Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I’d Like To See As Movies

NarniaFilmI’m a big fan of a decent book-to-film adaptation, so this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, run by The Broke and the Bookish, seems like the perfect topic. I know it’s technically Wednesday, but I loved this prompt so much that I just couldn’t resist….

Top Ten Books I’d Like To See As Movies

1. The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis: The first few Narnia films did a pretty good job of translating the novels to the big screen. I know there’s been talk about The Silver Chair, and supposedly it comes out next year, but so far there doesn’t seem to be much information out there about it. I’d love to see this book on film, though. It’s a great story and actually one of my favourites in the Narnia series.

2. Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis: Ditto for The Magician’s Nephew, which people don’t seem to like all that much but which I think is a great introduction to the series. Plus the bits with Uncle Andrew and the animals are just brilliant.

3. Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett: I love Pratchett’s books. I really do. And of all his books I reserve a special place in my heart for Witches Abroad, which was the first Pratchett I ever read, didn’t fully understand, and then returned to a few years later only to fall completely in love with.

WitchesAbroad

4. Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett: What can I say? The world needs more Granny Weatherwax.

5. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman: There was talk. Oh, yes. There was talk. But unfortunately Good Omens never got made, and I don’t know if it ever will. What I do know is that it’s an awesome book that I think, with the right cast, would make one hell of a movie.

6. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel: I picture this as an independent Canadian film which miraculously gets a large enough budget for sweeping shots of the mountains and the Toronto skyline. It’s probably a bit naive to expect, but I think this book would make a great movie regardless.

StationEleven

7. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen: I know this book has been adapted for the screen a few times, but each and every one of those attempts was a bit of a let-down. Mostly because the screenwriters didn’t really trust Austen enough, and strayed too far away from the source material. I could talk about the 2007 adaptation. But I won’t. I swear I won’t.

8. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley: For similar reasons, I would like to see just one – one! – version of Frankenstein that doesn’t either completely re-write the book or turn it into some sort of fleshy horror-type movie. Can we all please give Mary Shelley a bit more credit?!

9. 44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith: Reading a McCall Smith book is like drinking a cup of hot, sweet tea. And since the film version of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency was really well done, I think it’s high time some more of his books found it to the screen. The Scotland Street series was always among my favourites, and although it’s a little choppy and episodic, I think they could make it work. It could be like a Scottish version of Love Actually, with an ensemble cast and, of course, Rowan Atkinson would make a cameo appearance.

44ScotlandStreet

10. Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell: I found this a compelling book. It’s the story of a woman who has a child out of wedlock, and it seems like a pretty gutsy novel for a respectable married woman like Gaskell to be writing in the middle of the nineteenth century. Given the success of past Gaskell adaptations, I think it’s fair to say that the BBC could do a good job with this one.

Which books would you like to see as movies / TV shows?

For more Top Ten Tuesday, click here.

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16 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I’d Like To See As Movies

  1. Great list! While I haven’t read any of these yet. Some of them I am familiar with and would be curious in seeing made. Can’t go wrong with a Jane Austin novel turned into a movie. Thanks so much for sharing this week. Happy reading! My TT

  2. I so agree with you about Frankenstein ~ any adaptations I’ve seen, not only completely miss the point of the novel, but don’t really resemble it at all.

    Yes, yes, for 44 Scotland Street !! — I think a good job could be done with that one.

    As for Ruth, so far, I think it’s my favourite Gaskell, but I have rather huge doubts that they could do it justice. I read it with a group once and everyone was so focused on the injustice and the tragedy, when Gaskell meant it to be triumphant at the end. If the producers can understand that, there may be hope, but as I said, I have my reservations.

    Great list!

    • I’m so glad I’m not alone about Frankenstein! I completely understand that moviemakers want to capture the sense of horror that the book would have inspired in its original readers… but for the most past they go overboard and the film always ends up as a farce (I’m thinking in particular of the Kenneth Branagh version).

      It’s definitely true that Ruth would be tricky to make. It’s a really great story, and I think if any company could pull it off, it would be the BBC, but the screenwriters and actors would have to have a very good understanding of the text and the way that Gaskell meant it to be read.

  3. Interesting choices! I would love to see a Discworld novel on screen. And I hadn’t thought of the 44 Scotland Street series, but you’re right, it would make a great character-driven comedy.

  4. I always love a BBC Jane Austen adaptation, so Mansfield Park could not be any more perfect and idea. Especially as most recent ones haven’t stuck as closely to the story as I would like.

    I’m with you on Frankenstein as well!

    I think adaptations often try and make classics more ‘interesting’ which totally misses the point.

    • Exactly! ‘Interesting’ or ‘relateable’, which often means they sacrifice the characters, plot, and tone of the original.

      I’d love to see Mansfield Park done properly, just once. I rewatched the 1999 movie version recently, and I was surprised to discover I didn’t completely hate it. But it still felt like the filmmakers were deviating too much from the novel. So I’m still waiting for a better adaptation!

      • Is that the Johnny Lee Miller version? I have a secret love of that version, not that it is anything like the book.

        The is a 1980s version which is fairly word-for-word accurate, but it’s not the best acting (I love it regardless).

        Fingers crossed we get a better adapation soon!

        • Yeah, it is. I remember hating it when I first watched it but now I think I appreciate what they were trying to do, bringing in Edward Said’s post colonial reading of the book.

          I only watched the 80s version once, but I remember not being terribly impressed. I should probably give it another go!

  5. I’d love to see Station Eleven. I’ll all for well done Canadian films. And right now this book is getting a lot of buzz at my public library.

    Great list; very interesting choices:)

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