Many TV-series and film adaptations can trace their beginnings to books. So it’s no surprise that since launching Originals, Netflix has taken multiple projects from page to screen. These series and films have a built-in audience that can be both a blessing and a curse. The fans either embrace an adaptation as the story brought to life, or focus on everything that goes wrong.
You can already watch most of these 15 recent Netflix Originals based on beloved books, comics, and graphic novels. The other Originals are coming very soon.
Bridgerton (Watch with comments from Wiretap users)
Inspired by Julia Quinn’s best-selling novels, Bridgerton is the first Shondaland production for Netflix. The naughty romp made Regé-Jean Page a household name for playing the swoon-worthy Duke of Hastings. Bridgerton is returning for a second season, but sadly without the Duke and his declaration that he’s burning for us.
Lucifer (Watch with comments from Wiretap users)
When FOX canceled Lucifer following its third season, Netflix stepped in and picked up the series. Based on the DC Comics/Vertigo character first introduced in The Sandman series, Tom Ellis stars as Lucifer Morningstar, aka the Devil. The fallen angel abandons Hell for Los Angeles and ends up solving crimes alongside LAPD detective, Chloe Decker (Lauren German). Season 5B is out May 28, 2021. A sixth and final season recently wrapped production. Plus, if you’re curious about Lucifer’s origins, Netflix is producing a Sandman series with an all-star cast.
Shadow and Bone (Watch with comments from Wiretap users)
Based on Leigh Bardugo’s international bestselling Grishaverse novels, Shadow and Bone tells the story of Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li). She is an orphan and a mapmaker with a legendary power. After a trip through the mysterious Fold, Alina is torn from her best friend and potential love interest, Mal (Archie Renaux), by General Kirigan (Ben Barnes), who’s a Grisha with questionable motives.
Sweet Tooth (Coming June 4, 2021)
The highly anticipated adaptation of Jeff Lemire’s unforgettable DC comics series is finally coming to Netflix. Sweet Tooth follows Gus (Christian Convery), a human-deer-hybrid boy living in a post-apocalyptic world after the event known as “The Great Crumble.” When Gus befriends a loner named Jepperd (Nonso Anozie), they embark on an adventure across what’s left of America. Wife and husband duo Susan Downey and Robert Downey, Jr. are Sweet Tooth‘s executive producers. They also were behind the Perry Mason reboot on HBO in 2020.
Locke & Key (Watch with comments from Wiretap users)
It took a couple of failed pilot attempts before Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’s best-selling IDW comic series Locke & Key finally made it to the small screen. After the mysterious death of their father, the Locke siblings and their mother move into their ancestral home, Keyhouse. They discover the house is full of magical keys with unique powers. Oh, and they also awaken a mysterious demon who will stop at nothing to steal the keys.
The Baby-Sitters Club (Watch with Wiretap comments from Production Designer, Tink and Costume Designer, Cynthia Summers)
This dramedy focuses on friendship, female empowerment, and running a babysitting business, giving a modern spin on the tween book series by Ann M. Martin. While a new audience takes in these middle schoolers working to become the best babysitters in the town of Stoneybrook, adults who grew up reading the books will also get a kick out of the series. Season 1 debuted in the summer of 2020, and the second season is currently in production.
Firefly Lane (Watch with comments from Wiretap users)
This adaptation of the New York Times bestselling novel by Kristin Hannah is the story of inseparable best friends Kate (Sarah Chalke) and Tully (Katherine Heigl). Their complicated bond began when they were kids. Their story spans four decades and deals with everything from workplace inequality to divorce, plus an unfolding mystery about the friends’ massive rift. Season 1 ended on a cliffhanger, but never fear — Firefly Lane will return for Season 2!
Behind Her Eyes
Sarah Pinborough’s best-selling novel was adapted into a Netflix limited series that had everyone talking earlier this year. Simona Brown stars as Louise, a single mother who has an affair with her psychiatrist boss, David (Tom Bateman). When she befriends David’s wife, Adele (Eve Hewson), she becomes caught in a web of secrets and lies.
Dash & Lily (Watch with Wiretap comments from Production Designer, Jennifer Dehghan)
Rachel Cohn and David Levitan’s tale of a holiday scavenger hunt gives us both a love letter to NYC and a story of young love. This limited holiday series shows New York through the eyes of its two main characters: Cynical Dash (Austin Abrams) and optimistic Lily (Midori Francis). They discover new places as they exchange a red notebook at landmarks across the city, falling for each other before they even meet.
The Queen’s Gambit (Watch with comments from Wiretap users)
Fans of the novel by Walter Tevis were uncertain that Netflix would do it justice. Thankfully, they were wrong. With an impressive cast lead by Anya Taylor-Joy as chess prodigy, Beth Harmon, the miniseries not only pleased the skeptics, it also made chess sexy. Sales of chess sets increased worldwide.
Jupiter’s Legacy (Watch with comments from Wiretap users)
Mark Millar and Frank Quitely’s graphic novels are now a Netflix series about family, power, and loyalty. Jupiter’s Legacy deals with the tension between two generations of superheroes, particularly OGs The Utopian (Josh Duhamel), Lady Liberty (Leslie Bibb), and their adult children. By trying to maintain their legacy, the family reveals a complicated origin story.
Netflix’s adaptation of The Sweet Magnolias series by Sherryl Woods was released in May 2020. It follows lifelong best friends Maddie (JoAnna Garcia Swisher), Helen (Heather Headley), and Dana Sue (Brooke Elliott) as they juggle relationships, family, and careers in the small town of Serenity, South Carolina. A hit with Hallmark movie aficionados, this series was renewed for a second season.
Lupin (Watch with comments from Wiretap users)
Inspired by the Arsène Lupin series of books by Maurice Leblanc, this French-language series was a surprise hit for Netflix. It tells the story of Assane Diop (Omar Sy), a gentleman thief out who wants to avenge his father for an injustice inflicted by a wealthy family. The first episodes were released in January 2021, and the story continues with Part 2 on June 11, 2021.
The Umbrella Academy (Watch with Wiretap comments from Makeup Department Head, Sarah Craig)
The Umbrella Academy is an adaptation of the comic series by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá. In it, a family of former child heroes reunite to save the world from an impending apocalypse. The story begins when eccentric billionaire, Sir Reginald Hargreeves, adopts seven children born under mysterious circumstances. Seasons 1 and 2 are on Netflix now, and a third season is currently in production.
Virgin River (Watch with comments from Wiretap users)
Robyn Carr’s Virgin River novels became a Netflix Original. It debuted in 2019 and stars Alexandra Breckenridge as Melinda Monroe, a nurse practitioner. She moves from Los Angeles to a remote town in Northern California where a surprising new life awaits. The first two seasons are available now, and Season 3 is coming this year.
The Witcher (Watch with comments from Wiretap users)
While many people think of The Witcher as a video game, it started as a fantasy series written by Andrzej Sapkowski. Henry Cavill stars in the Netflix show as Geralt of Rivia, who is a monster hunter. The first season follows Geralt, Crown Princess Ciri (Freya Allan), and sorceress Yennefer of Vengerberg (Anya Chalotra) at different points in time. We witness the events that shaped their characters before their stories eventually merge. Season 2 is in production.
You (Watch with comments from Wiretap users)
This thrilling page turner by Caroline Kepnes started as a Lifetime original but moved to Netflix after its first season. Penn Badgley stars as Joe Goldberg, a charming yet dangerous man. He will stop at nothing to ensnare the objects of his obsessions. Watch Seasons 1 and 2 now. And Season 3 is coming this year.
(Header and Still Images Courtesy of Netflix; GIFs by Wiretap)