NOT IN THE SCRIPT: From Books Into Movies

Not in the Script coverIn honor of the beautiful and talented Amy Finnegan’s debut novel NOT IN THE SCRIPT, a delightful story about a tender teen romance that blossoms on the set of a TV series, we Emus are sharing our feelings on book-to-movie and book-to-TV adaptations. Which adaptations have succeeded? Which have failed? And which ones that haven’t been made yet do we wish we could stream on Netflix? (Aside from NOT IN THE SCRIPT, of course!)

Rebecca VanSlyke
I know that they already made a movie out of Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted, but I think it could have been SO much better! Although I loved the choice of Anne Hathaway for Ella, they took too many liberties with subplots that weren’t in the book, like Mandy’s boyfriend, Benny (who was turned into a talking book?), the whole character of Char’s cruel Uncle Edgar, and a whole lot of silliness with the battle at the ending. The book was so strong on its own, I thought, that all the additions of the movie just whittled it down to a shadow of what it couTBWBld have been.

Lindsey Lane

Rick Riordan’s Lightning Thief was a great book. Full of voice, humor, imagination. And it’s kid-centric. What does Hollywood do? They start with Zeus and Poseidon chatting. Wrong. So wrong. Apollo and all of the Muses should have smote a whole studio for that travesty.

Tara Dairman

A book that needs to be turned into a movie or TV show? Our very own Joshua McCune’s TALKER 25! I mean, it’s got a page-turning plot. It’s got awesome characters, both human and dragon, ready for actors and CGI artists to take them on. And it’s even got its own Ttalker25V-show-within-a-show–Kissing Dragons–built in. I know I’m not the only reader who feels this way. Hollywood, please take note!

Laurie Thompson
Most recently, Joshua McCune’s TALKER 25 struck me as a book that needs to be made into a movie. I think the visuals would be stunning, and it’s a powerful, impactful story. Of course, I might have to close my eyes during a few of the scenes. You know the ones. WOW.

Before that, the book that I closed and immediately gushed, “This HAS to be a movie!” is Jeanne Ryan’s NERVE. Lucky for us, a movie is in the works (there’s some news here). Squee!

Lastly, I would love to see Laini Taylor’s early novels, the Dreamdark series, made into movies. Laini created such a lush, detailed world and filled it with a cast of unique, fascinating characters on an epic quest of good versus evil. BLACKBRINGER and SILKSINGER are still on my favorite-books-of-all-time list. I can never get enough of them!

Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
I recently finished GREENGLASS HOUSE by Kate Milford and I think it would make a wonderful, wonderful movie. The story is very Clue-esque, for any other fans of that movie out there, and revolves around 5 mysterious people showing up at an inn on a snowy winter night and the mysteries that get unraveled from there. I can imagine fabulous potential for the cinematography between the snowy cliffside setting and the mysterious mood of the story.

Christine Hayes

The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander would make a fantastic movie series, if someone had the money and the vision to do it right. The books had humor, adventure, tragedy, and romance. I wish the sad Disney version of The Black Cauldron had never happened! Taran’s journey from Assistant Pig-Keeper to (spoiler alert) High King was epic, and his romance with Eilonwy is one of my favorites in all of literature, children’s or otherwise.

Megan Morrison
Two of my favorite book-to-screen ventures are Jane Austen adaptations. I love Emma Thompson’s and Ang Lee’s Sense and Sensibility – a story that may actually shine brighter in their retelling than it does in the book (don’t hurt me, Austen people! I’m one of you). I wish only for one thing: that they’d kept the scene where Willoughby returns and tries to explain his behavior to Elinor. But even without that, this film is a masterpiece. I also have a massive crush on Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy amount of respect for the BBC’s 1995 TV miniseries of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. It’s faithful, well acted, and completely worth the 5+ hours it takes to watch. It’s also worth investing in the new blu-ray release, because the costumes and sets are detailed and spectacular, but their beauty can only be fully appreciated in blu-ray. However, near perfect as this miniseries is, I’d still rather read my battered copy of the book.

Penny Parker Klostermann
When I think about a book that should be made into a movie, I would pick a book that has stayed with me in some way. So I would choose Unwind by Neal Shusterman. The reason this book has stayed with me is because the whole idea a being unwound creeps me out. It haunts me. It’s one of those things that you think would never come to be…but what if it did? Shivers! And I love movies that give me the shivers!  I searched the Internet and it seems Unwind will be made into a movie but details are sketchy. When it is a movie…I’ll be there. Creeped out, haunted, and with a major case of the shivers! 

Tamara Ellis Smith
One of my favorite books in the universe is Kathi Appelt’s The Underneath.  I think it would make a fantastic and fantastical movie and I think, specifically, Hayao Miyazaki should come out of retirement to make it!  Can’t you just see it? Ranger, Puck, Grandmother Moccasin and Miyazaki together?  The landscape begs for Miyazaki’s magical perspective and the story is just up his alley.  It would be gorgeous and riveting.  C’mon, just one more movie, Miyazaki, please?!

Remember, comment on any post this week to win a fantastic book+swag package put together by Amy Finnegan! 


Filed under Book Promotion, Celebrations, Launch, Promotion

10 responses to “NOT IN THE SCRIPT: From Books Into Movies

  1. I just read “Talker 25” and I COMPLETELY AGREE that it MUST be a movie! Such a great story, and totally camera-ready!

    Yes to the Austen adaptations, and can I just watch the Matthew Macfadyen version of P&P and skip all the scenes he’s not in? (Oh wait, that IS how I watch it…)

    I’ve always wished someone would make a movie version of “A Wrinkle In Time” that’s as kickass as the book.

    *adds “Greenglass House” to reading list*



  2. I have to agree about TALKER 25!!! Why didn’t I think of that? I loved that book! I couldn’t put it down and I know there wouldn’t be a dull moment in what would be a compelling, action-packed movie. (And I can’t wait for the next book. I bet it will have “movie” written all over it, as well.)

    And, of course, it doesn’t hurt that I’m a dragon fan, Josh 😉


  3. Lindsey Lane

    If writers ran the world…we’d definitely have better movies.

    So Josh, who do envision for the leads?


    • Joshua McCune

      I’ve been asked that before and don’t know the answer… maybe a young Lena Heady… who goes from soft Sarah Connor to badass/slightly crazy Sarah Connor.

      I’d love to play Major Alderson. Lol


  4. tamaraellissmith

    Okay I want to read Talker 25 NOW. 🙂


  5. I am in agreement with so many of the Emus! The only moments when I enjoyed myself at ELLA ENCHANTED was when I forgot that it WAS ELLA ENCHANTED. But then I’d hear someone’s name and be reminded. THE BLACK CAULDRON was a travesty. Thank goodness the word got out that THE DARK IS RISING was another horrific adaptation so I didn’t subject myself to seeing it.

    I don’t think that I appreciated SENSE AND SENSIBILITY as a book until after I saw it as a movie. The immortal Jane didn’t do a very good job of establishing Edward, so I couldn’t see why Elinor was so devoted to him. (I am addicted to PRIDE AND PREJUDICE as well as PERSUASION.)


  6. I’d have to think about which books I’d like to see as movies. It’s so hard to adapt them well, that I usually feel disappointed. Plus I tend to like more character driven works, and then often don’t translate well.

    A few exceptions:

    I absolutely LOVED the first Babe movie, and strangely enough, the book paled by comparison when I read it many years later.

    High Fidelity, starring John Cusack, is one of my all-time favorite movies, and I found the film to be funnier and more touching than the novel. I think I also preferred the Chicago setting. All of the elements and themes came together more powerfully for me in the film than in the book. It might also help that I have had a crush on John Cusack since he starred in Better Off Dead 🙂

    My last example is To Kill a Mockingbird: I loved both the book and the film adaptation–so powerful!

    For EMLA books, I know my daughter would love to see Robin LaFever’s Fair Assassin trilogy (and Theodosia too) as well as The False Prince trilogyset to film.


    • Rebecca Van Slyke

      Maria, YES to Babe! One of the few movies that I felt surpassed the book. Others for me: Chocolat and A Christmas Story (which may not count as it was only based on a short essay).


  7. Tam, Miyazaki doing The Underneath is brilliant, just brilliant. I am speechless just contemplating it. Wow.


  8. Joshua McCune

    Y’all are totally making me squirm with blushing… thanks!!!

    Congrats, Amy, on a kick-ass rollout… I’d love to see Duncton Wood on the screen… as a miniseries… but I doubt anybody would watch a grown up series about moles. Lol


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