Movies and TV shows that adapt the books for the screen aren’t always successful. However, for some books, there is a silver lining. With the remake craze still rampant in Hollywood, over the past few years we’ve been blessed with some excellent novels surpassing their disastrous first adaptations and taking on new life, like A series of unfortunate events and the next Percy Jackson series on Disney+ which, frankly, can’t be worse than the movie.
It is the same for Eragon. When I was younger, I loved the Eragon books. They hit just as children’s and young adult literature realized that Harry Potter was not only an anomaly, but that children could read books longer than Cam Jansen. Not only that, but they realized that fantasy was a viable genre with a lot to explore in a younger context. As Harry Pottera film adaptation soon followed suit and then…well, it didn’t go too well.
But the dragon-focused series gets another hit at the big time, as a new series based on Eragon was announced to be in development for Disney+ earlier this year. This means the iconic book series has another shot at getting a proper adaptation…but why stop there? Let’s look at five other books that should get the Eragon treatment:
Unlike some other entries on this list, I really like the princess diaries movies – they are great fun! Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews are a delight, and they’re great films to watch on a rainy day. That being said, the movies are a world apart from the book series which ends up spanning 10 books, two adult spin-offs, and several novels and short stories. There’s so much missing or misinterpreted in the film that I’d love to see play out on the small screen and nine books of plots that haven’t even been touched.
There’s drama, friendship, misunderstandings, and a whole lot of heart that could be shown in a series that’s close to the books. The story of a teenager who suddenly discovers that she is the princess of a small European principality and who has to deal with the consequences is already unique. Add to that navigating high school trappings in a relatable but not overly dramatized way, and you have an exciting and uncommon concept.
Ella, enchanted is a whimsical and very funny film, which deserves to be seen and reviewed in its own right. Unfortunately, it’s also a very poor adaptation of the source material. Keeping the names of the main characters and the central conceit of “Ella must be obedient” is essentially where the similarities end.
The book tells a wonderful story about inner strength and the courage to dream. This story could very well be told in a movie, although it would be a little less action-packed and a little more thoughtful. Still, there’s a reason the book has been a children’s classic for over 20 years and that alone deserves a second chance. As Amazon has proven, there’s always room for another Cinderella twist, so why not make one that we already know is good?
I don’t know who wrote and directed Artemis Poultry never picked up a book in his life, because he certainly didn’t pick up this one. The Artemis Poultry the film is like the physical result of a phone game – someone originally read the books and told the plot to the next person, but by the time it hit the screens , it was a complete monstrosity.
The story of a children’s criminal mastermind, his butler, a tech-savvy centaur and an exceptionally brave elf, all backed by a twist on the classic “there are fairies who live among us “which works so well in the books, has been butchered so badly. As any fan of the series will tell you, it’s a great action-packed tale that deserves to reach a wider audience and could very well work as a movie or movie, so I’ll set my clocks for a remake from Disney+ in 10 years.
The night is coming
I took a look at the trailer for The Researcher: Darkness Rises and went “Absolutely not.” I’m biased because it’s my favorite book series, but it would be nice to have an adaptation done by a team that actually read the books. Or browsed the Wikipedia page. Or even stood next to them in a bookstore.
My standards are pretty low at this point, but with the masses of fantastic media hitting screens right now – a the Lord of the Rings series, one game of thrones Prequel, a wheel of time series – there’s definitely room for a young adult story with a unique blend of magic, reality and English nostalgia, complete with a bittersweet twist. I mean, it’s better than making it a Hollywood “chosen” story. Also, a new adaptation could be greatly improved by starting at least with the first book in the series, instead of the second. But maybe it’s just me.
Discworld adaptations range from “passable” to “dear god what the hell is that thing”. Both ends of the spectrum are such a shame, because the world created by Terry Pratchett holds so many opportunities. There’s a wealth of characters to play with, different factions and groups to explore, and 41 books to draw plot and inspiration from.
A Discworld A TV series or movie doesn’t even have to be a direct adaptation, but can be something set in this world with the same tone – the funny, ironic satire with a dose of heart – that made the books so beloved in the first place. Thing is, there’s a ton of options and plenty of room to play, and Discworld certainly deserves better than to be remembered by TV fans as The watch.