Fanboys and fangirls, prepare your rotten tomatoes. I have not read The Hunger Games trilogy, nor do I mean to do so at any point. In fact, I know a lot of books that I would vastly prefer to see adapted to the screen. I have listed seven of them for brevity.
1. Redwall by Brian Jacques
Yes. It can be done. Talking mice vs. rats with swords- with a code of chivalry to boot! It is ludicrous, rousing and deeply satisfying adventure. Motion-capture technology could get a new challenge with a cast of mice, badgers, moles, shrews, and other woodland creatures. God rest the soul of Brian Jacques, and may he find someone who can bringRedwall to life without the result being cheesy or pretentious.
This novel is practically begging to be put on screen. It would be a pain for whoever had to write the screenplay, but it can happen. Not only is it an enthralling murder mystery, but also it paints some terrifying portraits of humanity. Poor Alyosha meets some very lost human beings. Watching them self-destruct on screen would be a cinematic tour de force. Just saying.
Everyone likes a good adventure (Morte has lots of questing). Everyone likes idealistic heroes (Perceval’s journey to knighthood). Everyone LOVES swordfighting (which there is in abundance). Plus, I’ve been told that this is the first written story about the Holy Grail in human history.
Take some of King Arthur’s knights, put them in “Faerie Londe”, and you’ve only just begun to understand the awesome that is The Faeire Queene. In addition to having six books, each of which will easily take up a full-length book (series alert!), there is a wide cast of memorable knights and villains. Plus, Spenser finds a way to write about virtues without making it sound preachy. If he can do it, so can Hollywood.
Do not speak to me about the 2006 movie. This is another escapist story that could immense fun if done right. Please avoid the “beat-you-over-the-head” moralizing of The Dawn Treader movie.
Flannery O’ Connor’s dialogue is so visceral that you can hear her books speaking into your ear with a Southern drawl. Francis Marion Tarwater is the most disturbing little boy I have ever met in the world of fiction. His story will turn heads. Oh, and his uncle must be played by Jeff Bridges.
The odds are not in your favor that you have ever heard of this book (see what I did there?). I hadn’t heard of it either before I scooped it out of a library shelf my junior year of high school. To make a long story short, it’s about a monk who is searching for the disembodied voice that makes his monastery thrive. His quest takes him to a city called Ararat, a cosmopolitan full of magic, gods… and even wackier stuff. This would take not only brilliant CG effects to pull off, but also a cunning screenwriter. I extend to Tinseltown this challenge.
Don’t like any of these? Too bad. I really think that any of these would be more interesting than another dystopian story. If I’m wrong, I’d like to hear why.