6. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
This is a crapshoot. Because the narrative is told in alternate forms, you’d need to find a way to represent that (the flashbacks, the newspaper articles, the bits of the pulp fiction story) and that would be hard without the right director and screenwriter. It’s nonlinear, and not every creative team (or audience) can handle that. But it could be a very pretty movie: right now I’m trying to imagine pieces of it in my head and it’s sort of like Canadian Boardwalk Empire a few years later. If you could do it that classily and got a good cast, I’d be into it.
5 & 4. How I Paid for College and Attack of the Theatre People by Marc Acito
In this age of High School Musical and Glee, it’s easy to imagine a group of singing high schoolers as being Happy Fun Family Entertainment!!! The characters in Acito’s two novels, who are eventually college students, are not that, and that would cut down on the marketability of the prospective movies, but that ‘s what I think would be great. Theatre people and music people are pretty often not good clean fun. There’s sex, there’s swearing, there’s songs that aren’t in the Top 40, there’s a joie de vivre that something trying to mass market loses. I’d be into seeing these books as films (I heard a while ago the first was optioned, but nothing’s come of it) but only if they stayed true to the raunchiness and stuff and didn’t try to Glee up. (Though, now that I’m thinking about it, Heather Morris would be a great Kelly.)
3. Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl
This book makes me use made-up words like “favoritest,” I love it so much. It’s written very much like a movie, unfolding in a linear fashion with dramatic turns, a clear rising action/climax/falling action, not too many main characters but very well-drawn ones. Maybe too well-drawn for a movie about high school students. (Have you ever noticed that? High schoolers in films tend to drift towards the land of the easy to understand. For every multidimensional Charlie Bartlett you have three flat Disney channel original movies.) My big worry about this one would be that the book is so long; they’d have to cut parts of it out to make the film a reasonable running time (and they probably wouldn’t Deathly Hallows it) and I just don’t know what they could take out and retain the integrity. They’d probably try to sex it up a little, too: hangout parties with the Bluebloods would turn into softcore, artistically shot orgies of sorts, Blue and Milton would spend far too long partaking in that not-really-too-long making-out scene, Hannah would be shown having something with someone. It could easily get corrupted, but. Again, if it was done right, by people as neurotic and detaily as I am, it could be quality, maybe. (HBO miniseries?) I’ve never been able to cast most of it in my head, exactly (Lu ends up like a floaty teenage Juliet Landau, but that’s impossible; Jade I do have down, Ari Graynor, am I right?) but I trust professionals to do that.
2. Heartsick, Sweetheart, Evil at Heart, The Night Season, and …? by Chelsea Cain
(I tack on that extra …? because it’s clearly a series that’s far from finished. I haven’t actually read The Night Season yet, as it just came out this year and with Borders closing my hookup for new books is currently a bit paltry [and I can't trek up to Portland just to go to Powell's, much as I'd want to] so.) Oh, come on, these have “movie please” written all over them. There’s teensy subplots you could trim out if you needed to and my heroine Chelsea Cain gave permission, but they’re not too long of books, and you could easily adapt them fully. I’d like to think that Susan Ward, the heroine of the series, could be buddies with Lisbeth Salander of Stieg Larsson’s Millenium Trilogy; she’s sort of that same cut of heroine, punky and quirky, albeit less directly damaged. The relationship between Archie and Gretchen is pure cinema in its twistedness; Gretchen herself is something the world needs more of in fiction, a wicked gorgeous serial killer woman. I’d be all for this. My maxim of “with the right hands on deck” still applies, of course; I wouldn’t want it to become just lame CSI or something. It’s purely well-written pulp, and that’s a rarity, in books and modern films both.
1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Coincidentally, it’s the one on this list I’d have been the most hesitant about. But I guess we’ll find out what they do with it soon enough. Will there be a lot of narration? Will the letter format even be retained at all? I’m holding my breath.
–your fangirl heroine.