I, for one, am thankful that filmmakers seem to be more and more turning to books for story ideas. Sure, they may not always treat the source material as gospel, but it's usually with good reason; film is a different medium than paper and requires a different kind of storytelling. Nevertheless, it's fun for readers to read a book and compare it to the film that is based upon it.
Here's a handful of science fiction, fantasy and horror stories that are in the process of being made into television shows and films....
The MaddAddam Trilogy by Margaret Atwood
HBO is enjoying much success with their adaptation of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire books (which is televised as A Game of Thrones, named after the first title in the series). Now they're turning to the written page again. It was recently announced that HBO will adapt Margaret Atwood’s recent Dystopian MaddAddam trilogy as a series. Darren Aronofsky's name is attached as executive producer and he will possibly direct the series, too.
Atwood's trilogy—consisting of the novels Oryx and Crake (2003), The Year of the Flood (2009) and MaddAddam (2013)—is set in the Dystopian future of the mid-21st century, where genetic modification has become common and corporations have replaced governments as society's leaders. The story takes place both before and after a massive, catastrophic plague kills off most of the world’s population.
Spin by Robert Charles Wilson
Spin is Robert Charles Wilson's Hugo Award–winning science fiction thriller centered on a strange and amazing occurrence: planet Earth has been inexplicably enclosed in an artificial barrier that blocks humans from seeing any stars besides the sun. NASA learns that something else is not quite right. Time itself is traveling a billion times faster outside of the barrier and civilization on Earth will last only another five years before the sun expands and consumes the planet.
Universal Cable Productions acquired the television rights to Spin. Producers attached to the project include Rob Morrow (perhaps best known for his acting roles in the television show Northern Exposure and the Robert Redford–directed film Quiz Show) and Olympus Pictures’ Leslie Urdang (Beginners, Rabbit Hole). No actors or network have yet been named as being attached to the project.
Endgame: The Calling by James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton
Haven't heard of this book? That's because it's not scheduled to be released until next month. Endgame: The Calling is the opening book in a new dystopian young adult series by James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton. The story of Endgame: The Calling is that 12 ancient cultures, chosen millennia ago, represent humanity in Endgame, a global life-or-death game that will decide the fate of humankind. But this is more than a book. The Endgame series seeks to distinguish itself from other YA dystopias by creating a multimedia experience that includes the books, novellas, YouTube videos, smartphone games and an interactive geo-location game produced by Google—all allowing the readers/players to solve a puzzle and win prizes.
Twentieth Century Fox is looking to strike Hunger Games–style gold by scooping up the film rights for the Endgame series. Frey will be writing the initial script treatment. Producers Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen of Temple Hill (Twilight Saga) are also attached to the project.
Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey
Anne McCaffrey's beloved sci-fi/fantasy series Dragonriders of Pern is comprised of more than 20 novels and spans 2,500 years. The stories center on Pern, a planet that was colonized by humans in its distant past. Society was supposed to be low-tech there, until it was discovered that life there was threatened by Thread, a lethal space-borne spore that rains destruction from the sky. To fight off the threat, humans took the indigenous flying, fire-breathing dragons, and genetically modified them to be larger and telepathic. Atop the dragons, the people of Pern united against the common threat. In the first novel in the series, Dragonflight (which is actually a "fix-up" novel made up of short fiction), it's been a long time since the last Thread attack, and support for the dragons has dwindled, as has the population of dragons. A young girl named Lessa, the surviving orphan of a noble family who possesses strong psychic abilities, is chosen to become a dragonrider.
Warner Bros. picked up the rights to McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern series years ago, but all the principle payers (producer, director, actors) have yet to be named. It's making news headlines again because the studio is looking for another hit after The successful Harry Potter and Hobbit franchises and this project is hugely popular with fans.