With the growing trend of books becoming films there are some stories that are deemed worthy of adaptation only to get bogged down in developmental limbo waiting for someone to champion their cause. When trolling across the ever growing lists of film rights there are several books stand out based on plot and marketability, for example…
Since 2007, when the film rights were sold to John Moore, The Book of Lost Things has been drawing movie rumors. Connolly’s dark fantasy world is set against the backdrop of WW2 and ties into the new fascination of exploring storybook characters that live as a version of the familiar character with an unexpected twist. The story revolves around David, a twelve year old boy who is thrown into another world where a Crooked Man tempts him with power beyond compare, power that comes with a high price. While trapped in this new realm he goes on a quest to find King Jonathan and his way home.But is King Johnathan going to be an ally to David, and is the Crooked Man all bad? These questions would draw viewers in just as it has drawn readers in. David acts as a relatable protagonist, a boy who has trouble finding his place in his family after his father remarries. That with the blending of the supernatural and the realist makes for a fascinating film that will keep viewers questioning who to trust.
Perfect Tagline: “Who is the Crooked Man?”
Yes the almighty comic book adaptation. No list of rumored movies should be without the comic adaptation. Marvel’s Runaways is the movie of choice because the complex evil vs good dynamic becomes more compelling when that story is superimposed onto the parent child dynamic. When six kids learn that their parents are part of an evil entity known as the Pride they opt to fight against them rather than letting them take over the world unopposed. But can the kids divorce their feelings of love for their parents with their need to stop their evil plan, or is a betrayal inevitable? Added to these compelling scenarios is the possibility for an ethnically diverse casting, aliens, wizards, technopaths, and a dinosaur; viewers will come in droves. Plus since Runaways takes place in the Marvel universe there is always the chance for a superhero cameo. The possibility for the Runnaways to be made was shelved because of a focus on the Avengers’ franchise, but there is room for both in the world’s growing love for superhero film adaptations.
If there is one thing that is trending in the film industry currently it is the possibility for sequels, and one such series with a great potential for sequels is Owens’ Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica. Warner Brothers purchased the rights to make Here, There Be Dragons, the first in the series, into a feature film and it has the potential for commercial success. First there are the three mysterious main characters that turn out to be more familiar than it seems at first. John, Charles, and Jack (note the last names are withheld to leave people guessing until the end) are three Oxford scholars who receive the Imaginarium Geographica, a book of maps of mythical and fictional locations. As their quest to these charted places take them through the “Archipelago of Dreams” they encounter the mythical Avalon, Pandora’s box, goblins, Captain Nemo, and of course dragons. Diehard fans can try to guess the identity of the authors through hints in the plot while casual admirers of science fiction can enjoy the plethora of familiar characters mentioned in what can translate as a steampunk science fiction fantasy adventure.
Casting Tip: I’m sure there’s a role for Benedict Cumberbatch in there somewhere.
Another addition to the comic movie cannon could be Soon I Shall Be Invincible. Rather than a clear standard good vs evil Grossman’s novel provides a different twist that adds layers into the superhero genre; a growing trend. We have the seemingly perfect hero CoreFire that disappears, two new members adjusting to the not so perfect superhero team The New Champions, and a villain in Dr. Impossible who is likable and relatable in his own way. As the battle between Dr. Impossible and the New Champions rages on the connections between the villain and heroes backstory revel themselves, providing a new layer of emotional depth and motivation that pushes the plot further into the realm of wonderful. The movie has been involved in development talks since 2008 and this novel take on the superhero film would fit perfectly into today’s movie marketplace.
The retelling of fairy tales is popular both on the big screen with Maleficent, Snow White and the Huntsmen, etc. and the small screen with Once Upon a Time. The Looking Glass Wars takes part in this fairy tale reimagining by explaining the wars raging on inWonderland. Alyss (a.k.a Alice) Heart along with Hatter M (you can guess who that character is) escape from Redd’s coup on the ruling class through the pool of tears and end up in our dimension, Hatter M lands in France, Alyss in England. While the two try to find each other the situation in Wonderland gets worse as a rebel army of “Alyssians” true to the Heart family battle against Redd’s control. The script is finished but the release of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland pushed the development of this version of Wonderland onto the backburner. However, I think the market can handle this imaginative take on the legend of Alice in Wonderland.