Top Five Book-to-Film Adaptations We Hope They Get Right

August 10, 2013 § 14 Comments

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

If you haven’t heard of The Fault in Our Stars (shortened to TFIOS by fans), you really must be living under a rock. John Green has blown away adult and teen readers alike with the equally heart-warming and heart-breaking tale of two teenagers who meet and fall in love at a support group for young cancer-sufferers. TFIOS, like Green’s other novels, is an empowering depiction of teenagers, with intelligent, often hilarious and realistically flawed characters who make adult decisions in the in-between world that is adolescence. Itsnotnatalie and I can’t really speak about TFIOS without at least having a tissue box on hand, but there’s one thing we know for certain – this movie could be bad. We’re dreading the rise of “Team Augustus” supporters that are likely to emerge once TFIOS comes to the silver screen, but most importantly, we want this very special book to be represented well on film.

The Fault in Our Stars, John Green

You haven’t read this book? Buy it immediately. Also get tissues.

2. Divergent

Although I often recommend Divergent to those who enjoyed The Hunger Games, they are two very different series. In The Hunger Games, Katniss unknowingly incites an active revolution that has been gestating for quite some time. Meanwhile, in Divergent, things are trucking along pretty well until Tris comes along. It’s a small distinction, but Divergent is more about the slow unravelling of a dystopian society than it is about a persistent revolution gaining traction. Because Divergent and The Hunger Games are so often compared, I hope that the film-makers make an effort to establish Divergent’s identity apart from The Hunger Games. Side note: the girl who has been cast as Tris, Shailene Woodley, has also been cast as Hazel in TFIOS. She must have something going for her!

Divergent, in cinemas soon

Tris takes the plunge for Dauntless.

3. Ender’s Game

Ender’s Game is often ranked as one of the best sci-fi books of all time, so it’s odd that it has never been made into a movie before now. I actually hated it the first time I read it, but persisted through a second time. The second time round, I recognised the true depth and power of the story of Ender Wiggin and his peers. Ender is a complex character, but I think they’ve chosen well in casting Asa Butterfield. Ben Kingsley and Harrison Ford have been cast in the adult roles, with Abigail Breslin and Hailee Stienfeld in supporting ones. My hope is that with such an accomplished cast, the film will live up to the reputation of the book. The trailer certainly seems to indicate that it will! The enemy’s gate is down…

Ender's Game Hailee and Asa

Battle school – it looks pretty accurate so far!


4. Carrie

I’ve mentioned before on The Novelettes that Carrie is one of the books that changed me as a reader and as a person. When I saw that it was being remade, I was really excited. That is, until I saw that Chloe Grace Moretz had been cast as Carrie. In the novel, Carrie is unattractive, often described as bovine, and has enormous difficulty connecting or fitting in with her peers. I find it hard to believe that a girl who looks like Chloe could ever endure the same difficulty that Carrie did. That said, Chloe Grace Moretz is well on the way to establishing herself as a truly talented actress, so I’ll suspend my judgement until I see the film.

See? She looks beautiful even covered in blood. Lauren Linney stars as her mother!

See? She looks beautiful even covered in blood. Julianne Moore stars as her mother!

5. Mockingjay

Although it was met with mixed critical responses, The Hunger Games lived up to my every expectation. I saw it three times in the cinemas and have watched it countless times since. Jennifer Lawrence is the perfect Katniss, and I have faith that she will carry her aptitude for the role for the rest of the Hunger Games journey. That said, Mockingjay has been split into two films, parts one and two. My hope is that it’s not being drawn out simply for extra revenue (I’m looking at YOU, Peter Jackson), and that it’s being divided into two parts to do the final book justice. In Mockingjay, we see Katniss (not to mention Peeta!) suffering post-traumatic stress disorder, and the culmination of the revolution in the districts. Please, filmmakers, don’t screw this up! On the plus side, how great does the Catching Fire trailer look?

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen

Capturing Katniss’ determination. We love JLaw!

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