Hollywood has been on a roll lately with one blockbuster after another of sci-fi, fantasy or comic book origins; but lately, it seems like Hollywood is running out of ideas by remaking older movies rather than making new ones. It’s not like they’re remaking movies from 40-50 years ago. Instead, they’re remaking (or as they like to call reimagining) movies from the 80’s like Terminator, Point Break and Poltergeist.
With the success of Game of Thrones on television and The Chronicles of Narnia and The Hobbit in theaters, there are some great fantasy novels out there just ripe for transitioning to the silver or TV screen, that have yet to be adapted.
Unfortunately, some series are so huge and all-encompassing that adapting them would mean some parts of the books would be edited out and you know how fans hate that. In any case, here’s my list of the top five medieval fantasy novels that need a big screen adaptation. I know that some people will disagree with my choices but, if you do disagree, please let me know in the comments below. I would love to hear what I might have missed.
#5 – Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks: Though some consider the series a direct rip-off of Lord of the Rings, I am one to let the Terry Brooks series to stand on its own. It takes you on an incredible journey through the Four Lands, fighting warlords and ousting wicked brothers from their throne … Everything a fantasy novel asks for. A visually stunning and epic story that deserves its own adaptation.
#4 – Elfquest by Wendy and Richard Pini: I know most of you are wondering why Elfquest is on my list when there’s been a movie in the works for years. That’s exactly why it is on the list. This movie has been on again/off again since 2008. Let’s get it done already! Elfquest is an award winning, cult following comic book fantasy series that has been in print since the 70’s. The rights to this series has changed more hands than Kim Kardashian’s sex tape. Quit fussing about and get it done: Live action, CGI motion capture or animated, I don’t care. Just do it!
#3 – Fafhrd and the Gray Mousrer by Fritz Leiber: This series is right up there with Lord of the Rings as one of the most influential fantasy series that started the entire Dungeons & Dragons genre. Fritz Leiber is even credited by many with coming up with the phrase “sword and sorcery.” Everything you want in a fantasy story is here … Wizards, thieves, warriors and the like fight through an incredible landscapes with plenty of skullduggery. There is rich history woven into the tapestry of the world of Fritz Leiber. It amazes me that this hasn’t made its way to TV or film yet.
#2 – Elric of Melnibone by Michael Moorcock: Without a doubt, Elric is one of the greatest anti-heroes ever written. Michael Moorcock has created a world so fantastic, it could only be created through CGI technology of today, like James Cameron waiting until he had the right technology to create Avatar. The warrior/sorcerer renegade searching for his place in a world that hates and fears him. The hard part is trying to translate the Elric series into a trilogy. I would recommend Elric of Melnibone, Weird of the White Wolf and Stormbringer. Elric would bring horror and fantasy fans together to see the world of Michael Moorcock brought to life.
#1 – The Dark Tower by Stephen King: I know this is not a true medieval fantasy, but hear me out. This novel has everything and then some and, just like Elfquest, it’s been tied to a big screen adaptation for the past few years but nothing has come to fruition. Even Ron Howard and Russel Crowe have been tied to this at one time or another. Which leads me to ask, why the hell aren’t you making this movie?! The Dark Tower is King’s take on the Arthurian legend, mixing fantasy with sci-fi and a western. I mean gunslingers, swords and sorcery, knights and thieves … what’s not to love about this series. This is one of Stephen King’s most unique stories that he’s ever written.
I know many of you have your own opinions and your own choices for fantasy books needing movie/television adaptation. I, for one, would love to see my own novels, Forever Avalon and The Dark Tides, added to that list someday. I just wish Hollywood would stop trying to redo something that’s already been done and try something new for a change.