The following three novels contain stories that would look great on film, in my opinion. In fact, if any of the following three novels were made into films, I would be the first in line to buy tickets to see them.
Novels That Would Make Great Movies: The Jester by James Patterson and Andrew Gross
The Jester is the story of a working-class man who lives in France during the middle ages. His name is Hugh De Luc. Hugh is enticed into joining a Crusade when a group of Crusaders travels through his village. After some time spent witnessing the bloody carnage of the Crusade, Hugh decides to abandon the Crusade and go home. When he returns, he discovers that his infant son has been murdered and his wife taken by a duke who wants something that Hugh found while he was crusading. Hugh decides to take vengeance on the duke and seek his wife. With the help of some newfound friends, he trains and becomes a jester in the duke’s court. Hilarity, romance, carnage and intrigue ensue.
The Jester has everything that a great movie should. In addition, it would be fun to see this novel’s characters on screen, particularly Hugh. His journey from farmer, to Crusader to nimble court jester is both funny and heartbreaking. I would like to see Ridley Scott direct this movie. His work with Kingdom of Heaven proves that he is up to the task of taking on a sweeping historical fiction film.
On the off chance that James McAvoy could pick up a French accent, I would love to see him play Hugh De Luc. I believe that he would be able to transition well from the farmer, to the Crusader and then to the silly jester. Claire Forlani of Meet Joe Black would be a great choice for Hugh’s wife, Sophie. In addition, for Hugh’s other, later, love interest, Emilie, I would choose Vera Farmiga of The Departed.
Novels That Would Make Great Movies: The Return of Merlin by Deepak Chopra
The Return of Merlin is a story that is based in both the present and the time of Camelot. It is a very interesting and very spiritual take on the legend of Arthur, Camelot and, of course, Arthur’s wizard, Merlin. Arthur, Merlin and their allies are in a race through time (both forwards and backwards) to stop Merlin’s son, Mordred, from destroying Camelot and finding the Holy Grail.
I know this is going to sound weird, but I would like to see that wacky Mel Gibson direct this one. His flair for historical fiction and the overtly spiritual is great for what this project would surely become. I believe he would take the ancient battles and the modern occult-like events and make them as eerie as Chopra should have. One could only hope that he would also change the end of what was a great novel until the last twenty pages.
I would argue that Billy Connolly would be an excellent choice for Chopra’s interpretation of Merlin. His comical and charming style couple with his ability to play a hard character would match well. If I could, I would say that Heath Ledger would make a fantastic Arthur. However, sadly, I cannot. Therefore, I am going to surprise you all and go with Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Novels That Would Make Great Movies: Florida Roadkill by Tim Dorsey
Florida Roadkill is kind of a typical drugs and cash novel with a bunch of unexpected ingredients. The lead character is an egocentric nearly genius of a man who moonlights as a serial killer. Oddly, the reader often finds himself or herself sympathizing with Serge. It would be interesting to see how Serge and his exploits would translate to film. Would the viewer feel the same sympathy and amusement or would it feel like “Natural Born Killers?” “Coleman” is the closest thing that Serge has to a best friend. He is also a druggy idiot who the reader feels rather sorry for. I mean, he’s nicknamed Coleman because his father trapped him in a cooler when he was a kid. He really is pitiable.
For this kind of fast-paced druggie film, I would go with Guy Ritchie for director. I have a feeling he would take Tim Dorsey’s novel to a new level. His work in movies like Snatch proves that he can handle a rapid-fire plot with some off-the-wall characters and still make a cohesive film. That is just what Florida Roadkill would need.
I would love to see Edward Norton step into the shoes of the murderous eccentric, Serge Storms. Any man who can go from American History X to Death to Smoochie can handle Serge. For the blundering, hopeless drug addict, “Coleman,” I want The Hangover‘s Zach Galifianakis. He might not fit the physical description of “Coleman,” but I think he would get the personality just right.
These are three of my favorite novels and I am sure, if they were done right, they would be three of my favorite films. I know that many fans of these novels would disagree with my choices, but, seeing that these are three strange novels, some strange choices would have to be made for the films. However, I would love just to see them on film, whatever way they got there.