Our Favourite 9 Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books

Our Favourite 9 Sci-Fi Movies Based on Books
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With Dune 2 approaching, it was a conversation among friends that the movie was based on a book, with a handful of jaws dropped to the ground. It really got me thinking: What other good sci-fi movies are based on books?

We’ve compiled a little list of Gizmodo Australia’s favourite sci-fi movies that were books first, blockbusters second. (Don’t worry, there will be no further mention of Dune or Frank Herbert’s 1965 epic science fiction novel of the same name.)

9 sci-fi movies based on books

The Hunger Games (2012)

Based on the novel The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

Starting off strong here. All three books (four if you count The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes spin-off/prequel), and all four movies, have been received well by not only sci-fi fans, but fans of just generally great entertainment. The books of the same name first hit shelves in 2008 with Katniss gracing our screens merely a few years later.

Blade Runner (1982)

Based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick.

Good sci-fi movies are timeless; the books they’re based on are even more timeless. Enter: Blade Runner. Adapted from Do Androids Dream of Electric SheepBlade Runner goes in on themes of android sentience and concepts of free will and thought. It’s a brilliant detective story, and if you’re still hungry for more, the sequel (Blade Runner 2049) is almost as good.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Based on the novel 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke.

2001: A Space Odyssey is simply one of the best sci-fi movies ever made, but it genuinely surprised me when I found out it was adapted from a book. More to love about the epic, I suppose. A Space Odyssey is about a spaceship’s onboard AI going rogue after discovering that it may be taken offline. It’s a thriller and can be a slow burn, but it’s absolutely worth watching.

Annihilation (2018)

Based on the novel Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer.

Yes, Alex Garland’s 2018 sci-fi masterpiece as originally based on a book. A former soldier-turned-scientist is recruited to investigate an alien phenomenon that’s expanding across Australia, knowing her husband is trapped inside. Inside, a completely different world is taking shape.

Jurassic Park (1993)

Based on the novel Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton.

Ah, another classic. Jurassic Park, at its core, is about what happens when a dinosaur-themed park, with actual, real, cloned dinosaurs, becomes uncontrollable, and the dinosaurs break free from their cages. If you’ve never watched it, we won’t hold it against you… But you should probably watch it. We won’t get into the movies that followed…

Arrival (2016)

Based on the short story Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang.

Another modern classic, Arrival follows a linguistics expert who has been recruited by the U.S. military to decode and decipher what an alien species is attempting to communicate. I had no idea that it was based off a book, but it’s more to love about the brilliant film.

Children of Men (2006)

Based on the novel The Children of Men by P. D. James.

Children of Men is dystopian and at times depressing, but it’s a great sci-fi to watch if you have the time. In this story, the human race has become infertile, and after 18 years, a woman has miraculously gotten pregnant. The protagonist’s job is to escort them to safety.

Minority Report (2002)

Based on the novella Minority Report by Philip K. Dick.

Set in the near future, Minority Report tells the story of a future where police can tell somebody will commit a crime before they have done so, allowing them to carry out an arrest beforehand. Of course, this is as dystopian as all heck, with the plot following a man who has not committed a crime yet, but is accused of murdering a man he hasn’t even met.

World War Z (2013)

Based on the novel World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks. Note that it’s a major departure from the book.

Our last and most controversial addition to the list is World War Z. The movie is, quite frankly, a huge departure from the book, as it’s more of an action-thriller than a faithful retelling of the original story. While the movie goes in on epic, action-packed scenes of bloodthirsty zombies and a heavily armed military, World War Z is more about the survivors of the zombie war, telling the story from their perspectives.

And that’s about it for our list. There are plenty of other sci-fi movies based on books, but these are our nine picks.

While you’re here, you might be interested in our favourite sci-fi movies on Netflix, Stan, Disney+, Binge, Prime Video, and Paramount+.