Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I’d Love to See as Movies

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish is about the books we would like to see adapted as movies. I have to admit that this one was surprisingly difficult because each time I thought of something that would be an amazing movie, I realized that it had already been done.

“I clothe my shoulders with a lion’s hide And yellow spoils; then, on my bending back, The welcome load of my dear father take; While on my better hand Ascanius hung, And with unequal paces tripp’d along.”

1. The Aeneid

My wife and I have a friendly ongoing debate about the merits of Virgil versus Homer. I would love to see an epic about Aeneas. Watch him walk away from burning Troy. Become entranced as he tells the Carthaginian court about its fall. Hear Dido’s last wail. But as I think of this, it feels as foolish as casting “the face that launched a thousand ships…” What generations have imagined since Virgil can’t be captured on a screen.

2. Beowulf

Now hear me out. I like Christopher Lambert’s as much as the next guy, but I want a real Beowulf movie. One in Anglo-Saxon. I want to go beyond Grendel. I want to see that final moment as he holds his shield against the dragon’s heat. Begin with hwaet! and you’ll have me hooked.

3. Sir Orfeo

It’s an Orpheus myth with a happy ending. What’s not to love? (I apologize for the spoiler).

4. The Ballad of the White Horse

Not as an epic blockbuster, but as a lyrical silent film that captures the beautiful absurdity of an exiled Anglo-Saxon king in a Roman vineyard preparing to lead an anachronistic band of Celts, Saxons, and Romans against the Danes.

5. The Divine Comedy

Wait, never mind, we already have O Brother, Where Art Thou

6. The Odyssey 

Again, O Brother, Where Art Thou…

7. The Wheel of Time 

Even though I don’t see how this sprawling narrative can be effectively translated to film, high school me demands that it be included here and is scowling about how it’s not the first one. Don’t worry, high school me, I still love it.

8. Out of the Silent Planet

As an old-fashioned space romp! That Hideous Strength, on the other hand, may be as unfilmable as Lovecraft’s works.

9. A Canticle for Leibowitz

As a three-part miniseries. My favorite aspect of this book is that it feels like a monastery with the way interpersonal interaction happens, so hopefully they would get a monk on board as an adviser.

10. We Have Always Lived in the Castle

What would it be like to see her digging? How much would her perspective be leaned on? How would it change us to linger with them visually in the charred ruins or to be on the other end of the door leaving baskets?

And wouldn’t this be a great opening monologue:

My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had.

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