1. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
Why it should be a movie: Stargirl is the ultimate manic pixie dream girl! Can you imagine the ukulele cover montages, the achingly sweet shots of Leo and Stargirl in her meditation tent, and most importantly, THE BUNNY HOP SCENE? Set it all to a Juno-style indie pop soundtrack and you’re golden.
Will it be a movie?: There have been rumors of a Stargirl movie out since 2007, but the proposed date for the project came and went five years ago.
2. Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale by Holly Black
Why it should be a movie: Tithe’s dirty, sexy take on faeries is prime material for an entertainment age characterized by the gritty reboot. The fan frenzy that would surround casting the silver-haired knight Roiben would break the internet— as would hype over the prosthetics required to create the Unseelie Court.
Will it be a movie?: All three of the Modern Faerie Tales have been previously optioned for films, but no deals came out of the process. As of now, there are no plans to option them again.
3. The Wind Singer by William Nicholson
Why it should be a movie: Written by the screenwriter from Gladiator, The Wind on Fire Trilogy, is made for the screen. For those who haven’t read: imagine aerial sports, teenage empaths, autonomous desert war machines, and a million-strong army of regenerated zombie children. And that’s just the first book.
Will it be a movie?: There have been offers, but Nicholson has rejected all of them.
4. Literally everything by Tamora Pierce
Why they should be movies: Tamora Pierce is the OG “strong female protagonist on an epic adventure” writer. While all of her series would make fantastic films, the Trickster books are the most substantial, not to mention there is a great opportunity for diverse castings with the multiracial princesses Saraiyu and Dovesary.
Will they be movies?: Probably not, since Pierce has argued that her books all take place in the same universe and would have to be made under the same studio.
5. Abarat by Clive Barker
Why it should be a movie: Clive Barker illustrates his books with elaborate oil paintings, so the bright and colorful world of Abarat is prime for an adventurous animation studio to pick up and bring to life. That said, Barker is also the mastermind behind horror classic Hellraiser, so some of that colorful world is kind of screwed up.
Will it be a movie?: Disney picked up Abarat early on in its publication, but later dropped it (something about all of the nightmarish violence, horrifying visuals, and anti-consumerist undertones). Clive Barker is still down to make a film though.
6. The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
Why they should be movies: So they tried to make The Golden Compass happen and it didn’t quite work, but His Dark Materials gets much better. Maybe the studios just need some encouragement to keep going: Come on, little buddies, you can do it! Get back on that polar bear and ride it to victory!
Will it be a movie?: Seeing as most of the child actors have aged out, it’s unlikely that we’ll see The Subtle Knife or The Amber Spyglass anytime soon.
7. Stravaganza by Mary Hoffman
Why they should be movies: Okay so you have attractive teen time-travelers who travel to an alternate reality version of Renaissance Italy when they sleep, and literally every teen star can have a role seeing as there are seven protagonists- it’s dead surprising that someone isn’t already on the historical fiction gold that is Stravaganza.
Will they be movies?: Mary Hoffman would like there to be, but no one seems particularly interested.
8. Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty
Why it should be a movie: Now that Mean Girls is ten years old, it’s time for a new defining high school movie: Sloppy Firsts. It’s the coming-of-age story for the clever, hyperobservant young woman in the new millennium, with an adequate amount of sex, drugs, and white boy dreadlocks thrown in for good measure.
Will it be a movie?: Yes!
9. Eragon (deserves a second chance) by Christopher Paolini
Why it should be a movie: Because the rest of the books were even better than the first one. Because you grew up worshipping Christopher Paolini for writing the series when he was still a teenager. Because the first film broke your heart and did nothing except launch the career of the mean footman on Downton Abbey.
Will it be a movie?: If you look up “Eragon remake” on Google and press your ear to your speakers, legend has it you’ll hear a voice whisper “fuck you” in the Ancient Language.
10. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
Why it should be a movie: The Westing Game, a constant of every middle school English education, is a really messed up book. The only previous adaptation, 1997’s “Get a Clue!,” cut most of the dark parts, including the ACTUAL ENDING. We need an adult-oriented remake- think of the makeup possibilities for the N/S/E/W gambit!
Will it be a movie?: There are no rumors about remaking The Westing Game, so Sam Westing is probably rolling over in his grave.
11. Martyn Pig by Kevin Brooks
Why it should be a movie: Now that Ezra Miller is alive and of age, it’s time for him to step into the role he was born for and play poor little Martyn Pig. It’s the heartwarming tale of a gullible boy who straight up kills his father and leaves the body to decay on the floor for a week. It’s an odd, sad book. In a good way.
Will it be a movie?: Not as far as anyone has heard.
12. Thirsty by M.T. Anderson
Why it should be a movie: At a time when vampire fatigue is a cultural problem, Thirsty could be the film that saves the genre. Its aggressively nihilistic tone is the antidote to the fluffier vampire that has emerged in recent films— also the audience rage at its infamous “worst ending ever” would shock people on a Game of Thrones-esque level.
Will it be a movie?: Not with that ending it won’t.
13. Gossip Girl: Psycho Killer by Cicely von Ziegesar
Why it should be a movie: So this book exists. It’s a rewrite of the original Gossip Girl (the one that inspired the greatest television show of our time), but this time all of the characters harbor poorly controlled homicidal tendencies. That’s the only difference. It’s the American Psycho version of Gossip Girl.
Will it be a movie?: Your heart says no but your body says yes.
14. The Dark Portal by Robin Jarvis
Why it should be a movie: It’s like Redwall, except with Satanic undertones and magic squirrels; exactly the kind of creepy cartoon that Tim Burton should take on for his next project. The Dark Portal would also be an excuse to utilize today’s massive pool of British voice talent. Tom Hiddleston for Jupiter, anyone?
Will it be a movie: No word on a Deptford Mice movie, but the prequel The Alchemist’s Cat (villain Jupiter’s origin story) was supposed to come out…in 2005.
15. City of the Beasts by Isabel Allende
Why it should be a movie: Because if Amanda Stenberg wasn’t meant to play the curly-haired lady adventurer Nadia I don’t know why this book was even written. Also, City of the Beasts is a gateway drug that will hopefully lead to adapting Allende’s other novels! Next step: Márquez.
Will it be a movie?: Yep, but probably not for a while.
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