Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Overlooked Series for TV or Movie Adaptation

 

The Game of Thrones book series is nihilistic nonsensical bilge. But it makes for “good” television because that sort of mess seems to be popular in today’s culture, what with all the sex, sorcery, and savagery. As an actual story though? It’s terrible. Which is probably why George R.R. Martin could never finish it – it had no real logical “out”, no escape from its cycles of violence and revenge, save what the HBO writers could force together. Until HBO picked it up, though, it was unlikely fare for Hollywood treatment – Hollywood typically shies away from overly long fantasy cycles simply because such things are very expensive to cast and produce well, to say nothing of finding good writers to translate novels into scripts you can actually film. For all the awfulness of its story, I do give full credit to HBO for the solid work they put into the project over nearly a decade – one can deplore the story but still admire the brilliant and extremely skilled craftwork involved in telling it, and (more importantly) sticking with it at that high level for so long. Would that The Hobbit had been given that same dedication.

And now it seems we are to receive another attempt at telling the story of Dune. I am not excited at the prospect. The David Lynch film of the 80s was terrible. The SciFi Channel’s miniseries of 20 years ago was much better. But why Dune? Why yet another attempt? If Hollywood is looking for that next “big epic”, surely there are other and better stories to tell? Dune, the first book, is interesting, but has its weaknesses, while the rest of the series gets rather strange. Haven’t other authors written better and more compelling fantasy or science-fiction epics? Or must we continually return to just a few “classics”, like Amazon is trying to do with its pending Tolkien series? I would like to propose a few other authors and series that Hollywood should consider instead, and would invite you to make your own suggestions as well.

Jack VanceLyonesse – You have all the vying factions and warring kingdoms, spies, betrayals, magic, pending doom, adventures, and quests that people loved in GoT, but series is more tightly told, not predicated on the nonsense of centuries of cultural and technological stasis, and its story arcs and overall narrative have definite beginnings, middles, and ends. The characters are also far more human, and thus more clever, and more fallible at the same time. Vance is not afraid to kill off characters, but does not do so because the Plot Wheel® demands it. Vance’s other works, from his Dying Earth stories to his science fiction, would also make good candidates – they are character driven tales in vivid worlds, but the worlds are ultimately only backdrops for the people in them.

Susan Cooper – The Dark Is Rising – Yes this is a children’s series, and yes Hollywood did, in its Harry-Potter enthusiasms, already put out a film, but it was dreadful (almost Lynch-Dune dreadful at that), and we should put it aside and start over. The series is a modern blending with ancient Anglo-Celtic mythology, and as such is very richly told.

Cornelia Funke – Inkheart – Like with Susan Cooper, Hollywood tried this one and blew it once already, in no small part because they could not decide whether it was a children’s story with some mature hints, or a more mature story as witnessed by a child, and of course they Americanized it. Andrew Klavan’s Another Kingdom series deals with some similar concepts as Funke, so if you enjoyed Klavan you would find this series familiar in some respects. Inkheart is a story series about our own world intersecting with a very rich and complicated parallel magical world, through the eyes of a young woman growing up in both.

What would you like to see made? What authors or series have been either unfairly overlooked, or badly mangled and worth another shot?

Or are there series (say, like Dune) that you think ought to be put out to pasture just on principle at this point?

Published in Entertainment
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 259 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama ToadJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I’d love to see Wheel of Time (Robert Jordan, may he rest in peace, and finished by Brandon Sanderson) made into a series but I’m afraid as well that it would be destroyed. 

    The Expanse series is fantastic and has some incredible casting (the character of Chrisjen Avasarala is my new heroine). I am amazed how much I am enjoying the series. So, whatever they’re doing is great!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1Z88Mpao80

     

    • #1
    • April 22, 2020, at 12:27 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  2. DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… Coolidge

    Katherine Kurtz’s Deryni series would seem tailor-made for today’s television landscape. I think there are something like 16 books in the series, focusing on conflicts between church and crown, magic-users and muggles, lots of violence and death and tragedy and political intrigue wrapped up in a sort of medieval fantasy world based loosely on the British isles. Would fill the void left by Game of Thrones perfectly. Except maybe not enough softcore porn in it for the GoT fans.

    • #2
    • April 22, 2020, at 12:31 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  3. Judge Mental Member

    The Mote in God’s Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.

    • #3
    • April 22, 2020, at 12:35 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  4. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama ToadJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    DrewInWisconsin is done with t… (View Comment):

    Katherine Kurtz’s Deryni series would seem tailor-made for today’s television landscape. I think there are something like 16 books in the series, focusing on conflicts between church and crown, magic-users and muggles, lots of violence and death and tragedy and political intrigue wrapped up in a sort of medieval fantasy world based loosely on the British isles. Would fill the void left by Game of Thrones perfectly. Except maybe not enough softcore porn in it for the GoT fans.

    She does have lots of fabulous medieval costumes and pageantry… but I actually wrote her a letter when I was a girl because in one of her books she has an explanation of how being Deyni is a sex-related characteristic, so there are no such thing as “half-Deryni,” but then she decides that she wants one of her guy characters (Duncan) to have a son who is Deryni. Then it seemed like everyone and their brother was turning out to be Deryni or able to be “trained….”

    The response to my letter asking for an explanation was that the genetics stuff was just a theory. I’m not sure I’ve forgiven her yet…

    • #4
    • April 22, 2020, at 12:36 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  5. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Roger Zelazny’s Amber series — the first one, anyway. I never could get the second one featuring his son Merlin started.

    In defense of Lynch’s Dune: most of the “action” in the book consists of characters thinking things. That’s tough to film.

    • #5
    • April 22, 2020, at 12:42 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  6. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk andJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I cannot think of a specific title or author, but virtually every time I’ve read a cheap, trashy, formulaic, paperback espionage novel that I’d picked up in an airport or train station book stall I’ve thought it would make a great movie. Those things are basically written as if they were film treatments.

    I did a little searching online, and I did come up with one example. Duncan Kyle. I read his A Raft Of Swords during the plane journey back home from Britain once.

    • #6
    • April 22, 2020, at 12:43 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  7. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSulJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I’m going to voice an unpopular opinion: Tolkien’s stuff needs to be put out to pasture right now. There were enough little tells in the LoTR series that Hollywood et al don’t understand Tolkien – the butchering of Faramir’s character, and omitting the scouring of the shire especially – and the Hobbit films were borderline betrayals of much of the material. This new series of by Amazon is supposed to be set in the 2nd age, where Tolkien actually wrote very little, and that leaves the door wide open to take staggering liberties. Just for the protection of the material, I would prefer it left alone.

    But also this: Tolkien is a staggering colossus on the fantasy stage. His works have influenced most authors who came after (Sword of Shanara anyone?), where elves, dwarfs / dwarves, and other creatures are all defined more or less as Tolkien laid them down. I think doing more Tolkien at this point will similarly either calcify certain things in filmography, or be so terrible that Tolkien’s own reputation will suffer for it.

    • #7
    • April 22, 2020, at 12:49 PM PDT
    • 15 likes
  8. Seawriter Contributor

    H Beam Piper’s Space Viking would make a good SF movie.

    L. Sprague de Camp’s novels set on Krishna from his Viagens Interplanetarias cycle would make a good series. (His Lest Darkness Fall would make a crackerjack movie, too.)

    • #8
    • April 22, 2020, at 12:53 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  9. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk andJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Also, I wish they’d make more movies from the Fletch series of books. The original Fletch movie was, surprisingly, incredibly faithful to the book.

    Kevin Smith was trying to get the green light to make Fletch Won with Jason Lee in the title role, but it never worked out.

    • #9
    • April 22, 2020, at 12:55 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  10. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk andJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Another suggestion: The Stainless Steel Rat.

    Another suggestion: Somebody should remake A Boy And His Dog.

    • #10
    • April 22, 2020, at 12:56 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  11. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    Sword of Shanara anyone?

    Oh hell no. I read the first one in high school.

    Never read a book because a hot girl asks you to. That way madness lies.

    • #11
    • April 22, 2020, at 1:01 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  12. D.A. Venters Member

    There are some great historical epics that would make great television, if done well. 

    The one that comes to mind first is Alan Eckert’s The Frontiersmen. It’s not a series, but a long enough book to make shows for several seasons. Filled with great adventure and drama, it follows Simon Kenton, Daniel Boone, and the life of Tecumseh, and the bloody settlement of Kentucky and the Ohio River Valley. What I like most about it, is that it presents those characters as serious and cunning woodsmen and adventurers. They’re not goofy cartoon versions of pioneers. (I love Fess Parker’s Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone – but those portrayals are more entertaining than interesting.) Simon Kenton in particular – ran several gauntlets, and was tied to the stake to be burned 3 times, and each time managed to escape or get rescued. With a big budget, could be a great series.

    • #12
    • April 22, 2020, at 1:02 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  13. Sisyphus Coolidge
    SisyphusJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    An excellent movie could be made around Father Amorth’s Roman practice. Father kept office hours for decades, performing exorcisms the way a doctor sees patients. He lamented that he kept having to move his practice because the neighbors objected to the noise. There is enough material in his memoirs to make an excellent film, if the filmmakers can resist the urge to make it a spectacle.

    The Mote in God’s Eye would make an excellent film, and the CGI is now there to render the whole array of Moties.

    The Fleet of Worlds series would make a brilliant maxiseries of miniserieses. The Puppeteers belong on the big screen now that CGI can do the job and the Puppeteer anti-AI gospel needs to be heard! And a lot of Niven’s best short stories can be folded into the narrative, with Beowulf Schaeffer, Gil Hamilton, and the wire-head Louis Wu. The series includes many imaginative threats and, of course, the original snowflakes in the Puppeteer species.

    And there’s the Grendels series from Niven & Pournelle & Barnes beginning with the Legacy of Heorot, with a colony contending with the combined problems of in-flight storage damage and alien predators. A wonderful mix of tragedy and triumph.

    • #13
    • April 22, 2020, at 1:04 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  14. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSulJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    Sword of Shanara anyone?

    Oh hell no. I read the first one in high school.

    Never read a book because a hot girl asks you to. That way madness lies.

    I was citing that one as a blatant ripoff of Tolkien.

    In fairness, Terry Brooks did improve as an author over the years. His Magic Kingdom for Sale series was fun for the first couple of books, for instance (though it got hella-strange after that).

    • #14
    • April 22, 2020, at 1:05 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  15. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama ToadJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    There were enough little tells in the LoTR series that Hollywood et al don’t understand Tolkien – the butchering of Faramir’s character, and omitting the scouring of the shire especially

    For me it is the fact that in the movies Aragorn fears being king.

    And the fact that every chance he got, Peter Jackson loved to shatter Gandalf’s staff and make him look weak. The scene before the gate with the chief Nazgul is the WORST.

    From the book:

    In rode the Lord of the Nazgûl. A great black shape against the fires beyond he loomed up, grown to a vast menace of despair. In rode the Lord of the Nazgûl, under the archway that no enemy ever yet had passed, and all fled before his face.

    All save one. There waiting, silent and still in the space before the Gate, sat Gandalf upon Shadowfax: Shadowfax who alone among the free horses of the earth endured the terror, unmoving, steadfast as a graven image in Rath Dínen.

    “You cannot enter here,” said Gandalf, and the huge shadow halted. “Go back to the abyss prepared for you! Go back! Fall into the nothingness that awaits you and your Master. Go!”

    The Black Rider flung back his hood, and behold! he had a kingly crown; and yet upon no head visible was it set. The red fires shone between it and the mantled shoulders vast and dark. From a mouth unseen there came a deadly laughter.

    “Old fool!” he said. “Old fool! This is my hour. Do you not know Death when you see it? Die now and curse in vain!” And with that he lifted high his sword and flames ran down the blade.

    And in that very moment, away behind in some courtyard of the city, a cock crowed. Shrill and clear he crowed, recking nothing of war nor of wizardry, welcoming only the morning that in the sky far above the shadows of death was coming with the dawn.

    And as if in answer there came from far away another note. Horns, horns, horns, in dark Mindolluin’s sides they dimly echoed. Great horns of the north wildly blowing. Rohan had come at last.

    The movie:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TTB5t_4Nlc

    No staffs were broken in the writing of that book.

    Edit: Except, of course, Saruman’s…

    • #15
    • April 22, 2020, at 1:06 PM PDT
    • 13 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  16. Sisyphus Coolidge
    SisyphusJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    Sword of Shanara anyone?

    Oh hell no. I read the first one in high school.

    Never read a book because a hot girl asks you to. That way madness lies.

    Always read the book a hot girl asks you to. It is either a warning or an invitation, regardless of how she intended it. Unless, of course, you are already attached, in which case ignoring the hot girl is for the best.

    • #16
    • April 22, 2020, at 1:09 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  17. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama ToadJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    In defense of Lynch’s Dune: most of the “action” in the book consists of characters thinking things. That’s tough to film.

    I actually saw the movie before I’d read the book. 

    The Bene Gesserit Gaius Helen Mohiam with her gom jabbar was so perfectly cast. That was a great scene.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ujoXRAZU3g

     

    • #17
    • April 22, 2020, at 1:11 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  18. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    I’d love to see Wheel of Time (Robert Jordan, may he rest in peace, and finished by Brandon Sanderson) made into a series but I’m afraid as well that it would be destroyed.

    The Expanse series is fantastic and has some incredible casting (the character of Chrisjen Avasarala is my new heroine). I am amazed how much I am enjoying the series. So, whatever they’re doing is great!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1Z88Mpao80

     

    This is so interesting. I watched part of The Expanse, though it lost me, but I particularly disliked the character that you like. I don’t mean that as a criticism. I just find it interesting. Of all people, I actually liked Amos best. Yeah, he was brutal, but he was uncomplicated, loyal to his friends, and generally only killed people who needed killing.

    • #18
    • April 22, 2020, at 1:15 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  19. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    I’m going to voice an unpopular opinion: Tolkien’s stuff needs to be put out to pasture right now. There were enough little tells in the LoTR series that Hollywood et al don’t understand Tolkien – the butchering of Faramir’s character, and omitting the scouring of the shire especially – and the Hobbit films were borderline betrayals of much of the material. This new series of by Amazon is supposed to be set in the 2nd age, where Tolkien actually wrote very little, and that leaves the door wide open to take staggering liberties. Just for the protection of the material, I would prefer it left alone.

    But also this: Tolkien is a staggering colossus on the fantasy stage. His works have influenced most authors who came after (Sword of Shanara anyone?), where elves, dwarfs / dwarves, and other creatures are all defined more or less as Tolkien laid them down. I think doing more Tolkien at this point will similarly either calcify certain things in filmography, or be so terrible that Tolkien’s own reputation will suffer for it.

    I disagree with just one thing you say. I don’t think that there was anything borderline in the betrayal of the Hobbit film. I guess that I could imagine worse, but I can imagine quite a bit.

    • #19
    • April 22, 2020, at 1:17 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  20. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White MaleJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Robert Asprin’s Myth Adventures books would make a great comedy series.

     

     

    • #20
    • April 22, 2020, at 1:17 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  21. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama ToadJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    Yeah, he was brutal, but he was uncomplicated, loyal to his friends, and generally only killed people who needed killing.

    Amos is perfect.

    Alex is perfect.

    Jim Holden’s three-day beard is a little too perfect… but he’s also well cast. 

    I don’t love Naomi as much, but the supporting characters are perfect too, like Fred Johnson, his girl Friday belter chick, Miller, Julie Mao…

    • #21
    • April 22, 2020, at 1:18 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  22. Seawriter Contributor

    Sisyphus (Rolling Stone) (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    Sword of Shanara anyone?

    Oh hell no. I read the first one in high school.

    Never read a book because a hot girl asks you to. That way madness lies.

    Always read the book a hot girl asks you to. It is either a warning or an invitation, regardless of how she intended it. Unless, of course, you are already attached, in which case ignoring the hot girl is for the best.

    Beat me to it – with the caveat that this applies to high school. 

    • #22
    • April 22, 2020, at 1:22 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  23. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    I don’t know most of the suggestions.

    I didn’t like the Stainless Steel Rat myself, but don’t let that stop anyone. I did like Zelazny’s Amber series.

    A few other ideas:

    1. CJ Cherryh’s Foreigner series.
    2. Michael Moorcock’s Elric and Hawkmoon series.
    3. Horseclans, maybe? It was pretty cheesy, but might make a fun series.
    • #23
    • April 22, 2020, at 1:22 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  24. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama ToadJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Robert Asprin’s Myth Adventures books would make a great comedy series.

    Apparently the couple that gave us the Elfquest comics were thinking to do something with them back in the 80s but it never went anywhere.

    (Fun fact: I used to deliver newspapers for the Pinis, who wrote the Elfquest books.)

    • #24
    • April 22, 2020, at 1:24 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  25. MWD B612 "Dawg" Member

    Since most of the comments here seem focused on Sci-Fi & Fantasy, I hesitate to suggest something out of a different genre. Yet I think Daniel Silva’s Gabriel Allon series would make a superb miniseries or set of movies. Allon is a complicated man, there is plenty of action, and the series poses interesting questions.

    The issue, of course, is that Allon is an Mossad assassin, and Israel is generally portrayed as a decent country seeking peace. We obviously can’t have that on the small or large screen.

    • #25
    • April 22, 2020, at 1:27 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  26. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member