BySam Plank, writer at
"You have to be what you are. Whatever you are, you gotta be it." -Johnny Cash. Tweet a tweeter at my twitty twitter, @tw1tterintw1t
Sam Plank

These days, you can't throw a sparkly vampire without hitting a book-to-film adaptation that was a pretty bad idea. You have those authors, whose first three books that were made into movies really sparked some fires, but should have probably stopped, or at least slowed down, after those. Especially if you write a book solely so the leading lady in the movie adaptation can come in like a wrecking ball.

But what about those classic novels and incredible books that, inexplicably, never made it to film? All the Twilights and Givers and Sparks and War of the Worlds in the world take attention away from the books who need to be made into films, and need to be done right.

This list will cover a few of them; obviously, the list is endless, so feel free to chime in down there in the comments with any I might have missed!

As an added bonus (if you could call it that), I've added who I think would rock as the lead actor or actors in the film. I promise, no Miley Cyrus's. I can't promise not to include Tom Cruise, though...

Catcher in the Rye

Originally intended for an adult audience, with its sexual themes and profanities, at some point it became popular with the younger crowd because of those exact same themes. Sounds like the Twilight crown would LOVE it.

J.D. Salinger was one of the reasons it never became a movie, but since his death in 2010, there has been numerous attempts at adapting it. It's going to happen sometime, it's just a matter of when, not if!

And with 65 million copies of the book sold, it's time we saw Holden Caulfield on the big screen.

Dream actor in the lead role?

Daniel Radcliffe, to give him a chance to make up for Horns. He's about 10 years older than the 17 year old Caulfield, but Danny could pull off a younger look, no problem.


Never heard of it?

How about Total Recall, Next, A Scanner Darkly, Paycheck, Minority Report, Impostor, and Blade Runner? I bet you've heard of a couple of those, at least. They're all movies adapted from Philip K. Dick's books over the last 60+ years!

And Ubik, being a book about men colonizing the moon, a lead character with the name Joe Chip, psychic powers, weird happenings and people unexplainably dying, sounds perfect! But for whatever reasons, it just hasn't happened. Yet!

Lead actor?
NOT Matt Damon. He's already cost us enough by going into outer space.

I think Charlie Hunnam would do good as Joe Chip!


My own personal addition to the list, not because it was on any top ten lists or anything, but just because it's one of my fav's. And no, it's not one of my fav's because of the incest and murder that has put it on the American Library Association's list of 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books in the years from 1990-2000. It's because it's about a kid who can make himself invisible, thanks to a family trait, passed down from uncle to nephew. What kid that grew up in the 80's and 90's hasn't at times wanted to make himself invisible at times?

Like other books on this list, it was almost made into a movie at one point, but it never did happen.

Who should play Paul Moreaux, the Invisible Kid?

Chandler freakin' Riggs, of course! He could nail all that teenage angst and drama a kid might experience after seeing so many things that were never meant to be seen.

One Hundred Years of Solitude

Simply put, this one hasn't been converted yet because the author, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, just doesn't want it to happen. Seeing how it's his best selling work, having sold 50 million copies, one could see how he might be a little over-protective.

But what it's about – seven generations of a family who founded a town, only to see that town get hit by strange and unfortunate events over the years – is a pretty good subject for an Oscar-winning film, don't you think?

And the dream lead role goes to...

Javier Bardem! This solves a lot of problems; he's 47, so he'd be a good pick to play the family patriarch, Arcadio Buendia, and no white-washing involved!

Either Javier or Danny Trejo, just in case they want to re-write the movie to include some machetes.

The Secret History

These days, a movie about a a group of students, under the advice of their college professor, start performing weird and strange rituals to “broaden their thinking and lifestyle” would be pretty popular, wouldn't you think? Especially since that group of kids starts dabbling in murder, betrayal...and other naughty stuff. Donna Tartt would be proud!

The students:

Played by any of the young actors on The Flash or The 100!

A Confederacy of Dunces

Said to be one of the, or THE funniest book ever written, John Kennedy Tools writes about Ignatius J. Reilly, an overweight, out of work guy who lives with his mom. He tries to find a job, but nothing seems to work out for him.

Sounds like a perfect movie for any one of the comedians of our time, right?

Well, considering Harold Ramis, John Belushi, John Candy and Chris Farley have all been considered for the role of Ignatius, it's not really that surprising that it hasn't been made. I'd say leave the cursed book alone!

But if it must be adapted, I'd say give Seth Rogen the lead role. Not that I want him to die or anything, just that he seems like the perfect actor to play Ignatius.

House of Leaves

This is an extremely oddly written book, which is probably the main reason it hasn't been made into a movie yet. But if you take out all the footnotes, the footnotes in the footnotes, and the weirdly written pages, and just make a movie based on the house that grows bigger on the inside and stays the same size on the outside, eventually driving it's inhabitants insane, then you might have a pretty good movie! As long as you keep it at an hour and a half or shorter. That's a lot of wandering through a house.

The main characters, Will Navidson and Karen Green?

None other than real-life husband and wife Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar!

Sound off!


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