Now that the season of summer blockbusters is approaching, we can’t help but think about all the wonderful books that would make for better silver screen adaptations than most of the summer flicks that are released these days. So just in case we have any followers that happen to be Hollywood movie producers, please consider these alternatives:
Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block
We’ve been hearing rumors about this book possibly being adapted to film for years, but so far, it seems to be nothing more than a rumor. Fans of Francesca Lia Block and the Dangerous Angels series have been begging for a Weetzie Bat movie for nearly 20 years, so I’d say it’s about time to give readers a full technicolor glimpse into Block’s surreal, magical, and candy-colored Los Angeles.
The Trajectory of Dreams by Nicole Wolverton
A story with mystery, horror, sex, romance, and talking cats, The Trajectory of Dreams would be an amazing silver screen psychological thriller. The debut novel balances humor, eccentricity, and suspense, which makes for a pretty wide range of viewers if you ask us. I might actually start going to the movies again if films had a plot this engaging and intellectual.
Threats by Amelia Gray
First of all, David Lynch would have to direct this movie. The plot is surreal and creepy, and the narrator is completely unreliable, so it’s already Lynchian if you ask me. Nominated for the 2013 Pen/Faulkner Award, Threats is completely unparalleled in the world of literature, which would make for a pretty unique film experience if you ask us.
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Prachett
The best Monty Python movie that never got made. For decades Terry Gilliam (Time Bandits) has been struggling to find the financing necessary to turn Gaiman & Pratchett’s hilarious laugh out loud tale of Armageddon and a young antichrist into the Hollywood blockbuster we all know it could be. While it’s a shame that Gaiman & Pratchett never teamed up for a sequel, the real travesty of justice is that over twenty years later there’s still no film adaption of Good Omens for the world to enjoy. Seriously, who amongst us doesn’t want to see the Eight Bikers of the Apocalypse finally make their long overdue big screen debut?
“Death and Famine and War and Pollution continued biking towards Tadfield. And Grievous Bodily Harm, Cruelty To Animals, Things Not Working Properly Even After You’ve Given Them A Good Thumping but secretly No Alcohol Lager, and Really Cool People travelled with them.”
Skippy Dies by Paul Murray
Speaking of Gaiman, word on the street has it that Neil Jordan (The Butcher Boy) is set to make converting Murray’s breathtaking novel Skippy Dies into box office gold…right after he finishes work on adapting Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book that is. Here’s the most anti-climactic spoiler alert ever, Skippy dies, like two pages into the book even. Murray then hits rewind to tell of the events leading up to the boy’s demise. Along the way he takes an intimate look at the friendships formed by teenagers attending a Catholic boarding school in 1980s Ireland and tackles everything from first love to abuse along the way. IMDB currently lists this project as “In Development.” Let’s hope the word “Hell” never gets appended to the end of that sentence.
Don’t you listen in class? Poetry’s never about what it says it’s about, that’s the whole point of it. Obviously Mrs Frost or whoever isn’t going to be too happy with him going around telling the world about this time he gave it to her up the bum. So he cleverly disguises it by putting it in a poem which to the untrained eye is just about a boring walk in some gay wood.
Breathers by S.G. Browne
Speaking of development hell, when we heard the news that S.G. Browne’s stellar zombie novel Breathers was optioned by none other than Fox Searchlight and that Juno writer Diablo Cody was attached we thought there was no way this project would ever flounder. Good thing we didn’t bet our website on it. It’s what, six long years later now and there’s no new news on this one? Zombies are the hot thing right now, yet for some head scratchingly bizarre reason this adaptation remains sadly unrealized. Browne’s bitingly funny novel tells the tale of Andy, a recently turned undead that winds up leading the movement for zombie equality. But are all undead really created equal?
Like I’d ever do an interview with FOX. They’re about as fair and balanced as a Ku Klux Klan barbecue.
Little Star by John Ajvide Lindqvist
Translated from the Swedish by Marlaine Delargy
Speaking of horror novels that need to get the big screen treatment, after two disappointing theatrical adaptations of Lindqvist’s breakthrough epic Let the Right One In, wouldn’t it be amazing to see his best work (expertly translated by award winner Marlaine Delargy for the English speaking world) come alive at a theater near you? A no-holes-barred exploration of our national obsession with worshiping false idols only to just as quickly tear them down, those who have experienced both the mental and physical traumas inflicted within the pages of Little Star will never again think of the music and lyrics of their favorite ABBA songs in quite the same way.
It is impossible to say why we love something or someone. We can come up with reasons if we have to, but the important part happens in the dark, beyond our control. We just know when it is there. And when it goes away.
Echoes from the Dead by Johan Theorin
Translated from the Swedish by Marlaine Delargy
Speaking of Marlaine Delargy, here’s a piece of good news. Johan Theorin’s novel Echoes from the Dead (which she won a CWA Dagger Award for translating), the first in his loosely connected quartet known as the Öland series, has just finished filming. The good news gets even better though because Daniel Alfredson, the man responsible for bringing Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series to life, was manning the director’s chair for it. Theorin’s novel tells the tale of a twenty-year old mystery about the disappearance of a six-year-old boy and the mother and grandfather who never gave up hope. The movie is expected to premiere in Sweden in October of this year.
Ernst’s newly dug grave was in a row of Stenvik residents who had been buried in the churchyard. The congregation had gathered around it in a semicircle, and Astrid pushed Gerlof firmly in among the mourners. He saw the deep hole in the ground opening up in front of his wheelchair. The grave was black and cold and impossible to get out of if you fell into it. He had no desire to end up down there himself, despite the fact that Sjögren was tearing at his joints in the cold air.
Rupture (A Thousand Cuts) by Simon Lelic
Speaking of amazing crime fiction, Rupture (or A Thousand Cuts as it’s know in the United States) by Critical Era favorite Simon Lelic would make for quite a thought-provoking movie. It’s about a school shooting, but not in the straight forward way that you’d expect. Neither is it a We Need to Talk About Kevin clone. No, Lelic’s novel is immediate, intense, and raises challenging questions about person bias, the way we treat one another, bullying, and the sad truth that maybe, just maybe, life is nothing more than one big playground. Don’t just take our word for it though, we’re not the only ones out there who think that this story would shine on the big screen.
But that’s the problem with gut feelings, isn’t it? They can be powerful, overwhelming even, and yet without any foundation. They are illogical, unscientific and imprecise. And yet they are so often correct.
The Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman
Someone in Hollywood really should make this into a movie. It would be a feast for the senses and has the potential to be a really smart comedy. There’s so much that goes on in this ridiculous novel, it would probably appeal to a variety of demographics. Between WWII, sex, theatre, literature, drugs, philosophy and science fiction, The Teleportation Accident could be an incredibly unique and superbly entertaining film. Now which one of the four alternate endings should be used?