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Books that are impossible to film (and they haven't tried yet)

I'm currently reading "The Reality Dysfunction", a science fiction novel by Peter F. Hamilton ... and there's just no way they could film this, either as a movie, a series of movies, a mini-series on TV, or a full fledge series.

Even if they strip out the constant flash backs, half the story-lines, all the sex... the very core of the plot is something that is just unfilmable, because there's just no visual way I can imagine you could tell the story of what's really going on.

Any attempt would be an incoherent mess. Which is strange, because the book is really good... but it lets you get into the heads of the characters, and know about "action" that is invisible to any eye.

What other books are completely unfilmable? And by that, I mean, they've never even tried, and probably never will!

by Anonymousreply 3004/01/2013

Catcher in the Rye

by Anonymousreply 112/28/2012

"My Way of Life" by Joan Crawford. They should totally try to film this, though.

by Anonymousreply 212/28/2012

Infinite Jest

by Anonymousreply 312/28/2012


by Anonymousreply 412/28/2012

Well, they filmed "The Orchid Thief." Sort of.

by Anonymousreply 512/28/2012

I think you could tell the main story of Infinite Jest in a film.

by Anonymousreply 612/28/2012

None. When they did The Exorcist, they proved that you could get away with anything. They had to build their special effects by hand too.

by Anonymousreply 712/28/2012

Life of Pi

by Anonymousreply 812/28/2012

Catcher in the Rye is very film-able, it's the author who stayed adamant about not having a movie made.

by Anonymousreply 912/28/2012

Kelley Blue Book

by Anonymousreply 1012/28/2012

I agree with R9.

I was going to say "One Hundred Years of Solitude" but the more I think about it, the more I believe it could be filmed.

Also, some novels would be better adapted as limited TV series

by Anonymousreply 1112/28/2012

"A Confederacy of Dunces." They've been trying ever since it was originally written.

So glad the Will Ferrell and Jack Black versions bit the dust.

He died before it was ever published, but the young Victor Buono would have been the definitive Ignatius.

by Anonymousreply 1212/28/2012

I don't know, R4. There was a pretty decent BBC production about 20 years ago.

by Anonymousreply 1312/28/2012

Vernor Vinge's "A Fire Upon The Deep" would be a challenge. I don't think you could possibly make a movie of it, and while a mini-series might be more possible, it'd be too expensive I think. It'd be so difficult to convey what was going on in the wider universe at least...

Still, it's one of my favorite books ever when it comes to sci-fi, and I'd love to see someone try.

by Anonymousreply 1412/31/2012

House of Leaves

by Anonymousreply 1512/31/2012

OMG R15 I was just going to say that.

by Anonymousreply 1612/31/2012

David Cronenberg is quoted as saying that if you tried to make a literal film adaptation of "Naked Lunch" it would cost $500M to make and would be banned in every country in the world. So his version (which I rather liked) is more accurately "The Making of Naked Lunch".

by Anonymousreply 1712/31/2012

TIME AND AGAIN by Jack Finney

by Anonymousreply 1812/31/2012


by Anonymousreply 1912/31/2012

r12---ACOD is one of my favorite books of all time. But, since some of the characters are so "out there" ( Ignatius, Jones, Dorian Greene, Lana Lee ) it would require VERY careful casting.

I do think that Betty White could pull off Miss Trixie, though. Maybe Zach Quinto as Dorian, but that's about all I can think of for casting.

by Anonymousreply 2012/31/2012

Apparently it's impossible to film Good Omens. They have been trying for years.

by Anonymousreply 2112/31/2012

One Hundred Years of Solitude could be an amazing HBO mini-series. So many great stories and roles.

by Anonymousreply 2212/31/2012

Fifty Shades of Grey

by Anonymousreply 2312/31/2012

Victor Buono as Ignatius is inspired!

by Anonymousreply 2412/31/2012

r23 I wish Fifty Shades of Grey was impossible to film.

by Anonymousreply 2512/31/2012

The Great Gatsby.

Many are cold but few are frozen. I'm lookin' at you in the Redford Farrow version and Baz Lurhman.

by Anonymousreply 2612/31/2012

"Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell". Great fantasy book, but it's so long and complex that it could never be made into a movie (or movies). Maybe a TV miniseries, because this is one story where you really can't cut away the length and complexity.

There are rumors that the BBC is going to have a go.

by Anonymousreply 2712/31/2012

Carter Beats the Devil.

(Can't wait to read Sunshine to see if it is the same.)

by Anonymousreply 2812/31/2012

Great book, R28.

I always felt that Nolan "borrowed" heavily from it when he wrote and directed 'The Prestige' (2006).

by Anonymousreply 2912/31/2012

OP here... finished the trilogy ("Night's Dawn"... The Reality Dysfunction, The Neutronium Alchemist, The Naked God), and while part of me thinks it would make an absolutely epic TV series (like the Battlestar Galactica reboot), the rest of me still thinks these books are mostly unfilmable.

by Anonymousreply 3004/01/2013
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