Tuesday, 10 September 2013

top ten tuesday: books i'd like to see on screen

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

top ten eight books i would love to see as a movie or tv show

I'm a sucker for a good book to movie adaptation. Over the years I've mastered the art of being able to bring my appreciation of the source material to a movie and not letting it completely overwhelm the movie watching experience. It's not to say that I can't be disappointed by movie adaptations (case in point = The Golden Compass movie which had PERFECT casting but completely missed the point of that book) but I tend to be excited when I hear that books I like are being made in to films rather than being anxious or refusing to watch them on the basis that they might be awful. Things always get lost in translation from page to screen and there are plenty of ways that movies can get things wrong but I love seeing how people interpret and represent the aesthetics of worlds and characters that I love. Plus, there's something really powerful about watching storylines and certain scenes play out on screen and when films get it right it can be really wonderful - there were lots of things that I wasn't crazy about in the last Harry Potter movie but their version of 'The Forest Again', which is one of my favourite chapters of literature, was perfect and I'm so grateful that I got to immerse myself in the visuals and sounds of that.

So, here are my 8 choices for books which I think would translate really well to film or TV.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Steifvater - Would make a great movie especially if directed by someone like Jane Campion. Although the racing provides a dynamic climax for a movie I'd like a film version which situated that plot within the broader character narratives. This book is all about mood and brooding teenage emotion and I think Jane Campion would do an excellent job of visualising the sinister beauty of Skarmouth and the Races.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins - This would make a really fun summer mini-series for a channel like MTV or The CW. Anna is about change over time so I think it'd suit TV better than film but you'd only need 4 or 5 hours to get the story across. Plus, you could have companion series for Lola and Isla.

The Montmaray Series by Michelle Cooper - When describing these novels my default stance is 'think I Capture the Castle but with Nazis and WW2' and really, who wouldn't want to see a mini-series of that?!? There'd be 1940s costumes and plenty of dramatic events and as a TV series there'd be time to iron out some of the pacing issues with the last book! Not convinced yet? Check out these graphics made by gigglemonster over at Tumblr!

Heist Society Series by Ally Carter - Pitched somewhere between St Trinians and Ocean's Eleven, what's not to love about teenagers staging heists?!? I enjoyed these books but always felt they'd benefit from a sassy soundtrack! Perfect movie material!

The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater - Another contender for a UK style TV series. With around 6 hours per book you'd really get to develop the characters and their relationships as well as the story's mythology. With fast cars and magic, an interesting romantic storyline and a bunch of attractive boys there'd be plenty to keep people's interest over the space of a couple of months! It would have to wait until the whole cycle is complete though to avoid missing key details!

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson - Cast this right and it could be a really lovely coming-of-age road trip movie. (Plus, the book's already got the soundtrack covered!)

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer - Just imagine how freaking gorgeous someone like Joe Wright or Alfonso Cuaron could make this series with a navy colour palette, the setting of futuristic China and all the references to space. The juxtaposition of the traditional aethetics of royalty with the space-age robots and technology would make for really great visuals! It'd be a big project - especially as the series grows into its global setting but it could make a really great quadrilogy of movies.

Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling - I should preface this by saying that I love the Harry Potter movies! I love the cast, I loved a lot of their choices and the soundtracks all make me really emotional! BUT as much as my younger self was very grateful to the fact that the movies were made so quickly I'd be really really intrigued to see an HBO style TV series version of the story. I want a series which is plotted out now that we have all the information and all the key story elements are apparent. With 6 hours of TV for each of the first three books increasing to 10 or 12ish for the later books there'd be ample time to properly flesh out the characters (Ron, Hermione, Luna and Neville would be key beneficiaries) and to properly go into the Marauder/Voldemort/wizarding world backstory that was developed from PoA onwards in the books. Basically, I want a series that does justice to the intricacies of the plot and world building that the movies were never quite able to capture and which allowed you to become really invested in the characters.

What do you think? Would any of these appear on your lists? Any that you think would be complete disasters?


  1. I agree that the HP books would make a great TV show with Harry, Hermoine and Ron battling magical baddies each week. I'd totally watch that.

    TTT @ Krista's Dust Jacket

  2. I love your idea of new Harry Potter! I think it could work pretty well. :) Great list!

  3. Oh, I love your Idea for a new HP! Ah! That would be lovely!

    My TTT THis Week

  4. I loved the HP movies too, but it would be fun to have a TV show. It might be hard to wrap my head around new actors/actresses!

    My TTT