What kinds of novels make good material for adaptation?

As a screenwriter, I’m asked this question often. I have to chuckle every time I hear it, because of the presumed assumption that I read books. Or “novels,” as my interlocutor would have it.

Whatever. When I’m in a hurry and just want to rip somebody off because my script is due in a couple of hours, here are the kinds (or would that be “kind”?) of books that I raid:

5. The Bible (all due respect to those who treat it as non-fiction) – Nobody reads no more. The only way you’re gonna meet Jesus is by going to the movies. But straight to video would be ok, too, for home study and prayer.

4. Huckleberry Finn – White kid runs away from home and has adventures with a big black man. This movie will not be for everyone.

3. Casino Royale – The first of the James Bond novels. After you make the movie, you come back to the other Ian Fleming books. Sequel gold! The only thing that could screw this up would be the fall of the Soviet Empire.

2. Any book where a guy and a gal meet cute and have tussles before the final clinch. I’m thinking “Pride or Prejudice” or a Danielle Steele book or something else the same as them.

1. Spot, the Dirty Dog – Or any other fracking dog book. Those things can’t miss!

Thanks to bloglily for the topic.

3 Responses

  1. There’s a song that comes on every Friday at 5:00 on KFOG (104.5) in San Francisco. It’s called “Smoke Two Joints” and my favorite part of it is when the guy says “would you rather smoke two joints or would you rather do your homework?”
    And then there’s this great pause and he says,
    “I knew you were going to say that!”

    I love that part. Anyway, I KNEW you were going to say that. I just didn’t know how you’d say it and make me laugh too, which you did.

    You should tune into KFOG at 5 today.

  2. do kids still call kfog listeners “kfogies”?

  3. Sadly, they are not of a generation that knows or uses the word “fogie.” Ditto “old fart.” I’ve often wondered, though, why every time I get in the car somebody’s reprogrammed that 104.5 button to a station where people are shouting things I can’t understand.

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