After reading a great book, I start wondering if it inspired someone to produce a movie from it and that leads me to start searching the Internet. It is disappointing when I find out the no movie has been made and there is no indication that one is in the making. How could no one not have made or want to make a movie from the spellbinding book I just read? Over the years, I have read many books that have not been made into movies and the three listed below are my top favorites that I would love to see turned into feature films.
The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair
Written in 1906 about the corruption of the meatpacking industry and the plight of the American working class, Sinclair’s novel is a masterpiece at describing the poverty, lack of social programs and horrid working conditions experienced by people working during that time. The story follows the life of Lithuanian immigrants Jurgis Rudkus, his wife Ona and their family and friends. They settle in the Chicago area, fall victim to con men who rob them of their savings, leaving them without any money. Jurgis is able to get a job working for the Chicago Stockyards where accidents happen hourly, and government inspectors, police and even judges are paid off to look the other way.
Jurgis’s wife dies in childbirth and his son dies soon after, drowning in a muddy street. With nothing to keep him in Chicago, he heads south, becoming a hobo, working on farms when he can or steeling what he needs to survive. He returns to Chicago, tries to help his wife’s family, those that have survived, by working odd jobs. Through meeting and talking with certain people, he discovers socialism and unions, which may be the answer to his family’s problems.
There is no doubt that The Jungle would make an excellent movie with Mark Wahlberg playing the part of Jurgis, Rachel McAdams as Ona, and Paul Thomas (There Will be Blood), as the director.
18 Seconds, by George D. Shuman
Published in 2006, this on-the-edge-of-your-seat thriller is about a man, Earl Sykes, who newly released from a 30 years stint in prison, resumes his old ways. Never being caught for his perverse and murderous acts on young females (he was in prison for fatal traffic accident), he continues to outfox police lieutenant, Kelly O’Shaguhnessey, until she enlists the help of blind Sherry Moore and police detective John Payne. Sherry, because of a childhood accident, is blessed with a psychic ability that when she touches a dead person, she is able to see the last 18 seconds of what that person saw. With Sherry and John’s help, Kelly is able to pursue Sykes, but not before, they all become his victims. Sandra Bullock would be great for the part of Sherry with Gerard Butler playing the part of John. For the part of Kelly, I would pick Taraji P. Henson and Edward Norton to play the role of Sykes with Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs), as the director.
The Valley of the Horses, by Jean Auel
The second book in Earth’s Children series by Jean Auel, The Valley of the Horses is the continuing story of Ayla, who, having been thrown out of her Neanderthal clan now has to survive on her own. She is very resourceful, learning to hunt and gather food. She befriends a small colt and lion cub, taming and raising them to be her pets and share in the day-to-day chores needed to live. Also in this novel is the story of Jondalar and his brother Thonolan, who venture out to explore the Great Mother River. Many adventures befall all three with Ayla and Jondalar meeting near the end of the book and Thonolan meeting his death.
The first book in this series, Clan of the Cave Bear, was made into a movie with Darryl Hannah playing Ayla. Kirsten Dunst would make a good Ayla for The Valley of the Horses and Jake Gyllenhall for the part of Jondalar, Sam Worthington would fill the role of Thonolan, with Louis Leterrier (Clash of the Titans), as the director.
Sources: The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair, 18 Seconds, by George D. Shuman, Valley of the Horses, by Jean Auel