Adapting Books into Films: Take One

As some of you know, I have been accepted into Boston University to pursue a degree in Film and Television. Other than books, I LOVE Films and TV shows, and I’m super excited that I get the chance to learn about what I’m passionate about. Books have had a role in this drive to study and later on (hopefully) produce films and/or TV or become a screenwriter. It was when I saw Joe Wright’s adaption of Anna Karenina.

Not many people enjoyed the film unfortunately, but I really did. I studied theatre in the IB and my GCSE years, so four years of theatre and drama in total. I loved how Wright combined the elements of theatre and film in order to adapt the classic to the screen. I haven’t seen the other movie, yes, but this one was magical, dramatic and dazzling. The use of the stage was amazing and the symbols that were present helped me to understand what exactly Wright wanted to get across, as well as embodying the message of Tolstoy’s novel and his vision of Russia.
While I haven’t studied film before, I believe that learning about theatre – the practitioners and world theatre, as well as theatre in the making and the theory – will really help when it comes to representing the elements on stage. I really want to focus on adapting books, as YA fiction has become a large market, as well as classics reimagined as Wright has done.

Here are a few books that I can really see being adapted to the big screen – and hopefully someday I can actually be a part of this.

I. Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman


I can really see this one coming to life. Not only to represent the story that’s presented in this novel, but to also truly give a reflection of what it was like during the time of WWII and the growing monster within Hitler. While most of the book is fiction, parts of it is true or based on the truth so it would be interesting to see how both fact and fiction weave with one another. However, what would be even MORE intriguing is the relationship between Gretchen and Daniel, a Jewish reporter. Another Romeo and Juliet-esque book, only with action, mystery and deadly consequences. 

II. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

If you haven’t read this book yet, you certainly need to. It’s not YA but it’s a shocking reveal of the corruption in India, looking at the caste system and the rise of communism in Kerala, all while reeling from the effects of colonialism and anglophilia. It examines the lives of two twins, Rahel and Estha, and how in one week of during their childhood, their whole world falls apart. The narrative structure is complex, so adapting this would have to be very careful with details, because it’s important the way things are presented in the book, as it moves from past to present to backstory. It really gives a chance for the true state of India, particularly during the time it’s set, to be depicted.

III. The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd


It’s only recently that I’ve grown an appreciation for gothic literature, and Shepherd’s retellings are stunning. I seriously think that being able to create the dark and somber mood of a movie based on a YA novel that’s based on gothic literature would be interesting to capture. I had to study and look at what exactly makes a piece of work gothic for the Extended Essay, so being able to culminate the elements into this series as films would be an amazing opportunity to bring back some of the darker classics to life. Historical paranormal? I’m in love.

IV. Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley

This book was really dark, but the subject matter fascinated me for months on end. I think it would be a really strong portrayal of abuse, kidnapping, and dissociative identity disorder, as well as digging up the past and looking for the clues that leads to a shocking finale. It would not only bring the attention of the audience to the realisation that this actually exists today, but also would hopefully bring around justice and an understanding of what happens to both the main character and the case that the book is based on.

Well, that’s all there is for today, and I’ll be sure to share my thoughts on what other books I’d love to see being turned into movies soon. What books can you envision being turned into Films? Leave a comment!


  1. Such a great post, I really like exploring film adaptations of books, I have so many books that I wish would be turned into films! :-) xxx

  2. Great post. We can totally see why you made the choices that you did. And congratulations on BU, by the way!


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