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5 Literary Gems That Need To Be On The Big Screen

Transparent creator and badass comedian Jill Soloway has a new project in the works. Amazon has greenlighted the pilot episode of I Love Dick, a new TV show based on Chris Kraus’ 1997 novel of the same name. The half-novel, half-memoir follows a married couple, molded after Kraus’s ex-husband and herself, who have a significantly creepy attachment to a professor named Dick. Soloway is at the helm of the project, serving as director and executive producer, and playwright Sarah Gubbins is in charge of the script.

It is pretty significant that a psycho-sexual novel from almost two decades ago is now being adapted into a TV pilot, with the potential for a full season. This got us thinking about other books of all genres, both new novels and old classics, that would be fascinating to see play out on our screens. Here are five books that should be adapted into TV shows. Or movies. Or turned into a Broadway musical. We don’t judge.

The Silent History by Eli Horowitz, Kevin Moffatt, and Matthew Darby

Authors Horowitz, Moffatt, and Darby collaborated on an innovative, interactive novel that tells the stories of a generation of children who cannot speak or comprehend any language. The stories are told through a series of testimonials from parents, friends, doctors, and anyone else affected by the phenomenon—except the actual children, of course—that rapidly theorize the causes and effects of their situations. The novel was originally created exclusively for iPhones and iPads in 2014 before being published in print. Could the big screen be next? Silent children always make for an intense horror movie.


The First Bad Man by Miranda July

The acclaimed filmmaker and author of No One Belongs Here More Than You, a hilarious and warm collection of short stories, returned last year with her proper debut novel, The First Bad Man. July’s book follows the adventures of a lonely woman named Cheryl, who is perpetually haunted by a little boy she met at the age of six, and a man named Philip, whom she strongly believes she connected with during previous lifetimes. Cheryl’s life only changes when her boss’ daughter, Cree, moves in. Representative of the strong and imaginative force of July, the novel transcends gender and sexual boundaries to bring a modern and complex story of love and friendship. It would be a chilling watch on the silver screen.

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Turning the Tables by Teresa Giudice and K.C. Baker

Don’t act like you did not want to watch Real Housewife of New Jersey Teresa Giudice as she served her year-long prison sentence for fraud. We all did, but since that reality show did not happen, this is our next best option. Giudice’s memoir, co-written with Baker, relives every moment during and leading up to her prison stay, providing the perfect material to adapt into a good script. Imagine if Paris and Nicole served time in prison for a season of The Simple Life, and add just a touch of the intensity of Orange Is the New Black. It’s our dream show, and someone needs to start developing it now.


Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

It was everyone’s favorite book of 2015, from Queen SJP to President Obama. Groff’s novel relates the journey of a married couple over 24 years from both partner’s perspectives, gripping the hands and hearts of the nation. With such a riveting plot and in-depth character development, the novel was declared best novel of 2015 by The Guardian, Paste Magazine, and Amazon, and has since appeared in more best-of lists than any other novel. If Miranda July is peddling your book on Instagram when she has her own that just came out, you know you have a winner on your hands.


The Catcher In the Rye by J.D. Salinger

We know what you’re thinking, and the answer is no. You did not see this movie a few years ago because it was never made. Big-time Hollywood producers and directors like Harvey Weinstein and Steven Spielberg have put in huge offers to adapt the American classic into film, and they were all met with a resounding “no.” It’s a pity, because the New York adventures of Holden Caulfield would be a nostalgic delight to see play out on screen. But Salinger believed that no person could do the novel justice, and his wishes have been kept since his death. He did acknowledge that it could happen one day. We just hope that one day is literally tomorrow.

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Stay tuned to Milk for more literary developments.

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