Book Beat: Neflix’s Book-Buying Spree, Disney’s Love Simon, and Game of Thrones

Hello, friends, it’s Emily back again to share the latest book-related news. The fluctuating temperatures of spring seem to be taking a toll on me, as I’ve been a bit sick this past week. As a result, I’ve spent some quality time on the couch in front of the TV. So perhaps it’s fitting that this week’s Book Beat is all about adaptations. There are some interesting things on the horizon. Read on for info on upcoming bookish film and television projects.

Netflix’s Book-Buying Spree

Netflix is proving itself to be just like a voracious reader in a bookshop; it just keeps buying books. And it makes sense, since its literary adaptations have done so well. Publishers Weekly recently explained Netflix’s relationship with the literary world. The streaming service works with Maria Campbell Literary Associates and is constantly looking for new novels, series, and short stories to acquire. I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid, Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani, and The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry are a handful of works currently being adapted for features, while we’ve already heard of the new series based on Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse.

But it isn’t just mega-bestsellers that Netflix is interested in. It’s also looking at international literature and has also agreed to projects in other languages besides English. The adaptation of 100 Years of Solitude will be filmed in Spanish in Gabriel García Márquez’s home country Columbia, despite executives originally thinking an English adaptation would be more marketable. So it seems like the streaming giant is not only recognizing the value of literature, but also of diversifying its offerings.

Disney+ Plans a Love, Simon Series

And since we’re on the subject of adaptations, let’s talk Love, Simon. The Fox 2000 feature based on Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. The Homosapiens Agenda and directed by Greg Berlanti hit theatres last year and received a mostly positive reception. Since then, Disney has acquired Fox and subsequently closed Fox 2000. But, Disney’s new streaming service is taking up Love, Simon, or a version of it.

Disney+ has announced that it will create a series based on Love, Simon. But as Albertalli’s Twitter account explained, it will neither be a remake of the film nor an adaptation of Leah on the Offbeat. It will be a spin-off series set in the same world. There will be a few key differences between the series and the film. Greg Berlanti is not on board, due to an existing deal with Warner Bros, and the series will feature a new cast.

This Is Us showrunners Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger may also be taking up the creative leadership. Whoever ends up running the show and whoever gets cast, they’ll have big shoes to fill.

Game of Thrones Returns

And as I’m sure no one needs to be reminded, Game of Thrones premiered on Sunday. The long-awaited first episode of the six-episode final season kicked off with more reunions and dragon flights. NPR’s got a good episode summary, for those who want a recap.

The episode has a lot of work to do to get individual characters caught up, so some parts feel simultaneously rushed and slow in my opinion. But with some characters finally returning to the little screen, and other characters learning about the secrets the series has been hinting at for ages, it does feel like we’re working toward a conclusion.

Out this Week

Earth to Charlie by Justin Olson
Alice’s Island by Daniel Sánchez Arévalo
Normal People by Salley Rooney

green and blue cover of Normal People by Sally Rooney

Happy Thursday!