Now that the Harry Potter series has ended, leaving a generation of eager readers (or eager Harry Potter readers at least) and billions of dollars in its wake, it's only reasonable to assume that movie studios will be frantically digging through bookstores searching for the next big thing. However, as any reader knows, they can't all be Harry. From the seemingly "unfilmable" to the downright terrible, here are a few books that even the savviest filmmaker should stay far, far away from.
The Catcher in the Rye
J.D. Salinger's chronicle of a teenage
misanthrope's coming-of-age has been a rite of passage for countless
adolescents since its publication 50 years ago. Less a plot-driven novel
than a character piece heavily indebted to voice and inner thought, we
can't see this one making a convincing movie. Holden's narration is the
book, but nobody wants a movie bogged down in endless voice-over
What a studio executive might say: "First off, get rid of the
title. No idea what it means. We'll call it Holden Caulfield and the
Phony Phonies--it's got a nice Harry Potter feel to it. Is Justin Bieber
available for a read-through? If not, get Brad Pitt. We'll Benjamin
Button him again.
House of Leaves
Mark Z. Danielewski's debut novel is a labyrinthine
exercise in postmodern literature, full of multiple narrators and
endless footnotes--and that's ignoring the fact that some of it is
written upside down. For an accurate screen retelling, we'd all have to
stand on our heads to see it (but hey, it can't be any worse than
watching a 3D movie).
What a studio executive might say: "I have no
idea what this is. When you said House of Leaves, I really thought it
was going to be a martial arts flick. Now I'm sad."
A Shore Thing
Our beloved Snooki's ghostwriter's magnum opus is a
moving tale of love and laxative-laced drinks (seriously) on the Jersey
Shore that would make Jane Austen proud. We have to admit, we kind of want
this to happen just to see a line like "They were huddled together like
a family of Ellis Island immigrants just off the Mayflower" committed
to celluloid forever. But all things considered, we think we'd benefit
more from a documentary on the Situation's abs.
What a studio executive
might say: "Already in pre-production. It's a 'shore' thing! Why are
you still here?"
This will never be a movie. We are more confident about this than anything in our life.
James Joyce's somewhat incomprehensible final book (pretty much written entirely in a
made-up language, not entirely unlike A Shore Thing) has baffled readers for generations
and remains controversial even among Joyce enthusiasts. With no real plot, no real
characters, and a first page that begins MIDSENTENCE, don't expect this in a theater
What a studio executive might say: "I...."
Okay, we know this is already becoming a movie (two
movies, in fact!), but Stephenie Meyer's fourth vampire novel is
terrible, even by Twilight standards. From biting a baby out of a
woman's body to... actually, that's quite enough. No thank you.
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studio executive might say: "Cha-ching."