This happens everytime I read new books or have nostalgic memories from my childhood. I always find myself thinking, “Why has no one created movies or tv shows based off this yet?” And I usually follow up with, “Well if no one else will do it I’m going to.” Alas, the mind of a dreamer.
This is the inspiration for today’s writing. Books that should be turned into a movie or tv series.
This book series may not be as well known to the world as it should be. Maybe I’m just a sucker for entertainment, but I could not put this book down. To be fair, I’ve only read the first book but it exceeded my expectations. The flow worked nicely and just when I was getting hooked on one story line I was abruptly cut off and forced into another. It was maddening at times, but I always found myself getting sucked into the next storyline, and the next, and the next until the book reached its ending. It sounds exhausting, but it was very enjoyable for me.
The Dwarves book series is written by German author Markus Heitz. It follows the tale of a young dwarf named Tungdil as he’s forced into an epic story he certainly didn’t ask for. I picked up this book because I wanted a fantasy story that focused on a race that usually plays the 2nd, or the 3rd fiddle. In Heist’s Dwarves, this lovely war craving race of beings are the heroes of their own story as they work to stop evil from spreading.
It has plenty of action, lore building, suspense, forming of teams, redemption stories, heart break, and always the occasional romance. You could easily break out the first book into 3 movies if you wanted and still have trouble fitting everything in.
It’s a great quick read and I couldn’t stop imagining this as a movie while I was working my way through it. I’d definitely recommend this book for anyone who wants an entertaining fantasy adventure that brings the Dwarven race into the forefront, finally!
The Magic Tree House
There’s a good chance if you were a kid in the 90’s The Magic Tree House books were, well, in your house. I remember these books were huge in our home and every time we found out there was a new one we had to have it and read it.
The series follows two siblings, Jack, the older brother, and Annie, the younger sister, who stumble across a mysterious tree house in the middle of the woods. Annie, the curious one, decides to go investigate, much to her brother’s chagrin. When inside the kids find books on various topics from dinosaurs, to pirates, to jungles, to animals, or historical figures. Once opened the kids get transported to the location, or time, where those books are taking place. Usually the pair has to work with characters in the books to help them solve a problem and get back home.
It’s certainly a delightful story and one that highlights the fun and imagination kids can obtain through reading. I see this working amazingly well as a TV series, I hope they look into it.
The Ranger’s Apprentice
To be fair, I’ve only read the first 5 books of this series so I don’t have complete knowledge of everything that plays out, but I sure did love reading them.
Will and Halt, what can I say about this dynamic mentor-apprentice relationship. Set in a fantasy medieval world, The Ranger’s Apprentice focuses on Will, a young boy in a kingdom that places teens into apprenticeships around the time they “come of age.”
The kids must line up and declare what profession they would like to apprentice, and eventually work in. Then, the mentor of that profession decides whether or not they accept them into their care. Will had no strengths that he could think of besides climbing and sneaking around, he was often bullied and felt like he never belonged. Unfortunately, for Will, he doesn’t get accepted into any apprenticeships. It isn’t until Halt discovers him that he finds his place.
Reading through these books at a young age I wished they would’ve made a movie and cast Viggo Mortensen as Halt, he would’ve been perfect for it. These stories are about redemption, finding strength within yourself, and a growing father-son relationship. They’re great stories and worthy of a TV series, at least the first 3 books are.
Long time Brian Jaques fan here, I started reading these books in the 3rd or 4th grade and immediately fell in love with them. To me they were like The Lord of the Rings stories but with animals like mice, foxes, hares, rats, otters, and others. The reason why otters are my favorite animals today are because of the characters in these books. Taggerung! Taggerung is, of course, one of my favorite books but my all time favorite is Marlfox. Amazing story, great characters, and action with high stakes. I get hyped everytime I talk about it.
These are great stories that normally feature an unlikely hero being thrust into action and changing the course of history. Most have to go on epic quests or defend their homeland against an attack. It might sound repetitive, but it’s not, every story involves new characters and experiences that become a real treat as you enter this world again and again. Everyone loves an underdog story but combine that with the comedy, action, and good natured heart of the heroes there’s a recipe for success that’s waiting to be made.
A 23 book series may deter some studios from picking up this lofty investment but we really only need a few. Redwall is a must, Martin the Warrior, Mossflower, and Salamandastron. Those are great stories within the series that can set the groundwork for the remaining 19 books. After the groundwork has been laid let’s throw out my favorites Marlfox, Taggerung, The Legend of Luke, and Outcasts of Redwall.
If you’re sitting on the rights for these stories please reach out, because if you won’t make a move, I will.
The Castaways of the Flying Dutchman
Another great book series by Brian Jaques following a mute boy and a four legged companion he befriends. It’s a tragic and beautiful story as these companions overcome their life’s hardships to travel the world and help those in need. 3 books, 3 movies, easy.
Jeremy Thatcher Dragon Hatcher
This story follows a young boy in the modern world who obtains a dragon egg and proceeds to try an hatch it. This is more of a kids movie, but, I loved this book as a kid and I believe it would be fun and entertaining to watch.
I must confess, I never read these books, but my older brother did and absolutely loved them. He wasn’t much for reading, so if he enjoyed them I’m sure they’re very entertaining. The story follows its title’s name, a young Merlin goes on adventures before he became the greatest wizard of all time.
It’s a very entertaining premise, one that could be turned into movies. I recently bought the first 2 books in the series, perhaps we’ll do a read through together.
The Bailey School Kids
I grew up reading these books in school, they feature elementary school kids “discovering” sometimes horror, sometimes fantasy characters in their town. Each book features a new character who the kids think is a vampire, or werewolf, Frankenstein, an elf, even Hercules. The kids of Bailey School then spend the book trying to prove to that they’re right. They’re very entertaining books and a great way for kids to grow their imagination. This one definitely works as a TV show for me.
Hardy Boys & Nancy Drew
These both are book series I’ve never read, I did read a couple of Hardy Boys books but it wasn’t something I read religiously. And I’m aware they tried to make a Nancy Drew movie in the past. I just believe the premise behind both these books deserve their own TV series, much like the Series of Unfortunate Events received.
More Honorable Mentions
Matt Christopher’s Books
TV series involving kids battling through sports all while learning a strong life lesson? Sounds like a winner to me.
Secrets of Droon
An interesting kids book series that follows 3 friends as they’re transported to a new world of adventure.
Follow along with this little family, literally, as they tackle the big world. I never got into The Borrowers but I did enjoy these books.
That went a little longer than initially planned and there’s certainly more books that deserve their own screen adaptation, or a second chance. Sadly, like all good things this post must come to an end. But not before my final points, so thank you for your time and patience as we continue.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, won’t creating movies and tv shows based off this content discourage viewers from reading the actual source material? Why spend the time reading when they can just watch it? As an avid supporter of reading, I know this is never the full way to digest a story. Books and movies are rarely ever the same, and movies seem to have a hard time depicting the character’s inner motivations accurately. After all, in books, you have the time to explain and expound on the reasons why your characters make their decisions. But all the same, I understand the concern, and I respectfully disagree. Many book to screen adaptations have sparked new generations of readers, most famously Harry Potter. There’s also the Hunger Games, Game of Thrones, The Lord of the Rings, How to Train Your Dragon, Percy Jackson, Artemis Fowl is about to get its own movie, even Star Wars promotes reading their books to learn additional content. In my opinion, these book series are deserving of the screen spotlight, not to discourage reading but to spark new generations of readers and to honor the author’s work.
Thank you for your time, let us know of a book or book series that you think deserves its own movie/show.
Remember, not all those who wander are lost.
– The Wandering One