Thursday, April 28, 2011

Day 18 - A book you think should be made into a film

This is one of the most difficult questions so far, at least in my mind. More often than not book adaptations turn out to be utter poo and I'm not sure I want to flag any of my favourite books for that kind of destruction. So instead I'm going to list a couple of books that have been made into (terrible) films and should be remade.

1. His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman
First off, this series needs to be made in its entirety. If the filmmaker isn't prepared to do so, they shouldn't start at all. The original film was OK, Nicole Kidman was a bad choice in my opinion (but that's mainly because I hate her and her frozen face) but a lot of the atmosphere from the book was there. Basically the filmmakers need to ignore the complaints of the Christian community and recreate the story as it is in the books. Personally when I first read the book (I think I was 11 or 12) I had absolutely no idea there were Christian connotations, I just liked it because I thought it was a ripper of a story, and with the right cast, crew and script-writer I think this is a series that could blow all over YA films outta the water.

2. Almost any film adaptation of a Stephen King novel
I love Stephen King, and there are some adaptations (Carrie, the Shining, the Green Mile) that are marvelous, but then there are others which downright stink. I would love to see someone other than a Z-grade horror director take on a Stephen King project. With a decent cast (no more ghastly over-reactions and wooden dialogue) and today's special effects, King's words could create some real movie magic. Don't get me wrong though, I love me some shlock horror just not when it's adapted from one of my favourite horror authors!

3. Harry Potter (1-7) by JK Rowling
I have long been a critic of the film series, but I don't actually mind them. For the most part I think they do a fairly good job with the material considering things like time constraints and so forth, and they certainly are getting better as they go. What I'd love though, is a TV adaptation of the books, because I think with TV they could include all the minutia that simply can't be included into a 3 hour movie. We could watch the Quidditch matches, the petty arguments  between the three, the cramming for OWLS, the blossoming loves, the Hogsmeade trips, the highs, the lows, etc etc. Those are the bits of the novels I often love the most, I know the battle between Harry (good) and Voldemort (bad) is always at the crux of each tale but it is the stuff in between that made me fall in love with the characters and the magical world. I'd love to see that explored just a bit more.

4. I am Legend by Richard Matheson
Hollywood has tried time and time again to recreate this fantastic text and they keep failing miserably, Matheson himself said that he doesn't "know why Hollywood keeps coming back to the book just to not do it the way I wrote it". That is the core of the problem, they keep altering it so that it better fits their action adventure genre which completely destroys the purpose of the story, the central meaning that Matheson created. Personally I'd take it as quite an insult if I were him, that they seem to hold no respect for him and his work and keep destroying it over and over. Matheson said that Romero's Night of the Living Dead was the closest to ever come to recreating his book, even though it is not an adaptation, it simply understood Matheson's intention and the mood and tone that I am Legend held (FYI I am Legend was a great source of inspiration for Romero). Matheson has said it is too late for them to now try to recreate the book, that it should have been filmed when the novel was first released, but I'm willing to sit through one more movie adaptation. On a few conditions, no big Hollywood budget, much of the movie takes place in his house, an indie company could easily do it, no big name actors (i.e. Will Smith) especially when they don't fit the role and it needs to be re-written for them (i.e. Will Smith), and stick to the damn book. Do not change the ending, do not change the central meaning, do not add a freaking love interest and do not add explosions and battle scenes. To all the filmmakers out there, think less Mission Impossible and more Let the Right One In (either version, though preferably the Swedish). You have one more chance!


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