All The Amazing Movies Based On Books Headed Your Way

Really, who needs to read when you can go watch the movie version of these books? Just kidding. I always read the book first, then go see the movie.

  1. High Rise, based on the novel by J. G. Ballard

Secure within the shell of the high-rise, like passengers on board an automatically-piloted airliner, they were free to behave in any way they wished, explore the darkest corners they could find. In many ways, the high-rise was a model of all that technology had done to make possible the expression of a truly free psychopathology.”
― J.G. Ballard, High Rise

A friend posted a link to this trailer, and I was like “Say what? Is this based on the Ballard novel that has been chilling on my Audible Wishlist forever?” I bought the audiobook and listened to this cult classic of luxury-living turned into tribalistic bloodbath. Now, crisp trailer aside, I have no idea how they will translate this book onto the big screen. Variety has seen it, and they say meh. But will I still go check this one out? You bet I will.

2.  The Girl on the Train, based on the novel by Paula Hawkins

emily blunt

Emily Blunt on the set of The Girl on the Train

Hollowness: that I understand. I’m starting to believe that there isn’t anything you can do to fix it. That’s what I’ve taken from the therapy sessions: the holes in your life are permanent. You have to grow around them, like tree roots around concrete; you mold yourself through the gaps.
― Paula Hawkins, The Girl on the Train

Yes, Paula Hawkins’ ever-twisty The Girl on the Train is coming to the movies! No time was wasted adapting this one. Is Emily Blunt not your perfect Rachel? She has a bit of the crazy eyes going on this picture that the role demands. If you haven’t read this hit thriller from last year yet, you still have time before the movie’s fall release date. Read my review of the novel.

3. Me Before You, based on the novel by JoJo Moyes

me before you

A sneak peek at the set of Me Before You, with Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin.

The thing about being catapulted into a whole new life–or at least, shoved up so hard against someone else’s life that you might as well have your face pressed against their window–is that it forces you to rethink your idea of who you are. Or how you might seem to other people.
― Jojo Moyes, Me Before You

Thank goodness the movie gods from above have decided to adapt Jojo Moyes’ novel Me Before You. As if we all didn’t cry enough when we read the book, we can go into theatres, gather, and do a group cry together. If you haven’t read the book, pick it up and prepare to have your heart opened up in strange nooks and crannies and then smashed. This romance will give you all the feels, all the sniffles, all the tears. Emilia Clarke will play Lou, and Sam Claflin will play Will. If I read less, or replaced some of the time I spend watching The Bachelor with time watching feature films, I may have an idea of who either of those two people are. Read my review of the novel.

4. She Who Brings Gifts, based on M.R. Carey’s The Girl With All The Gifts

girl w: all the gifts

Sennia Nanua, Gemma Arterton, and Glenn Close filming She Who Brings Gifts.

“You can’t save people from the world. There’s nowhere else to take them.”
― M.R. Carey, The Girl with All the Gifts

Uhm, could the little Sennia Nanua be a more amazing Melanie? Talk about perfect casting for the little gal who single-handedly brings humanity to all zombies as she innocently explains how she wants feels hungry for her teacher, but she really doesn’t want to eat her because she loves her. Awww.

the girl with all the gifts

Sennia Nanua as sweet little zombie Melanie.

I’m not sure why they changed the title on this one though. To me, The Girl with All the Gifts has an oomph that She Who Brings Gifts lacks… Not to mention it brings a whole who vs. whom issue into the situation! Was it to separate the movie from last year’s The Gift? I’m not sure. Call it whatever you want–I’m excited about this zombie thriller.

5. Alice + Freda Forever, based on the book by Alexis Coe

alice and freda forever bigger!

Some of the great artwork from Alice + Freda Forever: A Murder in Memphis.

“In the mind of the public, she seemed endowed with an almost supernatural power to commit heinous acts, no matter the time or place.”
― Alexis Coe, Alice + Freda Forever: A Murder in Memphis

I’m cheating a bit with this one, as I don’t know if it’s actually being filmed yet or the project is just in the works. I loved Alice + Freda Forever, Alexis Coe’s true story of a lesbian romance and murder in 1890’s Memphis. A movie adaptation of this true crime/historical nonfiction book has quite a bit of potential. The book takes place at a memorable turning point in history, with haunting drawings and snippets of primary source material. Acclaimed director Jennifer Kent, of The Babadook, is tied to the project. I can only imagine what life she could bring to this already rich and tragic tale. Read my review.

What movie adaptations are you dreaming about for this year? When will we see The Goldfinch? What about A Little Life? How would all those plays from Fates and Furies be acted out? Readers, we can only dream…

10 Books With Epic Movie Potential

I was inspired by the blog post and ongoing conversation over at A Little Book of Blogs about the best book to film adaptations.  I started thinking about the best (and worst) movies I’ve seen based on books.  I actually started writing a blog post including a list of my faves, but while writing it I realized that most my favorite book-to-movies are pretty obvious (The Shining, The Silence of the Lambs, Fight Club, Blade Runner, etc.) and have been heavily discussed all over the internets already. This made me begin to think of all the great un-movied books, which are sitting on my shelves and just begging to be made into epic films.

1. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

A terrifying documentary analyzed in obsessive detail by a blind man?  A house which seems to be growing extra rooms and hallways?  An addict falling into madness?  How has this not been turned into a bizarre and creative masterpiece of a film?

2.  Gun, with Occasional Music by Jonathan Lethem

This hard-boiled detective novel is set in a twisted, dystopian future where intelligent animals live as (to some degree) equals in human society.  Gun, with Occasional Music is begging to be one of the coolest mystery movies ever made.

3.  The Children’s Hospital by Chris Adrian

The world ends, and who does god save?  The staff and patients of a children’s hospital, which elevates above a flood-filled world.  Angels, plagues, nefarious youth…  All the makings of a great film are included in this book.

4.  The Dublin Murder Squad books by Tana French

Tana French is one of the best mystery writers living today, and her books are each vivid tales with their own unusual settings (the woods, a creepy house full of young and attractive youth, abandoned track housing, the rough spot in town).  Her Dublin Murder Squad cops practically step off the page and into the real world.  Great actors and actresses could make each of these parts oozy with emotion and amazing to watch.

5.  Rebecca by Daphne Dumarier

I know, I know.  This classic has already been a movie, a play, a TV series, and an opera (really).  This just means the story is that good, and we are due for a modern remake.

6.  The Lost Memory of Skin by Russell Banks

This was one of the best books I read last year, and I think this type of complicated antihero tale set against the lush backdrop of Florida would make a painful, powerful, memorable film.

7.  The Delivery Man by Joe McGuiness

Film rights supposedly sold years ago for this glimpse into the world of the young, surprisingly innocent deviants of Las Vegas.

8.  Chanel Bonfire by Wendy Lawless

Wendy Lawless recalls her mother’s sociopathic behavior.  Even though this is a memoir, much of the stuff is hard to believe and definitely worth building a film around.  Chanel Bonfire, the movie, could be the adaptation that Running with Scissors was meant to be.

9.  Oh the Glory of It All by Sean Wilsey

In the same category as Chanel Bonfire, Oh the Glory of It All is Sean Wilsey’s memoir of growing up with an insane San Francisco socialite for a mother.  This is a sprawling book which would need some heavy editing for a film version, but Wilsey’s emotional struggles and process of healing are uniquely relevant to the modern struggle of every adolescent who has been given every opportunity but taken none.

10.  State of Wonder by Anne Patchett

Hidden deep in the rainforest of Brazil, a pharmaceutical company’s research doctor has gone rogue.  A woman is sent to find her.  I’m imagining this as an Apocalypse Now meets Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman.

What books do you think are begging for movie adaptations?