From the Page to the Screen: An Adaptation Wish List 
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Post by Sara V

From the Page to the Screen:
An Adaptation Wish List

Movie Adaption Wish List

It seems nearly every popular title receives an adaptation of some sort - whether a movie, a streaming service series, or some other format. Each time one of my beloved stories goes from the page to the screen, I always watch with excitement and anticipation, hoping the book is given due justice. Often the adaptation is great in its own right, even if it does not follow the book exactly. Sometimes the adaptation is just awful. But, every now and then, the adaptation does a phenomenal job of bringing to life the characters you’ve grown to love.

The book is usually better, but here are some adaptations that I would like to see.

The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection Series

 This dystopian fairytale brings together royalty, romance and rebellion in what can best be described as The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor. Strong-willed America Singer is selected to compete for the heart of Prince Maxon in a competition that is televised across Illea (formerly the United States). Though begrudgingly, she agrees to compete so that her family may receive the financial benefits, though her heart belongs to her first love Aspen. Amid dates, beautiful gowns, broadcasts and drama with the other girls, the rebellion against the crown is growing and attacks on the palace are increasing. The Selection is the first in the popular series by Cass that spans five books and two generations.

            There has been a lot of chatter about The Selection series being brought to the big screen as a feature film, but it seems like it has been just that - chatter. In June 2016, it was announced that the film had a director - Me Before You's Thea Sharrock - but not much else has been said regarding the status of the project. Given the Bachelor-esque nature of the story and the details behind each character, I think the series could be adapted into a wonderful series or mini-series, even better than a movie. This is a fun and exciting book series, and I look forward to its eventual adaptation in whatever form it takes.

 

Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool

Moon Over Manifest

            Newbery Award-winning Moon Over Manifest follows young Abilene Tucker as she explores her home for the summer of 1936 - Manifest, Kansas. While her father is away at a railroad job, Abilene stays with Pastor Shady Howard, an old friend of her father’s from his time in Manifest. When Abilene takes the fateful Road to Perdition, she meets the diviner Miss Sadie, who adds more mystery to the history of Manifest as she shares stories of the past which align with mementos Abilene found at Shady’s house. This encourages Abilene’s hunt for the spy “The Rattler” and her search for the role her father played in Manifest’s history. The story shifts from “modern” day 1936 to 1918 as Miss Sadie shares the stories of former Manifest residents, bringing to life history and modern-day until their momentous intertwining.

One of the best parts of this book is that the reader can vividly see the story as it unfolds - and it was an exciting one. Timehopping from 1936 to 1918 and back again, I could see this easily being an engaging television series. Its historical timeline filled with mystery and adventure would make for a fun movie as well. However, a standalone film may not hold up as well with the constant flashbacks. Either way, this is a great book that could be a great adaptation.

 

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Sherman Alexie

            A Young Adult book that has both received accolades and faced criticism since its publication, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian tells the story of Arnold Spirit, Jr., better known as Junior, as he moves from his high school on the Spokane Reservation to an all-white high school in Reardan, Washington. Junior, a budding cartoonist, faces bullying at his new school, near abandonment by his friends on the reservation, the struggles of his family’s poverty and alcoholism, and the tragic deaths of loved ones. Despite these many struggles, Junior holds onto the love of his family and his new friends as well as onto the hope that his future is brighter than what he used to think was his destiny. While it does not sound like an overwhelmingly uplifting story, I can assure those who have not the book that it is absolutely amazing. Drawing from his own experiences growing up on the SpokaneReservation, Alexie writes with such a poignantly true voice and shares the experiences of so many.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is another book that has been rumored to be hitting the big screen too and it looks like looks like those rumors may be true. A high-profile production team, including Hugh Jackman, has been assembled for the Fox 2000 production with Alexie serving as executive producer and adapting the book into a screenplay. According to a USC study in 2015, less than 1 percent of the top 800 movies since 2007 featured Native American characters. With Sherman promising a “culturally authentic” film, an adaptation of  The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian would provide a wonderful opportunity for representation and diversity.  Alexie’s involvement in the adaptation assures me that the film will live up to the book completely and I look forward to seeing it when it hits theaters.

What book would you love to see
adapted into a movie or TV series?

Posted by behrhart@auroragov.org On 04 January, 2018 at 11:03 AM  

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