Metatalktail Hour: Buy the Movie Rights! September 30, 2017 5:00 PM   Subscribe

Good Saturday evening, MetaFilter! Tonight, wenestvedt wants to know what book you'd like to see made into a movie (/prestige TV, we live in a golden age), and why. And you can also include dream casting if you have it!
posted by Eyebrows McGee to MetaFilter-Related at 5:00 PM (132 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

Belinda Blinked, because it’d be hilarious. I think that Helena Bonham Carter would make an excellent Dutchess. I have no idea about Belinda.
posted by iamkimiam at 5:16 PM on September 30 [4 favorites]


I want to see the story of the maple syrup heist turned into a charming whimsical dark comedy with a cozy, small-town Cohen brothers/Twin Peaks sheriff's department sort of vibe.
With William H Macy, Matt Damon and George Clooney. And lots of flannel and sweaters.
posted by Grandysaur at 5:21 PM on September 30 [13 favorites]


I think Interface would make a great 3 or 4 episode miniseries.
posted by rmd1023 at 5:22 PM on September 30 [1 favorite]


I'd love to see Guy Gavriel Kay's Fionavar Tapestry could be fun. It probably wouldn't be done right. But there's something about this universe that would just be fun to watch come to life. Dave amongst the Dalrei, riding on the plains. Paul playing chess with the High King. It's something that would bring a smile to my face.
posted by Fizz at 5:32 PM on September 30 [4 favorites]


I would totally be in the front row if a collection of Wordshore's village tales was translated into a PBS mini-series.
posted by bookmammal at 5:32 PM on September 30 [29 favorites]


It's probably too soon, but I would like to see Sense and Sensibility made into a movie with an updated cast. Because this movie cannot be made too often.
posted by Short Attention Sp at 5:40 PM on September 30 [1 favorite]


Watchmen, but properly.

FROOMB.

The Fred Exely books.
posted by vrakatar at 5:50 PM on September 30 [2 favorites]


i want every book from the full aubrey-maturin series made into a series of movies (or a 21 season tv show) with the same cast as the first one, except someone more reasonable is playing barrett bonden, the brawny bareknuckle boxing champion of the entire channel fleet is not a hobbit, for fuck's sake
posted by poffin boffin at 5:56 PM on September 30 [10 favorites]


There needs to be a Flashman series. I mean, really, it's a sad comment on our current state of civilization that no one has even made a pathetic attempt at one. We, as a world, have adapted Ayn Rand and L. Ron Hubard's snooze fest, preach-a-polooza novels, yet not a single chapter of one of the best action adventure historical fiction series ever!

I know, I know, you're saying there are some... problematic... characters, to put it mildly, but nothing a crack team of writers can't spin. Swap a few minor characters' gender, race, sexuality, hell, species, for all I care and make it edgy and relevant. Look at the number we played on the moldy old Tudors for God's sake.

In my mind maybe Hugh Jackman in the titular role. Maybe Joseph Gordon Levitt if you want to go younger. So many good meaty roles, just throw out scripts and watch the talent roll in. HBO, Showtime, AMC? Do this and I'll give you fists full of cash. ALL THE GENTLEMAN CAD FLYING FISTS FULL!

*Ahem* So yeah. Flashman. Could be cool. Someone should look into that.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 5:59 PM on September 30 [4 favorites]


More of the Discworld books. The three they've done so far (Hogfather, The Colour of Magic, and Going Postal) were pretty great. Andrew Sachs was in Going Postal!
posted by kristi at 6:02 PM on September 30 [8 favorites]


Gravity's Rainbow, just so I could give up trying to read it.
posted by drlith at 6:06 PM on September 30 [4 favorites]


The City and The City. I'm not exactly sure how it would look done right, and that's pretty much why I'd like to see it.
posted by egregious theorem at 6:08 PM on September 30 [9 favorites]


I'd still love to see a faithful version of Frankenstein. Most of the filmed versions were miles away from Shelly's vision. Kenneth Branagh's version tried at least but was horribly overwrought, miscast and added some really annoying screenwriter motivational cliches with the dead mother and brother.
posted by octothorpe at 6:11 PM on September 30 [4 favorites]


If we're talking Miéville, Kracken would be pretty good, and I'd watch the pants off The Scar.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:12 PM on September 30 [6 favorites]


I second poffin boffin on the Aubrey/Maturin series, except for the one in which Stephen's wife becomes a balloonist, because that was just a little much.
posted by SLC Mom at 6:17 PM on September 30 [3 favorites]


I imagine Wordshore's Village to be a mix of James Herriott, Fawlty Towers, and Vicar of Dibley. I would love to see it as a long-running sitcom.

I think I'd like to see some of Charles DeLint's Newford novels made in to movies. Would have to be Canadian productions so they wouldn't have to move fast, and could be weird and beautiful.
posted by theora55 at 6:22 PM on September 30 [7 favorites]


Lem’s The Cyberiad, because I feel like the playfulness of the first half would adapt to screen well (assuming the hypothetical screenwriter hews closely to the Kandel translation), and because the second half is so mind-blowingly vast that even a well-intentioned failure of an adaptation could be amazing.
posted by ardgedee at 6:37 PM on September 30 [6 favorites]


This one's sort of obscure but I'd love to see the book The Valley of Decision turned into a miniseries. It's a family saga about the servant of a Pittsburgh steel family from the 1870s through the 1930s with some interesting things about class and race along the way. I'm a little biased because it is set in my neighborhood so it gave me a nice insight into how people lived here when the place was new. It was a movie in the forties with Gregory Peck and Greer Garson (and a tiny Dean Stockwell) but it's only the first quarter of the book and it grafts a Hollywood ending onto that.
posted by octothorpe at 6:38 PM on September 30 [1 favorite]


Roberto Bolaño's 2666. I finished it and experienced a mix of "Oh my God, that was amazing" and "What was that?," coupled with a strong urge to re-read it immediately.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:40 PM on September 30 [2 favorites]


I think I'd like to see some of Charles DeLint's Newford novels made in to movies. Would have to be Canadian productions so they wouldn't have to move fast, and could be weird and beautiful.

Onion Girl. :)
posted by Fizz at 6:56 PM on September 30


Roberto Bolaño's 2666.

But how would you ever make that into a film that would not piss the readers?
posted by Mr. Yuck at 6:58 PM on September 30


The Navidson Record part of House of Leaves. No obnoxious Johnny Truant frame story, just the Navidson Record. I know the found footage horror move is a little stale at this point, but I've wanted a movie version of the Navidson Record since I read House of Leaves. In the right hands, it could be so good.
posted by yasaman at 7:10 PM on September 30 [3 favorites]


I'd love to see Guy Gavriel Kay's Fionavar Tapestry could be fun.

I've been rereading Kay and was thinking of starting some FanFare discussion, but wasn't sure how much interest there would be. Thinking I'd skip the Tapestry books though.

I think Lions of Al Rassan was optioned and was on the way towards getting made, but then nothing happened. With GoT winding up there might be some space for fantasy type stuff and I do think Kay's is great. Then again it could just all be spin offs.
posted by ODiV at 7:22 PM on September 30 [2 favorites]


Lem’s The Cyberiad, because I feel like the playfulness of the first half would adapt to screen well (assuming the hypothetical screenwriter hews closely to the Kandel translation), and because the second half is so mind-blowingly vast that even a well-intentioned failure of an adaptation could be amazing.

A quick aside: this translation is one of my favorite things to read aloud ever. I don't know if the original text mimics the rhythms and cadence of a children's book, but this translation nails it. I only discovered this by accident, but now I tell everyone I know (now including you fine folks of the 'filter). It's a wonderful little Easter egg hidden inside a nice bit of SF/F. Seriously, if I could, I'd monetize this book into the opposite of an audio book, where you could rent a small group of people to read it to. Fortunately, I'm lazy so now I just give away the idea for free.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 7:22 PM on September 30 [1 favorite]


John Varley's Titan trilogy. I always thought that would be an amazing movie, or, well, movies, there's a lot there.

In other non book and movie news my travel plans have been put on hold, again. And I'm not happy about it and the way it came about was. . . less than optimal. I really really hope there's a metatalktail someday that I'm posting to from the road.
posted by mygothlaundry at 7:34 PM on September 30


I'd love a European director to make a movie of Lem's Gruppenführer Louis XVI, with the wrinkle that it only currently exists as a fake review of a book of that name in his book A Perfect Vacuum.

Over the last couple of years I've realised that I have a terrible difficulty reading more than a paragraph or so at a time, which explains why I fucked up school so comprehensively. Reading for pleasure is fine, because I can just skip pages, and if they turn out to be important go back and find them. Anyway, a strategy I evolved for reading was to cast a book as a movie, and imagine it as I was reading it, otherwise I just drift away. So I do have cast lists for some of my favourite books. For example, for me Vimes is John Thaw in his prime (and I've long suspected Vimes was based on Morse), while Granny Weatherwax is Billie Whitelaw. Jane Horrocks as Magrat Garlick. And if we could go back thirty years to make the movie, they'd be perfect (now, of course, the first two are deceased and the latter is a bit mature for the role).

I once cast Hamlet with the actors from Breaking Bad (I set it on a cowboy ranch called Denmark), but the one I've not had time to do yet, but really want to, is my favourite fantasy novel ever (that is to say, the one I read when I was at the perfect age to have one's mind blown), Michael Moorcock's The Dancers at the End of Time.

No, it's not terribly well-known. I love it, though. And I want to do a read casting it entirely with actors from post-2005 Doctor Who.

(Matt Smith as Jherek Carnelian, Jenna Coleman would be strangely perfect for Amelia Underwood, Alex Kingston as the Iron Orchid, Peter Capaldi as Lord Jagged, and a number of others.)

This isn't something I expect to happen anywhere except the inside of my head. Although we finally have the visual effects capacity to do it, I don't know if the necessary budget could be gathered to the end of making a movie (or ideally a six-part series) of this very obscure book.

But you asked, and that's my answer.
posted by Grangousier at 7:34 PM on September 30 [2 favorites]


Octothorpe, I'm very fond of Marcia Davenport and Valley of Decision would be a good choice, but my favorite of her is The Constant Image, mostly set in Milan and about an American woman and an Italian man who enter into a sweeping affair. The push-pull between American and Italian mores is well portrayed.
posted by MovableBookLady at 7:45 PM on September 30 [1 favorite]


My standard answer to this question has been (for years) 'American Gods' so, uhh, more please?

Kristi mentioned above that it would be nice to see more of PTerrry's work adapted. I would dearly love to see an arc of 'Witches' stories done . Granny Weatherwax might be my favourite fictional character in any medium. The tone and style that, say, Going Postal was produced in wouldn't be very effective for showing how dangerous she could be; how consistently she needed to excercise her internal discipline. Ditto for any of the interesting Vimes centered novels.

If someone like HBO or Showtime were in a position to produce an adaptation that really embraced the seething anger that Terry Pritchett was so very good at, but needed to choose source material from a single novel, I would pick 'Night Watch'
"NO. THERE IS NO MORE TIME, EVEN FOR CAKE. FOR YOU, THE CAKE IS OVER. YOU HAVE REACHED THE END OF CAKE.”

I see there's a deal with Amazon to produce an adaptation of 'Snow Crash'. And Daniel Dae Kim is so much better than Hawaii 5-0....

Last of the immediate top-of-my-head suggestions isn't a literary adaptation but.... it could just be the circus south of the border these days but I'd all of these dollars over here to see what happened to Jen Bartlett's prognositication of Sam Seaborn's Presidential Ambitions.

posted by mce at 7:49 PM on September 30 [3 favorites]


Answering this for my daughter.

from: Nanukthedog
to: Annie Barrows
date: Sun, Nov 27, 2016 at 9:42 AM
subject: Ivy & Bean & 5 year old G

Hello!
We picked up all 10 books in Ivy & Bean last Christmas when my daughter was 4 and a half. Since then, my daughter and I have read the series at least 4 times. Ivy and Bean replaced frozen, are preferred over Junie B Jones, captivate her more than Babysitters, and have inspired her dreams and her interests. Your books inspire a great amount of inquisitiveness and imagination, as well as the strong desire on her part to just 'click' with someone. They are easily the single handed best 'bedtime behavior' stories on our shelf.

G is a little bit of Ivy and a lot of bit Bean, precocious, adventurous, imaginative, full of ideas, and ready to make them happen. She draws pictures of Ivy and Bean, and tells us stories about them. And, since I'm generally the one that has read them to her, its been great to see my daughter develop a great appetite for stories. At least once a week she asks us if there are any more Ivy and Bean books. We've told her no, encouraged her to make up her own stories, and otherwise helped her express her creativity around your characters. As a result, she's probably even more into Ivy and Bean that ever before. After answering the question a seemingly inane number of times - G and I have to ask you - the expert - will there ever be another Ivy and Bean adventure?

Thank you for your wonderful stories!

--

from: Annie Barrows
to: nanukthedog
date: Sun, Nov 27, 2016 at 8:20 PM
subject: RE: Ivy & Bean & 5 year old G
Dear nanuk and G,

I am so happy to hear that you’re liking Ivy and Bean, G. I like them a lot myself. In fact, I like them so much that—shhh, tiptoe, tiptoe, tiptoe—I wrote another book about them! Yay! Huzzah! Whee! That’s the good news. The bad news is that it’s going to be a looooong time before it’s published, because Sophie, who draws the pictures, is really busy. You’ll probably be the same age as Ivy and Bean by the time it comes out.

Maybe you can make up some more good stories about them in the meantime.

Whatever you do, have fun.

--

from: nanukthedog
to: Annie Barrows
date: Tue, Sep 5, 2017 at 3:44 PM
subject: Re: Ivy & Bean & 5 year old G

Hi Annie!
When last we left off G and I had read Ivy and Bean 4 times... I can now say... 4 is for the newly indoctrinated. We've read Clementine (Ivy and Bean have better ideas). We've read about the first half of Alice and Wonderland (It's not as good as Ivy and Bean). We've read Amelia Bedelia (She's funny, but she just doesn't listen). I've tried Ramona (wasn't allowed to finish). I've tried Rebekah Girl Detective (and read 8 of those). The Babysitter's Club 'is boring' (my wife had to endure that opinion). The Magic Treehouse books are 'Meh' comparative to how awesome Ivy and Bean are. If G had any say in things, you'd be receiving the Booker Prize. You are free to use that endorsement when reprinting you stories. She didn't say 'Booker Prize' but she did say you deserve an award for writing the best book ever.

Your books are still the go-to. We've read, and re-read, and re-re-read your books at this point likely as much as your editors. The pictures are mostly colored in. G has notes (?) in the margin when she likes something (where did she get that from?). These books are well-loved in a manner that I cannot do justice in describing. So, as the summer is over, I wanted you to know that her Ivy and Bean obsession has not diminished in the least. You have awoken her blossoming 6 year old spirit in a manner I would have expected from Virginia Woolf or Jane Austen when she hits her teenage years.

You've beat out Hello Kitty. You beat out Clara the Cookie Fairy. Pinkalicious is officially something she says 'I'm over it' about... and who teaches a 6 year old the phrase 'over it'? My wife is insane with no other books that my daughter is willing to entertain without injecting 'Ivy and Bean are better'. Well, she's got opinions, and she's not shy with sharing them.

Anyways. I've put off her daily requests of 'When is Ivy and Bean 11 coming out?' all summer... and yes, there was a summer camp for baby dolls for at least a week during July. So, to ask for a first grader, when is Ivy and Bean 11 coming out?

Regards,
-G and nanukthedog;

P.S. G would like you to make a movie, because Ivy and Bean are better than her brother's Lego Movies, or Captain Underpants, and so on and so on...

---

from: Annie Barrows
to: nanukthedog
date: Wed, Sep 6, 2017 at 1:39 PM
subject: RE: Ivy & Bean & 5 year old G

Hi G and nanukthedog,

You know what? There’s this company that puts out quizzes about books (to make reading competitive, yuck), and they’ve got one for each of the Ivy and Bean books. I took the quiz for Book 1 and I only got 9 out of 10. So since G may well be the world’s foremost expert on Ivy and Bean, when questions come up, I’m going to start referring them to her. I could use the help.

I’m also going to send your email to my editor in the hopes that it will move her steely heart sufficiently to tell me the pub date. I think it’s next fall sometime. In the meantime, though, I am worried that you can’t find anything you like to read, G. I’m with you on Amelia Bedelia; she gives me the shivers. But there’s got to be something out there. I’m thinking, thinking . . . Have you tried the Lulu books by Hilary McKay? They’re about a girl who loves animals. Unfortunately, my children hated books about animals, but I liked them, and Hilary McKay is wonderful. She also wrote a series of books about the Casson family, which I love with all my heart and you should try in 3 or 4 years. And, if you can find them, try The Quigleys by Simon Mason. These books made me laugh so hard I cried, not just once, but over and over again. I still laugh when I read them and I’ve read them a lot. I am deeply involved with the Little House on the Prairie books; I’ve read them dozens of times. You might try the first one and see what you think.

Otherwise, it’s To the Lighthouse for you, missy.

I’ll get back to you if my editor says anything helpful. Thanks for the fun email, you two.
Annie
posted by Nanukthedog at 7:53 PM on September 30 [13 favorites]


Argh - 'Jeb Bartlett'.
posted by mce at 7:58 PM on September 30


Michael Moorcock's The Dancers at the End of Time.

The Jerry Cornelius stories could be great as a TV series but could also be really terrible.
posted by octothorpe at 7:59 PM on September 30 [1 favorite]


"FADE" By Robert Cormier.
posted by KazamaSmokers at 8:15 PM on September 30 [1 favorite]


Roberto Bolaño's 2666

This seems like such a difficult movie to adapt that I've spent some time thinking about one might go about it just as a way of understanding what happens in the book. It might be possible to make this a film or a limited season of television by combining the plots of the first and last section if you opened it with the critics wondering about the Archimboldi and looking for him, ending up in Juárez, and wove the Part About Archimboldi with the group's journey, and interspersing what's going on in Juárez. I'd open the movie with a zoom in on that image of a book hung on a clothesline, then cut to either Liz Norton running out into the rain to get another one of his books and/or the "boy of seaweed". Or maybe even just one of the factory girls walking home. And through it all, the grinding poverty of Juárez and the complete indifference. But oh geez it would be a challenge, wouldn't it?

My only problem with a movie adaptation is that it would destroy my image of A., which is very very strong - I can't think of anyone off the top of my head that would fill the role. And while it would not be as pleasurable or all encompassing of the book, as all adaptations disappoint us, I've always felt this book is. . .it's an experience that you go through, is my lame-ass way of putting it. (Seriously, I feel like it changed my DNA or something.)

Anyway. My personal choice for a movie, which has been particularly on my mind lately since it looks like they made what looks like an all glorifying, romanticizing type movie about the Yarnell Fire, would be Norman Maclean's Young Men and Fire. The movie in my mind would not just include the Mann Gulch fire but, as one critic put it, "the old man grabbing at the dried grass on the same slope thirty years later, trying to keep himself upright long enough to get get it all down." It would be quite a different movie about wildland firefighters, that's for sure. (A movie about the 1910 fires, maybe based off the book The Big Burn, by Timothy Egan, showing Ed Pulaski, Forest Ranger, saving all the men's lives and then going on to refine the fire tool that now bears his name would also be terrific.) I'd like to see Norman Maclean played by James Cromwell, and Wag Dodge, with his just marvelously insightful, yet totally not followed, invention of an escape fire, would be played by Tom Hardy.
posted by barchan at 8:24 PM on September 30 [2 favorites]


Georgette Heyer's regency romances would make excellent movies/miniseries. The more cravats the better!
posted by h00py at 8:30 PM on September 30 [9 favorites]


Barchan, Young Men and Fire remains one of my best books ever-thanks for bringing it back up.
posted by purenitrous at 8:34 PM on September 30 [1 favorite]


Today I learned that of the four series that first came to mind, three apparently already have shows in the works! I can't wait to see Sex Criminals become a TV show. I really hope the Discovery of Witches show, from the All Souls trilogy, comes out well—it deserves a good adaptation. And oh my God, an Amber TV show, based on Roger Zelazny's series, would just be marvelous. Then I thought of Jeff Smith's Bone series, and allegedly that's also getting a movie adaptation.

Then there's The Sandman, which someone, please, needs to make into a beautiful, dark, faithful TV rendition. Neil Gaiman wants it. They can take their time with it, though, if there's any chance of it becoming like Lucifer. (He's a blond, for God's sake!) If it's like American Gods, though, yes please.

Looks like finally some William Gibson works are getting adaptations: Neuromancer and Hinterlands. I'd really like to see Pattern Recognition become a movie, though, because Cayce Pollard.

I looked at my shelf of Orson Scott Card books and remembered I still need to watch the Ender's Game movie; I'm so afraid it won't be anything like my head canon, though. Looks like Neal Stephenson's Seveneves is also getting adapted for film, which yay. I'd probably rather see The Diamond Age as a once-proposed miniseries; Stephenson has expressed doubts about adapting his novels like Cryptonomicon. Vernor Vinge's Rainbows End could also be a great movie. F. Scott Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise has somehow never been adapted, and it could do with some sweet, melancholy, beautiful young actors to bring it to life. Apparently Brian Wood's DMZ got passed up for a Syfy series a few years ago, and that would also still make a good one. There was rumor of a miniseries for George R. Stewart's Earth Abides last year, but nothing seems to have come of it thus far. Robin Sloan's Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore would be a fun movie.

A lot of my other favorites have already been adapted successfully, though there are probably a few Philip K. Dick adaptations I have yet to see. I was on a catchup kick a while back, but I think there are a few left in my various queues. I wished for more works about physics and romance and got Genius, which a friend works on and I need to catch up on. But I'll always take more about physics, hacking, and other brilliant geeks of all kinds... I feel like Infinity really did not do Richard Feynman's stories justice, and that could be revisited.

I love Mike Carey and Peter Gross' The Unwritten, C.J. Cherryh's Fortress series, and Vernor Vinge's A Fire Upon the Deep, but all three are unfilmable as far as I can see—you would lose so much that wouldn't translate visually. I had something else on the tip of my tongue that made me think "There's no way that would ever work," but can't recall it right now. But those are a few things I'd totally watch!
posted by limeonaire at 8:36 PM on September 30 [1 favorite]


Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, as directed by John Sayles.
posted by stowaway at 8:44 PM on September 30 [4 favorites]


I would also totally watch a movie based off the Oral History of the Baby Got Back Music Video, I'm not kidding.
posted by barchan at 8:46 PM on September 30 [1 favorite]


"Tunnel in the Sky" -- By Robert A Heinlein.

The numerous political crises of the fledgling colony illustrate the need for legitimacy in a government appropriate for the society it administers, another common theme in Heinlein's books. In both its romanticization of the pioneer and its glorification of Homo sapiens as the toughest player in the Darwinian game, it presages themes developed further in books like Time Enough for Love and Starship Troopers. Unusual for science fiction at the time, but quite typical of Heinlein's works, the novel portrays several competent and intelligent female characters.

Heinlein Society member and researcher Robert James has noted that Heinlein wrote a letter in which he "firmly states" that Rod Walker is black. According to James, "The most telling evidence is that everybody in 'Tunnel' expects Rod to end up with Caroline, who is explicitly described as black." In recognition of this, the cover illustration of a Full Cast Audio version of the work was revised to "show Rod with his correct ethnicity."

It's one of my favorite books, even though it's not as popular as some of his other stuff. It's a simple premise thoughtfully and competently done, and for a book written in 1954 - far ahead of it's time. RAH does have his flaws as an author, but they aren't on display in this work, and I think it'd make a fine movie.

While we're talking about formative books - I had this quote pinned up in my locker at high school :
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."
And it's something I've always tried to embody throughout my life. One of the things I love most about my wife is that she is willing to learn and gain competence in something new. She doesn't say, for example, "I need you to hang the new curtain rods today". She says "teach me how to hang curtain rods" and then she does it. Since I taught her how to do complex cuts with the miter saw, she's gone nuts with wood crafts. She's amazing.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:05 PM on September 30 [4 favorites]


I'd like to see someone who was actually a fan of the work direct a remake of Starship Troopers. I envision it as a short miniseries, maybe 6-10 hours in 1 hour blocks. Each hour would be split like Law and Order with the top half featuring Rico and his power armour and the bottom half flashback to History and Moral Philosophy.
posted by Mitheral at 9:07 PM on September 30


I would love to see The Stars My Destination, it would translate so perfectly to the screen, I can't understand how nobody's done it yet. It's already structured just like a movie, scenes just the right lengths, good balance between action sequences and talky sequences, not much inner monologue, not too many or too few characters. (Bester's radio/Hollywood background coming through perhaps?)

And it could be a real movie movie, there are so many opportunities for the different crafts to showcase their work. Costumes during the ball at Presteign's mansion. Makeup in the zoo of freaks and in the Scientific People's asteroid. Sound design in the depths of Gouffre Martel--a really daring director could even do most of that sequence in pitch black, relying purely on sound. And of course SFX in space and in the synesthesia sequence. Stuff that would really provide a good reason to see it in a theater.
posted by equalpants at 9:11 PM on September 30 [8 favorites]


Today I learned that ... three apparently already have shows in the works!

Yeah, the adaptations in development that turned up for me were Uzumaki, The Last Policeman, We Are All Completely Fine, and Lexicon.

A few other SF/F titles that might be interesting as films/mini-series are The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, Seraphina (here's how Rachel Hartman might cast it), MM9, and A City Dreaming. I think The Canine Kalevala would also be neat to see as an animated film (I did find a trailer for an opera based on it!).
posted by Wobbuffet at 9:19 PM on September 30 [1 favorite]


Stars my Destination!
I was just coming to say that!

Also Nemesis or any other Ms. Marple with Dame Judy Dench. Because if you haven't read them yet, the Miss Marple novels are approximately one million times under valued.
posted by From Bklyn at 9:26 PM on September 30 [3 favorites]


i would LOVE a proper mini series adaptation of "World War Z". just re-reading all the interviews felt like the existing movie found the worst way possible to bring this to the big screen.
posted by alchemist at 10:05 PM on September 30 [8 favorites]


I read the first couple of books, but then tried them in audiobook format and I've so utterly fallen in love with Kobna Holdbrook-Smith's characterization of Peter Grant (and...all the other characters) in Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London series that I want to see them on the screen, but I can't figure out how to have KHS be all the characters in a screen version.

Seriously, these are awesome audiobooks because he is awesome. I've listened to them more than once just because he is so great.
posted by rtha at 10:18 PM on September 30 [4 favorites]


The Left Hand of Darkness, because awesome.

But then again I fear the hypothetical adaptation would inevitably ruin its awesomeness.
posted by runcifex at 11:40 PM on September 30


I want a TV series and/or multiple movies set in Iain M Banks' Culture. Doesn't have to be the plots of his books, necessarily, although that would be great too. I just want to be able to vicariously live in that setting for a while.
posted by lollusc at 1:17 AM on October 1 [4 favorites]


The City and The City. I'm not exactly sure how it would look done right, and that's pretty much why I'd like to see it.

It's being adapted by BBC 2 for a 2018 release. I'm also wondering how it's possible to adapt it since the book uses the reader's imagination to create a fantasy that may or may not exist in the reality of the book.
posted by elgilito at 2:01 AM on October 1 [2 favorites]


As much as I loved our FanFare oxytocin raves, I'd like to get a do-over on Under The Dome. Why? I'd like to see the good version.
posted by Room 641-A at 3:27 AM on October 1


> [the Kandel translation of "The Cyberiad"] is one of my favorite things to read aloud ever. I don't know if the original text mimics the rhythms and cadence of a children's book, but this translation nails it.

I attended a panel discussion featuring Kandel, about translating SF. If I recall what he had to say (it was a long time ago), Lem could read English fluently but not write it, so Kandel corresponded with him regarding any changes, submitted with samples for approval. Particularly to make the language-specific stories read naturally in English, and earned Lem's endorsement for the resulting translations. Without this effort, chapters like "Trurl's Electronic Bard", which only made sense with wordplay intact, would be unimaginable.
posted by ardgedee at 3:44 AM on October 1 [3 favorites]


Is it weird that I want to see the adventures of Taran, Assistant Pig-keeper of Caer Dallben, realized for a modern audience? Live, not that animated Disney garbage that ruined the franchise for decades. This was the first book series that ever made me cry. I was practically apoplectic when Fflewddur Fflam burned his precious harp to keep the company warm during dire times.
posted by xyzzy at 4:26 AM on October 1 [2 favorites]


I want to see good productions of the Canterbury Tales and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in two cuts each: school edition (Middle English and faithful to the original story) and commercial edition (modern English with a more commercial edit as needed).

And I want to see Shakespeare's plays as you might have seen them done on their first runs, with men and boys playing the parts, speaking in original accents, etc. Try to reproduce everything behind the scenes, too, with cameras running on makeup, costume changes, and so on.
posted by pracowity at 4:47 AM on October 1 [3 favorites]


I really want to see A Confederacy of Dunces,apparently one of most cursed book-to-film productions of all time. It's one of those books I refuse to mentally cast because nobody could do justice to my own image of Ignatius.

Having said that, it would be awesomesauce if Wes Anderson and Spike Lee both made it.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 6:01 AM on October 1


Maybe So You Want to Be a Wizard, just because it's such an iconic book for me (part of my childhood gateway to SF/fantasy, along with Dragonflight and Elfquest), and it's full of awesome visuals--Nita stepping out onto the air bridge 70 stories up, the Lotus in the dark Manhattan, the statues coming to life, you name it.
They would have to cast the handsomest red-headed actor around to play the Lone Power, but I have no clue who that would be.
posted by huimangm at 6:12 AM on October 1 [2 favorites]


The best book I have read in the last year, and that would, in the hands of the right director, make a very good miniseries, is Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama. It would need one of those directors who specialize in slow-paced and complicated stories like Top of the Lake -- a movie adaptation would feel too compressed because there is so much going, but a miniseries would have the space to do it.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:40 AM on October 1


I'd like to see Tom Holland's "Rubicon" and Annette Gordon-Reed's "The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family" adapted to a TV series. I love history and would like to see more of it on TV (without becoming too fictionalized).
posted by jazzbaby at 7:00 AM on October 1


Phule's Company would make a great movie. Maybe with Will Farrell as Phule.
posted by Mitheral at 7:17 AM on October 1 [1 favorite]


The Steerswoman series would be amazing, and also literally impossible for Hollywood to make, purely for shitty Hollywood reasons.

Also, Bridge of Birds as a PG adventure series would be fantastic.

(On edit, Steerswoman was autocorrected to Steersman, much in the way a Hollywood adaptation would destroy the source material)
posted by Literaryhero at 7:31 AM on October 1 [4 favorites]


I am desperately waiting for a TV series-adaptation of Laurie R. King's Holmes-and-Russell enterprise, and what do you think, someone's actually negotiating this, as it appears (...scroll a little down)...
posted by Namlit at 7:43 AM on October 1 [4 favorites]


On the other hand, the Louise Penny series about inspector Gamache and friends should probably be done by Pixar. It's just too cute and not-of-this-world for real actors...
posted by Namlit at 7:46 AM on October 1


One of Peter Bowen's Gabriel Du Pre books, but only if they're done well --- a bad or Hollywood-ized version would be worse than nothing. I'd especially like to see movies or miniseries of Coyote Wind, Wolf No Wolf, or Notches. Afraid I can't think of good casting for them though.
posted by easily confused at 8:46 AM on October 1 [2 favorites]


Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock; Little Big by John Crowley
posted by dhruva at 9:01 AM on October 1 [4 favorites]


The Jerry Cornelius stories could be great as a TV series but could also be really terrible.

To fit the source material, it should be both at the same time.

Preferably as a TV show with each episode directed by a different person, filmed in a different place, with different actors (except a few who would recur but in different roles in each episode).
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:16 AM on October 1 [2 favorites]


Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock; Little Big by John Crowley

If only! But I would be so so afraid.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:16 AM on October 1 [2 favorites]


Maybe Grant Morrison's The Invisibles.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:17 AM on October 1


Okay, this is going to seem out of left field, but for decades I've wanted to see (well, I've wanted to write and/or direct) an adaptation of Trevanian's (best known for The Eiger Sanction and Shibumi) Summer of Katya.

It's been 34 years since I read the novel, and there may be numerous aspects of it that are problematic that I didn't recognize then, but since the night I finished it, I've had a very strong idea of a potential screenplay and the photography and direction. There's so much potential for a great movie -- as in the novel, the movie should have a dreamy, idyllic, romantic feel with a growing subterranean tension, and the denouement would come in an explosive final fifteen minutes.

I have a friend who is a producer (she produced the Traveling Pants movies and Prisoner, her husband is producing the upcoming Blade Runner movie) and for years (though no longer) I idly daydreamed about her being an "in" for me -- and I've always known that what I'd really like to do would be an adaptation of The Summer of Katya.

I guess there are certain books that can really capture one's fancy for an adaptation -- not jut because you like it, but because for some reason you just have this quite vivid conception of the potential film.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:32 AM on October 1 [1 favorite]


Margaret Atwood has had two high profile adaptations of her work recently--The Handmaid's Tale and Alias Grace--so maybe I'll get to see the MaddAddam trilogy (Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood, and MaddAddam) on screen sometime soon after all. HBO dropped the Aronofsky adaptation, but perhaps it'll be freed up for someone else.

It's such a visually rich series (pigoons, mohairs, the Crakers, the Tails and Scales club...) that I couldn't help picturing the on screen adaptation while reading the books.

My all-Canadian dream cast...

Toby: Sandra Oh
Ren: Ellen Page
Amanda: Tatiana Maslany
Lucerne: Molly Parker
Pilar: Carrie-Anne Moss
Glenn (Crake): Jay Baruschel
Jimmy (Snowman): Michael Cera
Oryx: Ellen Wong
older Adam One: Victor Garber
older Zeb: Ryan Gosling
The Rev: Donald Sutherland
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:05 AM on October 1 [4 favorites]


I had never thought of this before but Excellent Women (which I've recommended here in the past) might make a very good movie if done carefully.
posted by dilettante at 10:20 AM on October 1 [3 favorites]


Because I am a sadist, I would love to see an attempt to adapt Speech Sounds by Octavia Butler (probably spoilers). Full text: pdf. Because I deeply love this story and pretty much all of Butler, I would love to see someone succeed.

And, agreed, I can't think of a way to film The City and the City and retain the ambiguity that makes it such a great book. That's probably why we have professional filmmakers though.
posted by stet at 10:44 AM on October 1


I think Gene Wolfe's New Sun and Long Sun books would make great SF adaptations. There are lots of strange and dramatic set pieces and you could do some interesting things with casting - basically (a) it's the far future and (b) most of the series takes place in South America so you could have a very mixed cast. Women get a pretty raw deal in the books but there are characters you could build up a lot more - particularly Agia as the adversary to Severian.

Other thoughts - Dune but done properly. I'd also like to see a TV version of Halo Jones.
posted by crocomancer at 11:26 AM on October 1 [3 favorites]


I'd really like to see a good adaptation of Asimov's Foundation trilogy, with real production values. No idea on casting, but I'd like to see most of the cast of Hamilton in it. I see it as about 7 seasons, a la Game of Thrones .

Oh yeah, Anthony Hopkins as the Hari Seldon hologram.
posted by pjern at 11:34 AM on October 1


i want a well made adult version of Dhalgren.
posted by Splunge at 11:34 AM on October 1 [2 favorites]


That would be interesting.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:51 AM on October 1


The Wind Up Bird Chronicle. I think animation would work best.
posted by Stonkle at 12:00 PM on October 1


I would like to see the Tortall books - but especially the Kel books - made into a series of some sort. Dream casting means a bit of time travel. Hailee Steinfeld aging into Gwendoline Christie for Keladry. Dame Judi Dench (but younger) as grownup Alanna. Older Oscar Isaac as George Cooper. I'm not sure about Raoul - Clive Owen, maybe, or Jake Gylenhaal. Amandla Stenberg as Daine.
posted by ChuraChura at 12:43 PM on October 1 [4 favorites]


I’ve been saying for years that the first six books in the Cherry Ames Nurse series (the ones set during World War II) would make a great prestige TV series. Call the Midwife meets The Crimson Field meets Land Girls meets Bomb Girls meets Nancy Drew. They were written for a younger audience, but it’s become cool for all ages to enjoy YA books now.

Unfortunately, the U.S. military was segregated at the time, so there are no African-American characters in Cherry’s unit. But one of her fellow nurses is Chinese-American and as flushed out as any of the supporting characters. I don't remember anything racially disrespectful in the books set in South America or the Pacific Theater. And there’s nothing to say that characters in the civilian hospital where she gets her training, or the soldiers that she treats, couldn't be played buy actors of color.

I'm afraid I don't really know too many of the actresses out there of the right age to play Cherry and her comrades, so I'd probably try to audition a lot of unknowns.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:42 PM on October 1 [4 favorites]


I am deeply involved with the Little House on the Prairie books

A faithful adaptation of any of those could be really interesting!

And doubleplus likes four miles high for The Stars My Destination!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:53 PM on October 1 [1 favorite]


Walter Scott's The Bride of Lammermoor has possibilities, if one could get a production team attuned to how weird it is (including the assorted Macbeth allusions).

Speaking of weird, James Hogg's The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner might work if given a really surreal treatment, although they'd have to fit in a theology explainer somewhere.

William Godwin's The Adventures of Caleb Williams as a proto-detective mystery miniseries.

I've long thought that you could do a fun anthology series based on Victorian ghost/horror stories--Braddon, Riddell, Le Fanu, the whole crowd.

I wonder if Michael Chabon's The Final Solution would go over as an indie or TV film. (It's a Sherlock Holmes novel, and yet we are never told that the detective is Sherlock Holmes. There's some overlap with A Slight Trick of the Mind/Mr. Holmes.)

Given the recent uproar, I vote for Marianne Wiggins' Lord of the Flies but with girls, John Dollar.
posted by thomas j wise at 2:14 PM on October 1


A few pictures from the last nine days, of variable quality (new camera, pedantic to use) in a new Flickr album. More specifically, from two Druid equinox rituals/rites, two harvest festivals, a Taize prayer, a harvest festival lunch, a harvest festival supper, and one I can't quite place but that's not a surprise as events are blurring into one.

Not photographed by me: the random village church I nearly passed until I saw a sign "Harvest festival, followed by cake. All welcome.", a home made jam tasting contest, the Inter-faith meeting where my friendly vicar provided some awesome miniature lime cheesecakes (they were seriously good), two charity cake stands late last week, and a lunchtime cheese fondue experience I won in a raffle.

In distracting news, I've put on weight for the first time in three years, which has been a bit of a shock and I'm baffled by this. So much for the "Eat muesli every breakfast" advice, huh.

+ + + + +

A few random notes made through that time:

"Ah, dammit, vicar is working the room with a camera. I must look serious and not be ramming a miniature lime cheesecake into my mouth when she gets to my group. John - look intense and serious. Focus!"

Church elder: Just how many harvest festival meals are you going to this week?
Me: That is an ecumenical matter.

Me to fellow Druid, on top of hill: Is she with us?
Fellow Druid: {Frowns, stares through telescope for a while} Nope. Cosplay.

"Oh God another plate of home made cake. Is baking the only thing people in this village do? ...
The vicar is just starting his fourth slice. He enthusiastically says "Praise the Lord!" before every one. ...
I have gone to the pub 30 second walk away, where I cannot be surrounded by cake. Because cake fatigue is a thing. ...
Bloody hell. Two of the villagers from the Harvest Festival supper have appeared in the pub. With large plates of sliced cake."

"Wood smoke and church incense both have similar, slightly mind-bending, qualities."
posted by Wordshore at 3:28 PM on October 1 [8 favorites]


Ryu Murakami's Coin Locker Babies, as a live action film, edited in the style of Run Lola Run. (On skimming the wikipedia article, someone already made this film‽ Why wasn't I told! I know what I'm doing tonight.)

Alastair Reynolds' Revelation Space series, directed by Terry Gilliam, with the budget of recent Star Wars films.

Nabokov's Ada or Ardor, directed by Lars Von Trier. Ideally, using only amateur actors, all of whom barely speak English, have memorized their lines phonetically, and are encouraged to throw in random improvised dialogue in their native languages.
posted by eotvos at 3:56 PM on October 1


That would be interesting.

Yeah. The book is huge. And it has intersecting narratives due to the marginal story lines. Much like House of Leaves. How the hell do you integrate them? Flashbacks? Dreamlike? How fragmented can a movie be before you completely lose the audience? And let's face it, the audience has to be new. It's by no means a mainstream novel. So how true to the story can you be and still make money? None. None true.

As much as I want it I know it will never happen. ::sigh::
posted by Splunge at 4:07 PM on October 1 [1 favorite]

I'd like to see someone who was actually a fan of the work direct a remake of Starship Troopers. I envision it as a short miniseries, maybe 6-10 hours in 1 hour blocks. Each hour would be split like Law and Order with the top half featuring Rico and his power armour and the bottom half flashback to History and Moral Philosophy.
Hmmmmm. In the interest of trying not to yuck other people's yum. . . I'll just say that I'd love to see the same crew who made the Starship Troopers film take on other classic SF works with the same sensibility. I'd watch the hell out of a sarcastic Verhoeven take on The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress or the Foundation series.
posted by eotvos at 4:10 PM on October 1 [2 favorites]


I've always thought that James Blish's Cities In Flight, which is a series of four books that encompasses anti-gravity, the development of an anti-death drug complete with the ethical problems of who gets to have the drug and who doesn't, based on income ("millions now living will never die!") plus the whole fake religion that grows up around it, and on and on, I mean, what's not to love, am I right?

Oh and of course, Ed Asner for the part of Mayor Amalfi!!!!
posted by Lynsey at 4:49 PM on October 1 [1 favorite]


I'm reading an article by the anthropologist James A. Boon that makes me want to scream at the top of my lungs. I guess it must be fun to write incredibly dense, opaque prose, but ugh. Ugh! I just want to reach through the book and grab his hands to stop him from typing. I want to go back in time and stop him from writing words like "museuminess" and "melancholymirth." I would beg him to stop using the word "museum" the way Batman uses the word "bat": "museum-essays," "museum-reading," "museum-remembering."

"Write clearly!" I would shout at him. "Just say what you mean!" Nobody should have to parse a sentence about "the museumgoer's museum-memories."

I would watch a movie of that article, or just a short film of someone explaining what the hell I'm supposed to get out of it.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 6:09 PM on October 1 [2 favorites]


"Nabokov's Ada or Ardor, directed by Lars Von Trier. Ideally, using only amateur actors, all of whom barely speak English, have memorized their lines phonetically, and are encouraged to throw in random improvised dialogue in their native languages."

Don't encourage von Trier. Bad shit happens when you do.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:21 PM on October 1 [1 favorite]


Also, I would like to make a decree that no one can quote something in another language without providing a translation. "But as Proust argued, [statement in French]. We therefore see that..." NO! BAD! WRONG! Don't do that!

Also, if your references make your essay harder to read, why include them? "Any such notes resemble a personal maro ura or Tarahoi." Oh, thanks for clearing that up! I'm glad we got to have this clear, to-the-point conversation.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 6:54 PM on October 1 [1 favorite]


Also, I would like to make a decree that no one can quote something in another language without providing a translation. "But as Proust argued, [statement in French]. We therefore see that..." NO! BAD! WRONG! Don't do that!

I tried to read a book in grad school that had untranslated quotes in four languages, including ancient Greek. I didn't make it very far, since I don't have one of those old-school educations that included both classical and modern languages.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:20 PM on October 1


Dorothy Sayers did that untranslated stuff all the damn time! Pissed me off!

Anyhow, I'd like to see the Modesty Blaise novels given a respectful treatment, probably a long-running TV series (there are 13 books (two of which are short-stories), and not that campy mess from the 1960s or the made-up prequel from a few years ago (with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau of GoT as the villain). Nobody seems to understand the premise: she's a refugee in WW II camps, makes her way to Morocco, fights her way up to run a criminal enterprise, retires at 26. However, she and her righthand man, Willie Garvin, don't quite know what to do with themselves and have a tendency to fall into scenarios requiring use of their particular skills, sometimes for the British govt. She's a complex character; she's not a female James Bond. Here's a good essay. Last Great Adventure Strip which talks mostly about the strip that ran for over 40 years, but also discusses the novels, which are more fully fleshed out. Not only are the characters interesting, the villains are very well done, and there's lots of British-style humor. Over the years, I've had lots of dream casts but they all age and then I have to choose new ones.
posted by MovableBookLady at 7:41 PM on October 1


Trust me, that education probably wouldn't have helped.

I've forgotten almost all the ancient Greek I learned . . . and I pretty much sucked at it at the time, anyway. For so much hard work, it seems unfair to have lost it so thoroughly.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:41 PM on October 1


Dorothy Sayers did that untranslated stuff all the damn time! Pissed me off!

Umberto Eco did it in The Name of the Rose. I had the book in high school, but I couldn't get through it because characters kept saying stuff in Latin and French (and other languages, I'm sure). Then later, I found out there was a companion book called The Key to the Name of the Rose, which included translations for all that stuff. But by the time I bought a copy of it, I realized I had lost my copy of Eco's book, so I gave up and never read it. I mean, at that point it was just a hassle.

I would like to see an adaptation of that one. I mean, I know one exists (with Sean Connery, right?), but I've never seen it, and I would like to.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 7:56 PM on October 1


It's pretty good, actually.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:34 PM on October 1


I'm absolutely with hurdy gurdy girl on Atwood's MaddAddam trilogy. When I ready Oryx and Crake I had horrible nightmares for a week then read it again because it was so good. The storytelling is visually evocative and the hymns from Year of the Flood have already been set to music for soundtrack!

Also, I can't understand why Parable of the Sower hasn't been made into a movie.
posted by centrifugal at 8:39 PM on October 1 [3 favorites]


"Georgette Heyer's regency romances would make excellent movies/miniseries. The more cravats the better!"

Yes. Why has the BBC not already done this?

"Starship Troopers"


As a non-fan of the book I am a big fan of the existing movie!

"World War Z"

Yes! A great book with great movie/miniseries potential, totally squandered in the existing adaptation.

"I would like to see the Tortall books - but especially the Kel books - made into a series of some sort."

Also my top pick. They're great female-centric YA with all the heroic and fantasy elements Hollywood is currently totally into, and big time serializable. SOMEONE DO THIS.

I’ve been saying for years that the first six books in the Cherry Ames Nurse series (the ones set during World War II) would make a great prestige TV series.

I would be so there for this. Cherry Ames is my big-time comfort reading!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 8:55 PM on October 1 [3 favorites]


Nix's Sabriel. - film
Ancillary Justice. - miniseries. Michael Ealy to play Seivarden.
The Traitor Baru Cormorant - prestige drama
Small Gods. - bbc three parter
A historical drama about Adriaan van der Donk - film
And Blindsight - SyFy series
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:16 PM on October 1


Italo Calvino's If on a winter's night a traveler.

Anything by Jasper Fforde.

I think One Hundred Years of Solitude would make a great 7-season prestige show.

Maybe a Black Mirror-style show based on the works of Jorge Luis Borges.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 9:17 PM on October 1 [4 favorites]


C. J. Cherryh, The Chanur Saga (Pride of Chanur, Chanur's Venture, The Kif Strike Back)

Anne McCaffrey, The Ship Who Sang

Terry Pratchett, Discworld, particularly anything with Granny Weatherwax or Tiffany Aching
posted by TrishaU at 9:27 PM on October 1 [2 favorites]


Still waiting on that At Swim, Two Birds movie.
posted by thivaia at 9:31 PM on October 1 [1 favorite]


I would like to see The Quincunx be properly adapted, but doubt very much it will happen. To do it justice - to not ditch much of the detail or the scope, and to fully explain the intricacies and the families - would take a lot of time and a big budget. Even though it's just one book (though one very long one, with various essential diagrams in it), probably five series of 8 to 10 one hour episodes each. David Simon of The Wire could have a go at it, but to do it properly is going to take several years of someone's life and career.

And if it can't be done properly, to give it justice, don't do it at all. A case in point being the TV adaptation of Stephen King's The Stand, which ... just should have been left alone as an excellent novel.
posted by Wordshore at 6:23 AM on October 2


Any/All Vesper Holly books--fierce young brilliant female Indiana Jones? I'm there.
Quest for a Maid -- coming of age tale with witchcraft, medieval drama, awesome characters, interesting history? Yup.
In the right hands Lamb: the Gospel according to Biff could be great. Jason Segal could be a good adult Biff.
posted by emkelley at 7:32 AM on October 2


I would watch the heck out of a Zodiac movie. In my dream land, the story would still be set in the Reagan/Greenpeace 80s, so the lead could still be a sexist know-it-all, but the movie would have awareness of sexism so there would be some three dimensional female characters.
posted by latkes at 8:08 AM on October 2 [3 favorites]


Hey, thank y'all for all the books that just got added to the To Read list!

Maybe a Black Mirror-style show based on the works of Jorge Luis Borges
That is a fucking awesome idea!
posted by barchan at 8:38 AM on October 2


ODiV, I'd be down for Fanfare discussion of Kay. Please do include the Fionovar Tapestry, though - maybe as one entry if that's easier? I don't know which of his works would be the most filmable, really. Ysabel, maybe, but you'd lose the Fionovar resonances.

I have been waiting and waiting for the Heyer books to be turned into miniseries. Where are they?

I would love a really good tv series made from the Travis McGee books. Period settings, of course. I have no idea who should play Travis, though.

They tried to do a Harry Dresden series that didn't stick, although it was fun. Possibly a big-budget attempt at the Cursor series would make a series that started out fun, but which really lost me within a few books, more workable.

I want an awesome movie based on the poison scandal/witches of Paris history. There are several non-fiction books on it, but a non-fiction source would be The Oracle Glass, by Judith Merkle Riley. Witchcraft, nobility, sex, fabulous costumes, people allied together who don't trust each other, strong women, bringing down a king, police stories...it's got everything.

The Rivers of London books are surely going to be made into a tv series, right? Right?
posted by PussKillian at 8:53 AM on October 2 [3 favorites]


(Yay, this is a fun thread! But I missed it because I was camping out in the cold with the Boy Scouts.)

I think that the planet Majipoor that features in so many books by Robert Silverberg would be fun to explore, whether the novels were followed or not.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:28 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]


I would like to see A Wizard of Earthsea but I can't decide whether animation or live action+CGI would be better.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:28 AM on October 2


And I have often enjoyed the hell out of Daniel Keys Moran's books about the last telepath being hunted down by Earth's government (and their French-speaking cyborg super-cops!) in space. Full text of the three books: Emerald Eyes, The Long Run, and The Last Dancer are online with, I do believe the author's blessing.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:28 AM on October 2


Michael Chabon's Gentlemen of the Road (NYT review) was a great read, though I fear that some of the fun language might be lost (unless they got Ron Howard as The Narrator??).
posted by wenestvedt at 9:33 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]


Puss Killian: I would love a really good tv series made from the Travis McGee books. Period settings, of course. I have no idea who should play Travis, though.

Oh, yeah.

Maybe they could use Mark (Marky Marky and the Funky Bunch) Walhberg? James Franco? It needs to be a face with some miles on it, but still handsome.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:41 AM on October 2


I Am Radar by Reif Larsen was a novel that blew me away when it came out two years ago. It has moribund communications technologies, elaborate traveling avant-garde marionette shows, mysterious activities in far-flung lands, conspiracy theories, clandestine political movements, and pretty much anything else I'd want from a new Terry Gilliam film. However, if Ava DuVernay pulls off A Wrinkle In Time like it seems she's going to (and that's a book adaptation I've vehemently resisted my whole life), then I'd gladly hand it to her instead.
posted by mykescipark at 10:06 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]


I'm still holding out hope that one day Chabon's The Yiddish Policemen's Union will become a Cohen brothers film.

If all of Atwood's novels were made into film/TV series, I'd be happy, but I'd be happiest about Blind Assassin.

My childhood wish is that Nancy Willard's Things Invisible to See would be made into a movie. It deserves a much larger audience.
posted by gladly at 11:20 AM on October 2 [3 favorites]


The Artemis Fowl series would make the best TV series, but I guess they are turning it into a movie (released in 2019) and the first one is combining the first two books. I really don't want another Golden Compass where half the story gets thrown out and many people who didn't read the books are lost. Game of Thrones, The Magicians, and Outlander all prove how the pacing of a TV series allows for a more complete story when dealing with a book series.
posted by soelo at 12:59 PM on October 2


The Rivers of London books are surely going to be made into a tv series, right? Right?

When this happens, I will need some time to get used to Peter's voice sounding so different from Kobna's voice, assuming they don't just cast him.
posted by soelo at 1:02 PM on October 2 [2 favorites]


If the movie of World War Z left you feeling let down, I can highly recommend the amazing audio book. I mean, look at that cast! Hell, just get them in a bluesceen studio and CGI the background, I'd watch that.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 1:11 PM on October 2


Lois McMaster Bujold's The Curse of Chalion and the Paladin of Souls.

China Mieville's Bas-Lag novels - most especially The Scar , but I would enjoy Perdido Street Station and Iron Council as well.
posted by nubs at 1:26 PM on October 2 [1 favorite]


::searches thread for "Dunnett" or "Lymond", is bitterly disappointed but not surprised::

I fantasize regularly about getting a well-funded (and well-written) adaptation of Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles. The closest we've come is that the producers of the Poldark Chronicles has apparently optioned the series.

For a while I thought Tom Hiddleston would make a good Lymond: he has the face and the intensity for the role, but he's a bit too old now, and too tall IMO. One could cast Lena Heady as Margaret Lennox, although it would be a bit too much casting to type. Not sure who I'd cast as Sybilla: my mental image was always of Barbara Stanwyck in her The Big Valley years.

I do think Mark Rylance deserves a role, though: possibly one of the Strozzi brothers, or Diccon Chancellor.
posted by suelac at 2:01 PM on October 2 [1 favorite]


I should love Dunnett’s books and yet have bounced hard off them over multiple attempts. It’s been a few years, maybe now is the time to try again.
posted by PussKillian at 2:13 PM on October 2 [1 favorite]


I should love Dunnett’s books and yet have bounced hard off them over multiple attempts.

Game of Kings is the traditional starting point, but it's legendarily impenetrable to many, because of the dense language, historical and literary allusions, and difficult characterizations. Dunnettae generally recommend that you push through to the 200-page mark, at which point the characters should grab you enough that you'll finish it, even if you don't quite understand what's going on. It's well worth sticking with it, but they're not for everyone.

The Niccolo series, starting with Niccolo Rising, has simpler prose, which does not mean it's an easy read, and the characterizations and plot are just as challenging.

King Hereafter is a one-off about MacBeth, but it's also not an easy read.

The Johnson Johnson novels are at least written in fairly modern English, but with a very strong 1st-person voice, and they are just as likely to mislead the reader as the other books are.

I do think that anyone capable of appreciating Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall should be able to handle Dunnett. Dunnett hides the ball on character motivations but not on the historical situation, so you generally have a good understanding of the social/political context of what's going on, even if you can't figure out exactly what a given character is doing, or why. Unlike Mantel, who tends to assume you remember who everyone is and their role in Tudor history.
posted by suelac at 2:25 PM on October 2


Kristin Lavransdatter would make a great miniseries. You could pitch it as a mix of Olive Kitteridge and Vikings. Swordfighting and intrigue, but also complex emotions and less rape. Liv Ullmann made a movie with some good performances, but it was about a third of the book and kind of hard to sit through, with poor production values.
posted by Countess Elena at 4:15 PM on October 2 [1 favorite]


(addendum about how much I love those books I'll stop now)
posted by Countess Elena at 4:17 PM on October 2 [1 favorite]


Is there swordfighting in Kristin Lavransdatter? I read the first section a few months ago and found it interesting for its detail of daily life, but not exciting.
posted by suelac at 5:12 PM on October 2 [2 favorites]


They've already started on Good Omens (with Neil Gaiman as showrunner, and DAVID TENNANT AS CROWLEY), so, um...the His Dark Materials trilogy, but done properly.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:32 PM on October 2 [1 favorite]


Yes, suelac, it turns up later. It's pretty historically accurate, in that it's over quickly, it's bloody, unglamorous and there are consequences.
posted by Countess Elena at 6:53 PM on October 2 [2 favorites]


My mom (who has always had good taste in books) started recommending Kristin Lavransdatter to me round about the same time she read Hildegard of Bingen and another woman -- maybe St. Brigid? And I believe that's when she was getting her MFA, which I now want to find out who her profs were because it sounds like it was a really cool program.
posted by wenestvedt at 5:54 AM on October 3


I love Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon more than it probably deserves, and the notion of some "Band of Brothers"-meets-"CSI" crossover mashup would be craaaaaazy fun.

The nested layers of flashbacks (e.g., Waterhouse in WWII, talking about Qwghlm, describing island life...) could be a problem, and the sheer quantity of "As you know, Bob" required to teach people about WWII in the Pacific and public-key crypto and Linux and cryptocurrenecies, among a jillion other nerdy topics, might make the whole thing collapse. But that movie "The Big Short" did it so...who knows?
posted by wenestvedt at 11:01 AM on October 3 [3 favorites]


I was just thinking today that I'd love to see a web series that dramatizes Ask Mefi posts. The cheese caper, the rescue of the two Russian girls, so much.

I also really want an adaptation of The Wicked + The Divine and I ESPECIALLY want to play Tara. That character means the world to me and I know I don't have her body but God, it'd be a dream and a honor.
posted by divabat at 12:52 AM on October 4 [1 favorite]


"A Perfect Spy" by John le Carre. His best and most autobiographical work inspired in part by his conman father. Le Carre's father later sued him over le Carre's interviews about him.
posted by nestor_makhno at 2:59 AM on October 4 [1 favorite]


Tonight, there's a full moon high in the sky. This, the Harvest moon, is the name given to that rising closest to the autumnal equinox - usually in September, but this year in October. From Bustle:

Some years, the Harvest Moon is in September, and others it's in October. When it's in September, October's full moon is named the Hunter's Moon, and when it's in October, September's full moon is named the Full Corn Moon. The way you can tell which month the Harvest Moon will be in is to count the distance between the September full moon and the October full moon to the equinox. This year, the September 6th full moon was 16 days from the equinox, while October the 5th's full moon arrived only 13 days after the equinox - meaning the latter was closer.

Here in rural middle England, it's a crisp, calm and cloudless light. The moon is bright, really bright; a moon to make passionate love under if you're outside with someone special (and, if the temperature is as here, with a blanket and a flask of tea as well). And it's also a reminder that we are well into Autumn - Christmas Eve is only 80 days away now. At the least, it's worth a look outside if the conditions are good to you.
posted by Wordshore at 3:05 PM on October 5 [2 favorites]


I'd love to see Guy Gavriel Kay's Fionavar Tapestry could be fun.

Tigana? I liked that as a self contained sort of thing. Although it may be now too close to GOT to get made.

Sandman, but don't kill it. Please.

The Hyperion Canticle? Although probably only the first 2 because I have no idea how you would do the last 2.

Mistborn would rock.
posted by greermahoney at 11:04 PM on October 5


Due to a fortuitous local warehouse sale having exactly what was on my list I've unexpectedly completed my Christmas shopping for this year. October 6th: not bad.
posted by Wordshore at 8:50 AM on October 6


I'd like to see
- a biopic of Charles Proteus Steinmetz, the Wizard of Schenectady.
- a biopic of Ada Lovelace
- a retelling of the Dracula novel from the point of view of the American character, Quigley. In my head this would be a sequel of sorts to Quigley Down Under.
posted by Soliloquy at 1:47 AM on October 8 [2 favorites]


Because my Mom brings this up probably at least once a year, I will suggest this on her behalf:

Minerva Wakes.

I actually agree, even though I'm leeeettle sick of hearing her talk about how much she believes this book should be made into a move. The book is hilarious, the heroine is awesome, the special effects of a dragon could make it really fun.
posted by samthemander at 5:21 PM on October 9


Taco Bell is selling Kit Kat Quesadillas in Wisconsin.

I am several thousand miles, and a large ocean, away from Wisconsin.

Dammit.
posted by Wordshore at 3:06 PM on October 26


Wordshore, your error was in time, not space. The Wisconsin Taco Bell Kit Kat chocodilla was preceded by a United Kingdom Taco Bell Kit Kat chocodilla.

These are the sorts of things you can learn when you trace links back to their source materials. In this case, WJLA -> Twitter -> Eater -> Brandeating.
posted by ardgedee at 7:35 PM on October 26 [1 favorite]


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