As advances in technology allow TV and film producers to bring evermore elaborate tales to the screen, we’re seeing an uptick in studios adapting books of magnificent scope. Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, which is currently heading into production for the big screen, is the latest example.
Adapting books for television and film isn’t anything new. But studios are becoming more aggressive in their strategy, optioning books by the boat-load out of fear that creativity will run dry.
But just because a novel gets optioned doesn’t mean it will reach the screen anytime soon. Many author’s “novel ideas” get stuffed in a filing box for years until the zeitgeist is just right, and some studios option books just so a rival doesn’t get its paws on it. It’s a dirty game, and it’s why some authors see Hollywood as a Monstro, of sorts, indiscriminately gobbling up their stories.
That said, many talented authors do get to bask in a brighter spotlight thanks to the TV/film industry. Look at last year’s awards-darling Room, based on the 2010 novel of the same name. Irish-Canadian author Emma Donoghue saw her novel go through a sales renaissance thanks to the film adaptation.
There has also been a huge spike in young adult fiction which has led to many books being optioned, like anything written by John Green or more obscure novels like Grasshopper Jungle.
What will be the next big adaptation? That’s precisely the question I’m here to answer. With so many genres out there, I’ve broken the odds down by category.
Setting these odds wasn’t an exact science, but after looking at the latest rumors and buzz, the general adaptability of the stories, and a variety of other factors, I have a pretty good idea which books are coming to the screen next and which are just wishful thinking.
And hey, if an interesting-looking book has long odds, you could try that reading thing your mom is always on about.
Next Book-to-TV/Film Odds
Young Adult Fiction
Looking for Alaska – John Green: 2/1
Mortal Engines Quartet – Philip Reeve: 3/1
See Me – Nicholas Sparks: 4/1
The Abhorsen series – Garth Nix: 17/3
The Obsession – Nora Roberts: 15/1
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing – Judy Blume: 7/3
Sideways Stories from Wayside School – Louis Sachar: 3/1
Outside Over There – Maurice Sendak: 4/1
The Wreck of the Zephyr – Chris Van Allsburg: 17/3
The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs – Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith: 9/1
Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident – Donnie Eichar: 1/1
Ernest Hemingway: A Life Story – Carlos Baker: 3/1
The Land that Never Was: Sir Gregor MacGregor and the Most Audacious Fraud in History – David Sinclair: 9/1
The Battle for Aberdeen 1644 – Chris Brown: 9/1
Rommel: Desert Fox – Desmond Young: 19/1
Blood Meridian – Cormac McCarthy: 1/2
Nation – Terry Pratchett: 9/1
An Artist of the Floating World – Kazuo Ishiguro: 11/1
A Spear of Summer Grass – Deanna Raybourn: 12/1
Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison: 50/1
Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell: 1/3
Beautiful Disaster – Jamie McGuire: 12/1
The City and the Pillar – Gore Vidal: 12/1
Real (The REAL series) – Katy Evans: 19/1
The Trumpet-Major – Thomas Hardy: 24/1
The Power of the Dog – Don Winslow: 3/2
The Cartel – Don Winslow: 3/2
Bleeding Edge – Thomas Pynchon: 4/1
Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d: A Flavia de Luce Mystery – 6/1
The Big Blowdown – George Pelecanos: 14/1
Engleby – Sebastian Faulks: 30/1
MaddAddam – Margaret Atwood: 2/3
The Dune series – Frank Herbert/Brian Herbert: 3/1
The Left Hand of Darkness – Ursula K. Le Guin: 9/1
Stranger in a Strange Land – Robert A. Heinlein: 30/1
Code Breakers: Alpha – Colin F. Barnes: 50/1
Good Omens – Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman: 2/1
Gentleman Bastard series – Scott Lynch: 3/1
Mistborn series – Brandon Sanderson: 4/1
The Wheel of Time series – Robert Jordan/Brandon Sanderson: 4/1
One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel García Márquez: 24/1
A Certain Slant of Light – Laura Whitcomb: 1/2
The Replacement – Brenna Yovanoff: 17/3
Off Season – Jack Ketchum: 9/1
The Damnation Game – Clive Barker: 19/1
The Cellar – Richard Laymon: 30/1
Where’d You Go Bernadette – Maria Semple: 2/1
Sabbath’s Theater – Philip Roth: 2/1
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal – Christopher Moore: 3/1
The Corrections – Jonathan Franzen: 4/1
A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole: 17/3
The Sellout – Paul Beatty: 25/1
Sex Criminals – Matt Fraction: 3/1
Y: The Last Man – Brian K. Vaughan: 3/1
100 Bullets – Brian Azzarello: 3/1
American Vampire – Stephen King and Scott Snyder: 4/1
Survivors’ Club – Lauren Beukes: 10/1
The Arrival – Shaun Tan: 25/1
Featured photo credit: Johannes Jansson/norden.org [CC BY 2.5 dk (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/dk/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons.
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