Read or watch? 8 movies based on books are coming in September

Movie night at "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children"
(20th Century Fox)

As summer sunsets into fall, the changing of the seasons means would-be blockbusters are beginning to give way to prestige films (or “Oscar bait,” if you’re not feeling charitable).

Some of those movies got their start on bookshelves. Here are eight movies based on books that are coming in September; there’s still time to read before you watch.

“The Light Between Oceans” (Sept. 2): Based on Australian author M.L. Stedman’s 2012 debut novel, director Derek Cianfrance’s film follows a lighthouse keeper and his wife who adopt an abandoned infant girl. Michael Fassbender (“12 Years a Slave”) and Academy Award winner Alicia Vikander (“The Danish Girl”) star as the couple.

“The Ninth Life of Louis Drax” (Sept. 2). The hero of Liz Jensen’s 2004 young adult novel is a nine-year-old wunderkind who falls off a cliff and survives, and the doctor who tries to bring him out of his coma. Actor Max Minghella adapted Jensen’s novel into a screenplay, and Alexandre Aja (“Horns”) directs a huge all-star cast that includes Jamie Dornan, Oliver Platt, Barbara Hershey and Aaron Paul.


“Sully” (Sept. 9). Tom Hanks is already generating Oscar buzz for his performance as Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the airline pilot who gained fame after making an emergency landing in the Hudson River after geese disabled the jet he was piloting. The film, directed by Clint Eastwood, is based on Sullenberger’s 2009 memoir, “Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters,” co-written with the late journalist Jeffrey Zaslow. Also starring are Aaron Eckhart and Laura Linney.

“Ithaca” (Sept. 9). William Saroyan’s 1943 novel, “The Human Comedy,” is the basis for actress Meg Ryan’s directorial debut, “Ithaca” (as well as an earlier adaptation, the 1943 film “The Human Comedy” starring Mickey Rooney). Set in California’s San Joaquin Valley, the film follows a 14-year-old bicycle messenger and his family during World War II. Ryan stars alongside Alex Neustaedter, Sam Shepard and Tom Hanks.

“Snowden” (Sept. 16). Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Edward Snowden, notorious for leaking information from the National Security Agency and now living in Russia. The Oliver Stone-directed film also stars Zachary Quinto, Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo and Nicolas Cage. It’s based on two books: Luke Harding’s “The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man” and Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena’s book about Snowden, “Time of the Octopus” (which is not available in English).


The trailer for Oliver Stone’s “Snowden,” starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt.


“Queen of Katwe” (Sept 23). Tim Crothers’ 2012 book, “The Queen of Katwe: One Girl’s Triumphant Path to Becoming a Chess Champion,” chronicled the inspiring career of Ugandan chess prodigy Phiona Mutesi, who became her country’s national champion when she was just 15. Mira Nair (“Salaam Bombay!”) directs this film adaptation, which stars Madina Nalwanga as Phiona, alongside David Oyelowo and Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o.

“Goat” (Sept. 23). Brad Land’s horrifying 2004 memoir, “Goat,” exposed the culture of hazing in college fraternities. Andrew Neel directs this film adaptation, which stars Ben Schnetzer as Brad Land and Nick Jonas as his brother Brett. James Franco, no stranger to movies based on books, also makes an appearance.

“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” (Sept. 30). Director Tim Burton’s latest is an adaptation of Ransom Riggs’ 2011 young adult novel of the same title about Jake, a teenager (with his own peculiarities) who becomes the protector of a band of odd, magical children living in a mysterious orphanage. Burton’s film stars Eva Green (“Casino Royale”) as Miss Peregrine and Asa Butterfield (“Ender’s Game”) as Jake, with Judi Dench, Allison Janney and Samuel L. Jackson rounding out the cast.



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