Movies and TV shows that adapt books to the big screen don’t always get it right. With some books, however, there is a glimmer of hope. With the remake craze still sweeping Hollywood, we’ve been fortunate in recent years to see some excellent novels emerge from their disastrous first adaptations and find new life, such as A chain of unfortunate events and the coming Percy Jackson Series on Disney+ that honestly can’t be worse than the movie.
The same applies Eragon. When I was younger I loved them Eragon Books. They struck exactly when children’s and youth literature recognized this Harry Potter was not only an anomaly, but that children could read books longer than Cam Jansen. Not only that, but they also recognized that fantasy is a viable genre that still has a lot to explore in a more recent context. As Harry Pottera film adaptation soon followed and then… well, it didn’t do so well.
But the dragon-focused series gets another shot at the big time as a new series based on Eragon was announced in development for Disney+ earlier this year. This means the iconic book series has another chance at a proper adaptation… but why stop there? Let’s look at five other books that should get that Eragon Treatment:
Unlike some of the other entries on this list, I really love this one Suddenly Princess Movies – they’re great fun! Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews are a delight and they are great films to watch on a rainy day. That being said, the films are a world apart from the book series, which ended up comprising 10 books, two adult spin-offs, and several novellas and short stories. There’s so much that was missing or misconstrued in the film that I’d love for it to play out on the small screen, and nine books with storylines that haven’t even been touched on.
There’s drama, friendship, misunderstandings, and a whole lot of heart that could be shown in a series that’s closer to the books. The story of a teenager who suddenly learns that she is the princess of a small European principality and has to deal with the consequences is quite unique. Throw in navigating the pitfalls of high school in a relatable but not overly dramatized way, and you’ve got an excitingly unusual concept.
Ella enchanted is a quirky and very funny film that deserves to be seen and seen again. Unfortunately, it’s also a very poor adaptation of the source material. Keeping the main characters’ names and the central conceit of “Ella must be obedient” is basically where the similarities end.
The book tells a wonderful story about inner strength and the courage to dream. This story could very well be told cinematically, albeit a little less action-packed and a little more thoughtful. Still, there’s a reason the book has been a children’s classic for over 20 years, and that alone deserves a second chance. As Amazon has proven, there’s always room for one more Cinderella twist, so why not make one that we already know is good?
I’m not sure who wrote and directed Artemis Fowl have ever picked up a book in their life, because they certainly haven’t picked up this one. That Artemis Fowl Film is like the physical outcome of a phone game – someone originally read the books and narrated the plot to the next person, but by the time it landed on screens it was a complete monstrosity.
The tale of a criminal mastermind, his butler, a technologically advanced centaur, and an extraordinarily brave elf, all backed by a twist on the classic There Live Fairies Among Us that works so well in the books has been slaughtered so, so badly . As any fan of the series will tell you, it’s a great and action-packed story that deserves to reach a wider audience and could very well work as a film or feature film, so I’ll be setting my watches for a Disney+ remake 10 Years.
The darkness rises
I watched the trailer for The Viewfinder: The darkness rises and said, “Absolutely not.” I’m biased because it’s my favorite book series, but it would be nice if an adaptation was made by a team that actually read the books. Or skimmed the Wikipedia page. Or even stood next to them in a bookstore.
My standards are pretty low at this point, but with the globs of fantasy media just hitting screens – a Lord of the rings series, a game of Thrones forerunner, a wheel of time Series – there is certainly room for a young adult story with a unique blend of magic, reality and English nostalgia, topped with a bittersweet twist. I mean it’s better than making it a straight forward Hollywood-style “chosen one” story. Also, a new adaptation could be greatly improved by at least starting with the first book in the series, rather than the second. But maybe that’s just me.
Discworld Adjustments ranged from “passable” to “Dear God, what is that thing”. Both ends of the spectrum are pretty unfortunate because the world Terry Pratchett created has so many possibilities. There’s a wealth of characters to play around with, different factions and groups to explore, and 41 books to draw plots and inspiration from.
A Discworld TV series or movies don’t even have to be a direct adaptation, but can be something that plays in this world with the same tone — the funny, tongue-in-cheek satire with a dose of heart — that made the books so popular in the first place. The point is that there are a ton of options and space to play with, and Discworld certainly better deserved than being remembered by TV fans The clock.