Mastering the art of telling stories propels many people onto the path of becoming filmmakers. While film remains the medium to reach the widest audience, individuals often forget that countless films were first told in the form of a novel. Narrative so inspired these writers that they could not keep their stories to themselves. It is the art of literature that most often motivates directors and screenwriters to do what they do, even today. The fact that many fan favorites first began as the written word still surprises audiences, even in the summer of 2014.

 

The list below rounds out the top books which were turned into films premiering this summer. James Franco, overworked by his own doing, is back on the scene with two projects, while fiercely independent females trek the wilderness of stereotypes in memoir adaptations set for the screen. Even Meryl Streep resurfaces in the iconic utopian re-make of “The Giver.” Literature and film helps our culture to make sense of itself and that couldn’t be more true of the following films:

 

1. “A Most Wanted Man”

Remembering the late Philip Seymour Hoffman adds a sense of urgency to not only viewing this film but reading the original that inspired its adaptation. John le Carré’s novel, which is set over the course of a single day, creates a sense of anxiety as allegiances shift and characters turn on each other, unsettling the order.

 

2. “Palo Alto Stories”

Provocative, angsty, sad. James Franco’s latest work creates much more depth to his enigmatic persona than “Spring Breakers,” thank God. The writing wonder man teamed up with film family royalty, director Gia Coppola, to turn his collection of stories into a film.

 

3. “The Giver”

Any teen who has ever succeeded in reading their entire summer reading list will be glad to know that this classic fantasy novel will premiere on the silver screen this summer. Although it may be odd to witness the great, ageless Meryl Streep with silver hair, the action in this adaptation is bound to leave viewers on the edge of their seats.

 

4. “Tracks: A Woman’s Solo Trek Across 1700 Miles of Australian Outback”

A lone woman goes into the wild in Robyn Davidson’s memoir classic which first appeared in the 1980’s. Not to be confused with Reese Witherspoon’s independent trek “Wild,” which debuts later next fall, this film highlights the solitude of the Australian outback, affecting any individual who has ever pondered the significance of a life purpose.

 

5. “The Hundred-Foot Journey”

Deliciously tantalizing memories of reading Richard C. Morais’ 2011 read resurface this summer in the major motion picture starring Helen Mirren and Om Puri, and notably produced by Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg. The serious topic of life journeys is brightly accompanied by spices and flavors in this book, and there is bound to be excitement in the film version, as well.

 

 

What do you think of your favorite books being turned into movies? Which of these titles are you most excited to see hit the silver screen this summer? Share your thoughts in the comments or tweet me @Kelseymbro