Joey Sack ‘17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Official Description: The Martian. Foundation. American Gods. Redshirts: So many iconic SFF novels are finally scheduled to hit the big screen from books to movies, thanks to the rabid fandom of recent dramatizations of Game of Thrones, Outlander, The Hunger Games, Divergent. But what’s on the big screen wish list of this Panel of bestselling speculative fiction superstars? They all agree that the obvious franchises have been done already – and now, they want to discuss with NYCC Attendees what lesser-know/cult fave titles should invade theaters and march into cable programming! Join us for a nerdy-fun discussion about which science fiction and fantasy must-reads would really make celluloid magic!
The “ Books to Movies Wishlist ” panel was a fun panel of “what-ifs” and “should-bes” of books to movies adaptations, with panelists preparing their own suggestions to share and for audience members to appreciate and think about. The panel consisted of Clay and Susan Griffith, Chuck Wendig, Charlie Jane Anders, and Christopher Golden, all talented writers with several books to their names.
Some of the books to movies suggestions included Elric by Michael Moordock, Stephen King’s The Talisman, The Stainless Steel Rat by Harry Harrison, and The First Fifteen Lives of Henry August by Catherine Webb, among many others. Some books elicited cheers from the audience, while others brought on laughter or light applause, which indicated people’s enthusiasm for the proposed adaptations. In general, the panel was a great way for these authors to recommend books to the audience.
Although this panel was titled “Books to Movies,” the panelists also talked about the idea of adapting books into Game of Thrones-style TV shows or mini-series, noting that the CGI used by TV programs has greatly improved over the years. This is interesting, as it shows how much the entertainment world has changed over the last few years alone; shows like Game of Thrones and the television properties linked to the Marvel Cinematic Universe have shown how far studios can take television.
The panelists also mentioned a few book to movie adaptations that had already happened, but could be rebooted; one of the panelists mentioned rebooting the Harry Potter franchise as a television series, and talked about the difficulties in adapting long novels or a series of novels into film, with novellas and short stories being more suited for that medium. Some of the suggested reboots included The Stand by Stephen King and Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein. Along the same line of thought, they mentioned movies based on books that they do not want rebooted or continued, most specifically talking about reboots of Spider-Man, and sequels to Blade Runner, which was based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick.
At the end of the panel, some of the panelists shared their thoughts on Hollywood retcons of books. Susan Griffith noted that it’s often necessary to retcon book continuity in order to make it appealing to the general public, while Chuck Wendig, the author of Star Wars: Aftermath, half-jokingly said “[I personally killed] the Star Wars canon. I apologize,” a reference to the now non-canon Star Wars Expanded Universe.
All in all, the “ Books to Movies Wishlist ” Panel was an interesting look at how many great books there are out there, just waiting to be adapted into films and television series. The thought of some of these books getting on the big or small screen is a great topic for debate among friends, so after reading a book, you may want to follow Chuck Wendig’s logic and ask “great. Where’s my movie?”
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