I’m one of those people that can’t stand book-to-movie adaptations. Yes, I’m that annoying stranger sitting next to you in the theater sighing and whinging on about how the book was soooo much better than the movie. But I can’t help my whining! Cheesy dialogue, awkward acting, CGI galore, fake costumes, overblown drama, book-to-movie adaptations tend to fall below expectations, and I just don’t understand why.
I mean, you have a great source material (the book) and have the opportunity to bring it to life, so how do you mess that up? Bad special effects and costume choices aside, the least that you can do is make the story compelling, but so many times, screenwriters make the adaptation so shallow and cheesy, it makes me cringe in righteous fury!!!!!
Now I could rant about this for HOURS, but I won’t. Because, in spite of all the shortcomings of book-to-movie adaptions, I still think there’s hope. Granted, it’s been a while since I’ve seen a genuinely good book-to-movie adaption, but you can’t deny it’s impossible.
The Godfather trilogy, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Shining, Brokeback Mountain, The Lord of the Rings, and The Hunger Games are examples of adaptations done right, and I think that’s why people should still keep an open mind about these things. Yes, as a whole, book-to-movie adaptations suck, but once we move past this really dark era of Twilight and 50 Shades of Gray–oh Lord, let it be soon–I think we’ll be on track again.
Therefore, I’ve pondered what books I thought would make great screen adaptions, so here is my dream list. Cheers, and enjoy!
The Bartimaeus Trilogy (by Jonathan Stroud)
The Bartimaeus Trilogy is probably the literary equivalent of Deadpool for kids. You know, without all the fuck you’s and the gazillion weener jokes. And I think Bartimaeus is such a lively character, his dark past would really provide great material for the tension and conflict needed for a movie. Everything is so funny and sad in the right places, I really believe an adaptation would be a smash hit with kids and adults.
So let’s make it happen already!
The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles (by Julie Andrews)
Ahhhh, a throwback to simpler times. Like Mary Poppins or Alice in Wonderland, this simple story features children who rediscover the power of imagination and innocence. It’s a short and sweet story by Dame Julie Andrews, but I think an adaptation of this book would bring people back to days when stories didn’t need to be overly dark, dramatic, or preachy for them to be considered “good.”
Harry Potter….IN ANIMATION!!!
I’m personally not satisfied with how this movie franchise played out, so the question is, how to reboot these movies without 1) pissing on the franchise that already exists, and 2) pissing off elitists like me who insist upon staying faithful to the books.
Well, here’s my brilliant solution: MAKE AN ANIMATED FRANCHISE. I mean, with animation, there would be no awkward child actors or productions budget to fret over, and the magic of Harry Potter could be captured much more faithfully as a result. So call me up J.K. Rowling; if you ever need a slave screenwriter, I’m always available.
The Once and Future King (by T.H. White)
Of all the books on this list, I am FOAMING at the mouth for an adaptation of this book. I mean, isn’t it appalling that this witty and passionate story about King Arthur hasn’t already spawned a proper movie? Therefore, I demand a movie adaptation of this book right now from the literary gods. I demand a movie that is all at once inspiring, moving, complex, tear-jerking…is that too much to ask?
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (by Gregory Maguire)
I reckon this book would make an excellent R-rated movie. While I personally don’t watch R-rated movies, I feel an adaptation of this book needs the mature themes for it to make the nihilistic impact the book did. Perhaps a Game of Thrones spin, or a Lord of the Rings development? Whatever direction it goes, the lush and comprehensive detail of Wicked provides so much ammunition, there’s no way that a director can mess this up.
The Witches (by Roald Dahl)
I picked this Roald Dahl book on a whim, but I really think it can make a really fun, scary, and bittersweet movie if adapted properly. The romp of hunting down witches would be such a joy to watch on the big screen–although it’s probably very easy to cross into cheap CGI territory…so I’d say an adaptation of this book should go down the animation route like Harry Potter. Yes. Yes, that sounds good.
A Monster Calls (by Patrick Ness)
I’ve read a lot of great books this year, but none of them came even close to touching A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. It’s a highly impressive work, and certainly merits a movie of its own–which is coming out in Fall 2016. Haha yes, this movie is being made. I just wanted to emphasize just how well-deserved it is. This book is FUCKING AWESOME, and it deserves a movie that is just as FUCKING AWESOME. Pardon my language.
***So….yeah, that’s my list. What book would you like to see adapted into a movie? Did you agree or disagree with any of the books on here? Let me know in the comments below.