Film adaptations of literary works have a long and (no pun intended) storied past. From the plays of pre-film days, up until now, where films such as “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Alice in Wonderland” continue to rake in millions at the box office. Because of this success, as well as the fans it may attract, the film adaptation of the novel has, and most likely always will be, a common occurrence. Below are the three books that I feel should be made into feature films, along with choices for who should direct it as well as who should be the stars.
A Farewell To Arms
A Farewell to Arms is my personal favorite book. Obviously, when it comes to the idea of turning it into a modern film (it’s been done twice already) I’d want it to be something terrific. I had considered Steven Spielberg as a choice for director, but ultimately decided against this decision, as I felt he wasn’t the perfect fit. Instead, I chose Andrew Dominik, best known for directing 3:10 to Yuma. He might not have the experience of other well-known producers, but I think he could really bring the novel to a modern movie screen in a way that it makes a compelling movie without sacrificing the terrific story of the novel. In addition to his work as director, he also writes screenplays, and I think combined, he could do an excellent job. In terms of a star for Frederic Henry, I would choose Christian Bale. I really put a lot of thought into this, and I felt that Bale was a good choice. In terms of look, I thought that he fit the role of Henry perfectly. In terms of character, it may be different from the characters he usually plays, but after his performance in American Psycho, I really believe that he could not only pull it off, but provide a compelling and potentially award-winning performance. For Catherine Barkley, I would choose Rachel McAdams. Coming off her roles in films such as The Notebook and Wedding Crashers, I think McAdams has the perfect look and personality to play the role of Frederic Henry’s love, Catherine Barkley.
Dream Brother : The Lives & Music of Jeff & Tim Buckley
It would be interesting to see Dream Brother made into a film, directed by James Mangold and starring James Franco as Jeff Buckley and Richard Gere as Tim Buckley. Both actors resemble their musician counterparts, and Franco especially has already been considered for a film about the late singer. While Gere certainly has the experience, Franco does bring his own work to the table, from his more serious roles in films such as Milk and James Dean, to his more comedic roles in films such as Pineapple Express. His natural ease would serve well in the Jeff Buckley character, who exhibited great ease and a good sense of humor. With a talented and experienced cast and crew, this could be just as good as Walk The Line James Mangold would be an idea director, as he’s already worked on a major film biopic (Walk the Line) and used flashbacks in that film quite seamlessly. The book, Dream Brother, traces the life and music of both Tim and Jeff Buckley. Tim passed when Jeff was still very young, and as such, father and son spent very little time together. Despite this, their careers seemed to draw many parallels over the years, from their struggles with their respective record labels to their untimely and tragic deaths. I believe that Mangold is skilled enough to switch back and forth as the book did, while keeping each musician’s story memorable. If everything came together properly (and why shouldn’t it?), this could potentially be a terrific movie.
Although this literary classic is already being made into a film, I have my own opinions in terms of cast and crew. In terms of a director, Peter Jackson would be a no-brainer due to his extensive work on the Lord of the Rings trilogy. He really brought those books to life, and I truly believe he could do just as well with Gulliver’s Travels, given the chance. Obviously, the scale of Gulliver and some of those he encounters on the trip would be a huge issue, and Jackson, with his work on the Lord of the Rings with the hobbits would have him more than equipped. Furthermore, the film would utilize a large amount of CGI, and Jackson has that experience as well. As for an actor for the role of Gulliver, I would go with the experienced Viggo Mortensen. A very diverse, committed, and talented actor, I think Mortensen could easily and very successfuly fill the role, adding to his list of already impressive credits. Coming off of the recent adaptation of “The Road” and his last few roles in “Eastern Promises”, and “Lord of the Rings”, all of which were nominated for awards, I think he would be an excellent choice. This would reunite Mortensen with Peter Jackson, and I think the two would be instrumental in making this a terrific film.