Book lovers got a bonus last year with the slew of movies adapted from best-selling titles. The read-to-watch journey included “The Martian” by Andy Weir (starring Matt Damon), “Black Mass” by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill (Johnny Depp), “Mockingjay (Part 2)” by Suzanne Collins (Jennifer Lawrence) and “Still Alice” by Lisa Genova (Julianne Moore).
This year, Hollywood will continue the symbiotic alchemy of turning paper into gold with more potential blockbusters. Let’s start by name-dropping a few that are still in the development stages, with release dates to be determined:
“The Queen of Katwe” by Tim Crothers (starring David Oyelowo), “A Hologram for the King” by Dave Eggers (Tom Hanks), “The Zookeeper’s Wife” by Diane Ackerman (Jessica Chastain), “The Light Between Oceans” by M. L. Stedman (Michael Fassbender) and “American Pastoral ” by Philip Roth (Ewan McGregor).
Coming to theaters near you are animation, comedy, romance, drama, adventure and YA:
Feb. 5: “The Choice” by Sacramento’s own Nicholas Sparks (starring Benjamin Walker and Teresa Palmer): Small-towners Gabby and Travis find happiness in each other’s arms, but an accident puts one of them into a coma.
“Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith (Lily James, Douglas Booth): The novel of manners gets rude when Elizabeth Bennet and her sisters take on the walking dead in 19th-century England.
Feb. 12: “How To Be Single” by Liz Tuccillo (Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson): Singletons in New York City struggle to figure out the etiquette of being unmarried.
March 4: “The Taliban Shuffle” by Kim Barker (Tina Fey and Martin Freeman): Dark humor meets war as an American journalist reports from Pakistan and Afghanistan. The film’s title is “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.”
March 18: “Allegiant” by Veronica Roth (Shailene Woodley, Theo James): The final entry in the “Divergent” trilogy will be two movies – this one and “Ascendant” coming in 2017. Danger and thrills “outside the fence.”
April 15: “The Jungle Book” by Rudyard Kipling (Neel Sethi, with voices from Christopher Walken, Scarlett Johansson, Ben Kingsley, Bill Murray): The orphaned Mowgli survives life in the Indian jungle.
May 27: “Through the Looking Glass” by Lewis Carroll (Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp): The sequel to “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.”
June 3: “Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes (Emilia Clarke, Sam Claflin): A man paralyzed in a car wreck forms a bond with the woman he hires as his caretaker.
July 1: “The BFG (Big Friendly Giant)” by Roald Dahl (Jemaine Clement, Mark Rylance; directed by Steven Spielberg): Young Sophie befriends an outcast giant.
July 8: “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” by Mike and Dave Stangle (Adam DeVine, Zac Efron): Here’s what happened when two real-life brothers posted this request on Craigslist: “My brother and I are looking for wedding dates for our cousin’s wedding.”
Oct. 7: “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins (Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson): A not-too-bright young woman thinks she’s witnessed a murder during her daily train commute.
Oct. 14: “A Monster Calls” by Patrick Ness (Felicity Jones, Liam Neeson, Sigourney Weaver): A grieving boy befriends a tree monster.
“Inferno” by Dan Brown (Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones; Ron Howard directs the third entry in “The Da Vinci Code” series): Symbologist Robert Langdon has partial amnesia and is on the run in Italy.
Nov. 11: “Silence” by Shusaku Endo (Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson; directed by Martin Scorsese): Jesuit priests search for their lost mentor in 17th-century Japan.
“Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” by Ben Fountain (Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart; directed by Ang Lee): A soldier who survived the Iraqi War recounts a Stateside “victory tour” before returning to battle. The novel won a National Book Critics Circle Award.
Nov. 18: “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” by J.K. Rowling (Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton): High drama inside a coven of witches and wizards 70 years before Harry Potter attended Hogwarts.
Dec. 25: “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs (Eva Green, Asa Butterfield; directed by Tim Burton): Teens enter a world of adventure-fantasy where they battle devilish creatures.