Sometimes when books are made into movies, they end up being terrible disappointments. There are other times, though, when a book is very successfully translated onto the big screen. There is no doubt in my mind that good storytelling is at the heart of a good movie, and so, these are the books that I think would make spectacular movies.
Sci-Fi Fantasy Love Story – Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey
The first novel in a trilogy, Kushiel’s Dart is told from the point of view of Phèdre, a young girl who grows into a young woman during the course of the book. It takes place in an alternate France, named Terre D’Ange. The local religion is one that follows a god whose only precept is “Love as though wilt.” The movie’s backdrop would be across Europe, but mostly in Terre D’Ange and Skaldia, which is the very rough equivalent of Germany. Phèdre is a courtesan who is trained as a spy, and she becomes tangled up in court intrigue. She has a bodyguard, Joscelin, who is a sort of monk, and is pitted against one of the most cunning women in the realm, Melisande Shahrizai. Since Phèdre is so young at the beginning of the book, there would need to be at least 2 actresses to play her. For her young adult character, Ellen Page would be a good choice as her acting range is great. Joscelin could be played by Justin Hartley, most famous for his role as Green Arrow in the TV show Smallville. Melisande, whose beauty is repeatedly said to be stunning, could be played by Monica Bellucci, but the role would be a difficult one. The biggest hurdle to Kushiel’s Dart becoming a movie is that the director would be hard-pressed to film it and get an R-rating. There are many scenes in the book that are sexually explicit.
Mystery Thriller – The Dresden Files: Storm Front by Jim Butcher
Those of you familiar with The Dresden Files already know that it was made into a short-lived series on television by the Scifi Channel. It aired in 2007, and wasn’t bad, but lacked a lot of the depth a movie could give the story. Harry Dresden is a wizard for hire. He’s even in the phone book under “wizards.” Each books lends itself well to a movie, and Storm Front is the first. Harry is dragged into a plot involving the mob and a warlock. I think that the Scifi cast was great, although Murphy is supposed to be a petite blonde woman. I would go back to that for the movie, maybe with Amy Adams, who was a great character in Enchanted and in Night at the Museum 2. There are more than 10 books in the Dresden Files series, so there are lots of sequel possibilities, too.
Young Adult Adventure – The Crystal Shard by R. A. Salvatore
The Crystal Shard is the first book published by Salvatore in which the cult character Drizzt Do’Urden appears. He’s a legendary character among fans of the genre. The best way to do this movie, due to the various fantasy races like elves and dwarves, would probably be in a similar vein to Avatar, where the characters are people, but are also enhanced by special effects. The Crystal Shard is a story about how Icewind Dale, a frigid place near the Spine of the World, is threatened by a demon’s crystal shard, and how the friends save the day. It is the first book of the Icewind Dale trilogy. For actors, if she was willing to be less serious in her roles, Scarlett Johanssen would be a good Cattie-Brie, a girl adopted by dwarves when her family is killed. Her adoptive father, Bruenor, is gruff but loving, and his voice should show that. An unknown actor would probably be best. Wulfgar, the blonde barbarian who is captured and joins the friends in their adventures, is said to be 7″ tall, so casting would also be difficult for him. For Drizzt, the actor would need to be in excellent shape, and be able to wield swords like nobody’s business – with the right amount of training, an unknown could do it, but I think James Franco has an excellent range for the character of Drizzt, a dark elf who forever has to fight against the prejudices the world has against the evil dark elves.