Name one film in 2014 that wasn't adapted from a book. Interstellar and Ouija are the only titles I can think of off the top of my head.
Hollywood has found its new key to high box office revenue: taking two-dimensional words on a page and transforming them into a three-dimensional production that tantalises the visual, auditory and emotional senses of the audience. With this in mind, major production studios have brought several best-selling novels to life, creating a magical experience for book lovers everywhere.
There are, however, immensely popular novels that have not made this transition from paper to silver screen. Take a look at some of these novels I feel should be adapted into film along with dream casts and vital scenes that should stay status quo.
Matched by Ally Condie
Optioned? Yes (Disney).
Plot: In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die. Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s hardly any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one… until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow—between perfection and passion.
Dream Cast: Ariel Winter Gray as Cassia Reyes, Kelly Blatz as Xander Carrow, Ansel Elgort as Ky Markham.
Scene that MUST stay exactly the same: The scene where Cassia admits to Xander that Ky's face appeared on her screen in the microcard after the Match Banquet. I can just imagine Ansel Elgort delivering this heartbreaking line: "I came up on the screen, too, Cassia. But he was the one you chose to see." My heart went out to Xander at this point of the book even though I was rooting for Ky and Cassia from the get-go. I feel that this scene really shows Xander as more than just Cassia's sidekick and it is hence vital to Xander's character development.
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Plot: When it comes to relationships, everyone has a type. Colin Singleton’s type is girls named Katherine. He has dated–and been dumped by–19 Katherines. In the wake of The K-19 Debacle, Colin–an anagram-obsessed washed-up child prodigy–heads out on a road trip with his overweight, Judge Judy-loving friend Hassan. With 10,000 dollars in his pocket and a feral hog on his trail, Colin is on a mission to prove a mathematical theorem he hopes will predict the future of any relationship (and conceivably win the girl).
Dream Cast: Peyton Clark as Colin Singleton, Justin Giddings as Hassan Harbish, Kelli Berglund as Lindsey Lee Wells, Spencer Boldman as The Other Colin.
Scene that MUST stay exactly the same: The graveyard scene. I'm not going to say what happens because it will probably spoil the book for those who haven't read it but I thought Hassan was just perfect in this scene—even though he was probably crushed, he was still able to make light of the situation. Plus, there's just something ironic about making life in a place full of lifeless bodies.
Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board by Zoe Aarsen
Plot: McKenna Brady thinks her junior year of high school is going to be the best ever when she’s welcomed into the elite group of popular girls at Weeping Willow High School led by blond, gorgeous Olivia Richmond. But everything changes the night of Olivia’s Sweet Sixteen sleepover birthday party. The girls play a scary game called Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board, during which new girl Hannah makes up elaborate stories about the future ways in which beautiful Olivia, brassy Candace and athletic Mischa will die. But it doesn’t seem like a harmless game a week later when Olivia dies unexpectedly in a violent car crash, exactly as Hannah predicted. McKenna enlists the help of her cute next-door neighbour Trey in finding out exactly what kind of curse Hannah has put on all of the popular girls in the junior class.
Dream Cast: Liana Liberato as McKenna Brady, Daren Kagasoff as Trey Emory, Kaya Scodelaro as Hannah Simmons, Olivia Holt as Olivia Richmond, Emily Osment as Candace Cotton, Dove Cameron as Mischa Portnoy.
Scene that MUST stay exactly the same: I can't decide between the scene with Trey and the kittens and the scene where the image of the house is drawn on McKenna's window. I chose the former because it was adorable and probably the part where I fell in love with the character Trey and the latter because it was spooky and it's a good scene to segue into the second installment of the series.
Mindspeak by Heather Sunseri
Plot: Seventeen-year-old Lexi Matthews keeps two secrets from her elite boarding school classmates—she’s the daughter of a famous and controversial geneticist, and she can influence people’s thoughts. But after new student Jack DeWeese heals her broken arm with an anything-but-simple touch, he forces Lexi to face a new reality—her abilities reach much further than speaking to the minds of others. After Lexi’s father goes missing and she receives threatening emails, she can’t decide whether to fall into Jack’s arms or run and hide. As Lexi seeks answers to what she and Jack are, she discovers a truth more unsettling than anything her science books can teach. And letting Jack into her life of secrets is not only a threat to her very existence, but it just might break her heart wide open.
Dream Cast: Jeanine Mason as Lexi Matthews, Douglas Booth as Jack DeWeese, Grant Harvey as Kyle Jones, Bianca Santos as Briana Howard, Jon Cryer as Dr. DeWeese.
Scene that MUST stay exactly the same: Lexi healing Sandra. I can imagine this big dramatic moment where Lexi puts her entire being into navigating her brain and trying to heal her with a slow-motion sequence showing the beads of sweat running down her face, her eyes squeezed shut, her face reddening, the veins on her neck showing...
Every Day by David Levithan
Plot: There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere. It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.
Dream Cast: Shailene Woodley as Rhiannon, Robbie Amell as Justin, Devan Leos as Nathan Daldry.
Scene that MUST stay exactly the same: Well, I can imagine that keeping everything exactly the same is going to be extremely hard in a film adaptation of Every Day because A inhabits a different body every day of his life. But one scene I hope stays almost as written is the scene where A takes Rhiannon to the beach in Justin's body and falls in love with her. Also, I hope Nathan Daldry will be as nuts as (or even crazier than) he is in the book.
Photo credits: Penguin Group (USA), Sarah Turbin, Zoe Aarsen / Facebook, Sun Publishing, Knopf Books