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Silver Screen

You may be surprised that many Booker Prize winners have been adapted into acclaimed films and TV series:

Margaret Atwood’s 1996 Booker Prize shortlisted historical novel Alias Grace was adapted into a six episode series starring Sarah Gadon on Netflix, released on 3 November 2017.  

2011 Man Booker Prize winner Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes was adapted into a film in 2017 starring Charlotte Rampling and Jim Broadbent. 

HBO has optioned the 2015 Man Booker Prize winning novel A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James, and is planning a TV series based on it. James will be adapting his novel for the small screen, working closely with screenwriter Eric Roth.

Room by Emma Donoghue was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2010 and in 2015 Lenny Abrahamson directed and released a film of the same name.


Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies were made into a six-part TV series on BBC Two and starred Oscar-winner Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell.


Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children was adapted into a film in 2012 with the screenplay written by Rushdie himself.

Never Let Me Go, which was shortlisted in 2005, arrived at cinemas five years later starring Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightly and Andrew Garfield.


When it was announced that David Mitchell’s 2004 Man Booker Prize-shortlisted Cloud Atlas and Yann Martel’s 2002 Man Booker Prize-winning Life of Pi were going to be adapted for the big screen, there was real anticipation that two such popular works were soon to arrive at cinemas, and the books trended on Twitter as excitement grew.


Alan Hollinghurst's 2004 winning novel The Line of Beauty wasn't crafted into a movie, but it was adapted in 2006 for a three-part BBC drama starring none other than 2012 Man Booker Prize judge, Dan Stevens.

Ian McEwan's Atonement, which made the 2001 shortlist, was adapted into a film starring Keira Knightly and James McAvoy and was nominated for seven Academy Awards, winning one.  


One of the most well-known was Anthony Minghella's 1996 film of Michael Ondaatje novel The English Patient, which won the Booker Prize in 1992. The film starred Ralph Fiennes, Kristin Scott-Thomas and Juliette Binoche and won an impressive nine Academy Awards.


As well as working on screenplays, Kazuo Ishiguro has had two of his Booker Prize and Man Booker Prize novels adapted into films. The winner of the 1989 prize, The Remains of the Day, was turned into an eight-time Oscar-nominated film in 1993 starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson. 

The film which beat The Remains of the Day to the 1993 Best Picture Oscar was Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List, an adaptation of Thomas Keneally's 1982 Booker Prize-winning Schindler's Ark. The film was voted the 44th Greatest Movie of All Time by Empire magazine and won seven Academy Awards and three Golden Globes.


Other books that have received the silver screen treatment include Graham Swift's Last Orders, A S Byatt's Possession, Peter Carey's Oscar and Lucinda and JM Coetzee's Disgrace.