by Harry Styles of One Direction. After is about a young woman who enters into a toxic relationship with a young man who is hiding a dark secret.

Release date: April 12, 2019

The Aftermath 

Based onThe Aftermath by Rhidian Brook

​What it's about: Starring Keira Knightley, Alexander Skarsgård and Jason Clarke, this film adaptation of the 2013 novel of the same name is set in postwar Germany in 1946. 

​Release Date: April 26, 2019

The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

The Sun Is Also a Star stars Yara Shahidi and Charles Melton. (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)

Based on: The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

What it's about: This film adaptation of the bestselling 2016 YA novel is about two young lovers, Natasha and Daniel, who fall hopelessly in love one fateful day and face challenging circumstances in trying to stay together. The Sun Is Also a Star features Yara Shahidi and Charles Melton. 

Release date: May 17, 2019

Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Based on: Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple 

​What it's about: Featuring a stacked cast (including Cate Blanchett, Billy Crudup, Kristen Wiig, Judy Greer and Laurence Fishburne) this comedy revolves around Bernadette Fox, an agoraphobic architect and mother who goes missing. Her daughter Bee is determined to find her before their family's trip to Antarctica. 

Release date: Aug. 8, 2019


  • This article originally stated that the film Chaos Walking was due to be released on March 1, 2019. However, the release date is yet to be determined.
    Jan 07, 2019 12:37 PM ET


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.