6 Books That Should Be Turned Into Movies

No Country For Old Men
No Country For Old Men

Books, increasingly, have become the best source material for major motion pictures. In addition to the moneymaking franchises (The Hunger Games) and emotionally dollar-wrenching love stories (The Fault In Our Stars), a fair amount of recent Best Picture winners have been based on books. Also, that thing called Game Of Thrones.

With that, here’s a look at some print stuffs that could do wonders on the silver screen. Obviously there are a lot less books on this list as there are books that actually exist, so feeling strongly about other potential movie adaptions is certainly encouraged in the ‘mments.

1. The Day The Crayons Quit – Drew Daywalt

With the recent success of the Lego Movie, studio people are probably gonna look for ways to hook kids into some sort of new mega franchise. Why not Drew Daywalt’s popular 2013 children’s book, which draws upon crayons to illustrate! interpersonal conflict and the power of responsible mediation?

Duncan, a child who just wants to color, is in for change of plans when his box of crayons have had enough…blue is tired of coloring in bodies of water, yellow and orange at loggerheads over who’s the real color of the sun, and black wants a role a bit more substantial than just outlining. Red just wants a break.

The way this is constructed would make for a clever and smart movie (not boring for adults). and the #lifelessons that naturally result from this sort of plot would make for the type of movie that these adults would certainly want to bring their kids to.

2. Young Money: Inside the Hidden World of Wall Street’s Post-Crash Recruits – Kevin Roose

I’ve yet to read this book, so possibly a bit premature. But my first thought upon hearing about Kevin Roose’s book, an in-depth look at the lives of the new class of 1 percenters (fresh out of college Wall Street Bankers), was that this would make an incredible movie.

Notably, this has been dubbed as a look at the cubs of Wall Street, who will assumedly grow to resemble Jordan Belfort-like wolves. Though this adaptation would be especially interesting, given (a. the present-day stigma those like Belfort currently have, as well as (b. the state of the financial world following the ’08 crash.

Note: FOX has purchased the rights to the book, with the intention of turning it into a TV series.

3. Downtown Owl – Chuck Klosterman

This 2008 novel takes a look at the fictional town of Owl, a middle-of-nowhere place in North Dakota with a population the size of one crowded subway car. With its very specific “everyone’s so nice but this place is actually crazy” North Dakota point of view, Downtown Owl would be this generation’s Fargo. If we’re talking mashups, Downtown Owl could be like Justified mixed with Fargo mixed with Curb Your Enthusiasm. 

Plus, Klosterman’s wonderfully constructed characters would likely attract pretty high caliber actors, if not breakout performances. Think of this as the indie that gets rave reviews on the ‘flix.

4. Girl Walks Into A Bar…Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle –Rachel Dratch 

I think a fictional version of this popular memoir (Dratch, after a notable stint on SNL had a few years in flux, dated a bunch, and then unexpectedly had a kid at 44) would make for a very good movie. Think Bridesmaids, but 10 years later.

5. I Am Charlotte Simmons – Tom Wolfe 

I Am Charlotte Simmons was written in 2004, and deals with “sexual and status relationships” at a prestigious University. Wolfe notes that the fictional DuPont University is essentially a bunch of Elite American institutions (i.e., Duke, Harvard, Stanford) all rolled into one.

A captivating look at some of the darker sides of the insatiable ambition and success culture found at top colleges, the book follows Charlotte, an innocent girl from a rural North Carolina town, as she gets immersed into this world in which the values are not at all what she expected. The plot may sound obvious, but it’s executed to perfection.

A movie version of Tom Wolfe’s I Am Charlotte Simmons may actually happen. The project has been in development since 2008, with notable music video director Liz Friedlander attached to direct.

6. Catcher In The Rye – JD Salinger 

Given America’s penchant for ruthless capitalism, Catcher In The Rye will likely be made into a movie someday. Though as you may know, JD Salinger famously refused to sell the rights to his pre-eminent coming of age novel. He had a whole host of reasons for this rationale, a number of which were noted in this 1957 letter. Among other things, he notes that the book is too novelistic (it hinges on Holden’s thoughts), and that it’s both “unactable” and “undirectable.”

While Salinger obviously has a bunch of great points here, the idea of Catcher In The Rye becoming a movie has become so glorified that it would likely demand excellence from all facets — if the movie ever happened, there’d be no question it’d attract the best of the best. For this reason, it would be great to see what the screen could do with a character like Holden Caulfield. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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