Have you ever wondered where Hallmark gets ideas for all their films from? While many of the network’s rom-coms, Christmas movies, and mysteries are original stories, some are actually based on books. These include the film that led to Hallmark’s longest-running original series and a popular mystery series starring an actor who was one of Hallmark’s biggest stars.
Big Sky River is based on a book by Linda Lael Miller
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earlier this year, When the heart calls‘s Kavan Smith starred opposite Emmanuelle Vaugier in big sky river, a film about a widower who starts a new relationship with a divorced woman. It’s based on a book by Linda Lael Miller, who said she wanted to focus on two characters overcoming their challenges in order to create a deep personal connection.
“Most of my characters are scared of falling in love again because they kind of got burned,” she said in a chat with Vaugier and Smith (via YouTube). “Especially in this story, everyone had to go through all the personal things that would keep them from taking a risk. And I find it really fascinating to write about it.”
‘Woman. Miracle and other Hallmark films are based on books by Debbie Macomber
If you are a reader of romance and women’s literature, then you know the name Debbie Macomber. The New York Times bestselling author has written dozens of books, including several that have been turned into Hallmark films. That includes the 2009 film Mrs Miracle and its sequels Mr Miracle and A Mrs Miracle Christmas, as well as Swap Christmas and Storm through the snow. She also wrote the book series that inspired Hallmark’s first screenplay series, cedar bay.
“Christmas in Canaan” is based on a book by Grammy winner Kenny Rogers
Hallmark teamed up with country superstars for the 2009 Christmas film Christmas in Canaan. Set in 1964 and based on a book co-written by Grammy winner Kenny Rogers, it stars Billy Ray Cyrus as a widowed Texas farmer whose son develops an unlikely friendship with a boy from a different ethnic background.
Candace Cameron Bure’s Aurora Teagarden films are based on the Charlaine Harris book series
Trademark Secrets of the Aurora Tea Garden The series has come to an end following star Candace Cameron Bure’s decision to move to rival network Great American Family. But fans can rewatch the more than a dozen films in the series, as well as Charlaine Harris’ original books. (Fun fact: Harris also wrote the Sookie Stackhouse novels that inspired HBOs True Blood.)
Janette Oke’s “When Calls the Heart” inspired a film and TV show
Janette Oke has published her inspirational novel When the heart calls in 1983. Thirty years later, her story of a young teacher who takes a job teaching in a small town on the Canadian border was made into a film starring Maggie Grace and Poppy Drayton. Soon after, Hallmark decided to expand the story into a television series. The show – which differs significantly from Oke’s original stories – is currently in its 10th season.
Oke is also the author of love comes quietly Katherine Heigl starred in a 2003 adaptation of this book that aired on Hallmark. Several other films based on Oke’s sequels to her first novel later aired on the network.
Several Hallmark films are inspired by Jane Austen novels
Hallmark sometimes turns to classic novels when seeking inspiration for his films. Over the years, the network has aired several films loosely inspired by Jane Austen’s books, including Sense, Sensibility & Snowmen, Christmas at Pemberley Manor, and playing cupid (who pulls out Emma). Unleashing of Mr. Darcy based on a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Teri Wilson and Pride, Prejudice & Mistletoe based on a book by Melissa de la Cruz.
Interested in more Hallmark movies based on books? We’ve only scratched the surface, but other adjustments include The bridge (after a book by Karen Kingsbury), The Christmas train (based on a book by David Baldacci) and Sand Dollar Cove, the secret ingredient and Christmas in Evergreen (all based on books by Nancy Naigle).
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