This week’s Tuesday Top 10, the linkup for bloggers hosted by BrokeandBookish, is PERFECT FOR ME. Because if there’s one thing I enjoy more than reading, it’s painstakingly fancasting the books I read and fantasizing what they would be like as meticulously adapted TV shows.
So, without further ado, I give you this week’s theme:
Top Ten Books I’d Love To See As Movies/TV Shows
1. Harry Potter miniseries, Harry Potter miniseries, Harry Potter miniseries. Did I mention I’d like to see a Harry Potter miniseries? I can’t even begin — the movies were beautifully set dressed, had wonderful music, great casting, but the writing itself was so disappointing. They either condensed or completely excised extremely important plot points (Marauders, who?) to such an extent, if you hadn’t read the books, the movies were borderline incomprehensible. I’m all for adding in new, original scenes that enhance the story, but not at the expense of canon scenes painfully necessary for that story to make sense.
A miniseries, a book for each season, would be a perfect fit for the HP books. So many of the chapters have cliffhangers that lend well to episode breaks, the plot would be given a chance to breathe, and I think even the romances in the later books would benefit greatly — Harry/Ginny felt rushed and contrived in the book, let alone in the movie where they shared 30 seconds of screen time. Watching Harry’s crush play out over the course of 10 or more episodes devoted to The Half-Blood Prince would, I think, help me believe in that relationship a lot more. Plus — we’d get all the backstory, the side characters, the adventures that were cut out of the movie for time! These are rich, exciting, suspenseful books that deserve a less rushed, more faithful adaptation.
(I’m not going to wax this extensively about my other choices. I just have a lot of Harry Potter feelings. If you couldn’t tell.)
2. Making History, Stephen Fry — THIS WAS SUCH A GOOD BOOK with a very cinematic feel to it — whole sections are actually written in script form! It’s about a college kid who helps a professor build a time machine to go back and kill Hitler — when it works, however, the kid is thrown into an alternate future where someone even worse took control of Germany and was never overthrown; Germany remains divided, the world is awful, and the guy has to figure out how to turn back time, again, and keep Hitler alive. (Plus there’s surprise boyfriends! which made the book very exciting for me.) It would make SUCH a good movie!
3. His Dark Materials trilogy, Phillip Pullman — oh, the Golden Compass movie did the book so wrong. Changing huge plot points, rearranging important climatic events, taking out the religious overtones, which are the heart of the plot, and cutting the ending entirely that brings the story full circle — Just a horrible, Hollywood, soul-sucking adaptation. Lyra and Will deserve better.
4. The Chaos Walking Trilogy, Patrick Ness — I think this would be a difficult adaptation, because of the nature of Noise being this cluster of chaotic thoughts swirling and cymbal-clashing out of everyone like their own personal thunderstorm — but it’s another series of books with a very dramatic, cinematic feel, and I think it would look great on the big screen.
5. Good Omens — Gaiman and Pratchett tried writing a screenplay for Good Omens, but it was weird and different and changed too much and ultimately never got made. But this is a very interesting, engaging, cinematic kind of story that I think would lend itself to a fun, silly, suspenseful movie.
6. Neverwhere, Neil Gaiman — There was a miniseries before there was a novel, and there’s been a radio play as well. I think another miniseries or movie is what this book deserves, something with a good budget and much better cinematography than the first try around. (There was a whole problem with the camera equipment/film they used that made the miniseries look super cheap and underwhelming.) I’d love to see this story get a really amazing movie treatment!
7. Rebecca, Daphne Du Maurier — I’d love a modern movie adaptation. Hitchcock’s was good, but they changed the ending (had Maxim slap his wife instead of shoot her, which was RIDICULOUS, because instead of giving him agency over her death, they made it some absurd accident that technically absolved him of guilt.) I think it’s a little aged and hokey by today’s standards, so I’ve love a faithful, creepy present day adaptation.
8. The City of Dreaming Books, Walter Moers — I … have no idea how this would work. It might have to be an animation or claymation, considering the main character is a bipedal alligator type talking-reptile dude?? But it was a lovely book with a fun story (not to mention great illustrations) and I could see it being a really cute movie.
9. The Lost World, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – I LOVED this book, and I think it could be a really interesting movie. It’d be hard to market, since the title is the same as the Jurassic Park sequel, but I remember being totally swept up in this story — and that scene at the end, when everyone’s doubting the scientists really found dinosaurs, and the pterodactyl comes flying out of the cage? That would be amazing to see on screen.
10. We Have Always Lived In The Castle, Shirley Jackson — Oh my god. There are so many directors who would have a FIELD DAY with this book. It’s a creeping, quiet horror with an emotional heart, a story about two sisters who live with their old, senile uncle after a poisoning killed the rest of their family — a murder the rest of the town is sure the eldest sister is guilty of.
This book is so creepy, and suspenseful, and you feel for the sisters even as you’re mesmerized by how slightly off they are. Look at the cover of the book, for crying out loud! A movie done in just that kind of style would be amazing.
Those are my top picks, but I can think of a bajillion more. I would inhale movie adaptations of The Winner’s Curse and The Winner’s Crime, not to mention every single one of Rainbow Rowell’s books.
What are the books you’d love to see as movies? Link me to your TTT! And, are their any books you absolutely love, but that just don’t lend themselves to adaptations well? (For example, I’ve held a secret wish for a live action Watership Down for years, but … that would probably be ridiculous-looking. Just a lot of rabbits running away from the camera crew.) Leave a comment, let’s talk!