Mon
Jul 30 2012 9:15am

What Romance Novel Should Never Be Made Into a Film?

Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy

We’ve watched as beloved books get made into not-so-beloved movies. We’ve wondered why more of our favorite books haven’t been scooped up to be made into film. When the books are set for production, we offer our suggestions for who should be cast as whom. We wait with breathless anticipation to see if the film’s reality will live up to our imagination.

But there are some books that just wouldn’t translate, no matter what a great director or toothsome cast are chosen. Maybe there’s too much internal dialogue; maybe the characters could never possibly live up to how they’re described; maybe there’s another reason.

Answer honestly: What romance novel should never be made into a film, and why?

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19 comments
Jena Briars
1. CutMyTeethOnKleypas
Any of JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood books. I hope this series is never marred by film-making. All of the characters are set in my mind a certain way - film would ruin it forever!

EDIT: Ok, let me also clarify - there is the possibility that the world would not be able to handle all the hotness from the BDB on screen (and thus for our own sanity/safety) - BDB shouldn't be put to film.
Molly O'Keefe
2. Molly O'Keefe
Oh, I feel the same way about Laura Kinsale's Shadow and The Star - I would love to see it done, but am terrified of what they'd do. They'd make it a romp or something.

One I would LOVE to see, though - the Iron Duke - it was be fantastic.
Molly O'Keefe
3. SassyT
Honestly, I can't think of one that should be made into a movie simply because I'm usually disappointed in the writing (the screenplays usually are of a much lower quality than the books...case in point Nora Roberts' books that were made into t.v. movies...one book in particular that I had read and loved was made into a horrible t.v. movie...the book was awesome...the movie...we are talking Z level).

I agree that the BDB would probably suffer because Rhage supposedly looks like Brad Pitt right? Well, Brad Pitt isn't tall enough or buff enough (or young enough anymore....still good looking though) to play Rhage. Also, all these guys are really tall and hot (not to mention buff). There aren't that many tall and hot (buff) great actors out there (there are a lot of tall and hot actors...they just aren't great actors). So, I say....just say no to making our favorite books into movies. You'll always be disappointed. I can play my own movie in my head as I read them.
Molly O'Keefe
4. Nuha
I'm going to second the opinion that The Shadow and the Star shouldn't ever be done unless we've got a ginormous budget and a sensitive script and a man who looks like an angel sent from above to play Samuel. The thing is, as much as love this book, there are definitely some out-there elements (surprise baby, anyone? And Samuel does hang out in Leda's room and watch her sleep while he burns with lust and self-loathing) and some issues with dubious consent (I mostly think Leda and Samuel confused each other into that one) and some more issues with cultural appropriation, but then I'm not Japanese, so I can't say much about that. Any script that adapted this book would have to work around some serious issues in the narrative, so as much as I'd love to lust after a real-life Samuel and pine after all the gorgeous costumes, I'd have to say, no, no, leave this one alone.

And as much as I love Seize the Fire--Olympia is plump! She has dreams of spreading democracy! Sheridan's soul is black! Okay, not black; maybe a very tarnished grey. They galivant all over the world in tempestuous whirl of stirring emotion! They adopt a penguin! PTSD is handled sensitively and in a way that adds tension to the narrative!--I have major, major, major issues in the ways the Ottomans were caricaturized in true 80's fashion. Given the current political climate, I don't need more media pissing on my cultural and religious heritage, thanks very much.

I do admit, though, that I would really love seeing Susan Elizabeth Phillip's novels be made into movies. There are some really interesting things she does with gender and sexual politics you don't often see in trite rom-coms. It's be an opportunity to infuse some depth into the genre.
Molly O'Keefe
5. bijoux
SassyT, are you talking about Carnal Innocence? Because that was such a sucky movie and I think the book, aside from being great, also had the potential to be made into at least a decent movie.
Lege Artis
6. LegeArtis
@SassyT- I saw this latino actor and thought about Rhage:

His name is William Levy, he is buff, beautiful in Brad Pitt kind of way and if they can make him play Rhage, I'll watch that. I think challenge would be to find someone to play Wrath...
I was little reserved when news of Fever series and Outlander movie adaptations came out, 'cause I fear who'll they cast to play Barrons and Jamie Frazer. Just think of Tom Cruise playing Jack Reacher- that ruined image of Reacher for me... I think one of my favorites, The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie by Jennifer Ashley, shouldn't be ever made into movie.
Molly O'Keefe
7. JassyBonBon
I agree with BDB.... They are purrfect in my head and a movie adaptation would probably mess it ALL the way up. Probably wouldn't be urban enough, either...or hot or sexy enough.
I feel the exact same way about Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark-Hunter series, which is why I'm extremely worried since it's already got a movie and series deal for CON. Oh gods, what are you gonna do to my beloved Ash, Hollywood??
Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series is too dark, sensuous, gritty, erotic to be made into a movie. I don't even want to imagine how Hollywood would handle this....
Anne Rice's books do NOT need to be made into movies anymore!! Interview with the Vampire with Cruise, Pitt and Dunst was pretty good but lackluster compared to the depth of the actual novel. Queen of the Damned would have been a good stand-alone movie, but after reading the novel and comparing it to the movie...it was horrible and all wrong!! They even got the simplest things wrong... i.e. Marius was NOT Lestat's maker. Plus Stuart Townsend was all wrong for Lestat, sorry....
There aren't any books that I like that I particularly want to see turned into movies.
Jena Briars
8. CutMyTeethOnKleypas
Now that I think about it some more... I wouldn't mind seeing "Agnes and the Hitman" (by Jennifer Crusie) turned into a movie... LOVE that book.
Sharon Gardone
9. SGardone
Carolyn Jewel's "My Immortal" series. Definitely along the lines of Black Dagger series and Anita Blake. Definite no-no on the make a movie item. Men are big, hot and sexy. Haven't seen anyone to do the roles justice.
Molly O'Keefe
10. tabitha21
I would have to say any of the Lords of the Underworld books by Gena Showalter, Immortals after Dark by Kresley Cole, the Carpathian series by Christine Feehan, or the Dark Highlander series by Karen Marie Moning. I just can't see the heros or heroines being translated well at all. I've heard that possibly the Dark Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon is up for TV or Movie making and am seriously nervouse about it. How could they cast any of those really well? Especially Acheron?

I say leave them be. Just can't do justice to most of them. And I definitely agree with Sassy T about the Nora Roberts book movies. They were horrible.
Molly O'Keefe
11. Jessesgirl
In my opinion the Twilight books should never have been made into movies. None of the actors came anywhere near their counterparts in the books, and the books were not even very well written so the movies were really cheesy. I know they were a phenom and very successful, but not quality movies by any means. I'm on the bandwagon where Black Dagger Brotherhood is concerned, a series of movies based on those books would never work. I didnt realize Rhage was based on Brad Pitt, but I don't think even the young Brad Pitt is very representative . No disrespect, we all have our opinions but while I have never seen this Levy guy before in those pictures I don't find him particularly attractive and he is definitely no Rhage, perhaps he could do a decent Butch. That old saying " beauty is in the eye of the beholder" is so true. I do have one actor in mind who I pictured as Rhage when I read BDB, and I again pictured that actor as Christian Grey, he is such a versatile fantastic talent. His eyes and body language speaks louder then most actors words. He isn't an actor that is particularly well know but his ethereal beauty, his magnificent tall lean body, and oh those expressive eyes put him in a class all by himself not just a clone of so many out there now. This is just my take on Alexander Skarsgård, I know many others would disagree with me and that is their right.
Molly O'Keefe
12. Vilmarys
@bijoux

Gotta say that William Levy is SEXY!!! I could definitely see him as Rhage!! Good Job!
Molly O'Keefe
13. Love my boys
I think that BDB would make a great HBO series or showtime or Cinemax lol I know that there is no live mortal man that could even compare to the BDB boys but i would love to see the story brought to life. I mean i hated the twifilms in the beginning because Rob will never be my Edward but he has grown on me and i dont hate him anymore....i dont love him but i dont hate him. So i am saying no to BDB movie but a series would be AWESOME! True?
Molly O'Keefe
14. jadaleigh
This is proof positive why they shouldn't be made into movies...ever! They are perfect in our head, individually. When you put a face to the character; half of the population is let down.

I agree with everyone. BDB, DH, the Lords... Heck, one of my all time favorite characters are Reno and Maverick, and that would probably disappoint.

PS, Ya on the Levy guy and No on the Alex! (Really for Grey????) lol!
Molly O'Keefe
15. SassyT
@CutMyTeeth: You've changed my mind. I think Agnes and the Hitman could be made into a good movie BUT this is a huge but they'd have to step up the screenplay writing. With romance novels-turned-books, it seems they just slap any old thing on the screen. Agnes could be a really good romantic comedy if done right.

I just think it's harder to make good/great paranormal romance/fantasy romance into good movies/tv shows. For starters, all the men are above average (in height and looks). Second, I think it'd be really hard to get their special abilities translated onto the screen without it becoming a CGI fest (I like CGI but used sparingly). I don't the movies/tv shows to turn into the Star Wars prequels redux...lol.

@LegeArtis: They are good looking guys just not my idea of what Rhage would look like. First of all they don't seem big enough (as in bulky...they certainly look like they are in good shape...and have abs of steel but the BDB are supposed to be huge....in my mind like football player huge but bigger).

I second everyone on the Dark Hunters and Lords of the Underworld as not being possible to put on screen (although the DH don't have the same issues as say vampires....they were once regular people...just good looking...but as I said I think they'd screw up the special effects). Don't get me started about how there is no man on the planet (not that I've seen....would love to be proven wrong) who is Barrens.
Jena Briars
16. CutMyTeethOnKleypas
@SassyT: So true. Plus, with Crusie's writing - there's so much "unsaid" and sometimes she has these great little one-liners that a movie script just can't capture...
Molly O'Keefe
17. Merida
Christine Feehan's Carpathian series, Elizabeth Lowell's historicals and Fifty Shades of Grey. I heard rumours that a movie was being considered for the trilogy but it just wouldn't work. Not only would you not get an actor capable of portraying Christian Grey, it would end up being a porn movie, no matter how well done the sex scenes are or how the relationship is presented.
Molly O'Keefe
18. LadyHarrison
Honestly, I don't want to see any of my late-night reading material on the big OR small screen. What could live up to the expectations my mind conjures? I want my heroes larger than life. I want their stories to drag on for days, not summed up in a couple of hours. I want my Dark Hunters fierce, my Were Hunters ferocious, my BD Brothers, big, brawny and beautiful! Shelly Laurenston's Pride Series, they just don't grow them that fine! And my heroines have got to be just as awesome. I don't want a watered down, sugar-free, fat-free, reduced sodium version of John Matthew and Xhex. I love these characters like family, and I don't want my family messed with!
Harvena P
19. venapat
I agree BDB, Anita Blake, Lords of the Underworld and The Dark Hunters would all be ruined by making them into films or a series. I see them a certain way and no actor can live up to them. Also The Darkness and others from the Laurell K. Hamilton Meridith books would not be possible to cast. These men are all larger than life and I can't think of any actor that would do them justice. Plus some of the scenes in the Anita books are too steamy for even an R rating. I know some of the Sherilyn Kenyon books are coming to the screen I hope they do the book justice. Usually the books are sooooo much better than the movie.
I agree the Queen of the Damned movie shouldn't have been made because I was like what is this? I thought I was the only one that felt that way. Keep the characters in the books real life can't do them justice.
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