Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Books You'd Like to See Made into Movies

I listen to the radio a lot in the car and lately it seems I can't tune in without hearing something about 50 Shades of Grey. Yes, I know it's a massively popular book and I can see why the movie is such a big deal, but the level of hysteria is ridiculous. A group of women even set upon a man with their fists in a cinema recently because he dared to speak during the showing. Where did this happen? In Scotland, of course...

I think even EL James's staunch supporters could admit that her writing hardly ranks up there with the likes of Shakespeare. Or perhaps the quality of the prose isn't what they're reading for. Whatever, I'm sure many of us could think of books that are more deserving of the Hollywood treatment (don't even get me started on Twilight!) So I thought I'd offer my own suggestion and feel free to add your own in the comments.


Two first-class thrillers I've read in recent times are The Mistaken and Leverage by the fantastic Nancy S. Thompson. The writing is so visual and I could see the white-knuckle action unfolding in my mind's eye all the way along, so adapting them would be an obvious choice. The books follow Tyler Karras's descent into violent chaos, as the death of his wife plunges him into a grief-stricken journey of retribution that lands him in deep trouble with the Russian Mafia along with innocent bystander Hannah Maguire and, later, her son Conner.

I even have actors lined up to portray the two leads. Eric Bana would be a great choice for Tyler as he is rough and tough enough for the role while also having a softer side. During the books, Ty frequently flips between these two sides of his personality. Also, Bana comes from Australia and has played American roles. Ty was born in London but grew up in Australia before moving to San Francisco, so he has something of a hybrid accent. Bana would be well equipped to take this on.


Main female character Hannah is feisty and refuses to give up even in the most dire of situations. I'm pretty sure she is described as red-haired, or at least this is how I always pictured her. Alyson Hannigan would be a great pick to portray her after her kick-ass role in Buffy.


Conner would need to be a young, handsome upcoming star and I'm, um, not too up on those. Any suggestions?

What books do you think deserve a movie treatment? Who would star in them?

36 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Good choice of books! No idea on the actors though. Just someone in his and her early forties.
Of course I'd like to see my own become movies. Finding a star would be difficult though, as there is a twenty year gap in between each book.

Sarah Foster said...

There are so, so many books that are more deserving of being made into movies than ones that are. Every time I see a commercial for 50 Shades of Grey, I want to punch my TV.
I have ridiculous fantasies about my own book being made into a movie, but I should probably publish it first. Or finish writing it...

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

I haven't read either of those books, but they sound interesting. But I agree with you, much to much has been made of 50 Shades. I just finished reading a book (and reviewing it on my blog) that I think would be a fantastic movie: As She Left It. A very layered mystery that pulls you in, and fantastic writing.

Chrys Fey said...

I read the 50 Shades books and when I found out movies were going to be made, I was actually appalled. I didn't think the books were good enough to be made into a movie for one. And two I thought, "Who wants to see that?" Not I! haha I hate hearing about the movie every time I turn on the TV or radio. We need ear plugs!

Crystal Collier said...

Mm... Book made into movie... Honestly, I don't like it when my books I love are made into movies. They never quite get it right in Hollywood, and I always have to separate the stories from the big screen.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I like Eric Bana and he does great in action roles and with the more emotional sides too.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Good choices. Hmm...there are so many good books I'd think would be great on the big screen.

Arlee Bird said...

I can't imagine any author in our age who doesn't dream of one of their books or stories getting the movie treatment. It would be great to see Nancy's books on film.

It's always a big disappointment when a book goes to the big screen and the treatment is done very poorly.

Arlee Bird
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Tossing It Out

Stephanie Faris said...

Sounds like a plan to me! I love Alyson Hanagan. I don't get the 50 Shades frenzy. The only thing that made sense to me was that the author wrote fan fiction about Twilight, built up a following, and that following followed her to 50 Shades, which was initially written about the main characters from Twilight. The book wasn't bad--don't get me wrong. But there are SO many erotic romance novels out there that are better and didn't get nearly this much attention.

Christine Rains said...

Nice choices! I love Nancy's books. I'd love to see the Harry Dresden books made into a series of films, written and directed by Joss Whedon. They'd be hilarious!

DL Hammons said...

It's a great concept...except that I'm always disappointed by the movies. They rarely live up to the host material. :(

Meradeth Houston said...

The hoopla over FSoG lately has been overwhelming! There are so many books I'd prefer see make it to the screen, with ArcLight being one that I think would be an amazing movie.

Shannon Lawrence said...

I'd still love to see The Gunslinger made into a movie. I can't think of who I'd want to play Roland, but it would have to be someone rugged, chiseled, rough. They keep almost making it, but never quite getting there.

Shelley Sly said...

I haven't read those books, but they sure sound like they'd make good movies. Years ago, I used to read Barbara Kingsolver's novels, and I used to wish they'd be made into movies. (As far as I know, they haven't been.)

Mark Noce said...

Lots of books could be made into good or bad movies, so I think they key is a good producer, i.e. no Jeremy Bruckheimers. I'd like to see a rendition of Red Mars by K.S. Robinson.

Nick Wilford said...

Alex - It would have to be a Star Wars, Obi Wan thing with different actors for different ages. Your books would make amazing movies!

Sarah - 50 Shades have got out of hand!

Yeah, we do need to kind of finish and publish our books before we can dream of a movie! Just a minor thing, I suppose.

Elizabeth - I haven't heard of that one, thanks for the tip.

Chrys - Well, enough people seem to love the book that they also love the movie, sadly!

Crystal - It's never quite the same, but I appreciate when the movies get more people reading the original books. I think that happened with Harry Potter.

Susan - My wife appreciates the choice because she loves him, especially in The Time Traveller's Wife. She loves the book, too!

Elizabeth - Yes! It would really help some of us lesser heard of authors get exposure.

Arlee - Yeah, if it ever did happen to me I'd be breathing down the director's neck!

Stephanie - When I found out it started as Twilight fanfic, that was the nail in the coffin for me!

Christine - Interesting choice. I haven't read this!

Don - Yes, that tends to be the problem, but I contend that it hopefully gets more people interested in picking up and reading the book (there's usually a tie-in edition too). Both my stepdaughters read The Fault in our Stars because they loved the movie.

Meradeth - Another tip - thanks!

Shannon - It's frustrating when a movie gets stuck in development. Lots of book tips in this thread!

Shelley - They should definitely adapt those!

Nancy Thompson said...

WOW, Nick! I'm floored! Thank you so much! I do often get the comment that they'd make great movies. I suppose my love of the action thriller flick influenced my writing, so it shouldn't surprise me. And yet it does! It is a dream, a crazy one, but wouldn't it be cool?!

Medeia Sharif said...

I have to read Nancy's books. I know I have one of them. They look like they'd be great on screen.

Lara Lacombe said...

They sound like good books, and I like your casting choices!

jamieayres.com said...

Nancy is awesome! I'd love to see this happen one day :-)

dolorah said...

Wow, I think I'd like these two books. Didn't like 50 Shades and only read about 30 pages.

E. Arroyo said...

Eric Bana...Yes!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Nick - I certainly wouldn't see the film and the writing was awful ... I gave up somewhere along the line and cannot remember the plot for the love of me ...

Jamie Dornan I imagine will be very good in the film ... he was excellent recently in "The Fall" tv series when he starred with Gillian Anderson.

I haven't read Nancy's books ... and I'm not sure I read enough to suggest books for films ...

Cheers Hilary

Tyrean Martinson said...

Great choice on the books! I don't know if I know any young, upcoming ones . . . I should ask my kids.
:)
Have a wonderful weekend!

Empty Nest Insider said...

I can't think of a better compliment for Nancy! Though The Mistaken is still on my TBR list, I've read rave reviews about it! Every writer must dream about seeing their movie up on the screen at some point. Hopefully, it will become a reality for Nancy! In the meantime, she has two wonderful books to be proud of!

Julie

Michelle Wallace said...

I love my thrillers, so I invested in a paperback copy of The Mistaken.

I'm not into the 50 Shades Of Grey hype... not one bit.

Last year they took The Book Thief to the big screen... thank goodness I'm not a movie-person, because I heard that it was a major disappointment, which I knew it would be.
If you read the book you'll understand why it would NEVER translate well to the big screen. That was the best book I've read in the last 2 years...
Hope you're well, Nick!

Jay Noel said...

Interesting. Been meaning to check out Nancy's books.

When writing, I often will nab actors' pics and put them into my character sheets in Scrivener. It helps visual people like me in writing about them.

cleemckenzie said...

I'm not good at casting for movies. And I often think the book is enough. I love movies, but my first love is the written word.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Sorry, have no desire to se 50 shades. Couldn't read the book either.

What a nice thing to say about an author's books and Nancy's.

And oooooh, Nancy's books are kick ass thriller types. I haven't had the chance to read them. Yet. That will change since I love the genre.

I love Allyson Hannigan. She'd be great in almost anything. :-)

Sia McKye Over Coffee

Nicole said...

Oh, this is always fun! I love your choices for the cast on this one too. For me, there are lots of books I'd love (and fear) to see come to the big screen, because I love them so much as books I wouldn't want to see them ruined. BUT, if someone does them right, I'd love to see Veronica Rossi's UNDER THE NEVER SKY series, AC Gaughen's SCARLET, and of course WOT and anything by Jim Butcher. :)

Shell Flower said...

Hahaha, I actually enjoyed the 50 Shades trilogy, despite the bad writing. The books definitely drew me in, but I'm not so sure about the movie. I recently saw Garth Nix speak and he was talking about how Sabriel has come close to becoming a movie, but the deals all fell through. I would SO love to see the Abhorsen trilogy made into movies. I love those books.

Crystal Collier said...

I do agree. It is awesome when a movie release gets more people reading a good book.

David P. King said...

I would love to see Mistborn and Fablehaven made into movies. Seriously, why not? Both authors are #1 NYT best sellers. :)

Carrie-Anne said...

I'd like to see a film adaptation of Paul Dowswell's the Ausländer. It's a gripping depiction of regular Germans during WWII, a subject which isn't so common in WWII fiction.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Hello Nick! I hope you're having a good day. I would love to see the rest of 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' series made into movies!

Sarah Lynn said...

The Seventh Holy Man from William Brazzel has the potential to be an amazing movie. The book was among the best sci-fi reads I have experienced and the twist ending was perfectly suited to the big screen.
It has related themes to The Da Vinci Code but I feel this is a much stronger story myself. Highly recommended reading for any fans of the genre.
http://www.scifiauthorbrazzel.com/