For execs, it’s simple - a big novel or biography already has lots of kudos, a ready made fan base, and in many cases, the ability to translate just as well visually as it did inside the reader’s head.
This year, adaptations of two Irish books went all the way to the Oscars.
Brooklyn, adapted by Nick Hornby from Colm Toibin’s book, and Room, whose screenplay with written by its author Emma Donoghue were both nominated for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.
Other notable films that started life as books range from crime epic The Godfather to pregnancy romp What To Expect When You’re Expecting, life-change manual Eat, Pray, Love and even er, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
These days, books are as much of a blockbuster event as films and popular novels are getting snapped up by studios right, left and centre.
You only have to look at the success of last year’s Gone Girl to see why, and our own Louise O’Neill’s Only Ever Yours has been sold to an American production company.
So without further ado, these are the best book to movie flicks to keep an eye out for this year. Read them now...
Hitting our screens on April 22, this so-called “war-dramedy” is based on Kim Barker’s memoir The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Tina Fey plays Barker, a dissatisfied broadcast journalist who, tired of covering low-profile lifestyle segments, accepts a job in a war zone and before long, finds herself in the unlikeliest of situations.
As well as Barker’s work, the film documents Barker’s relatonships with Scottish photojournalist Ian McKelpie, and this angle led some to wrongly dismiss it as a rom-com against the backdrop of war.
The film is already out in the US, and both Fey and co-star Margot Robbie have drawn praise for their performances. Critics have rated it a 6/10 on Rotten Tomatos - but what do critics know, eh?
Jojo Moyes had written several novels to varying degrees of success before hitting the big time with this right to die tear jerker, and it’s no surprise it’s been made in to a film - we haven’t had a good weepie in ages, and this subject matter fits the bill.
It tells the tale of quadriplegic Will who has decided to end his life in six months at Dignitas.
His parents, in desperation, hire a sunny young woman named Lou in the hope that she can show him that it’s worth sticking around, although they neglect to mention his plans to her.
Lou will be played by Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke and Will by The Hunger Games’ Sam Claflin, and without a shadow of a doubt, there’ll be people leaving the cinema dehydrated from bawling after this one.
The definition of a modern literary blockbuster, this book only came out in January 2015, and the film is already in the can and due for release in the autumn.
Starring Emily Blunt, it tells the tale of a woman named Rachel who thinks she witnesses a terrible crime from her seat on the train during her daily commute.
The only thing is, she’s a bit of a drinker and a fantasist, and thus an unreliable witness.
Also starring Luke Evans, Rebecca Ferguson and Justin Theroux, this is one that filmmakers really need to do justice, as pretty much everyone who read it could imagine the action taking place in their head thanks to Paula Hawkin’s pacy prose.
The third of Dan Brown’s novels to get the big screen treatment, Inferno sees Tom Hanks reprise his role as Robert Langdon.
The action takes place after Angels and Demons, and sees symbologist Langdon waking up from a coma with no idea how he got there.
Filming took place in Venice and Florence, so it’s bound to look as stunning as its predecessors, and Brown’s films are usually heavy on twists and turns.
Ron Howard is also returning to direct, and it lands in October.
The film of Roald Dahl’s beloved children’s book has been in development for 25 years, and is finally being brought to life by none other than Steven Spielberg.
Oscar winner Mark Rylance will voice the big friendly giant himself and performed the character through motion capture, while unknown actress Ruby Barnhill will star as Sophie.
The book was both a spin-off and prequel to JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series, but this is the first time Rowling will have adapted her own novel for the screen.
Starring Eddie Redmayne, it tells the tale of Newt Scamander, arriving from Britain to address the Magical Congress of the United States in New York, and the unfortunate unleashing of all sorts of magical creatures on American society - a place already dangerous to wizards and witches in the 1920s.
Set 70 years before Harry’s story, kids little and big will enjoy this one in November.
Rudyard Kipling’s 1894 book is being adapted by Disney yet again, this time a live action reimagining of their 1967 cartoon classic.
With the vocal talents of Bill Murray as Baloo, Idris Elba as Shere Khan and Scarlett Johannson as Kaa and the direction of Jon Favreau, it’s sure to be a hit with a whole new generation of fans.
Interestingly, Warner Bros also have Jungle Book: Origins slated for a 2017 release starring Cate Blanchett and Benedict Cumberbatch.