Why haven't these books been made into movies?

Random musings whilst reading the “Remake” thread.

What book (or books) do you think deserve to be made into decent movies? Try to avoid remakes if you can.

My first choice: The Adventures of Alacrity Fitzhugh and Hobart Floyt. We’ve got three novels to work from and a whole universe that’s set up. Current CGI is up to the task of manifesting the other races. Action, Adventure, Secret Cabals…what’s not to like?


I think many longer novels or series of novels benefit from a miniseries/limited series treatment, rather than having a bunch of stuff cut out to fit in a movie time slot.

One book I’d like to see get the costume drama limited series treatment is The Newcomes by William Thackeray. It has a solid will-they/won’t-they romance with lots of twists and turns and subplots covering a wide range of topics (upper class vs. middle class, the art world, the church world, the financial world).

I’d also like to see An American Tragedy made into a limited series (although A Place in the Sun is pretty good).

I would dearly love to see a movie made from Inverted World, a novel which begins with

I had reached the age of six hundred and fifty miles.

Roger Zelazny’s Lord of Light.

Roger Zelazny’s Amber series would be much more marketable. Tho it would most likely work best as a TV miniseries.

Okay, both of them.

Another Country by James Baldwin

Hard to translate to the screen (though much easier now than it was even a decade ago) and with a serious potential to step on toes with its semi-cynical take on Hinduism and Buddhism. I know there are redeeming moments like Mahasamatman’s disciple, but there are cultural sensitivity landmines aplenty.

The Amber series would be a far better adaptation target, but as noted above it really would almost have to be a multi-season prestige TV adaptation a la Game of Thrones to do it justice.

With the right writer and director, Doorways In the Sand would be a trippy micro-series. Like Good Omens.

A Confederacy of Dunces

The Lion of Ireland - Historical fiction about Brian Boru.

The 480, by Harvey Wheeler and Eugene Burdick, the two men who wrote Fail-Safe. It’s a political thriller set around the time of the Kennedy assassination. I had to read it in college when I was taking a course in Argumentation and Persuasion. Still highly relevant today in light of how candidates are presented and public opinion is manipulated.

Red Storm Rising should make a great miniseries.

It has been a while since I read it but I think that “The Practice Effect” by David Brin could make for an interesting mini series. It is a science fiction book set in a world where entropy runs in reverse. Using things makes them stronger and more efficient instead of worn out and broken. Rich people have their servants wear their clothes so that they get better. The wheel was never invented because the friction of a skid on a path can be practiced away.

The one I always mention in these kind of threads is H. P. Lovecraft’s “At The Mountains Of Madness”. I know that Guillermo del Toro has it planned for decades and got stuck in development hell, but he’d be just a perfect choice for the movie, which IMHO is the most cinematographic story by Lovecraft. I’d love to see that project realized.

Another one I saw proposed in another thread here a few weeks ago is Terry Pratchett’s “Nation”. I concur that this could make for a great mini series.

So would Red Army.

How about “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress?”

And I’d love to see “A Deepness in the Sky” and “A Fire Upon the Deep” made into a series like The Expanse.

Also “The Monkey Wrench Gang.”

I’m a big fan of Pat Conroy, and many of his novels have already been adapted for the screen, but the one I really want to see is “My Losing Season.” Remember The Great Santini? Conroy’s college basketball coach was even MORE of an asshole. And at least Santini was a good fighter pilot. Conroy’s coach, Mel Thompson, was a horrible coach. There have been countless “hard assed coach with a heart of gold who leads his team to victory” movies. But as far as I know we’ve never seen “miserable prick coach hopelessly ensnares his team into his own self-destructive psychodrama and NOTHING good ever comes of it.”

According to this article the film rights were acquired in 2002 but nothing ever came of it.

Tom Clancy’s The Cardinal of the Kremlin could be an excellent film and cutting a bit of the backstory would be fine. But, can a Cold War film make it in 2020?

I agree with Red Storm Rising but would definitely need to be a miniseries and yes, they can cut a lot of the military speak from the book and lose nothing. I read it again a few weeks ago and it was a longer slog than in the past.

I’m eternally surprised that Matt Wagner’s Mage hasn’t been movie-fied yet. I know it was in pre-pro a couple of times but it seems to be one of those projects that just never gets going.

For straight up book fiction, I’ve long thought that Dream Park would make a fantastic movie.

I’d vote for Ringworld. With cgi the imagery of the ring arcing overhead and the shadow squares would be worth the price of admission. Sure, there’s no real plot. Consider it like a different Jurassic Park - just an escape adventure with great visuals.