Book-to-film: Books and their inevitable adaptations
There is nothing new under the sun. All art is based on what came before, and after the advent of film, everything is based on books. Books have been made into movies since the medium’s infancy. But for every To Kill A Mockingbird, there are three Eat, Pray, Loves. There is actually an upcoming film version of On The Road, starring none other than Kristen Stewart. To prevent other potential book-to-film disasters, here are a few scenarios we hope never happen.
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Children’s classics are another popular source of film adaptation, since they come with a built-in audience in parents looking for somewhere to nap while the kids are entertained for a little over an hour. The Lorax, for example, was a huge moneymaker, no matter how ill-advised it may have seemed. Sometimes filmmakers like Spike Jonze try to the right thing and bring their own interpretation to a property like Where the Wild Things Are, but then it doesn’t make that much money even though it gets critical acclaim, and what good is that? So it makes sense that a big studio would forego the Spike Jonze treatment and bring the 1947 classic Goodnight Moon to theaters…in 3D! Maybe the makers of the abysmal Shark Tale could bring in Will Smith to say “Oh, hell no!”and Jonah Hill to snark on things while One Direction contributes the big hit song. Goodnight, childhood!
Inevitable Release Date: Summer 2014
Bossypants by Tina Fey
Tina Fey is awesome. That’s just a universal fact. Almost everything she does is funny and makes money. Remember Mean Girls? Remember laughing through it even though it stars Lindsay Lohan when she was just entering her insufferable phase? That’s because Tina Fey wrote the script. Her autobiography, Bossypants, is not only hilarious, it’s poignant, with some important commentary on gender roles and the challenges of lady working in the entertainment industry. But you don’t make the New York Times bestseller list and not get noticed by some of the wrong people. Expect Bossypants to be adapted as a romantic comedy starring Taylor Swift as Tina Fey–from the people who brought you such classics as Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve.
Inevitable Release Date: October 2013
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
Studios will often go after bestsellers and other popular books in order to make money. One book that hopefully escapes the studio treatment is “Snow Crash,” the 1992 sci-fi cult masterpiece from Neal Stephenson. Set in L.A. in the early 21st century, the novel features linguistics, anthropology, religion. and seems to have predicted the Internet as we know it, and steers eerily close to Occupy Wall Street territory. Expect Michael Bay to jettison the high concepts and cram the main story into a 90-minute action movie starring Channing Tatum.
Inevitable Release Date: Winter 2013
The Republic, Plato
There are few things a big studio loves more than an epic action movie. The bigger the better, no matter what the source. If it’s even vaguely sword-and-sandals-y, it’s usually green-lit. Clash of the Titans, for example, starred Sam Worthington as Hercules with an inexplicable Australian accent, and did well enough that it earned a sequel. So it shouldn’t be long before the brains behind the Charlie’s Angels movies is tapped to bring Plato’s Republic to the big screen. Gerard Butler can reprise his Leonidas and gather legions of men to battle…democracy? Who knows, as long as the effects are special enough no one will notice.
Inevitable Release Date: November 2016
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