It is without a doubt that the Harry Potter franchise is the highest-grossing book-to-film adaptation ever made, with the revenue for the entire eight films coming in at over $7.73 billion. While other book-to-film adaptations have made bank and become just as notable ⏤ The Twilight Saga, The Hunger Games, and Lord of The Rings, to name a few ⏤ nothing has been quite as successful as the world of Harry Potter.
Now that we’ve gotten to witness the 20th anniversary special Return to Hogwarts, perhaps it’s time to think of what else could become the next big book-to-screen phenomenon. Here are five bestselling book series that have the potential to become their own hit films if and when they’re adapted for the big screen.
5. Red Rising series by Pierce Brown
Hunger Games meets space in the Red Rising series from Pierce Brown. Filled with brutal, emotional, and gritty characters and storylines, this dystopian science fiction series has already captured the earnest interest of many fans and become a New York Times Bestseller. With four books following the first, this series has huge potential to become a massive box office hit.
4. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Inspired by Harry Potter, Carry On is a somewhat new series but has quickly garnered the attention of fans and critics alike. The series is much more LGBTQIA+ focused than Potter and has gone on to become a New York Times Bestseller. The series captures the magic that J.K. Rowling did with her works, ensnaring a whole new age of readers, and a series of films could do just as well.
3. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
While technically it’s not a series, Erin Morgenstern’s books have captured the hearts of many and have so far been translated into 37 languages, nominated for an array of awards, and, according to Vintage, sold over 3 million copies worldwide. Morgenstern also released The Starless Sea, which was just as acclaimed as her first novel, and both books could create marvelous film worlds that would ensnare the imaginations of fans across the world.
2. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
Described as a futuristic retelling of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, the series follows the journey of Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter, who are on a mission to save their kingdom and the world. While aimed at a younger audience, the series could make a great adaptation that captures the love of both children and adults just as Harry Potter once did. Fans have described it as a mash-up of classic fairy tales and Star Wars.
1. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Every book in this series has become a #1 New York Times Bestseller and because of Maas’ talent with storytelling, the series now spans eight books. Maas has sold over 12 million copies combined and is on track to sell even more with her next series. Throne of Glass includes swords, dragons, witches, and beautiful landscapes and kingdoms, making it a perfect universe for fans of both Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings to explore. Maas’ other series, A Court of Thorns and Roses, is currently being executive produced for the small screen by Outlander creator Ron Moore. So far, no date has been set, but Hulu has picked it up, as announced by Maas on Instagram in March 2021. Fans went wild over the announcement, so it can only be assumed that Throne of Glass will be picked up soon as well.
Are there any book series that you think should be adapted for the big screen? Drop us your best suggestions in a comment below!