Was going to create this Top 5 but it appears I have been beaten to it.
I rarely read a "regular" book and wish it would be adapted. I think those instances where I most see potential for a movie to add something to what the book does is when the story takes place in a world that is alien in some way, ie historical novels, fantasy and sci-fi. The world their plots take place in are so visually distinct from what one is able to imagine, and there are so many details one must constantly remind oneself of, that there is a definite value in giving movie birth to those stories. Jackson's Balrog may not 100% correspond to the words of Tolkien, but at least it gives a striking idea of what it could look like, which is more than my head has been able to produce about a number of fictional characters. I litterally have no idea what anything in Dune
is supposed to look like, but in that case I blame Herbert, because he was not the best at providing descriptions.
This opens the door, however, to me grunting and mumbling about things that look nothing like what's written in the book, like how everyone in Game of Thrones
is ten years older than their book counterparts, how Linklage is way too good looking to be Tyrion and a whole bunch of other stuff that make me any group's grumpy uncle. And that's without even mentioning how the stories themselves would be adapted.
Anyway, my Top 5:
1. A 15 season series about Ancient Rome from the Punic Wars to the death of Nero.
2. Select passages of the Silmarillion
, namely the ones featuring the major conflicts against Melkor, in trilogy format.
3. Either Mistborn
or the Stormlight Archive
, though I like the latter much better.
Possible director: Mistborn - Joss Whedon
or any other decent novel in feudal Japan.
Possible director: Park Chan-wook
5. The Malazan Book of the fallen
with the obligation to cast people of the right skin colour for all the humans - except when they're blue.
Things that have been adapted since the inception of this thread:
Blindness - by Jose Saramago. An amazing book about a city struck by a plague of white blindness. A lone woman retains her sight and she leads a group of people through the, basically, post-apocalyptic city.
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrel - by Sussana Clark. One of the best fantasy novels I've ever read. Filled with inventive and powerful visuals. Plus, opportunities for a stellar cast. I think this is already in the early stages of production, which is a shame because I really want to direct this one.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - Jonathan Safron Foer. The most heartbreaking thing I've ever read. Find the right kid for the lead and this would be amazing.
book that shouldn't be a movie
'Perfume' by Patrick SÃ¼skind who himself said the only director who could do it is Kubrick and Kubrick said 'can't be done', and Tom Tykwer german movie maker git said he'll do what Kubrick can't. The premier was this weekend and total bombed.
4. The Great Gatsby: Has been made into a film already but no one has come close to recreating the self-loving and self-destructing culture of the Jazz Age.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky - This book would have to overcome a few obstacles. Like someone else's suggestion "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time," or "The Catcher in the Rye" the writer would have to convey the very specific and particular tone of the narrator. Also, every character is a teenager, so it would have to resist being turned into a lame episode of Dawson's Creek or John Tucker Must Die...not that I don't like them, I loves me some teenage popcorn prattle, but I wouldn't want this book to be treated that way. I would want for this movie to be indy and edgy - more similar in tone to Mysterious Skin.
Ender's Game. How has there been no Ender's Game film yet? Sure, it would have to be 3 hours to do it any justice but come on.
Both The Plot Against America and American Pastoral by Phillip Roth. American Pastoral is something if it had been made in the seventies or eighties I think someone like Alan Pakula or Sydney Lumet would have been perfect. Lumet could probably still do it. As for The Plot Against America - it may sound like a weird choice but Steven Spielberg: Fantasy. History. The American family.
2. The Watchmen - Alan Moore