With the popularity of movies like the Harry Potter and Twilight series, movies based on books are nothing new. Even popular films like Fight Club and The Wizard of Oz are based on books. Here are 3 books that I think would make excellent movies.
1) The Wish List
Eoin Colfer is most knows for his Artemis Fowl series. In 2003 his book The Wish List was released. The book is about a girl named Meg Finn who dies while trying to rob an elderly man. The only way she can get into Heaven is by helping the old man fulfill his wish list. Not wanting to be stuck in Limbo forever, Meg decides to help him out.
Peter Jackson would be a fantastic director for this. While he is mostly known for his fantasy films (The Lord of the Rings or even King Kong) his work on The Lovely Bones proves he can do very serious films. The Wish List would be a mixture of seriousness, comedy, and fantasy and Jackson would be very well suited for all three.
Dakota Fanning would do a great job as Meg. Even though Meg was attempting to steal, and isn’t good enough to make it into Heaven, she isn’t necessarily a bad person. Meg is just trying to find a place to belong and that has gotten her into trouble. Fanning could definitely pull this character off and has done many roles that were heavy in character development (The Secret Life of Bees). She is who I would want to play Meg.
Clint Eastwood would be wonderful as old man Lowrie McCall, the old man Meg must now help. His role would be much like the role he had in Gran Torino. Basically, Eastwood would be a grumpy old man who is really just lonely and bored. The tasks Eastwood wants to complete would also suit him very well and would bring about some nostalgia of his past films. Lowrie wants to do everything from kiss a girl to punch a man. It’s not hard to see Eastwood doing these things and doing them convincingly.
Troy Gentile (Nacho Libre, Drillbit Taylor) would be a really good Belch Brennan. Belch is the one who convinced Meg to steal and who ended up dieing with her. He was bad enough to go straight to hell but is sent on a mission to stop Meg from completing her goal and getting into Heaven. Belch is a huge bully but is also one of the main sources of comic relief. Gentile would be great at both.
2) Martyn Pig
Written in 2002 by Kevin Brooks, Martyn Pig is a story about a teenager who’s father accidentally dies one day. Not wanting to live with his mean aunt, Martyn decides to secretly get rid of his father’s body. With the help of his best friend (and love interest) Alex, Martyn believes he has the perfect plan. With the huge amount of crime shows such as CSI, Martyn Pig would definitely have a large audience.
Gregory Hoblit would be a good director for this project. His work with Untraceable would make him familiar with crime and the clues that can lead to catching someone and his work with Fracture shows he is capable of directing strong and manipulative characters. Both are very important to the story of Martyn Pig and I think it would make the film more serious. Put the wrong director on this project and the film could end up being more of a comedy. While this wouldn’t necessarily ruin the material, the last few chapters would be most effective if the movie was kept fairly serious.
The first person that comes to mind when I think of Martyn is Michael Cera. Cera has capitalized on the somewhat nerdy and extremely awkward teenager. It’s not hard to imagine Cera watching reruns of Columbo and Law and Order and creating a plan off of the things he’s learned from watching these shows.
Mila Kunis would make a good Alex. Alex is very charismatic and innocent. She’s very confident in herself and is always thinking of what she can do to better herself and her life. Kunis would be very good at utilizing these things, especially in the final chapters of the book.
3) I Am the Messenger/The Messenger
The Messenger, called I Am the Messenger in the United States, was written in 2002 by Markus Zusak. Shortly after accidentally stopping a bank robbery, Ed Kennedy receives an ace in the mail. Written on it are four addresses and times. He eventually realizes that each address and time represent a place and people that need his help in some way. Ed keeps receiving aces until all the suits are used up. After Ed is finished he realizes he’s learned more about himself, his life, and his friends than he ever thought possible.
This movie would be a perfect fit for David Fincher. Fincher directed Fight Club and it shares a lot in theme with I Am the Messenger. Both focus heavily on a main character who is confused about his identity and doesn’t quite know what he wants in life. Fincher would really do a great job with the material.
Shia LaBeouf would be an amazing Ed Kennedy. His humor is a lot like Ed’s; very sarcastic. LaBeouf also has great experience at being the everyman pulled into things he doesn’t quite understand (Eagle Eye, Disturbia). Most importantly, he would be able to register the slow change in Ed that is so vital to the story.
After Anne Hathaway’s performance in Rachel Getting Married, I believe she would be a great fit as Ed’s friend and love interest Audrey. Audrey is the kind of girl who likes to hang with the guys but still has something very vulnerable and feminine about her. Hathaway would certainly be able to pull this off. The relationship between Audrey and Ed is also very complex. Hathaway (and LaBeouf) both have the talent to pull this off and it is another very important piece to the story.
There could be some fun cameos of Jason Statham and Vinnie Jones as the two baklava wearing thugs who help push Ed to complete his tasks. They’re important enough roles to not be left out and these two actors would add some fun and the appropriate tough guy attitude to the film.
Internet Movie Database (IMDb)