Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Book-to-Film: Top Five Films that Should be Books

With all the hulaballo surrounding book-to-film adaptations, it's easy to forget that things could go the other way, too.  What about film-to-book adaptations?  Films can be awesome, but sometimes that 2-3 hour time window just isn't enough to develop all the characters, or to let the sub-plots be fully fleshed out, or sufficiently lets you into the protagonist's head.  You know what I mean?  Some stories work as films, others work better as books.  A few lucky stories thrive in both.  But some stories are stuck in the wrong medium.  Here are a few films that would be fabulous books:

In all fairness, I love this film.  It's a quiet and touching story about acceptance and forgiveness and it stars Johnny Depp.  Hard to go wrong there.  But my favorite part of this film is the little relationships between all the minor characters.  Just think of how much more those relationships could be developed if put to page.

House of Cards
This one is actually a television series, not a film.  But I think the political intrigue, conflicting ambition, and plethora of secrets would make a phenomenal rotating-perspective book.  I imagine it kind of like a modern-day Game of Thrones book series, showing each character's plots and schemes from their own perspective.  (It'd be cool if dragons eventually showed up, too.)

Captain Phillips
I think this story, while a pretty cool film, would make an even better book.  It could even start its own genre, since it's not completely fact nor fictitious enough to be historical fiction... just an alternate retelling of recent events.

Clash of the Titans
This is a classic case of there being too much crammed into the film for a 2-3 hour block.  If it were spread out in a book, the mythology, history, culture, monsters, action, and romance would be much more satisfying.

King Arthur
I've had a thing for Camelot for a long time, and I think this film put a really interesting spin on the series.  But it could have been much better if it had more time to develop the plot and really give the (super intriguing!) minor characters a chance to sing.

Have you ever seen a film that makes you think, "Man, that would be a great book."  Yes?  No?  Just me?

This post was inspired by the recent article addressing the same idea at Word&Film.  Thanks, Word&Film!

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