National Book Lovers Day | Liverpool’s love of screen adaptations

Happy National Book Lovers Day!
Here at Liverpool Film Office we love a good adaptation. To mark National Book Lovers Day 2023, here is a small selection of our favourites from over the years – there are too many!

Damian (Alex Etel)

Millions (2003)
Written and adapted for screen by Liverpool’s own Frank Cottrell Boyce, Millions was directed by Danny Boyle and filmed at locations such as Lime Street Station, Everton Brow and Water Street.

Robert Downey Jr (Sherlock Holmes) and Jude Law (Dr Watson) filming on location at Stanley Dock, Liverpool

Sherlock Holmes (2009)
There have been many adaptations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s infamous crime fiction but this one is a fave starring Robert Downey Jnr and Jude Law which filmed at both Stanley Dock and Clarence Dock in 2008. In fact, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1984-94), produced by British television company Granada Television filmed in St Bride Street and Blackburne House. While in a latest adaptation of characters from Conan Doyle’s novels The Irregulars (2021) for Netflix, focuses on a group of street urchins who appear as minor characters in the original novels and filmed at locations such as Falkner Street, Croxteth Hall, St George’s Hall.

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows (2009)
The J.K Rowling classic filmed inside the Queensway Tunnel to depict a scene where Harry and Hagrid are being chased by a flying Death Eater. The team from Warner Bros had originally come to Liverpool in 2007 to look for locations for an earlier film Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Director David Yates returned to the city some years later to film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Pic: Warner Bros. Jaap Buitendijk

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2015)
The Harry Potter prequel came to the city with star Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander in 2015 and used iconic locations such as St George’s Hall, the Cunard Building and a stretch of Dale Street and Water Street to recreate 1920s New York. Liverpool was the only filming location outside of Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden. Speaking about filming in Liverpool, Director David Yates said: “Liverpool is a wonderful place to film – the locations, the people, the welcome we felt and support we had when making Fantastic Beasts in the city was second to none.” David was later handed a Citizen of Honour due to his commitment to film in and around the city.

Eon Productions

Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool (2016)
Based on a true story written by Liverpool-born Peter Turner about his friendship with Hollywood star Gloria Grahame the film adaptation stars Jamie Bell (Shining Girls, Billy Elliot) and Annette Bening (American Beauty, Death on the Nile) and is filmed in locations such as Ye Cracke pub, the Philharmonic Dining Rooms, the Mersey Ferry and the Playhouse.

Sometimes Always Never (2017)
Another novel by Frank Cottrell Boyce, Sometimes Always Never, directed by Carl Hunter starred Bill Nighy filmed in 2017 across Maghull, Crosby and Ainsdale before moving to Yorkshire. Read more about Sometimes Always Never here.

The War of the Worlds – behind the scenes Episode 1 production crew – (C) Mammoth Screen – Photographer: Ben Blackall

The War of The Worlds (2017)
The three-part adaptation of HG Well’s classic novel featured some big names such as Eleanor Tomlinson, Rafe Spall, Robert Carlyle and Rupert Graves and spent nine weeks shooting in the region at key locations such as the Palm House, St George’s Hall, Croxteth Hall, Ainsdale Woods and the Georgian Quarter. Writer of the adaptation for BBC Peter Harness, said: “We filmed in Liverpool because it’s the greatest city in the universe! Liverpool has locations that are pristine, it offered the landscapes we needed and also had the crews up there – and people are extremely supportive of what we were trying to achieve.” Read more about the locations used here.

© Stephan Rabold / Bavaria Fiction GmbH/ Sky

Das Boot (2019)
Based off the book of the same name and sequel Die Festung, this Sky tv series starred Tom Wlaschiha (Stranger Things, Game Of Thrones) and filmed around the Cunard Building in 2019 to recreate 1940s New York.


The Tower (2021)
Starring Gemma Whelan (Game of Thrones) and Emmett J Scanlan (Peaky Blinders), the series is based on a novel called Post Mortem by Kate London and filmed in Runcorn Cemetery, Botanic Road in Liverpool, Hoyle Court in Hoylake plus many more. The second series of The Tower will be available to watch on ITV 1 and ITV X later this month. Read more about the latest series here.

The Ipcress File (2021)
Through the Liverpool City Region Production Fund, Liverpool Film Office invested in the most recent adaptation of Len Deighton’s bestseller The Ipcress File. Once made famous by legendary actor Michael Caine, the latest adaptation stars Joe Cole as iconic British spy Harry Palmer. The ITV series filmed across the Liverpool City Region at the likes of Liverpool Town Hall, Thurstaston beach, St Martins Bank and Landican Lane in Wirral.

What are your favourite adaptations? Let us know on our social media!