Be sure not to miss our in-depth columns on The Boogeyman, a new film based on a story from Stephen King’s Night Shift (premiering in theaters on June 2), and the upcoming seventh season of the Starz show Outlander, based on the bestselling books by Diana Gabaldon (premiering June 16). In the meantime, here are four other book-to-screen adaptations coming next month:
June 4: Joe Pickett (Season 2 premiere, Paramount+)
C.J. Box’s mystery series featuring Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett began with 2001’s Kirkus-starred Open Season, and these novels provide the basis for the ongoing Paramount+ TV show. In the new season, Pickett, ably played by For All Mankind’s Michael Dorman, gets entangled in a serial-killer investigation after he finds a hunter’s corpse in the woods; along the way, he also navigates escalating anti-hunting protests. The first season offered viewers an offbeat spin on police procedurals, which usually take place in cities such as New York or Los Angeles, not sparsely populated wide-open spaces. Still, the show kept the tension high, and this new season promises to do the same, while also allowing space for nuanced performances by actors such as Julianna Guill, who returns as Pickett’s sharp attorney spouse, Marybeth.
June 9: The Crowded Room (miniseries premiere, Apple TV+)
This miniseries was inspired by The Minds of Billy Milligan, a 1981 creative nonfiction work by Daniel Keyes, who’s best known for his bestselling 1966 SF novel, Flowers for Algernon. It dramatizes the life of a man who was arrested and tried for multiple rapes, kidnappings, and robberies in 1977; he was diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder and became the first person to be found not guilty of a major crime by reason of insanity. This loose adaptation tells the story of Danny Sullivan, who’s arrested for a New York City shooting in 1979; psychologist Rya Goodwin interviews him and tries to figure what really happened. At the very least, this drama should provide a fine acting showcase for its two leads. Sullivan is played by Spider-Man: Far From Home’s Tom Holland, who was impressive in the gritty crime drama The Devil All the Time, one of our favorite book-to-screen adaptations of 2020. Goodwin is portrayed by the always-excellent Amanda Seyfried, who won an Emmy for her performance in the must-see Hulu miniseries The Dropout.
June 9: Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Something New (film premiere, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries)
Charlaine Harris’ popular cozy mystery series, featuring librarian sleuth Aurora Teagarden, provided the basis for 18 popular Hallmark TV movies starring Candace Cameron Bure—including several based on specific novels, including 1992’s A Bone to Pick and 1994’s Three Bedrooms, One Corpse. Bure left Hallmark for cable network GAC Family (now Great American Family) last year, so this prequel film is set a few decades in the past, just after Teagarden’s undergraduate years. It stars Skyler Samuels—who showed off her sharp comedy skills on Fox’s Scream Queens—as the young amateur detective, who tackles a murder mystery involving her good friend Sally Allison’s fiancé. The role of Sally, played by Virgin River’s Lexa Doig in previous films, is taken over by Kayla Heller; she delivered a charming supporting performance in the entertaining 2020 Hallmark movie Fashionably Yours. Longtime fans of the Aurora Teagarden films will also welcome the return of the great Marilu Henner, who once again plays Teagarden’s mother, Aida.
June 30: Nimona (film premiere, Netflix)
This animated movie version of ND Stevenson’s Kirkus-starred 2015 YA graphic novel had a rocky production journey. Just over two years ago, its previous production company, Blue Sky Studios—best known for the hit movie Ice Age and its sequels—shut down. All was not lost, however, as Annapurna Pictures picked it up, and now it’s premiering on Netflix. In the original novel, the shape-shifting title character joins former knight Ballister Blackheart on a mission to take down the shady Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics and its colorfully named champion, Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin. This intriguing animated production offers an unexpected three-dimensional take on Stevenson’s distinctive art style; The Peripheral’s Chloë Grace Moretz voices Nimona, Riz Ahmed plays Blackheart, and Eugene Lee Yan, a member of the YouTube group The Try Guys, lends his talents to Goldenloin.
David Rapp is the senior Indie editor.