This week, the news has been full of the announcement that Amazon is adapting The Lord of the Rings for TV – and the reactions haven’t been pretty. Many people have asked why they’d even bother, pointing out that the films really weren’t made that long ago, and that in the meantime, there are literally thousands of other stories out there that would make brilliant TV adaptations.
I’m firmly in that camp. I loved the LOTR films (the less said about the adaptation of The Hobbit the better), and wish that, instead of rehashing something that’s already been done well, Amazon, Netflix, or any of the other contenders would give a chance to some amazing stories that are somehow still yet to be adapted. Here are my picks:
The Song of the Lioness series, by Tamora Pierce
Alanna’s adventures as a trainee knight and then a legendary adventurer changed my life when I read them – and now, CGI is good enough to do the magic-heavy, monster-filled world of Tortall justice. Pierce has given any TV company an enormous sandbox to play around with, thanks to her extensions of Alanna’s world in follow-up series like Wild Magic and Protector of the Small. If you wanted to make a family-friendly Game of Thrones, you couldn’t do better than diving into Alanna’s world.
Cruel Summer, by Juno Dawson
A tense and shocking thriller never goes down badly, and I think audiences would love Juno Dawson’s Cruel Summer, where a group of friends meet after their first year out of school to catch up, soak up the sun, and perhaps find out which one of them killed the last member of their group one year ago. It wouldn’t even be expensive to film; one location, a tiny cast, and no fancy special effects – just creeping terror.
Ms Marvel, by G Willow Wilson
I will never shut up about how Netflix needs to bring in some light, fun Marvel stories to counterbalance the grimdark they’ve had going on for a few years. Ms Marvel would make a fantastic addition to Netflix’s Marvel canon, and bring in a child and younger teen audience. Kamala is one of my favourite heroines ever, and would work so wonderfully on screen.
The Dresden Files, by Jim Butcher
All right, I know The Dresden Files has technically already been adapted – but the less said about that, the better. A modern streaming platform could turn PI wizard Harry Dresden’s world into something as complex, chilling, and spectacular as the book series.
The Keys to the Kingdom series, by Garth Nix
This is another series where the potential of CGI needed to catch up to the content of the stories – but I believe it has, and Nix’s fantastic, confusing, constantly-shifting world would be such an exciting place for a TV series to explore. There are brilliant villains and compelling heroes and heroines in these books, and a gorgeous world for designers and animators to play around in.
Undead, by Kirsty McKay
You can’t go wrong with a zombie story, and McKay’s has a twist on the others I’ve read or seen during my ongoing zombie obsession – the outbreak occurs on a school trip, and the only people left alive to try and survive it are a handful of the children. It’s a survival horror story that ticks all the right boxes, and would translate fantastically from page to screen.
What neglected story would you choose to be adapted? Tell us in the comments!