We’re trying something a little different today! We have a guest blog from somebody who isn’t an author, but does know a lot about books. A big welcome to Zoe Luderitz, who is the Content Manager of Alibris, an online retailer of new, used, rare and out-of-print books and is here to give us her opinion on some YA fantasy books that should be made into movies a la DIVERGENT or Harry Potter. Thanks for joining us, Zoe!
Three Young Adult Fantasy Books that Should Be Movies but Aren’t Yet
Movies introduce great works of fiction to people who might never get to enjoy them otherwise. Many great books have been made into movies, but other good stories don’t make the cut for one reason or another. Young adult fantasy novels provide a fertile ground for finding successful subjects for plays, movies and television series. Consider some of the successful adaptations: Lord of the Rings, the Twilight novels, Hunger Games, and the Harry Potter franchise.
Fertile Ground for Movies and Screenplays
Fantasy and paranormal fiction that make exciting movies include the following book genres:
- Vampire stories
- Urban fantasy fiction
- Science fiction
- Alternative reality tales
- Paranormal romance
- Young children’s fantasy stories
- Books about witches
Movie adaptations of fiction draw from an established base of fans, and young adults exhibit the kind of enthusiasm for their favorite books that builds franchises, sells tie-in products and gives fans a chance to revisit their favorite stories. According to CNN.com, new projects for 2014 include more Harry Potter films and screen adaptations of James Dashner’s THE MAZE RUNNER, Veronica Roth’s DIVERGENT, and Gayle Forman’s IF I STAY.
Three Young Adults Fantasies that Would Make Exciting Movies
THE APOTHECARY is set in 1952 London where Janie Scott’s family has moved from Los Angeles. Janie finds herself involved with Cold War bombs and spying, invisibility elixirs and a charming pickpocket. This book would adapt well to the movie screen and mesmerize adults and children with period charm, spy paraphernalia and secrets of Russian and English spies. Janie and Benjamin race to save the apothecary and prevent nuclear Armageddon. The story has young romance, excitement and otherworldly chemistry, which are sure to please modern theater audiences. Elle Fanning of “Daddy Day Care” and Chandler Riggs of “The Walking Dead” would be perfect for the leads. In a great twist, Daniel Radcliffe, the Harry Potter actor, would make an exciting choice to play the apothecary.
King’s novels have been the basis of some of the most successful movies in history, and the young adult novel THE EYES OF THE DRAGON is a classic fantasy that has
magicians, an evil court sorcerer, and a young hero who is framed for poisoning the king. Hero Peter escapes from imprisonment in the Needle and gathers allies to expose Flagg, the king’s evil adviser who turns out to be a demonic creature in disguise. Flagg or a creature with the initials RF appears as a symbol of evil throughout King’s books including “The Stand” and the “Dark Tower” novels. Doddering King Roland might be convincingly played by William Daniels, star of “Boy Meets World” and the voice of K.I.T.T. on “Knight Rider.” Patrick Stewart would make a dynamic villain as Flagg, and hero Peter could easily be played by Max Charles who was young Peter Parker in “The Amazing Spider-Man.”
It’s hard to imagine a better candidate for screen adaptation than the Unbeliever series. Donaldson’s Covenant series includes multiple volumes, exciting action, a hero who suffers from leprosy and wild magic in the form of white gold that only the hero can wield. The movie would address a new issue that hasn’t appeared in contemporary films: leprosy, a chronic infection that can be spread by physical contact and causes nerve damage, open sores and muscle weakness.
A classic underdog, the book’s hero and leper Thomas Covenant inspires astonishing loyalty and teaches people not to judge others for circumstances that are beyond their control. Portraying Covenant’s progress fighting for sanity and against the story’s villain would certainly take an Oscar-caliber performance. At first, Covenant gets knocked unconscious by a police car and awakens in an alternate reality that he consistently refuses to accept. His gold wedding band becomes a source of power, but rage at his condition and circumstances threaten to destroy him. Ben Foster of “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” would be a good choice for the hero’s role. Author Stephen R. Donaldson was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1947, and is one of the most successful fantasy writers in history.
Films and series are balancing acts, and determining which stories get adapted is often a matter of chance or happens because a director, producer or actor falls in love with a good story. The stories summarized here are definitely worth a shot at the big screen, but you can check out these tales without waiting for the movie by reading them in their original form.
Zoe Luderitz is the Content Manager of Alibris, an online retailer of new, used, rare and out-of-print books. A true bibliophile, Zoe’s favorite past time is to tuck herself away in a coffee shop with a good book, bagel and hot coffee in front of her.
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