You may as well get a teapot enchanted with Angela Lansbury’s voice to start singing about it; it’s a tale as old as time (get it?!): book people hate it when movie people take the books they love and make unfaithfully adapted movies out of them. It’s like seeing an ex, post-breakup, who got way shinier since you last saw him, plus he has better hair now and smells fancier and is being directed by Michael Bay. Meanwhile, you’re all on the side, like, “My character development is far deeper and has way more layers than this charade! Hellooo? Anyone care about me?”
So let’s turn the tables for a sec, and see how the film folks like it the other way around: We chose some movies that are just begging for the book treatment. And because we are kindhearted nerds, we will endeavor to make them even better than they were when we found them.
The Royal Tenenbaums
Any Wes Anderson film would make a great picture book. They’re all so pretty to look at, it’s like watching a watercolor painting that moves. But most specifically, The Royal Tenenbaums is prime for the ole book treatment because let’s be honest, we all want to know how Dudley happened. Put it on the coffee table of your shabby-chic brownstone.
The Matrix Trilogy
Ok, ok, ok—there are plenty of books out there covering The Matrix trilogy. But we want organization and expansion, people. Kick it Game of Thrones style! Plus, let’s get some footnotes in there with scholarly theories on themes and whatnot because you know there’s plenty of that junk out there in the world. PLUS why not add a glossy insert section with cool graphic art pertaining to the story? PLUS PLUS let’s package it all up with a red pill AND a blue pill. It’ll be a promotional nightmare but also a definitive book series that kind of just handles everything. It’ll be both convenient and efficient! Someone call the Wachowskis.
A League of Their Own
Thinking about this, the most perfect movie in the world, being turned into what would obviously be the most perfect book in the world, makes us feel things. We would, of course, demand that literally nothing about the plot or characters be changed at all. The dialogue stays. The story stays. Madonna and Rosie O’Donnell stay (figure it out). ONLY ONE THING SHALL BE ADDED: Did Dottie drop the ball on purpose? Yes or no. That’s the only addition this treatment should allow. Because otherwise, the story is immaculate. Just transcribe it into a book and let’s call it a day.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Can you imagine this story getting, like, the Gabriel García Márquez treatment? Just a long, epic tale of two people who are doomed to be in love and then not in love and then in love again. You could even radically reduce the whole Lacuna, Inc., part of the movie and spend a ton of time just describing Joel and Clementine’s memories and hair-color changes. It would gut you.
Make it into a pop-up book! Make it into a pop-up book! Pop-up book artisans, take note! This is our idea! Give us a million dollars and you can have it!
The Cabin in the Woods
Done in World War Z style. Prologue: The novel opens on Patience Buckner, feverishly writing in her diary as her nightmare family descends up on her. Then, each chapter is told from a single character’s perspective—Dana (the Virgin), Chris (the Athlete), the director of the facility, the people in other countries who also are a part of this ritual, the Ancient Ones, etc. The ending remains the same, as it was awesome.
What movie would you like to see become a book?