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Tag: Adapt This (1-9 of 9)

Adapt This: P.D. Eastman's 'Are You My Mother?'

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Growing up, I had the best of both worlds when it came to stories. I had Dr. Seuss and P.D. Eastman books being read to me, and I had some of the greatest animated films ever made on VHS — The Lion King, The Fox and the Hound, The Little Mermaid, etc. If I’m being honest, I (and everyone my age) was spoiled. We were surrounded by quality entertainment, something I feel isn’t as present for today’s youth.

I admit that this could be me partaking in the classic “Back in my day” speech, but I honestly don’t think children’s entertainment is held to the same standard it once was. That’s not to say that there aren’t great books or movies out now, but it is to say that I am hoarding all my copies of Put Me in the Zoo and Oh, the Places You’ll Go! so that my kids will have them. All of this brings me to my recommendation for Hollywood’s next feature-length adaptation: Are You My Mother? By P.D. Eastman.

For those of you who haven’t read it — if you exist — the story is exactly what it sounds like. In anticipation of her soon-to-arrive child, a mother bird flies off to find a worm. While she’s gone, her baby bird hatches to find an empty nest. In an attempt to find his mother, the baby bird falls from the nest and begins his search. Along the way, the bird runs into a kitten, a hen, a dog, a cow, a car, a boat, a plane, and a crane snort, all of whom he asks, “Are you my mother?” Some respond, others don’t, but either way, the baby bird gets the message.

To spoil the ending, the crane takes the baby bird and places him back in his nest just in time for mom to return with a worm. Sweet, right? I think so. I also think it would make for a fun animated film. First of all, the baby bird in this book is freakin’ adorable, which always helps. But more importantly, this is a classic story that could easily be stretched out to fill an hour and a half. Think Finding Nemo but on land and with the baby doing the searching instead of the parent. Throw in some Dory-like humor, and I’m in.
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Adapt This: Wally Lamb's 'I Know This Much Is True'

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There’s nothing new under the sun — but somehow, these awesome properties have never been adapted for screens big or small. Psst, Hollywood: Let’s change that.

There are many great books that have never been adapted for the screen, and quite a few of them are better off because of it. Keeping that in mind, I’m hesitant to recommend such a great book undergo the adaptation process, but the more I think about how good an adaptation of Wally Lamb’s I Know This Much Is True could be, the more I know I have to put the thought out into the universe.

Today, there’s almost nothing a viewer loves more than a good twist. That’s the thing that gets people to tweet about a film or a television show. And that’s only one reason why I Know This Much Is True would make for a great big-screen drama. READ FULL STORY

Adapt This: The 'Animorphs' series. Yes, again

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If you’re currently above the age of 28 or below the age of 22, the word “Animorphs” may mean nothing to you. If, however, you were in middle school in the mid- to late ’90s, chances are that you’ve read at least one book in the Animorphs series — a bestselling saga, published from 1996 to 2001, about five normal kids who fight body-snatching aliens by turning into animals.

I know, I know — that premise has “cheese potential” written all over it. Indeed, when Nickelodeon got its slimy hands on Animorphs in 1998, the resulting series was so crazy godawful that it introduced a generation of pint-sized Ani-obsessives to the concept of fan rage. (Yes, I was 10 years old in 1998; why do you ask?)

Like, just look at this, you guys. The effects and dialogue make Once Upon a Time in Wonderland look like Life of Pi.
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Adapt This! Pulp's 'Common People'

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There’s nothing new under the sun — but somehow, these awesome properties have never been adapted for screens big or small. Psst, Hollywood: Let’s change that.

It’s the plot of Titanic. And The Notebook. And Aladdin. Also, Good Will HuntingPirates of the Caribbean, Wild at Heart, Say Anything, A Knight’s Tale, Atonement, The Great Gatsby, The Princess Bride and thousands of other stories that we’ve seen and read time and time again.

She’s rich (and beautiful). He’s poor (and beautiful). And he worships the privileged ground she walks on. Obviously they must end up together.You’d think that all love stories were really about class.

Because what’s more appealing than a tale of a scrappy, devilishly handsome fellow from the wrong side of the tracks who lusts after the privileged, sheltered beauty raised with silver spoons and gold forks and strands of pearls and eventually wins her pretty little heart?  No, not a reverse gender take. We’ve seen that a million times too. (Hi, Love Story, Pretty Woman, Maid in Manhattan, etc.)

Maybe what we need is a devilishly handsome fellow from the wrong side of the tracks who realizes that the privileged, sheltered beauty raised with silver spoons and gold forks and strands of pearls was full of sh-t? That’s why we should adapt Pulp’s “Common People.” Here’s my modest proposal.

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Adapt This for TV: Brian K. Vaughan's 'Y: The Last Man'

There’s nothing new under the sun — but somehow, these awesome properties have never been adapted for screens big or small. Psst, Hollywood: Let’s change that.

Television audiences love a good mythology-heavy, post-apocalyptic, slightly sci-fi survival story — just think Lost, Battlestar Galactica, or The Walking Dead. Yet, Hollywood has failed time and time again to come up with a new idea, and the graveyard of failed ones only continues to add new victims. Let’s go down the list, shall we? The EventFlashforwardV. Perhaps even Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.?

Sure, there’s Revolution and The Walking Dead staking their claims, but networks are in need of something completely new that will amp up the stakes. The answer? One letter: Y, as in Y: the Last Man, written by none other than Lost scribe Brian K. Vaughan. The title pretty much sums up exactly what happens to set up the series: A plague caused by something — possible candidates include a magic amulet, a cloning mishap, and a chemical agent — makes all mammals with the Y chromosome, including embryos, die on Earth. Yep, total decimation. The only males seemingly left are a goofy but goodhearted young escape artist named Yorick (after the Shakespeare character) and his Capuchin monkey, fondly named Ampersand.

What happens after the first, grotesque pages dedicated to depicting half the population collapsing and bleeding out, is a thrilling, epic tale that’s led by a diverse ensemble of women with quippy dialogue who kick ass. Awesome.

And fine, Hollywood’s been trying to adapt it into a film (more on that later). But considering the way the graphic novel reads, it’s much more suited for television. Here’s why (er, Y, if you will):
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Adapt This: Francesca Lia Block's 'Weetzie Bat'

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There’s nothing new under the sun — but somehow, these awesome properties have never been adapted for screens big or small. Psst, Hollywood: Let’s change that.

Weetzie Bat is a short novel by Francesca Lia Block that reads like a candied love song for young, artistic misfits. If you’ve never heard of it, think Perks of Being a Wallflower meets Catcher in the Rye meets Sixteen Candles. The first in the Dangerous Angels series, it’s the kind of book that doesn’t quite fit amongst the stacks of action-adventure plots, prim teenage sleuths, and Blume-ian freckled kids in the YA world — much like the protagonist, Weetzie, doesn’t quite fit in the superficial, plastic world of her high school. Weetzie and her gay best friend Dirk, who comes out to her in the novel, look for their soul mates (whom they call their “ducks”) and ways to have unconventional fun in an 80′s-set Los Angeles wonderland (like grabbing burritos at Oki Dog and cruising around in a ’55 red Pontiac dressed in 1950s garb).
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Adapt This: Joe Dever's 'Lone Wolf' series

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There’s nothing new under the sun — but somehow, these awesome properties have never been adapted for screens big or small. Psst, Hollywood: Let’s change that.

The fantasy genre has probably never been more popular. The first Hobbit movie made a billion dollars. Game of Thrones is an annual 10-Sunday event. Once Upon a Time has a spinoff, so does The Vampire Diaries. A few different generations of children can proudly state that their youth belonged to Harry Potter and that their teen youth belonged to Twilight. Not all of those things are good. Some of them are terrible. But it speaks to a new widespread acceptance of far-flung fantasy tropes: The immortal lovers, the magic spells, the knights in shining armor, the dwarves fighting dragons. READ FULL STORY

Adapt This! Shel Silverstein's 'The Giving Tree'

Once there was a tree
And she loved little boy.

Yo, is The Giving Tree by the great Shel Silverstein not the saddest children’s book in all the land? A quick summary in case you haven’t been six recently or just haven’t felt like weeping: Boy takes a liking to a tree, tree loves him back; Boy ditches tree because he’s too cool; Boy demands money, tree offers her apples to sell; Boy demands house, tree offers her branches for house; Boy demands boat to escape his mid-life crisis, tree offers her trunk; Boy complains about being old and tired, tree is like, “I’m just a stump now because you took everything from me but you should sit on me if it will make you happy”; and the Boy does – he just sits on her.

Funny or Die released a fake trailer for a horror version of The Giving Tree in August starring Tyler Posey from MTV’s Teen Wolf that was, in fact, both funny and deathly. But I’m not joking around. I’m dead serious. The time is right, the time is now: time for The Giving Tree movie. READ FULL STORY

Adapt This: Tamora Pierce's amazing 'Alanna' series

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There’s nothing new under the sun — but somehow, these awesome properties have never been adapted for screens big or small. Psst, Hollywood: Let’s change that.

Once upon a time, the idea of studios making big-budget, mainstream fantasy movies — let alone TV series — seemed as unlikely as actually finding a hidden portal to Narnia.

Thankfully, the smashing success of both the Harry Potter films and the Lord of the Rings series changed all that in the early ’00s. Soon enough, the entertainment landscape was crowded with expensive, magically-laced epics, most of which were based on beloved fantasy book series. And though some (Game of Thrones) have been markedly more successful than others (The Golden Compass; The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising; too many more to list), the trend shows no signs of slowing down. This is especially true on TV, where fantasy has never been hotter; this fall’s schedule includes new series like Sleepy Hollow, Dracula, and Once Upon a Time in Wonderland alongside old favorites like Grimm.

For anyone who grew up devouring books about swords and spells, this looks like an embarrassment of riches. Yet I can’t help thinking that there’s still one resource screenwriters would be crazy to keep untapped: the young adult fantasy novels of Tamora Pierce, specifically her Song of the Lioness series.

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