Cover Evaluation from Book to Screen
For issue 17, we wanted to explore some upcoming book to screen adaptations that you can add to your list. Perfect for binging in lockdown and specifically, the process from book cover to film/TV poster! Cover designs can leave a unique image in the reader’s mind and it is important for adaptations to stay true to the fanbase when the book is well-loved. Not only does this mean advertisement is more successful, but it also keeps a sense of continuity and faithfulness to the original text. However, within the film and TV industry, some designers like to adapt their digital art for certain audiences and trends.
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
Jenny Han’s contemporary romance trilogy, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before became a film sensation when it was adapted to screen by Netflix in 2018. The third and final instalment, Always and Forever Lara Jean was released just before Valentine's day this year. Surprisingly, the film advertisement poster is virtually accurate to Scholastic’s UK book cover design.
Although an obvious change was going to include actress Lara Condor, who plays protagonist Lara Jean Covey in the films, the film poster remains authentic. This is something the fanbase will have surely been appreciative of. The font in both resembles handwriting, fitting the narrative arc that follows Lara Jean’s love letters being posted out, unbeknown to her. The setting of both the book and film poster remains the desk in Lara’s bedroom. This is a prominent place that readers and audiences alike will have become accustomed to, during the first two instalments. It seems therefore, that when it came to the advertisement for the film, the producers did take inspiration from the book covers, sticking to the feminine colour palette and typography.
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
There is brewing excitement amongst fantasy readers, as Netflix announced they are adapting Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone trilogy into an eight-part series. A series that is sure to entice more than book readers, but also lovers of high fantasy TV such as HBO’s Game of Thrones. The most striking difference between Netflix’s advertisement poster and Orion’s book cover is the colour difference. Whilst the book is enticing with its bold colours of blue and gold, the poster definitely sets a more sinister tone. This perhaps indicates that the series will be adapted into something darker than Bardugo’s original story. In fact, it has been rumoured that the Shadow and Bone series will include characters from Bardugo’s other Grishaverse series such as Six of Crows. Complete with whimsical typography, Alina Starkov’s story stays faithful to the book cover. The cover design of the book itself has evolved over the years, with this blue 2017 version differing from the original monochrome version of 2013.
There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
Stephanie Perkins’ bestselling horror There’s Someone Inside Your House, originally published in 2017, will be hitting Netflix in America this year and hopefully the UK too. Known for her YA novels like Anna and the French Kiss, Perkins’ cover design is a major contrast in tone, created by Lindsey Andrews at Penguin Young Readers (although notice the slight pink nod to Anna and the French Kiss). Adapted into a slasher film, main character Makani Young transfers from Hawaii to Nebraska, where her grandmother lives, as a senior student. Not long after, she quickly finds herself surrounded by several grim murders. The poster has adopted the same neon pink title and even the distorted lettering, which advertises a film for a younger audience. The clash of the black crinkled paper and neon pink is reminiscent of the 1980’s themed Stranger Things, a TV show by the same production. No doubt, this is marketing to a similar audience who loves gore and mystery. The stairs from the book cover have instead, been replaced with a circular window with blinds, foreshadowing the killer’s means of breaking into houses. The proportions of the window to the title pulls the focus more on the mysterious man. This plays on the theme of being unknowingly observed into the marketing, a chilling but effective selling point. However, it is clear from these slight alterations and being based on Perkins’ novel, that it might not be as faithful to the original, but a more general adaptation.