13 Shows & Movies Based on Books to Curl Up With Immediately
It’s no surprise that the works of famous authors like Stephen King, Jane Austen, and Margaret Atwood inspired some of our favorite shows and movies of all time.
If you consider yourself a bookworm, or are just looking for some premium content to watch, you’ve come to the right place. Check out our curated collection of shows and movies based on books streaming now on Hulu.
Best Movies Based on Books
Based on the New York Times best-selling novel by Jessica Bruder, Nomadland follows one woman, Fern (Frances McDormand), who loses everything in the Great Recession and rediscovers herself as a modern-day van-dwelling nomad.
Nomadland took home Golden Globe® Awards for both Best Motion Picture and Best Directing, making Chloé Zhao the first woman of color to win in the directing category. Lead actress Frances McDormand also made history as the first woman to ever receive Oscar® nominations for producing and starring in the same film.
The United States vs. Billie Holiday
Inspired by Johann Hari’s famous novel Chasing The Scream, the Hulu Original movie The United States vs. Billie Holiday tells the true story of jazz music icon Billie Holiday, who found herself at the center of the war on drugs when her rendition of the song “Strange Fruit” began drawing national attention to the lynching of Black Americans in the South.
Andra Day stunned audiences in the Lee Daniels film, earning a 2021 Golden Globe® Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture and an Oscar® nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role.
The Color Purple
Speaking of Andra Day, her Golden Globe® victory marked only the second time in history that a Black woman took home the award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. The first was Whoopi Goldberg for her remarkable role in The Color Purple.
Based on Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, the film follows Celie, a Southern Black woman who strives to liberate herself through education and love — despite abusive relationships and a society biased against her race and sex.
Watch: The Color Purple
Based on the New York Times bestselling novel by Gillian Flynn (also named one of the Times’ most influential books of the decade), Gone Girl follows magazine writer Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) who becomes a prime suspect when his wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), goes missing on their fifth wedding anniversary.
Watch: Gone Girl
Inspired by Becky Albertalli’s young adult novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, the 2018 movie Love, Simon follows a closeted gay teen (Nick Robinson) as he navigates coming out to his dad (Josh Duhamel), mom (Jennifer Garner), and friends.
The movie and novel also inspired the Hulu Original series Love, Victor.
Watch: Love, Simon
Based on the nonfiction book by Margot Lee Shetterly, Hidden Figures tells the untold true story of the brilliant minds that played a pivotal role in the “space race” of the ’50s and ’60s. Learn about the inspiring women, Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaugh (Octavia Spencer), and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe), who led the charge at NASA and launched astronaut John Glenn into orbit.
Watch: Hidden Figures*
*Hidden Figures is available with The Disney Bundle. Access content from each service separately.
The Social Network
From Ben Mezrich’s book The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook comes the 2010 film The Social Network, which tells the story of how the social media giant, Facebook, was born out of Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard University dorm room — making him the youngest billionaire in history.
The film adaptation took home three Academy Awards®, including Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay.
Watch: The Social Network
Best TV Shows Based on Books
The Handmaid’s Tale
Based on Margaret Atwood’s best-selling novel, The Handmaid’s Tale is set in a dystopian alternative America — the theocratic Republic of Gilead, where freedom is reserved only for powerful men, and women are treated as second-class citizens.
One of Hulu’s most acclaimed Original shows, The Handmaid’s Tale has received several Golden Globe® nominations, taking home awards in 2018 for Best Television Series – Drama and Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series (Elisabeth Moss). Check out our Beginner’s Guide to The Handmaid’s Tale for must-see episodes and everything you need to jumpstart your obsession.
Watch: The Handmaid’s Tale
What would you do with another shot at your twenties?
From New York Times bestselling author Pamela Redmond and the creators of Sex and The City comes the hit series Younger, following 40-year-old Liza Miller (Sutton Foster) who passes herself off as 26 to land a new job. Seasons 1-6 are streaming now, and season 7 premieres on Thursday, April 15, 2021.
Little Fires Everywhere
Based on the popular book by Celeste Ng, Little Fires Everywhere centers around two intensely strong and surprisingly polarizing characters: Elena Richardson (Reese Witherspoon) and Mia Warren (Kerry Washington).
The miniseries opens with the Richardson’s house engulfed in flames (this is a drama that cuts right to the chase). A look back at the months leading up to that night reveals that there were, quite literally, little fires everywhere.
Watch: Little Fires Everywhere
U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant), the beloved hero of the FX series Justified, was born from New York Times bestselling author Elmore Leonard’s novella, Fire in the Hole. When Deputy Givens finds himself back in his home state of Kentucky, his Wild West style of seeking justice gets him into trouble. Seasons 1-6 of the Emmy®-winning series are streaming now.
Justified en Español is also available on Hulu.
For Stephen King superfans, Castle Rock probably sounds familiar. The spooky locale has appeared a number of times in King’s works — including in The Dead Zone, Cujo, Needful Things, and more. While the first season centers on a mysterious suicide at King’s iconic Shawshank Prison, the second is largely focused on Annie Wilkes (Lizzy Caplan) from King’s 1987 novel Misery.
Overall, Castle Rock delivers what we’ve all come to expect from Stephen King: twisted, heart-pumping, leave-the-light-on entertainment.
Watch: Castle Rock
Pride and Prejudice
Based on the classic love story by Jane Austen, the ’90s series Pride and Prejudice follows Elizabeth Bennet (Jennifer Ehle) as she navigates England’s high society and falls in love with a rather surprising suitor, Mr. Darcy (Colin Firth).
Watch: Pride and Prejudice
Looking for more titles inspired by your favorite books? Check out our Based on Books Hub.