In order to have a successful book-to-film adaptation, it is all about casting. If you get the casting right, the adaptation is more than likely going to be successful. I have seen dozens upon dozens of book-to-film adaptations, and one person absolutely nails their role every single time, and that is Mr. Sam Claflin. To have a successful casting, you need to go to Claflin.
Claflin has starred in TEN book-to-film adaptations, his most popular being Finnick Odair in the blockbuster franchise The Hunger Games. Readers put so much emphasis on making the casting perfect and hate to be disappointed. Claflin has yet to disappoint.
Claflin’s first adaptation was in 2010 in the miniseries Pillars of the Earth, based on the book of the same name. The show deals with 12th-century England and scandals during the reign of King Henry. He played a man named Richard, who is a knight.
That same year, he starred in another miniseries called Any Human Heart, based on the book by William Boyd. He played the youngest version of the main character Logan.
The next adaptation is arguably his biggest. In 2013, he was cast to play Finnick Odair in the second installment of The Hunger Games series titled Catching Fire. He absolutely killed this role (no pun intended), and his character is my favorite of the entire franchise. Finnick was very lovable in the books, and his portrayal made him even more lovable. He portrayed Finnick in the subsequent sequels, Mockingjay: Part 1 and Part 2, released in 2014 and 2015, respectively. This is, without a doubt, the role that shot him into superstardom, and his performance is still loved today.
Another favorite of mine is his role as Alex in 2014’s Love, Rosie. Rosie is played by Lily Collins, and the two characters are lifelong best friends with tons of romantic tension. The movie is both heartwarming and gutwrenching and never fails to make me cry. The movie is based on a book by Cecelia Ahern called Where Rainbows End.
His next adaptation came in 2016, with Their Finest, a movie based on a book by Lissa Evans called Their Finest Hour and a Half. He played a screenwriter named Tom Buckley during the battle of Dunkirk.
He had another adaptation that year with the release of Me Before You, based on the Jojo Moyes’ book by the same name. He plays a tetraplegic man named Will, who was involved in an accident that led him to the injury. Emilia Clarke plays his new caretaker and love interest. The movie is absolutely heartbreaking, but I definitely reccomend.
Starring alongside Rachel Weisz, he played Phillip Ashley in 2017’s My Cousin Rachel, adapted from a 1951 book by Daphne du Maurier. It was also a remake of a 1952 adaptation of the same novel.
Next on the list is 2018’s Adrift which he starred in with Shailene Woodley. The two play a couple who gets lost at sea and fight to survive. The movie is based on a true story memoir written by the character that Woodley plays, Tami Oldham Ashcraft.
In 2020, he starred alongside Millie Bobby Brown and Henry Cavill, in the Sherlock Holmes spinoff Enola Holmes, focused on the younger sister of Sherlock. Cavill plays Sherlock, Brown is the titular character, and Claflin plays Mycroft Holmes, their older brother. The movie is based on a book series by Nancy Springer.
The final adaptation that he has starred in (as of right now) is Prime Video’s Daisy Jones and the Six based on the book by Taylor Jenkins Reid. The book takes place in 1970s LA and focuses on an up and coming band called “The Six.” He plays the male lead, Billy Dunne, the lead singer of the band who struggles with addiction and fidelity. His performance was incredible and I really think he will at least get nominated for an Emmy, but hope he wins.
Sam Claflin is the man you need to call if you need a lead for a book adaptation. He has mastered it, and I cannot wait to see what other adaptations he takes on in the future.