Since Hollywood is known for its book-to-movie adaptations, it’s surprising that some of the most well-regarded novels of our time have gone seemingly unnoticed by the film industry. Here are some of our favorite books that we think would work well on the big screen:
THE CORRECTIONS, by Jonathan Franzen
This novel has everything: family drama, dark humor, family drama, epic subplots that cover different parts of the globe, and lots of family drama. Did we mention family drama? If this became a film, we could see most of the ensemble getting serious awards attention, because the main parts are just that good. Not to mention that The Corrections is one of the most acclaimed novels in the past three decades.
THE BRIEF WONDROUS LIFE OF OSCAR WAO, by Junot Diaz
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, Oscar Wao is a dazzling and highly cinematic piece of literature. Covering centuries of Dominican and American history, this novel seems set for a sprawling adaptation. The novel is highly idiosyncratic and part of the joy of reading it is found in Diaz’s crazy use of footnotes and the Spanish language, but we’d love to see what a brave director could do with this material.
THE PRIVILEGES, by Jonathan Dee
Like The Corrections, The Privileges largely focuses on intense family drama. But unlike The Corrections, where everything unravels, much of The Privileges is about existential ennui, about the little moments amidst all the craziness. The novel even opens with a lengthy, entrancing wedding scene that would work marvelously on screen. Why hasn’t this been adapted already? It’s much more accessible than our other two choices.