Book adaptations can either be a blessing or a curse. They can bring well-deserved attention to a beloved text, or they can alter the original intentions of the piece—either way, something about it changes. But some books are so good, we just want to take that leap anyway. Here are LD’s strongest recommendations for film/television reimaginings.
1. “As Time Goes By“ by Michael Walsh
A “sequel” to “Casablanca” this book follows Rick, Sam, and Louis after Victor and Ilsa’s plane departs, and they have to go on the lam from the Nazis. It’s simultaneously a fantastic WWII roadtrip brofest but with the backdrop and horrors of war. We’d love nothing more than to see this made into a film, even if no one will ever play Sam better than Dooley Wilson.
2. “Wildwood” by Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis
Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis tell the story of thirteen year olds Prue and Curtis who go into the forbidden wilderness of Wildwood to find Prue’s baby brother, Mac, who happened to be picked up and taken by a murder of crows. There’s something special about Prue and Curtis because no Outsider has ever been able to enter the forest thanks to a spell cast around Wildwood, sort of like Harry Potter’s Protego Totalum spell that we saw in Deathly Hallows. Click here for more information on Wildwood.
3. “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel
A post-apocalyptic story of a traveling Shakespearian theatre. When a sudden sickness spreads like wildfire killing off millions of people, those who survived are left to band together and create a new world without computers, electricity, and fast food. The traveling theatre stumbles upon a settlement run by a violent prophet, and they are left to figure out a plan to escape before the prophet can dig their graves.
4. “The Shining Girls” by Lauren Beukes
A murder mystery, “The Shining Girls” follows Kirby Mazrachi who is the shining girl that got away from the murderous hands of Harper Curtis. Harper is the time-traveling murderer who hunts bright young women, inserting himself into their lives, and finally escaping into another time after he satisfies his needs. It’s up to Kirby to uncover Harper’s tactics, and stop him from killing any more Shining Girls.
5. “Deadly Class” by Rick Remender and Wes Craig
Marcus Lopez Arguello is a homeless teenager with no hope or reason to keep living. That is, until he’s invited to Kings Dominion Atelier of the Deadly Arts. Although it sounds a bit like Harry Potter, instead of discovering he’s a wizard, Marcus discovers he has the talents of a deadly assassin. The school is home to the top assassins, all with their own unique style, talent, and craft. Unfortunately for some of the other students, Curtis brings with him a bit of baggage, and the kids find themselves practicing their art before they’ve finished their schooling.
6. “The Fade Out” by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips
It’s time we’re presented with another modern film noir. Rian Johnson showed audiences just how successful and intriguing a modern film noir could be with his movie 2006 movie “Brick,” and “The Fade Out” has the potential of being the next in this category. The comic is set in 1948 Hollywood and follows several characters in the film industry as they attempt to uncover the mysterious murder of Valeria Sommers, and up-and-coming actress found dead in the apartment of screenwriter Charlie Parish.
7. “Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell” by Susanna Clarke
Supposedly, Susanna Clarke’s brilliant fantasy novel will appear on BBC sometime during 2015, but fans have been waiting for years and years as the project is repeatedly announced and shelved. The sweeping historical scope, uncanny realism, and sheer genius of an imagined England where magic is on the brink of disappearing will certainly be hard to pull off, so hopefully the long wait will be worth it. In the meantime, everyone should go read this incredible fantasy-history hybrid so that on the day it comes to us, we will all be ready.
8. “Dorothy Must Die” by Danielle Paige
In this futuristic continuation of the Oz franchise, a young teenage girl from Kansas named Amy Gumm finds herself swept up and transported to a not-so-wonderful world where Dorothy Gale has become a ruthless dictator with Oz crushed under her ruby heel. Amy quickly learns that it is her destiny to defeat Dorothy and restore Oz to its former glory. With all the remakes Hollywood has been cranking out lately, it would be a refreshing change to see a darker adaptation of a classic tale while giving it a new twist, and as a tough female character in a YA series, Amy Gumm could become the next Katniss Everdeen or Tris Prior.
9. “Valley of the Dolls” by Jacqueline Susann
We know, we know! This cult classic has already been made into a movie back in 1967. Whilst this film is a glorious representation of the three young heroines as they climb (and fall) down the post-war showbiz ladder, a modern adaptation could take a wry and knowing look at the themes running through the novel. Slut-shaming, prescription drug abuse, the fickleness of celebrity, abortion, feminism, homosexuality and the fluidity of sexual identity and of course, love are all explored within the novel. As these are still pressing, important issues that we face today, a fresh spin on this timeless novel could really inspire a sixties-style revolution.
10. “Wise Children” by Angela Carter
A magic-realist masterpiece, spanning decades and referencing every Shakespearean play ever written, this novel follows the lives of identical twins, Dora and Nora Chance. The pair are chorus girls from an infamous family, who despite being daughters to a grand thespian, find themselves mooching around the seedy underbelly of London’s entertainment industry. The grandiose nature of the novel would make for a fantastical, glittering feature length complete with dry wit, bawdy English humour, subtle nods to great literature and unforgettable characters.
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