Thanks to Mismatched Socks to tagging me for the “If Books Were Movies” tag. Her blog is awesome, and if you like thoughtful insights about books, movies, and culture, you should definitely check it out!
The idea behind this tag is that you pick five books that you wish were movies or TV shows and talk about each one. Without further ado, here are my picks!
1. Hero of the Empire by Candice Millard (review soon to come!)
Hero of the Empire is the most fascinating non-fiction book I’ve ever read. It tells the story of Winston Churchill’s daring escape from prison during the Boer War. I’d love for this to be turned into a historically accurate movie or mini-series where the characters speak their native language (the English speak English, the Boers speak Afrikaans, etc), like in The Longest Day. Also, it would be cool if the film were shot in black-and-white, to make it even more like an old war movie!
2. As You Like It by William Shakespeare
OK, so technically this has been made into a movie. But, Kenneth Branagh decided to set it in 19th century Japan, but with white people (and one black person) as the main characters?? The whole thing is rampant with cultural appropriation and anachronisms. Kenneth, I love you in Much Ado about Nothing, but I’ll pass on As You Like It.
My version of As You Like It would be set in pastoral England, like the actual play. I would time-travel and kidnap young Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson to be Orlando and Rosalind. And I have this really great idea for the last scene that I’ve told my sister about a million times, so I’d use it, too. As You Like It, as I like it. After I made this movie, I could die in peace.
3. The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt
The best middle grade novel ever written deserves a movie adaption worthy of its glory. If I made a movie of The Wednesday Wars, I’d have open auditions for the main characters, who are in seventh grade. I’d choose sincere, genuine actors who (1) are actually the age of their characters and (2) look like real kids. The movie would have a soundtrack full of 60’s music, like the Beatles, the Monkees, and Peter, Paul, and Mary. And the aesthetic would be super 60’s as well–preppy New York for the school scenes, with some hippie stuff thrown in. Also, I’d leave in all the religious themes about Christianity and Judaism instead of editing them out in a lame attempt to sanitize the story.
4. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
If Stargirl were made into a movie, it would be extremely vulnerable to death by Hollywood. They’d want to give it a happy ending, sexualize the innocent first-love aspect of the novel, and have every character played by a hot 20-something. I’d keep the movie as true to the original plot as possible, and again, I’d have open auditions for normal-looking 16- and 17-year-olds. The soundtrack would be written and performed by Jack Johnson…. and as long as we’re inhabiting my fantasy world, I’d like a unicorn as well.
5. The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier
I’ve talked about this book before–it’s a spooky tale set in England during the Irish Potato Famine. The Night Gardener would make a wonderful 2D-animated movie–and who better to do it than Cartoon Saloon? Cartoon Saloon is the Ireland-based creator of the beautiful films The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea (which should have won the 2014 Animated Picture Oscar, but Big Hero 6 won instead because the Oscars are decided by morons who know nothing about animation). Both films take place in Ireland, and while The Night Gardener is set in England, the two main characters are Irish, so I’m sure it would be right up Cartoon Saloon’s alley. I had no idea I wanted this movie so badly until now!
And now, I tag…
Were you reading this post and thinking, “Wow, this looks fun”? Are you dying to cast Benedict Cumberbatch as Mr. Darcy and Eddie Redmayne as Mr. Bingley? Do you have an amazing aesthetic in mind for a movie of Macbeth? Well then, consider yourself tagged, and link me to your post! I’d love to hear about your book/movie fantasies.
What did you think of my movie ideas? What books would you make movies of? Let me know in comments!