Book adaptations are the latest trends in Hollywood, so it seems anyway. Reports of Netflix looking to buy the rights to 50 literary titles took twitter by storm recently, and they already have a Grishaverse series in development, so there’s no telling what they’ll grab ahold of next. However, a book adaptation comes with a lot of excitment, but also a sense of trepidation for fans who are anxious to see how their favourite books are portrayed on the big screen. Nevertheless, here are 10 books that, in the right hands, would make brilliant TV shows and films.
1. Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson: There is nothing like a road trip flick that will get you in the mood for summer. Amy & Roger’s epic detour is the perfect fit for a summer flick. You have an adventure, a budding relationship, interesting family dynamics, and a whole lot of character growth. Plus, every road trip needs a good playlist so the soundtrack to this film would be epic.
2. Wolf by Wolf duology by Ryan Graudin: This duology explores the terrifying “what if” scenario of Hitler winning the Second World War. This series has a lot going for it. You have the cross-continental motorcycle race, a quest for vengeance, and the search for an identity. Our main characters face a number of challenging experiences, and the way they react to the circumstances they face is so interesting. The character growth is astonishing in this series and in the right hands would make an incredibly compelling film series.
3. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta: Let’s take a trip to Australia for this film. In what remains to be one of my favourite books, Jellicoe Road is an emotional journey about flawed and realistic characters. It’s a book that is understated and moving. It’s a story that explores how past actions have a lingering effect on the present. I am fiercely protective of this book, but I can also see its potential to become a moving movie.
4. Vicious by V. E. Schwab: We know the Shades of Magic film franchise has been given the green light, but if you wanted to create an action-packed film this is the one to go for. This story explores the breakdown of the friendship between Eli and Victor. They went from best friends to mortal enemies, and now that Victor is out of prison, vengeance is the one thing on his mind. The beauty of this story is that it blurs the lines between villain and hero. The cat and mouse chase between these two would be a scene stealer.
5. The Wrath & the Dawn Duology by Renee Ahdieh: A story inspired by the events of the legendary tale A Thousand and One Nights that features hate to love romance and conflicts of the heart. Not all is as it seems in this book, as Khalid the “monster boy king” responsible for the deaths of his new brides, hides a tragic burden that weighs on his heart in what can only ever be a lose-lose situation. The beauty of this book is in the way it emphasises the ways that Khalid and Shahrzad are equals in this relationship and could be beautifully explored in a film or TV series.
6. The Mistborn Series by Brandon Sanderson: Fans of Game of Thrones could definitely get behind the idea of a Mistborn TV series. If you are a fan of complex magic systems, political manoeuvrings, and rich world building, then you would definitely back this adaptation.
7. The Hard Count by Ginger Scott: Sports flicks are always a hit, and the Hard Count does a fantastic job at exploring the ways a sport can tear a family apart and also bring them together again. It also explores the impacts of social judgements with the focus of the new starting quarterback, Nico Medina. There’s a lot of depth to this book as it explores social divisions, racial tensions, family, and a sense of brotherhood. Fans of the Blind Spot would easily love this adaptation.
8. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys: Think about a historical film that spotlights an overlooked tragedy in World War II; the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff. It focuses on the lives of four individuals and how their paths are intertwined by this tragic event. It’s a book that focuses on the horrors of war and the desperation of a population that is tired of living in fear.
9. Penryn and the End of Days by Susan Ee: This would make a brilliant film or tv series as it explores the day the angels came to Earth and brought the apocalypse with them. The imagery in this book series is, at times, horrifying, but it’s also a demonstration of humanity’s resilience and their downfall. Similar to the likes of the Walking Dead, it explores the extreme extents humans are willing to go to to ensure the survival and how those survival instincts can turn them into the real monsters.
10. Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta: Melina Marchetta has a way with words that just captivates you and transports you to new worlds. Finnikin of the Rock would make an incredible film franchise as it explores the themes of identity in a fantasy setting. She grounds these characters in their humanity whilst also exploring the various dynamics within a community that has already broken, and how a flicker of hope can ignite a spark within it.
Which books would you like to see adapted into a TV series or movie?