Be on the lookout for Kirkus’ in-depth columns on Queenie, a Hulu series based on Candice Carty-Williams’ Kirkus-starred novel (premiering June 7), and Presumed Innocent, an Apple TV+ limited series version of Scott Turow’s bestselling legal thriller (premiering June 12). In the meantime, here are four more book-to-screen adaptations coming in June:

June 14: Reverse the Curse (theatrical film premiere)

Most people know David Duchovny from his signature role as FBI agent Fox Mulder on Fox’s The X-Files, or his star turn on the Showtime series Californication. He’s also an accomplished novelist whose first book, Holy Cow: A Modern-Day Dairy Tale (2015), received a Kirkus star. His sophomore effort, Bucky F*cking Dent (2016), provides the basis for this film, which he wrote and directed. He also co-stars as Marty Fullilove, a curmudgeonly advertising executive who’s a diehard Boston Red Sox fan, despite living in New York. In the novel, set in 1978, Marty is estranged from his son, Ted, who works as a peanut vendor at Yankee Stadium. When Ted learns that Marty is dying, they start to repair their prickly relationship, thanks in part to their shared love of America’s pastime. It turns out that Marty’s condition declines whenever the Sox lose, so Ted does his best to make his dad think that his favorite team is headed for a championship. Upgrade’s Logan Marshall-Green co-stars as Ted, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Stephanie Beatriz appears as Mariana, Marty’s caretaker.

June 14: Treasure (theatrical film premiere)

A parent-child relationship is also at the heart of this film adaptation of Australian author Lily Brett’s 2001 novel, Too Many Men, in which a middle-aged journalist, Ruth, takes a trip with her Holocaust-survivor father, Edek, to Poland; he grew up there, and it was also where the Nazis imprisoned him. As Edek faces the ghosts of his past, the pair deal with their own family issues. Kirkus’ review of the book noted that “a good portion of the story is composed of squabbling conversations between Edek and Ruth, which the author makes equally comedic and meaningful.” The trailer reveals a similar dynamic in the film, as well, and certainly, the casting of the two main characters bodes well: Girls’ Lena Dunham plays Ruth and Stephen Fry (who was quite good in the recent Prime Video film Red, White & Royal Blue) appears as Edek.

June 14: Firebrand (theatrical film premiere)

This handsome-looking film, based on Elizabeth Fremantle’s 2013 historical novel, Queen’s Gambit, focuses on the relationship between King Henry VIII of England and his sixth and final queen, Katherine Parr. Two of Parr’s predecessors were beheaded, and her own safety was subject to “the whims of a volatile old man,” as the author puts it; the fact that Parr never conceived an heir threatened her position further, as did the fact that the king’s health and mental state were rapidly deteriorating. Ex Machina’s Alicia Vikander plays Parr and, in an intriguing bit of casting, Jude Law plays Henry in this adaptation, which promises plenty of court intrigue.

June 27: My Lady Jane (series premiere, Prime Video)

Henry VIII’s teenage grandniece, Lady Jane Grey, is the titular character of this lively streaming series, based on the 2016 YA fantasy romance novel by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows. The real Lady Jane was queen of England for just nine days in 1553 before being deposed and later executed. This novel and series’ relationship to true English history is tenuous, at best; in its version of the past, there’s a conflict between Eðians, who can transform into animals, and the intolerant, ordinary human Verities. This state of affairs yields a way for Jane and her husband to escape certain death, but they remain on the run from Queen Mary I’s minions. The book is full of “lightweight, gleefully anachronistic comedy,” according to Kirkus’ reviewer, and this series promises more of the same; it stars the appealing Emily Bader (Charmed) as Jane, as well as the reliable talents of Rob Brydon (The Trip) and Anna Chancellor (The Hour).


David Rapp is the senior Indie editor.