5.01.2012

Top Ten Tuesday: More Books I'd Like to See Made into Movies

As with last week's topic, this is a list I've already made. No, I don't think this will be a problem every week henceforth; they've just re-run a couple of old topics. The good news: I think I can come up with another list.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! Do come join the fun...

So, ten more books I'd like to see made into movies. Just one little disclaimer: only if they're going to do it respectfully. At least know what matters to the book's fan base, Hollywood!

Asa Butterfield. Source.
1. In my previous attempt on this topic, I mentioned a hesitation to ask for Ender's Game. Well. Ender’s Game is being made (according to Wikipedia, it’s even fusing its storyline with Ender’s Shadow, which should be interesting, though it's a lot for one movie to cover. I don’t see Achilles casted...) With Harrison Ford as Colonel Graff. And Asa Butterfield, with his arresting eyes, as our Ender. And author Orson Scott Card was involved in preparing the script. Terrifying as it may be to have this story adapted, I’ve got to see this movie. November 2013, here we come.

2. If we can talk about movies already in the works, Stephenie Meyer's The Host. (Not to be confused with this The Host.) I'm hopeful that I'll enjoy this one; the book is fantastic.

3. L.M. Montgomery's The Blue Castle (review coming soon) would make a splendid movie. Although Queen Latifah's film Last Holiday is a fun take on the same idea, I’d love to see the full story adapted for screen—Barney and Valancy, Lake Mistawis, and all.

4. Enchantress from the Stars (Sylvia Louise Engdahl) might be tricky to adapt for film, due to its unique juxtaposition of science fiction and medieval fantasy, but it could be beautiful.

5. Ally Condie's Matched... could be a very good movie, if done right. Disney has the rights; they have what it takes to make that young, introspective sort of storyline work well on screen, but they could also cheapen it. That's one I'd make a real effort to go see, though.

6. In the Reign of Terror by G.A. Henty. English boy goes to live and study with an aristocratic French family just before the Revolution. He winds up protecting the three girls, working for Robespierre but secretly saving lives, and eventually smuggling two of the girls across the English channel. It's got all the ingredients for a good film. I don't know much of Henty's work, but liked this one a lot.

Luna moth. Source.
7. Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter. Yes, I know it's been made before, but the adaptation I saw was downright boring and ended before the story was half over. This needs to be an artistic film, with someone like Ang Lee directing it—someone who can capture the beauty of the great moths, of the natural setting, of Elnora's violin playing, of Edith Carr's grandeur, of the Bird Woman. I can picture it, which probably means I'd be disappointed, but I'd definitely see it.

8. Since Game of Thrones has been made into a TV series, maybe I should ask for the same for Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time books. The thought scares me a bit, but the things I've heard about Game of Thrones have made me a tad hesitant to read that, and I loved WoT. Make The Eye of the World, and it could last a season. Make the whole set, and you've got a solid show for years to come.

9. Warner Bros. has the film rights to Maggie Stiefvater's The Scorpio Races, which story could go a couple of different ways. If it's thinned down and romanced up for a YA audience, I might be hesitant. If it's done artistically—Stiefvater's prose and descriptions are quite artistic for modern YA fiction—it could be very watchable. I'm a bit afraid of seeing it, thanks to the terrifying carnivorous horses, but might be able to talk myself into going.

10. All right, I know the Harry Potter books have been made into movies. Eight movies, of which I only really loved one. Surely moviemakers can do better than this. I'd love to see it made as a TV series, which would give the story more time to develop, and here are the specifications: a) Cut the whimsy, focusing instead on the juxtaposition of humor and drama; b) cast more people who can actually act; and c) don't mess with Dumbledore's lines. The only down side would be that Robbie Coltrane and Maggie Smith probably wouldn't reprise their roles. They were Hagrid and McGonagall.*

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? What books would you like to see on the big screen?

* The same could be argued for Alan Rickman as Snape, and I concur except that really, in a remake I'd be open to seeing someone younger in the role. Too many adults in the film were unreasonably aged, looking fifty when they should've been thirty-five. And yes, a few other actors also filled their role very well, and should you so desire, I'd be happy to read your championing of your favorites in the comments.

23 comments:

  1. I love what you said about hollywood doing the movies respectfully. I sometimes think they don't realize what a strong fan base there already is before the movie is even made. and that if the movie is not done right we wouldn't want to see others in the series be made. Great post and love the idea about Harry Potter being made into a TV show. It would have def given more depth than cutting down to a 2 hour movie..Thanks for stopping by on my post!-Liz

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  2. I'm super excited for The Host as a movie... I just hope they do it justice!
    And I've never considered a series for Harry Potter, but I think I might actually agree with you... I was looking through my favourite HP quotes the other day and I realised how much the movies really missed...

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  3. I'd really like to see high quality movies of The Hobbit & Lord of the Rings made. By someone other than Peter Jackson...

    And I'd really like to see quality movies of The Chronicles of Narnia made by someone who, you know, actually gets Lewis & doesn't try to turn the movies into their own post-modernist action film. And really, The Horse and His boy cries out for a movie. It's a fast read, fairly straightforward, lots of action. It could be done well.

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    1. Totally agree. With all of it, but especially about The Horse and His Boy. And "someone who gets Lewis"... which is to say, among other things, that Aslan's lines should be included VERBATIM. Harrumph.

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    2. WORD. hate what Micheal Flaherty and Walden have done.

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  4. And you don't want to be just a tad hesitant to read Martin's Game of Thrones. You want to be really, really, really, really hesitant. Really.

    This post sums up a lot of how I feel about Martin's work: http://bryanthomasschmidt.net/2012/04/25/an-alternative-to-a-song-of-ice-and-fire/

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    1. Shoot, George, you sent me that post for the Common Room at the Pub and I completely spaced it when I was putting that together. Maybe I can try again for this week.

      Yeah, I think you and I have the same sensibility about hope in stories, which means I'd almost certainly dislike Martin's work. Ah, well. There are a lot of other books in this world. :)

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  5. I cannot express how much I want to see The Blue Castle in movie form. With fiddles! On the soundtrack! WHO WOULD YOU CAST??

    Also, I guess I have to see Last Holiday now!

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    1. Fiddles! That sounds like fun.

      Oh, golly, tough question--but you have to give me your fantasy cast list, because I think you'll do better! I hardly ever watch movies and am therefore not familiar with most of the current stars.

      For Valancy, it's so hard finding an actress who isn't classically breathtaking. Amanda Root has the subtle gentleness for the part, but she's aged out of the role. Saoirse Ronan is the other name that comes to mind; I've never seen her in anything, but she'll be in The Host (which will require her to play a conflicted character, half gentle, half intense), and in pictures she seems to have something of the wistfulness I'd expect out of Valancy.

      Barney. Bill Pullman has also aged out of the role, but circa While You Were Sleeping, he would've been great. Who's in that category now? I don't even know... Hugh Jackman? I think I'm just embarrassing myself. :P

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  6. Ooh I didn't know The Scorpio Games was going to be made into a movie. I hope they do a really good job because the book was fantastic.

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    1. It really was an interesting book... seems like it could be good onscreen.

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  7. There really can be excellent film adaptations. The Help was outstanding. A few things were changed, deleted, or added for visual storytelling, but not one, in my opinion, that diminished the story or changed its meaning, unlike the Potter adaptations.

    Although I've not read the book, I understand that Hugo delightfully expanded a story told half through drawings. The movie itself was good and beautifully rendered; it's flaw was in cramming in too much story.

    I doubt that The Blue Castle (a favorite book) would fly today as a film, unless it was done faithfully as a period piece (like the film Sarah, Plain and Tall), with actors the right age. That said, perhaps Maggie Gyllenhall for Valancy? Not too pretty.

    --Arabella

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    1. There can be, yes, and I've neither seen The Help nor read the book, though I keep meaning to do the latter. It's fun to hear that the adaptation is good.

      The Blue Castle should definitely be a period piece, and I LOVE the idea of Gyllenhaal as Valancy! Great call. OK, this movie needs to be made now...

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  8. I agree regarding Harry Potter, but I have a slight problem... Alan Rickman IS Snape, yet at the same time he is way too old as Snape, and that bothers me as well. (Dream cast would be if Doctor Who was real and he was willing to go pick up a 37 year old Alan Rickman to play Snape, lol)

    Lets see other adaptations I would like to see. I'd like a 5 hour miniseries of the novel Les Miserables - not some movie version that cuts out too many characters (Even if I do like Liam Neeson in the role), not the musical (as excited as I am about the film version, though I'm concerned about some of the casting), but the novel...

    Similarly - someone do a movie version of the Phantom of the Opera that sticks to Leroux? Please? The silent film one is supposed to be the closest, but I've still not gotten around to watch it, but I'd like a modern version that stuck to the novel...

    Hmm... I'm hoping that The Graveyard Book will indeed be one day made into a movie, but it seems to be hung up for the moment...

    There's other novels I'd love to see done if well done but they're even less likely to happen as these are...

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    1. I know exactly how you feel about Snape. :D

      As for Les Mis, I loved Liam Neeson in the role, even though that was a desperately abbreviated movie! It would be great to see a more thorough version, but boy, would that be a tough screenplay to write. All those essays to work around, and Mario and Javert writing out their ideas in longwinded letters... Still, I'd see it.

      I'm afraid to read The Phantom, but probably should.

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    2. I actually started to abridge the novel myself once. Because I don't care for most abridged versions that take out plot instead of just cutting chapters on French Slang and Convents and such... But I agree - maybe it would have to be more than a 5 hour miniseries, but I'd love every minute of it if someone was willing to do it :D

      Personally I think most of us have such long lists of "to read" that no one should ever read a book because they feel they ought to (with exceptions made of course for assigned readings in school, and some nonfiction and academic books. But novels? outside of the classroom setting? too many books too little time for reading stuff one only feels they "ought" to read.)

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  9. Just popping in to register my complete excitement about the Ender movie. I had no idea that was in the works, and it sounds promising (in terms of quality). I hope the child actors can act...but in terms of the casting choices made for the child characters, their looks (especially that of Bean and Petra, based on the pics of the actors at IMDB) are spot on, and match very well with how I imagined these characters to look as I read the novels. I'm stoked.

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    1. It's hard not to be! I'm awfully excited, myself. Hailee Steinfeld is supposed to be a good actress. I'm not familiar with Aramis Knight, but he does look good for the part.

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    2. Just did a quick Wikipedia search on the young actors. Looks like the actors playing Petra (Steinfeld) and Valentine (Abigail Breslin) have both been nominated for Academy Awards. ... That is pretty impressive. I hope the boys can act as well as the girls! Very exciting indeed :)

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  10. Maggie Gyllenhall is a great call for Valancy, I think. She's a little older than Valancy's actual age, but that's kind of necessary in Hollywood. She'd do beautifully. Barney is tricky. LL Cool J in Last Holiday (the trailer, anyway) hits just about exactly the right notes, personality- and appearance-wise. I'm not sold on Hugh Jackman. But there are so many 40ish white male actors that I can't picture any of them.

    Have any of you seen the 2007 War and Peace miniseries? What do you think about Clémence Poésy for Cissy? I haven't seen the miniseries, only a seven-minute trailer for the miniseries. I thought she was a little off for Natasha Rostova, but maybe just right for Cissy.

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    1. Definitely Maggie Gyllenhaal! Can't believe I didn't think of her--she's got the right look and the chops to pull it off.

      Barney IS tricky, and I think Jackman would be totally wrong for the part. I just couldn't think of any other male actors of that age! LL Cool J did a great job in Last Holiday; he was very likable.

      I've only seen Clémence Poésy as Fleur Delacour, which role didn't show her talents off much as I recall, but from that little bit I think she'd make a great Cissy. Thanks for mentioning her, because I was trying to come up with a good Cissy and couldn't think of a single person.

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    2. I didn't know she was Fleur!

      While investigating The Barney Question, I had a brainstorm. . .Jim Carrey! No, I know he's mostly been in bad movies, and he'd need someone to take care of his hair for him, but he was great in Eternal Sunshine; he's close enough to the right age, good-looking but not too good looking, he's got plenty of warmth when he's not on a wacky comedy fugue, and he brings the quirk. The part would be a stretch for him, but with the right director (and of course we'd have to have the right director anyway) I think he could nail it!

      Maggie Gyllenhaal and Jim Carrey in The Blue Castle!

      Is Louise Fletcher still alive (checks) Yes, but she's too old to play Valancy's mother. Hmm. . .

      Clint Eastwood as Roaring Abel? IT COULD WORK.

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    3. I think Jim Carrey is an utterly inspired choice! Barney needs to be someone with an eye-catching smile. Well done.

      I like Clint Eastwood as Roaring Abel, too--I can just see him grousing about the housekeeper he threw out of the house along with her jars of canned pumpkin.

      Just put up the whole fantasy cast, but you need to help me with Uncle Benjamin and Cousin Stickles. :D

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