I never get to the movies as often as I’d like. I was way behind on Deadpool, never did get to see Civil War, it’s unfortunately rare that I manage to get to a theater before the film I want to see is replaced by something I probably don’t want to see. Lately, though, the list of things I want to see is growing as more and more of the books I love are being made into films (or at least optioned).
Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian is one of many books destined for the big screen, along with Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. The trailer for A Monster Calls dropped a few weeks ago, and though I haven’t read the book (that’s a different time constraint), it looks fantastic. I’m also excited about Stephen King’s IT remake, though remakes put me on edge, and no, it’s not just about the clowns.
But I hate clowns, so they are a contributing factor.
This leads me to another crossroads: more than finding time to hit the theater, I’m always terrified when books are made into movies. There’s a lot of potential for a good adaptation, and thus an equal amount of potential for bad. Essentially, books are so much more in my head, and the main limitation I see is time.
Baz Luhrmann’s take on The Great Gatsby was either adored or appalled by Fitzgerald fans. I loved the ingenuity of modernizing a story set in the 20s through the soundtrack while keeping the era intact. By some miracle, I did catch that one in theaters about a day before it went out. I never did see his remake of Romeo + Juliette, but I imagine it’s along the same lines.
In a rare reversal, I did see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button before I’d read the book. Well, short story. I was also fairly impressed with The Woman in Black. The deep sense of dread was spot on, despite a few hiccups and cheesy jumpscares. Nothing is quite as up to par as Vincent Price’s versions of Edgar Allan Poe’s tales when it comes to the Gothic though. He had me at “nevermore.”
I can’t help but feel some books translate into film better than others. I’m excited to see how Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children turns out (not to mention I adore Eva Greene), but I’m worried it’ll slant like Alice in Wonderland, which–and this may surprise you–I did not like. At all. Tim Burton has done some of my favorite adaptions (Sweeney Todd, Sleepy Hollow), but his Alice fell short and kept on falling.
I think I’m infinitely more comfortable with books being adapted for television. One episode translates to a chapter, one book translates into a season. It makes more sense and in way, frees up that time constraint, just a bit. With a season, there’s more room for inclusion, like the BBC’s Sherlock, which features hour-and-a-half long episodes for a truncated season.
Which feels more like watching a mini movie and may have just contradicted my previous statement. You know what I mean. There’s something different about presenting books as series as opposed to film.
The first trailer for Neil Gaiman’s American Gods dropped at San Diego Comic Con (you can watch it here on Varity’s site). American Gods is one show I’m particularly . . . concerned about. I love the book, I love the casting, I love that Brian Fuller is the showrunner, but in a world where most media is white-washed and the content curtailed, I’m not wanting to get my hopes up. Luckily, Fuller has cast diversely, with conscious effort in consulting Gaiman regarding the ethnic diversity of his characters.
This is an issue we saw in The Hunger Games trilogy; in the book, Katniss is describe more Asian than white (though casting specifically called for white females), and I doubt anyone’s forgotten the uproar of Amandla Stenberg being cast as Rue, despite Rue being canonically black.
The other point that makes me worry is whether or not the female characters will be given autonomy, or if they’ll live. American Gods is a gritty book and I’m betting with Fuller on board, it’ll be a gritty show, but I would like my ladies to live, please and thank you. However, Fuller also served as the director for Hannibal, which I loved, so maybe my worry is unfounded.
I hope my worry is unfounded.
I’m very much looking forward to V. E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic, which was picked up for television early this year. Schwab is writing the pilot, which is extra exciting. I can’t wait for A Conjuring of Light to release so I can devour it and then reread the series in anticipation. And probably in tears.
What are you most looking forward to seeing on the silver screen? Was there an adaption you loved, or one you thought totally failed?