A lot of feature films began as novels. Some are loosely inspired by books, and others follow them pretty strictly. Just look at some of the movies that have been successful lately: the Twilight films, the Harry Potter films, How To Train Your Dragon, and many more were books first.
Here are three books that I would love to see turned into movies. All of these books would, in my opinion, translate well onto the big screen.
The Red Tent
The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant, is based on the Old Testament character Dinah (daughter of Jacob and sister of Joseph of the coat of many colours). This book is an amazing journey through the story of one woman, and I have never yet met someone who has read this book and not absolutely loved it. It is a sweeping epic of a story, with Biblical characters that are familiar to us, and yet it is original and personal. This book could make an incredibly moving film if it was done well.
In my opinion, this film would need to be directed by a woman. It is very much a woman’s story, and would need to be filmed from that perspective. Jane Campion could be a promising choice. I think that the star, Dinah, would need to be someone relatively unknown, because this could become such an iconic part that the audience should not have any pre-conceived ideas about the actress. They should just see Dinah. It would have to be filmed on location in the Middle East.
The first book in The House of Night series, by mother and daughter writing partnership P.C. and Kristin Cast, Marked is a teen vampire novel. It is in the same genre as books like Twilight, The Morganville Vampires, and The Summoning. These books, though, are better written than most of the other books of this type, and absolutely suck you into their world.
There is such a strong visual aspect to Marked that it could be beautifully and artistically done on the big screen. The soundtrack could play a huge role as well. As Zoe’s Cherokee heritage is so crucial to the books, it would be important to cast a Cherokee in her role (Delanna Studi comes to mind although she’s too old to play a high schooler). A film of this movie would be a guaranteed success among the huge fantasy film/book follower crowd.
There is buzz on the fan forums that this book has been optioned, but so far no concrete information about whether it will actually be turned into a film.
The Food of Love
Anthony Capella’s best-selling novel, The Food of Loveis the most sensuous novel that I have ever read. It is full of romance and, above all, food. You can practically taste the amazing Italian dishes and smell the streets of Rome as you read. It amazes me that this has not yet been turned into a film. It could be the date movie of the year.
I would choose Lasse Hallstrӧm as director because he did such a beautiful job with the romantic foodie movie Chocolat. For the female lead, there are a lot of choices. Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia, Letters to Juliet) would be worth considering. The boys would have to be Italians–perhaps Italian actors that aren’t yet known in the English speaking film world.
I truly hope that these three films get made into feature films. Until then I guess I’ll just have to re-read the books.