Sci-fi & Fantasy Novels That Should Be Adapted to Movies/TV Shows

*Post contains affiliate links*


As a genre, fantasy is not the easiest to adapt to a compelling blockbuster, but when done right, fantasy films can take you on epic adventures in worlds of magic and wonder. Fantasy in literature is as popular as ever, with readers privy to complex magical systems, a world of manipulation, and compelling dynamics between our heroes and villains. It might be a challenge to adapt on the big screen, but these novels, if done right could take us on an exhilarating adventure.

viciousveschwabVicious by V. E. Schwab

Who doesn’t want to watch a cat and mouse chase between two former best friends that act as both the hero and villain of each others story? Everyone loves an anti-hero, and Victor is up there with the best of them. His sole purpose is to seek revenge on his college best friend, Eli, while Eli, on the surface projects himself as the golden hero with nefarious intentions. This book lives in the grey area between good and evil, and the super-human elements woven into the story could easily appeal to audiences on the big screen. 

Red Rising by Pierce Brown15839976

Plans for the Red Rising movie have already been scrapped, and the latest update centres on a plan to adapt the book into a TV show. At the moment, this project seems to be stuck in limbo, but Red Rising, if given the right treatment, could easily be one of the most compelling sci-fi adaptations to grace our screens. The book has plenty of haunting and memorable moments and the contrast of a high-tech society on Mars with its Romanesque caste system can be visually striking. Time will tell if this adaptation will see the light of day, but there is a lot of potential with this series. 

Finnikin of the RockFinnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

There will never be a moment when this book will not feature on any fantasy-related list. It’s the kind of fantasy that highlights the best and worst of humanity. It’s the kind of book that creates a compelling fantasy world without taking away from the intricate character dynamics that are so easily relatable. It’s a fantasy that’s grounded by its humanity with the fate of a scattered community resting on its last threads of hope. For a character-driven fantasy that has an equally compelling plot, Finnikin of the Rock would be a blessing on screen.

Related Post: Finnikin of the Rock Review

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller36174638._sy475_

The Song of Achilles gives us one of the greatest love stories within an epic tragedy. Blurring the lines of friends and lovers, the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus has been a bone of contention among Greek mythology enthusiasts for years. The Song of Achilles treats readers to a breathtaking exploration of love between these men at a time of war. The bond between Achilles and Patroclus has to stand against the plight of gods and men alike. The sad reality is that while Achilles is destined for fame and glory, it comes with a deadly price. The fates of Achilles and Patroclus are tied together, there is no one without the other, and an adaptation of this stunning retelling would be incredibly moving.

10803709Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

Sanderson’s novels are rich with material that could easily translate on the big screen. While his Mistborn series would be the popular choice for any adaptation, Elantris would make an equally compelling film. The beauty of Elantris is that, for now, it serves as a standalone novel, a rare commodity in fantasy writing. Nevertheless, this book is packed with political, religious, and magical intrigue. It’s about the fallen city of Elantris, once blessed by the magic that has since fallen into ruin. There are three clear protagonists in Raoden, Sarene, and Hrathen, with each of them adding layers of complexities in their words and their actions as we unravel the motives, the mystery, and the magic of this fascinating universe. 

Related Post: Elantris Review

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo37541225

Siren’s are one of the most fascinating creatures in mythology, and this book puts them at the heart of the story, treating readers to a delightfully ruthless tale of murderous intentions, a sharp-witted prince, and a rich landscape that can treat viewers to a thrilling adventure. The banter between our titular characters is highly entertaining, and if you want a darker, grittier alternative to The Little Mermaid, To Kill a Kingdom would be a welcome addition to the cinematic landscape.

Related Post: To Kill a Kingdom Review

25907472Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

Visually, the motorcycle race in Wolf by Wolf could treat us to some beautiful cinematography. Set in an alternative timeline where Hitler wins the war, our protagonist, Yael, a survivor of unlawful experiments conducted at Auschwitz, is sent by the resistance to infiltrate the race, win it, and kill Hitler. Identity is a running theme throughout this series, and Yael’s fight for survival demonstrates her resilience and strength in the face of adversity. Our supporting characters are equally as complex, and through them, we explore how the realities and consequences of war influence the choices they make.

Related Post: Wolf by Wolf Review

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh 18798983

Inspired by the One Thousand and One Nights folk-tales, The Wrath and the Dawn is a complex tale of love and forgiveness with a revenge-fueled protagonist and a king burdened by his murderous actions. It’s a story with layers of tension that can be used to heighten the secrets that hold our characters, prisoners. Romance is at the heart of this tale, one that emphasises the equality between partners, respecting their individuality. An adaptation of this book would transport viewers to a world of intrigue and wonder.

Related Post: The Wrath and the Dawn Review

the-scorpio-races-598x903The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

The Scorpio Races is a book that instantly transports you to the heart of the story. Stiefvater’s atmospheric writing instantly captivates readers, bringing the island of Thisby to life with its eclectic cast of characters and the relations between them. With the Scorpio Races, which is basically a fantasy horse race, taking centre stage we are privy to the lives, loves, and losses of this community. Bringing this book to life on the big screen could be an atmospherically visual treat.

Which fantasy book would you like to see on the big screen?

17 thoughts on “Sci-fi & Fantasy Novels That Should Be Adapted to Movies/TV Shows

  1. Woww, all these fantasy books sound amazing! (I’ve read most of them too, so I completely agree that they need some time on the big-screen!)

    I didn’t know Elantris was a stand-alone too, omg!! As someone who ADORES the Mistborn trilogy, Elantris sounds like a great read. Did you see The Wrath and the Dawn has a webcomic on Webtoon? It’s sooo good!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think Sanderson plans on writing a sequel to Elantris, but it can easily be read as a standalone. It’s such an addictive read.

      I have no idea about the webcomic. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. I’ll check it out. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. GIVE ME MY WOLF BY WOLF TV SHOW ALREADY!!!! *sobs* I want one so bad and I’d be totally fine if it went beyond the books and just followed whichever characters after the final pages of Blood for blood. It’s still such an underrated duology …
    I hope Red Rising eventually gets out of the limbo … I think one of my biggest concerns so far was to not make it look ridiculous. The reasoning behind scrapping the movie and making it a show were very sound and extremely positive in terms of plot (I shudder at the thought of them making Sevro a girl and throwing in a love triangle with Mustang and Darrow … have these people even read the books???), but I still worry about the look. Golds are supposed to be so much taller and I just don’t want that to look weird? That’s what my brain keeps coming back to …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel like I’d be too emotionallt fragile to cope with what happens beyond Blood for Blood haha. I still don’t unerstand why more people aren’t talking about the duology. It is golden.
      I was so happy that the movie got scrapped after hearing the pitch for it and I’m so glad Pierce made a run for it after that. I totally forgot about the physical differences, that would be a challenge.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We are like the spokespeople for the Wolf by Wolf duology and we’re doing our best haha people just don’t listen!
        I forgot the physical differences as well until the comics or graphic novels came out and I saw side by side comparisons of Reds and Golds and I was like “NOPE!”. I just want it ignored. Let the first surgery montage be about him doing like a Captain America transformation instead of getting a meter taller.


  3. I only read To Kill A Kingdom and The Wrath and The Dawn here and I agree with those two SO much. I feel like The Wrath and The Dawn would make such a stunning adaptation, really, I somehow imagine the visuals to be as stunning as the author’s writing and that would be incredible!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I desperately need to read The Lumatere Chronicles this year!! Tell me what month to read them (but not June) and I will put them on my TBR!! I also think The Scorpio Races would be an amazing movie, but I’d be almost too scared to watch it in case they massacred my favourite book ever. But, the cliffs of Thisby and the beach and Malvern’s stables are all described so beautifully that I could absolutely picture it all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d say the Lumatere Chronicles are a perfect autumnal read, especially on rainy days. I can understand the nervousness that would come with a Scorpio Races adaptation, especially if they didn’t capture the spirit of Thisby, but atmospherically it could be one of the most affective adaptations ever.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I would die if The Wrath and The Dawn was put on tv 😱😱 just think of all the amazing casting opportunities!! Also to kill a kingdom would be so great! Mermaids on the big scream let alone sirens would be epic. I also think anything VE Schwab would be so cool 😭 great post!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Wrath and the Dawn would be a visually immersive experience I’m almost desperate to get an adaptation now haha. Sirens don’t get enough love on the big screen. I keep thinking of how fun an anime adaptation of Schwab’s books would be.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I still need to read so many of these but I loved To Kill A Kingdom and would adore an adaptation of it one day. I’m definitely hoping to read Wrath & The Dawn, Wolf By Wolf and Vicious at some point this year. I also think And I Darken (I need to read the last two still) could make a fantastic show or film.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To Kill a Kingdom would be such a fun adaptation. I’ve actually got a copy of And I Darken on my bookshelf that desperately needs reading, but it sounds like it’d make a fun show.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s