7 Books That Should Be Movies
It’s not much of a secret that Hollywood is having a tough time coming up with original ideas these days. Hence the ever increasing amount of reboots that were are seeing flood theaters. If it was good the first time, it will be great the second time, right? Despite the lack of success that most reboots provide, studios continue to look to past films as a source for a film. I don’t know about you, but I think I’d rather see something at least some-what original in the adaptation of a novel. We know that comic books are becoming a rich source for ideas and of course books, short stories and novel have been the inspirations for literally hundreds, if not thousands of films. With there being so many more books that directors and writers could turn to, I’m not sure why they continue to rehash films that don’t need to be remade. The originals were fine, leave them alone. Having said that, I don’t mind a reboot if the original film was handled badly and didn’t do the book justice.
What I’ve done here is compile a list of eight books that I feel would translate well into a hit film. However, there are a couple that have already seen the big screen before, but the films that were made were just terrible and I feel they deserve a second chance. You’ll also see a few that were nearly movies, but for one reason or another, the studio put an end to the projects.
House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski-
This is easily one of the strangest and weirdest books I’ve ever read. It’s a unique combination of a horror tale and a romance novel, with a touch of satire. Not only is the story a mind bender, but the way it is printed makes it somewhat of a challenge to read, using different colors of ink and a rather large amount of footnotes that tell a whole separate story. This is a very rewarding book, but you have to earn that reward. I’d give you a plot synopsis, but I don’t think it could be summarized in a few sentences. What you need to know is that you get two different tales, as I mentioned above. The first is that of Zampano, a blind man whose strange manuscript is found in his apartment when he dies. The other comes in the form of Johnny Truant, the man who discovers said manuscript and is the narrator of The House of Leaves.
This would not be an easy story to bring to the big screen and would take a writer and director who are up for a challenge. Trying to make these two very different stories intertwine would take the right touch and talent and I’m not sure there are many people who would want to tackle the idea. But, if it were to happen, you can bet that the film would turn the horror genre on its head.
Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini-
This is one of those that has already been attempted on the big screen with Eragon. The series, which contains a total of four books (Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr and Inheritance), has been compared to Lord of the Rings quite a bit, as it too features Elves and Dwarves, but this series leans more towards the fantasy sides with the inclusion of magic and dragons. The books are a fun, rather easy read, but easily one of the most entertaining series to hit the shelves in recent years. The story revolves around Eragon, a boy who happens upon a dragon’s egg in the forest. This completely turns his world upside down and forces him to become the leader of a rebel force that is looking to over-throw the dark ruler. Along the way, he learns of deep family secrets, the pain of love and loss. It truly is a fantastical ride.
Eragon was made into a film back in 2006, but it failed to gain much of a following. The problem I saw was that it deviated too far from the source material. A lot of the back story was completely over looked, entire races, which play a rather integral part of the overall story, were totally dropped and the climactic battle was so dumbed down that is was laughable. I truly believe that if this property was given a second chance and a studio were to drop some money behind it, the Inheritance Cycle could be a hugely successful franchise. One that movie goers of all ages and lifestyles could enjoy.
Jackdaws by Ken Follett-
This book is a bit of a deviation from the usual Comic Book Therapy fodder, but that doesn’t mean that is not a good book that would be an amazing film. In 1944, the Allies are just about to make their move against the Axis forces in Europe. In the occupied town of Sainte-Cecile, the French Resistance is preparing to blow up the chateau that now houses the crucial telephone exchange connecting the French telephone system to that of Germany. A group of female spies are assembled to infiltrate the chateau and destroy the German army’s ability to send out warnings of the advancement of Allied troops.
With the influx of films that feature strong female protagonists, and even more on the way, I can’t think of a better time to attempt this project. Films, and books, such as Hunger Games and characters like Black Widow show that females can lead a film that people will enjoy. A film like this would be like a female version of the Expendables set in World War II and I’m fairly certain it’d do well at the box office. Pull together a young, well known cast that includes the likes of Emma Stone, Reese Witherspoon and Ashley Greene and you really can’t go wrong.
Prey by Michael Crichton-
Crichton is known for his science-based thrillers, several of which have already been translated to very successful films. Prey takes all that is good and bad regarding nanotechnology and drops it into one of the more intense books I’ve read in recent years. In Prey, The nano particles gain a mind of their own and begin to fight back against a group of scientists and their families. It’s a real nail-biter and it does a really good job of scaring the bejeezus out of you, especially concerning the idea of the advancement of technology.
Nanotechnology, has been touched on in recent television series such as Revolution, but in regards to film, the last time it was used was in the rather questionable GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, which most of us are still trying to forget. The use of the technology in Prey is much different in that the particles actually gain a mind of their own and become the antagonist on their own. Science, while extremely useful, can be very scary at the same time and Prey is evidence of that.
Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice-
Right, we’ve already seen this book translated to a film. But anyone who has read this book knows that the film was an atrocity and was changed so much that they should have just given it a different name. This is easily my favorite of the Vampire Chronicles, as it lays out the entire origins of the vampires in Anne Rice’s books. It’s a very deep and unique origin as well, one that would be awesome to see converted to film. Not only that, but the book sees the assembling of some of the oldest and most powerful vampires in the series, joining to fight a very powerful threat.
What I’d really like to see happen is a reboot of the franchise, starting with Interview With The Vampire, and set up a new continuity. The problem with this is that vampires are coming to the end of their reign at the box office, so bringing Queen of the Damned or any of the Vampire Chronicles back into theaters would be a big gamble. Regardless, I think there is still life there, but it’s not up to me. Unfortunately.
Paradise Lost by John Milton-
This is one of those projects that nearly made it to production, but the cost began to sky rocket. Alex Proyas was at the helm, with Bradley Cooper, Benjamin Walker, Diego Boneta, Camilla Belle, Casey Affleck, Callan McAuliffe, Dominic Purcell, Rufus Sewell, and Djimon Hounsou all set to star. It’s a shame it couldn’t happen, because this sweeping epic could have been an absolutely stunning film and story to watch unfold.
For those not familiar with the poem, it tells of the events that occurred at the beginning of man kind, including the heavenly battle between God’s angels and Lucifer’s followers, as well as the fall of man after Lucifer tempts Eve with the ill-fated fruit. Obviously, the film would have been very centered in the Christian faiths, but the imagery that would have come from this film would have been stunning. Here’s to hoping that one day this film can be made.
At The Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft-
We all know tat Guillermo Del Toro likes to keep a full schedule and one of the downfalls from this is that some of the projects he starts to work on never see the light of day. But this film, which he was actively working on, was given the ax before it got too far into production. It was because of Prometheus, the Alien prequel, that put the final nail in the coffin for Del Toro’s adaptation of At the Mountains of Madness, in addition to those lovely budget cuts that studios like to do. Apparently, there were too many similarities between Ridley Scott’s sequel and the planned sci-fi thriller and since Prometheus made it into production first (GDT was filming Pacific Rim at the time), the film was dropped.
Here’s my thought on that, by now, most people wouldn’t make a connection between the two films, especially with the number of years that will separate the two projects. Not to mention that Prometheus was a rather forgettable film. Good, yes, But not a great film. I’d much rather see what Del Toro put together. Anything with science fiction, monsters and Del Toro is pretty much going to be awesome.
Those are just a few of the books I’d like to see make it to the big screen some day. Or return to the big screen in some cases. There is a veritable gold mine of source material out there in the form of books and I just hope that Hollywood continues to look to them for inspiration, more so than they are doing now. Of course, I’d rather see original ideas first, but a film adaptation of a book is a hell of a lot better than a remake or an unnecessary sequel that plagues out theaters. Anyway, what books would you like to see converted over to film? Sound off below, we’d love to hear from you.
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