9 New Movies Based on Books to Watch in 2023

abby ryder forston in are you there god its me margaret
9 New Movies Based on Books to Watch in 2023Lionsgate
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Readers, it's time to see some more books-turned-movies hit the big screen. Non-readers, it's time for readers to implore you to "read the book first, really" only for you to totally ignore them and march right into that theater. In 2023, as always, a lot of the new movies are based on books, whether that be children's books, beloved young adult fare, or classic mysteries. Some of the books you might be very familiar with and some might make you say, "Huh, that was a book first? Who knew!"

One of the most anticipated films to kick off the year, Knock at the Cabin, is based on a book, but if you love discovering what director M. Night Shyamalan gets up to, you might want to go movie-first with this one and read the book after.

There's also the film adaptation of Judy Blume's classic Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret coming up this year. Many kids have checked out the novel in middle school for the past 50 years and now it's finally getting a movie version starring Abby Ryder Fortson (Transparent, Ant-Man), alongside Rachel McAdams as her mother.

Sci-fi fans also have a lot to look forward to this year with Dune: Part 2 and The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes both hitting theaters.

But that's not all! Without further ado, here are nine movies based on books that are coming out this year along with their trailers, release dates, and everything else you need to know.

(And, if you want to learn about even more book-to-movie adaptations, check out the 2022 list. It's never too late to catch up.)

Knock at the Cabin

In theaters now

If you're not too easily spooked, you can start the year with Knock at the Cabin. Based on the 2018 book The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul G. Tremblay, the film is about a family who are approached by a group of people (by knocking at their cabin, obvs), warned about the apocalypse, and told they have to make an impossible decision.

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Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.

In theaters April 28

Judy Blume's beloved 1970 coming-of-age book Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. has been adapted into a movie starring Abby Ryder Fortson as Margaret and Rachel McAdams as her mom, Barbara. The story is about a sixth grade girl searching for answers about life and religion while going through puberty.

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Harold and the Purple Crayon

harold and the purple crayon cover
HarperCollins Publishers

In theaters June 30

Harold and the Purple Crayon, Crockett Johnson's children's book that is basically exactly what it says in the title—is becoming a movie, too. If you don't recall, the book is about a little boy who can create what he needs in the world by drawing it with a purple crayon. The cast of the live-action adaptation includes Zachary Levi, Zooey Deschanel, and Lil Rel Howery.


In theaters July 21

Cillian Murphy stars as J. Robert Oppenheimer in this biopic about one of the creators of the atomic bomb. The film is based on American Prometheus by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin, a biography of the theoretical physicist. Co-stars include Robert Downey Jr., Emily Blunt, and Matt Damon.

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A Haunting in Venice

In theaters September 15

A Haunting in Venice is the latest of director Kenneth Branagh's adaptations of Agatha Christie mysteries—this one is based on 1969's Hallowe'en Party. Branagh again stars as detective Hercule Poirot, and this time he's joined by Jamie Dornan, Tina Fey, Michelle Yeoh, and more.

Dune: Part Two

In theaters November 3

The second part of Dune is coming out this year and continues the story of Paul Atreides and his interplanetary journey in the distant future. Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, and others from the first movie return and are joined by newcomers including Austin Butler and Florence Pugh.

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

In theaters November 17

Think the Hunger Games movie franchise was over? Think again. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is author Suzanne Collins' prequel novel and takes place over 60 years before The Hunger Games. It focuses on a young Coriolanus Snow, who is played by Tom Blyth. The cast includes Rachel Zegler, Hunter Schafer, and Viola Davis.

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Leave the World Behind

leave the world behind 2023mahershela ali as gh, myha’la herrold as ruth, julia roberts as amanda and ethan hawke as claycr jojo whilden
Jojo Whilden/NETFLIX

On Netflix December 8

Leave the World Behind is based on the 2020 Rumaan Alam novel of the same name. It's about two families who learn of a mysterious blackout and have to figure out what it means and how to survive. (That's pretty vague, but hey, it's a psychological thriller. You probably want to be surprised.) Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, Ethan Hawke, and Myha'la Herrold star.


In theaters December 15

Why yes, it's the musical in which Timothée Chalamet plays young, singing and dancing Willy Wonka. Being a prequel to the original story, it's technically only inspired by the Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The cast also features Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Colman, Sally Hawkins, and Rowan Atkinson.

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