While Hollywood does not always have the best reputation for book to movie adaptations,there are certain books that with handled carefully and maybe even allowed to have the writers of the novels work closely with the producers, directors, script writers, actors, etc. The following listicle is of books I feel are exceptions to the norm of bad Hollywood adaptations and could really make good films if they tried. This list is in no particular order and has no ranking of best to worst or worst to best, just a list of 11 different books I could see being really good movies with the right people working behind it.
1. Cinder by Melissa Meyers
Cinder is a book which is based on the classic tale of Cinderella, but with the twist of our main character being a cyborg, living in a futuristic city called New Beijing, and a virus plaguing the earth. This book could be very charming and cool if given the right director. The setting would also have to be able to futuristic and be able to incorporate the technology in the different sets as well as the character of Cinder. The movie would also have to be very careful with special effects, props, and any kind of futuristic technology or graphics that are used to help show this on the big screen. Too many or too little could make the movie look too fake or non believable. Also of course getting the writer actress to play Cinder as well as other characters in the novel is important as well. This could be a great sci-fi and fairytale movie mixed into one and hopefully one day it can be made with as much respect to the source material (and maybe some changes to help it come to life better in film) as it deserves.
2. Ugly Love by Coleen Hoover
While this movie is apparently already in being made into a film this adaptation will have to be handled delicately to make sure it does not turn into something it is not. While the synopsis of the book which is about two tenants who live in apartments across from each other and start a "not friends with benefits" situation, may sound like something that could turn into some 50 Shades type of novel, this book is far from it actually. While there are sex scenes in the book, the way Hoover writes them are very happy middle, meaning not too erotic or graphic, but also not too vague either. The book also is not just about sex and has a very interesting story involving bottled up emotions of the two characters, especially Miles the male lead. He even has a very surprising and sad back story to explain why he has not dated anyone in so long which is both shocking and tear jerking. With this movie the writers and director of the movie will have to be very careful with how they tell the story to show both the sexual and emotional side of it and not let one aspect overshadow the other too much. The marketing team will also have to be careful when advertising because people may be in for a shock when they find out the movie is not exactly what was shown in the commercials or promotional features. This movie can be great if it has good writing and a good marketing team to help back it up.
3. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
One of my most favorite Rainbow Rowell books is Fangirl. Not only is the book realistic to the "fangirl life," but also talks a lot about anxiety, especially social anxiety and portrays it pretty well in my opinion. The story follows a girl named Cat who is adjusting to college life, dealing with her social anxiety, her creative writing class which may be harder than she thought, boys, and her twin sister and her growing apart as her sister seems to be thriving at college life. Luckily, Cat's online life is great. She is writing a popular fan fiction based on characters in the Simon Snow novels (a parody of Harry Potter) and is pretty happy in her fandom life. The book even takes a turn every few chapters to show the chapter that Cat is writing in the fan fiction. The book I feel could be a good movie if they 1) were able to find a good actress to play the character of Cat as the character has to be able to accurately portray someone with social anxiety and 2) be able to write the fandom and fangirl attitude as well as someone with social anxiety. These feelings and emotions are not always portrayed well or correctly on screen and I would hope that a book that portrayed them pretty well could have a movie that portrays those emotions just as well. It would also be interesting to be able to see the fanfiction come to life as well adding in some fantasy elements too the mix as well as LGBT representation that the fanfiction displays.
4. Looking for Alaska by John Green
While Green has already had 2 of his other novels made into movies, I feel that the book Looking for Alaska could be a great adaptation. The story follows a boy named Miles as he deal with his first year at boarding school which includes making friends, dealing with classes, participating in school pranks, and falling for a mysterious girl named Alaska. The biggest concern when making this book into a movie is having the right actress to play Alaska. Alaska is an extremely complex character and the actress who plays her would need to be someone that can show that complexity and make sure to not make her into a kind of character she is not. The movie would also have to be able to show certain aspects of the book that can not just be shown with acting like the difference between the before and after parts of the novel and the differences in that as well as making sure to find the right location for the school.
Like all these books it has to be handled with grace and like a fragile piece of art. If the right directors, actors, writers, producers, etc. come along and can make great versions of these films that would be fantastic. At the moment however, the only way we can really see these books are in our heads as we read. I encourage all of my readers if you have not picked up one of these books today to do so, you will not regret it.