Some of the biggest moneymakers in cinema are adaptations of novels and comics, the latter being a big surprise since it seems that the majority of the viewers have never picked up a copy of the story being told to them on the screen-- myself included.
Take a look at 2014. One of the most anticipated movies of the year was a release by Marvel entitled "Guardians of the Galaxy". It ended up being one of the highest-grossing films of the year. Number two to be exact, making a heap over $750 million. I took a gander at Facebook and saw that the movie page for the film has 2.3 million likes. Curious, I checked to see what the comics garnered. The results vary depending on which page you look at: if it's the page labeled an "interest", it'll have roughly 6,300 likes, whereas if you look them up under the "books" section, you'll find only a few dozen.
What I'm gathering here is that no matter how small a following something has, there's a market for it. So I have a few recommendations that I believe will translate extremely well with the movie-going crowd.
Number 1: Sabriel
"Does the Walker choose the Path, or the Path the Walker?"
Garth Nix wrote a screenplay for his first installment of the Old Kingdom Trilogy back in 2008, but there has been no word of any further development. I have high hopes that this novel will eventually make it to the silver screen as it's one of the first novels I read that made me fall in love with the fantasy genre.
The takes place in a world of two lands: Ancelstierre to the south and the Old Kingdom in the north. While the former is relatively magic-free, the Old Kingdom is a chaotic whirlwind of supernatural goings-on. Undead spirits roam the land and wreak havoc in the north and a necromancer known as the Abhorsen must lay them to rest with his tools: a sword and seven silver bells. When the current Abhorsen is trapped in the realms of Death, he sends his arsenal to his daughter Sabriel. A student with skill in magic, Sabriel must venture deep into the Old Kingdom and defeat Kerrigor, a necromancer who seeks resurrection.
This is a coming-of-age story that deals with many themes. Loss: Sabriel must deal with Death, both figuratively and literally in her lines of work. Courage: how do you find the strength to go on when you have no idea what lies ahead? Fate: the Abhorsen is a hereditary title, but will she take up the role or choose live a normal life? These, plus magic, brings to mind another popular young adult series. Potterheads will LOVE this. Our hero is pretty much lady Harry Potter.
Candidate for Sabriel: Emily Browning. Miss Browning has first major claim to fame was when she starred as the eldest Baudelaire sibling in the film version of A Series of Unfortunate Events. She's proven on separate occasions that she has both the acting chops ("Sleeping Beauty") and ability to kick some ass ("Sucker Punch").
Number 2: Children of Húrin
Let me make this abundantly clear: I am a massive Tolkienite!
No series of movies holds my acclaim higher than Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. The passion and attention to detail he put in them is impeccable. However, he completely dropped the ball when he was dragged in to make "The Hobbit" films. Whoever takes up this project will show extreme temerity and hopefully possess extreme devotion to making this a masterpiece. It's a Wagnerian epic with a side of Shakespearean tragedy.
After the Battle of Unnumbered Tears, the Dark Lord Morgoth captures Húrin and interrogates him for knowledge of the Elven city of Gondolin. Húrin defies him. Instead of killing him, Morgoth drapes a dark shadow over his bloodline, cursing his son Túrin and daughter Nienor to lives of misery. The great dragon Glaurung is sent to plague them and keep the spell in check while Húrin is chained to the high towers of Angband and is forced to watch the calamities play out.
I bet you want to know what happens now, don't you? I won't spoil that. But I will say that as an expansion on the Tolkien mythos, this will be a huge change. Middle-Earth is a thing of the past (or future, if you want to look at this chronologically); Sure, we'll have Elves and Orcs, but this is a much darker, grimmer world. Hell, if a fight named "the Battle of Unnumbered Tears" doesn't tell you this is not going to end well, I'm sorry for you.
The family: I literally have no clue. I need to watch some more movies before I decide who's got the balls (and ovaries) to take these on.
Number 3: The Witcher
I know, they did make a movie and television series in the early 2000s, but they were so awful that Adrzej Sapkowski completely disowned them. I also know that animator and director Tomasz Baginski is in the process of getting something working. Let's assume his is a completely animated, Polish-language film.
The Witcher series follows Geralt of Rivia, a man genetically altered and trained from a young age to slay monsters. Geralt has appeared in several short stories and novels, as well as recently being a part of an extremely popular video game series.
A film based on this hunter of beasts could go any number of ways. One could go directly to the books, using a short story beast for an introduction to our hero before diving into a storyline based on the main saga. Or even better would be if Mr Sapkowski (and maybe a co-writer) penned an original screenplay.
One of the things that sets him apart from most heroes is that he tries not to get caught in the middle of any political machinations. Witchers remain neutral whenever possible. They're monster hunters, not soldiers; a witcher makes his decisions based on his own morality and goals.
My choice for the Witcher: Viggo Mortensen. Aragorn might be getting up there in age, but I have confidence he can pull off such a physically grueling role. Though I'd also be interested in seeing Daniel Day-Lewis cast simply to see how he'll embody the role.
Number 4: Supergirl
I will admit that I have not read a comic book ever in my life, but I do know that I've favored DC's video games, films, and television much more than Marvel. However Marvel is winning the movie race with A BAJILLION titles coming out in the next few years. I figure if DC's gonna get the leg up, they need to think outside the box. My suggestion is they put out more films with leading ladies; it's sad that giving more women representation is a "novel concept", especially since women make up roughly 50% of all comic book readers. WHO'D'VE THUNKIT?!?!
Who should don the cloak: Sarah Michelle Gellar. A dash of Buffy wit to the character is sure to make fans fall in love with this character.
Number 5: Queen Tomyris
Herodotus was no different. However, when you refer to a battle as the "fiercest" to have ever existed, it must have been epic. Very accounts of this battle exist, in fact no one really knows where it happened.
Queen Tomyris is historically impressive for two reasons: A) she's a lady who kicked ass and B) she kicked Persia's ass. TAKE THAT LEONIDAS AND BOUDICCA! Her's is a tale of a woman who would not give herself and those entrusted to her to a man; King Cyrus offered his hand in marriage for her lands, but she would not have him. Tomyris' rage is tenfold when her son is taken captive and slain. She also utters some of the most badass lines in history... if we're to believe Herodotus.
A lot of artistic license can be taken with this piece of history. Once could go so far as to add Amazonian warriors to the fold to further the "girl power" theme, or add fantasy elements (a la "300").
An actress to play the Queen: Lena GODDAMN Headey. I'll admit she's one of my many celeb crushes, but she makes this list by talent alone. Her performances in "Dredd" and "Game of Thrones" show that she can find the will to bend people to her will by any means necessary.
Have any suggestions for movies you think should be made? Any thoughts on my picks? Tell me in the comments!