It’s a common thing for us to read a wonderful book, take a big sigh, and imagine what it would be like to see the book on the big screen. Then we yell and scream and cry when our favorite books end up on the big screen and they ruin everything! (They cut out my favorite scene! She never did that! Why did they add this scene?! They cut out my favorite line! I never pictured him to look like that!)
Beyond the idea that a filmmaker may or may not handle your favorite book with the care you desire, there is also the simple fact that just because the book is good, it doesn’t mean it would make a good movie. In college, I took an Entertainment Marketing class, and we had a project where we had to read a book that had not been adapted to film yet and then market it like we were going to make it into a film. Since this was a group project, we all had to agree upon a book to read, and we picked The Shack, which was on the tail-end of its popularity then. I found the book to just be so-so, but what was worse was that while reading it, I realized it would be a terrible movie! Needless to say, the project ended up being much less fun since I had no idea how to market it!
Not all books would make good movies. Here’s a few young adult books that I just don’t think should be adapted to film.
The Kill Order
The Kill Order is the prequel to The Maze Runner series, which is in the works for adaptation to the big screen. I already feel sketchy about this, as a lot of weird stuff happens in these books and I’m sure it’s going to be a CGI fest for the movies (not to mention the series ends TERRIBLY), but if they adapt the prequel too that will just be the last straw (the last straw to what exactly I am not sure). There’s so much bad things happening, lulls in action, zombie-like people invading, and just general hopelessness. Really, let’s not adapt The Scorch Trials or The Death Cure either. Sigh.
The Book Thief
Unfortunately, this is happening. I know this might be an unpopular opinion, but I just don’t think it’s right. Now, if you’ve read my posts for the last couple of weeks, you know I recently read this book and really loved it. So this is nothing against the book itself. But the thing is, half of what makes this book as amazing as it is is the prose. And how can that possibly be translated properly onto the screen? I admit, it’ll probably still be good and interesting to see the story of Liesel and her Papa and Rudy and Max and everyone else, but it won’t have the same resonance without the prose and without Death’s narration, especially the end. (P.S. voice over narration is usually annoying, so this would not be the fix either!)
The Matched Trilogy
If this series were to be adapted… Well, there is simply not enough action in these books to carry a trilogy of films. And while not all movies require action (for example, every Jane Austen adaptation ever), there ought to at least be a plot that continually moves forward and interesting character development. Man, I did not realize how much bitterness I had towards these books until I started blogging… ha ha. I actually enjoyed reading all of them in the moment at least some of the time, but then when it all ultimately ended it just fell flat. And the series would make for flat movies as well.
What do you think? What books (YA or otherwise) do you think would not make good movies? What book to movie adaptations are you looking forward to? (Personally I’m looking forward to Ender’s Game, Catching Fire, and Divergent.)