Who Has Written the Best Books for Films?

Author James Dashner is about to see his book The Maze Runner become a box-office hit if it is as successful as expected when it is released in Britain on October 10. Yet he will still have a long way to go to equal the success of some of the best book-to-film writers ever known. Have a look at some of the best in the business when it comes to writing books that can be made into smash-hit movies.

Ian Fleming | Undoubtedly one of the most successful authors ever when it comes to box-office figures, Fleming is the man behind the 14 novels that went on to become the James Bond series of films. The films are said to have made more than £11 billion in cinemas to date, with the likes of Pierce Brosnan, Roger Moore, Sean Connery, Daniel Craig and David Niven playing the role of 007 himself. If you are one of the few people in the world who has never seen any of the films, invest in a James Bond box set, such as the 22-movie set available from Amazon to find out what all the fuss is about.

JK Rowling | JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series has seen more than 450 million books sold and the films have netted well in excess of £4 billion. Not bad for a struggling single mum who sat in Edinburgh cafes trying to write her very first book.


JRR Tolkien | With such titles to his name as The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, it should come as no surprise that JRR Tolkien is right up there in any list of successful box-office authors. These two books have now bagged filmmakers more than £3.3 billion thanks to adaptations by the likes of animator Ralph Bakshi and Peter Jackson.

Michael Crichton | Michael Crichton has a string of successful book-to-film credits to his name, from sci-fi classic The Andromeda Strain and the Saturday-afternoon favourite The First Great Train Robbery to Jurassic Park and its follow-up The Lost World. Crichton novels have amassed a box-office total of around £2.2 billion to date.

Stephenie Meyer | Film and book lovers of a certain age may not be that familiar with the name Stephenie Meyer, but her four books inspired the hugely successful five-movie Twilight Saga. Her books have spent more than 200 weeks on New York’s Best Seller List. They have sold more than 120 million copies and have been translated into no fewer than 38 languages. The films, meanwhile, have netted a cool £2 billion. If you fancy getting down with the youngsters — if you’re not already, of course — check out The Twilight Saga: The Complete Collection on Blu-Ray, available from Amazon and most other major movie retailers.

CS Lewis | Even if you did not recognise the name of Stephenie Meyer, it is unlikely that CS Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia could have passed you by. So far, adaptations of three books have taken more than £1 billion, largely down to the success of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. A fourth, The Silver Chair, is said to be on the cards.