Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Books Into Movies

We often talk about books that should never have been made into movies. But what books seemed ripe for a movie and yet nothing happened?

How about DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY by  Eric Larson? This book seemed to be made for a big screen adaptation and maybe it will still happen.

What's your choice?

20 comments:

Toe Hallock said...

Patti: "Devil In The White City" is right up there with "Silence of The Lambs" in creepiness. In your mind, who would play the villain? All the other stuff about the invention of the Ferris Wheel, etc. would create wonderful visual effects. Great idea. Maybe you could produce it? Yours truly, Toe.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Patti, I'd love to see film adaptations of the western series SUDDEN by the late British writer Oliver Strange. I've always pictured Clint Eastwood in the role of James Green alias Sudden, the Texas outlaw, a tag he earns because of his lightning draw. Of course, Eastwood's various roles as a western hero are a lot similar to that of Sudden but it's not the same.

The other book I'd have liked to see made into an epic film is SAIGON (1982), a historical fiction by well-known British journalist and author Anthony Grey. It charts the course of Vietnam over several decades, from French colonialism in early 20th century to end of the Vietnam War. An engrossing book.

What about THE CATCHER IN THE RYE? I don't think it has been filmed ever.

pattinase (abbott) said...

NO CATCHER has never been made. Perhaps too much of it takes place in his head.
Now I will have to think about Toe's question.

Margot Kinberg said...

Patti - Oh, that's such an interesting question! Do you know if Ruth Rendell's A Judgement in Stone has ever been filmed? I know there was a film with that title, but the plot isn't really close to the novel...

Anonymous said...

I've been waiting since the 1980s for "A Confederacy of Dunces" to be filmed. Back then, the rumored casting was John Candy as Ignatius and Ruchard Pryor as Burma Jones (instead the two of them did the umpteenth remake of "Brewster's Millions"). Apparently, Steven Soderbergh had the rights, but now he's supposedly retired I guess I'll just go on waiting.

Deb

pattinase (abbott) said...

Yes, it's a French film called LA CEREMONIE, and excellent.
A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES would be swell.

Charles Gramlich said...

I vote for my own "Cold in the Light." am I allowed to? :)

Todd Mason said...

The novella I'm reading for FFB.

If you're going to try to film DEVIL, why not film Robert Bloch's AMERICAN GOTHIC instead? Ever tried that, Patti?

Hm...unfortunately, every Jerry Lewis movie reminds me of A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES, except perhaps the good one (THE KING OF COMEDY).

Anonymous said...

What Deb said. I read it was supposed to be Belushi as Ignatius P. Reilly, and there are times I think that it could have worked.

WHITE CITY could still be done. However...Leonardo DiCaprio purchased the film rights to the book in 2010; the movie is to be produced by Paramount Pictures.

Movies they never should have made? Well the obvious one is BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES, an abominable adaptation of a great book.

Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Nope, never have read it. I like the combination of events in DEVIL. The most interesting parts to me were how they put together the Fair rather than the serial killer aspects. Does Bloch do that. I will check.
DeCaprio would make an interesting choice. And after Django we know he can play a villain.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Oh, I see. I didn't realize the serial killer part of the book had been fictionalized so long ago.

Anonymous said...

And of course William Anthony Parker White (most well known as Anthong Boucher) used "H.H. Holmes" as a pseudonym for two of his mystery novels, including the sf-based locked room mystery ROCKET TO THE MORGUE. (They've since be reprinted under the Boucher name.)


Jeff M.

Todd Mason said...

Not only did "Boucher" use the Holmes name for some of his fiction, he reviewed crime fiction for the NEW YORK HERALD-TRIBUNE as Holmes while doing so for the NEW YORK TIMES as Boucher...a not quite monopoly, but who better. And Boucher used another of the Devil's pseudonyms, "Herman W. Mudgett," to sign the humorous filler doggerel he'd write for blank spaces in the F&SF issues he was editing/co-editing...

Yup, Patti, Bloch was on the case, and indeed did take in at least some of the rest of the bustle of the Fair and Chicago. And wrote a nonfiction account, published by Reader's Digest Books (non-"condensed") of all people, and FFB'd by me some time back. AMERICAN GOTHIC is eminently worth the time.

Anonymous said...

Jack Finney's TIME AND AGAIN.

Chris said...

I'd like a Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser movie (Fritz Leiber).

Anders E said...

Anything by Margaret Millar, really. According to IMdB there are three TV adaptions, two of which for BEAST IN VIEW, and that's it.

Jerry House said...

Guillermo del Toro's take on H. P. Lovecraft's AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS was the one I was really looking forward to. Alas, it died a-borning. So, too, did Stephen King's DARK TOWER project (a movie, followed by a television series, followed by a movie) from Ron Howard.

I can't be the only one to want Bill Crider's Dan Rhodes, Ed Gorman's Sam McCain, and Bill Pronzini's Nameless to make it to the screen.

Ron Scheer said...

Robert Conley's THE SAGA OF HENRY STARR has been optioned. I'd like to see that make it to the screen. Johnny Boggs' LONELY TRUMPET about the court martial of the first black graduate of West Point would make a good dramatic film.

George said...

I wish someone would make movies based on Ross Thomas's books like THE EIGHT DWARF.

John said...

A Judgment in Stone was first made with Rita Tushingham in the lead back in the 1980s and the movie is called The Housekeeper. It has since been re-released under the original novel's title. I like La Ceremonie better.

I have always wanted to see a movie version of any of the Sir Henry Merrivale murder mysteries by John Dickson Carr (Carter Dickson). I think they'd be a riot on screen. There are a lot of excellent crime novels that should've been made into movies ages ago. The list is too long to type out here.

I have read of so many versions of O'Toole's book coming to the screen and never making it. The most horrifying one was with Will Ferrell as Ignatius and Drew Barrymore as his gal pal (can't remember the character's name). Thankfully, it all fell apart. Maybe it was all just a rumor.