Book Adaptations- Is TV The Future?

Emma Challis

The past few months have been full of news when it comes to the world of book adaptations. For Harry Potter fans there’s been plenty to get excited about, with the release of the first wave of ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ tickets, which sold out in minutes, and the first glimpses of ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’. Both look to be a promising extension of the much-loved series, with Oscar winning Eddie Redmayne taking the lead as Newt Scamander in the spin-off movie ‘Fantastic Beasts’.

Other exciting news has been the announcement of a BBC adaptation of the ‘His Dark Materials’ series by Phillip Pullman for television. After the 2007 film ‘The Golden Compass’ was generally regarded as a disappointment by fans and critics alike this could be another chance for beloved characters Lyra Belacqua and her daemon Pantalaimon to  delight on screen as they did in the books. There’s also potential for the other worlds included in the trilogy to be seen on screen for the first time.

This announcement follows a recent increase in books awaiting to be turned into TV series; another contemporary children’s classic ‘A series of Unfortunate Events’ by Lemony Snicket is in the running to be a Netflix original series by 2017.

It’s possible that this increasing movement to TV adaptations of books is because ongoing series offer more opportunity to stray true to the original stories than films as each episode allows for a chapter to unravel. There is also potential for character development to be shown over a longer period of time, which has proved popular in other TV series adapted from books such as ‘Game of Thrones’ as well as originals like ‘Orange Is The New Black’ and ‘Breaking Bad’. This also opens up the shows beyond fans of the books they’re based on, which could lead them to prove more popular than spin-off films like ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’.

However, TV series can lack the large budget that the film industry offers which has caused other projects, such as the adaptation of Neil Gaimen’s ‘American Gods’, to be put on hold. There is also the threat of a series being cut half-way through if ratings fall which is a particular problem in the American TV industry.

Whichever form proves more popular it’s safe to say that these upcoming projects are ones to watch!

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