Wanna See it on the Big Screen?

May 16, 2011  |  Share

Did you catch Alice Gregory’s post about books on the  GIRL ON FILM blog last Friday?  She talks about the fact that two of Jonathan Franzen’s books have been optioned for movies by Scott Rudin who also hold the options for books like THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF CAVALIER AND CLAY and THE BRIEF WONDROUS LIFE OF OSCAR WAO.  (see more of Rudin’s optioned books here).  Rudin has produced scads of films including many from bestselling books such as NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN and THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL.

Alice goes on to list 5 books that have not been optioned that she thinks should be.  And it got me thinking about whether there were any books I loved that would be great on film? This led to the following free association exercise!

The first book to pop into my head was Erik Larson’s DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY – and alas a little Googling alerted me to the fact that this one is in the works and may end up starring Leonardo DiCaprio (he does like those period pieces!).  Thinking about that book led me to SIN IN THE SECOND CITY by Karen Abbott which is a true story that takes place in the time period just after Erik Larson’s book and which would also be great on film.  Thinking about Karen Abbott led me to think about her good friend and critique partner Joshilyn Jackson and her book GODS IN ALABAMA.  GODS is full of the plot twists and great characters that would translate to the big screen beautifully in my humble opinion.   Thinking about plot twists led me to fast-paced action and suspense and Brad Meltzer popped into my head.  His latest THE INNER CIRCLE could be a blockbuster action movie for sure.

Anything you’ve read lately that you’d like to see Hollywood get a hold of?  Anybody else really craving popcorn right now?  No?  Okay it must be the free association thing.  I’m putting a stop to that right now.  And speaking of stopping…

– Dana Barrett, Managing Editor


1 Comment


  1. Dana: Of course, I’m always up for popcorn! But it seems “optioning” these days doesn’t signify much anymore. It seems that most books get optioned when your agent sells all the other rights, and very few of those optioned ever make it to the silver screen. That being said, I loved what Hollywood did with “Water for Elephants” and can’t wait to see “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” and “The Help” this summer. A few more books I’d love to see adapted to film include “Caleb’s Crossing” by Geraldine Brooks (better make that ANY book by Geraldine Brooks) Lisa See’s “Shanghai Girls/Dreaming of Joy” and Paul McLain’s “The Paris Wife.” Good topic!
    Cheers! BCC

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