With HBO’s Game of Thrones hitting screens this weekend, we started to think what other big fantasy and science fiction books should also be translated to the screen. And it wasn’t hard to come up with at least ten different series for this list. From space epics, hard science, to Lord of the Rings-style fantasy; there’s something on here for almost everyone.
Despite your personal feelings towards Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game is an undeniable sci-fi masterpiece that deserves to be seen on the big screen. The movie has been in and out of development hell for years, but it’s one that definitely needs to be made. Even those who have read the book and know they “twist” would still love to see Ender’s story turned into a movie; as long as it’s handled well.
Kim Stanely Robinson’s Mars Trilogy
A few years ago the SciFi Channel announced that it was working on a miniseries of Red Mars. It never materialized. The book is the first part of a trilogy, consisting also of Green Mars and Blue Mars, that tells the story of the terraforming of Mars over many generations of families. The books are “hard sci-fi”, which means they’re written from the scientific point of view and grounded more in realism, but it’s an epic story and one that would translate well to the screen.
The Wheel of Time
We have Lord of the Rings, and we’re now going to see A Song of Ice and Fire on HBO; it’s time for Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time to be adapted. Due to its length, a miniseries would probably work out better; so maybe Showtime will step to the plate to compete against HBO?
Issac Asimov’s Foundation has also been in development hell for years. At one point, Will Smith was going to star in it to complete his trifecta of classic sci-fi novels. As the Foundation books are mostly made up of smaller stories, it would fit a movie well; if someone could just get it off the ground once and for all.
The only risk with brining Larry Niven’s Ringworld to the screen now is that there is a generation of kids who grew up on Halo and would probably see it as a rip off, despite it actually being the other way around. It’s an epic science fiction adventure, and its scope is perfect for a big screen adaptation.
The good news is that Peter Jackson has the rights to do this series and wants to make it into a miniseries. The bad news is that Peter Jackson has the rights to the series and is kind of tied up for the next few years in Middle-Earth. The Temeraire series is an alternate history fantasy set during the Napoleonic Wars where each nation has an air force – of dragons. It’s as awesome as it sounds.
The Legend of Drizzt
We had two really bad Dungeons & Dragons movies, one in theaters and a direct-to-video sequel that actually wasn’t as bad as the original. It’s time someone makes a good one and RA Salvatore’s The Legend of Drizzt is the perfect series to pull from. Drizzt is a hugely popular character, and his adventures would appeal to the Lord of the Rings audience. Do it.
Dragonlance is another series that deserves a good screen representation. Every bit as good as, and in some ways better than, the Drizzt books; the series saw a crappy animated version a few years ago and should be given the chance as live action.
The Death Gate Cycle
The Death Gate Cycle is a seven-book series from the authors and creators of Dragonlance. The first four books each take place on unique worlds with a central character meeting new people in each one. In the last three books, characters from the first four worlds start to interact. It’s a great series that would probably work best as a mini-series.
The Man-Kzin Wars
The Wing Commander movie was crap. Time to try again, only this time Larry Niven’s The Man-Kzin Wars should be adapted. It has a much more epic scale than Wing Commander, but the basic premise of mankind fighting a war in space against a race of cats is similar.