There's a sort of smug satisfaction that comes with reading a book before it's adapted into film. We’ve all heard or uttered the phrase “the book was better” at least once in our lives, after leaving a movie theater, disappointed with what we had just seen or how it failed to live up to its written predecessor. That's not to say that there aren't times when the film or television adaptation surpasses expectations by capturing what it is we loved about the book, and when that happens, it's a revelation.
So if you're the kind of person that gets off on that kind of stuff (don't worry, we won't judge you), we've compiled a list of the books we think you should read before they hit the silverscreen.
Just Kids by Patti Smith
Patti Smith just teamed up with screenwriter Jon Logan to adapt her best-selling memoir into a film. Logan definitely knows a thing or two about telling stories: he wrote the screenplays for Oscar-winning films like Gladiator and The Aviator.
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
Foer isn’t a stranger to his books being optioned; his debut novel Everything Is Illuminated was adapted into film in 2005. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close started filming last April. Directed by Stephen Daldry (The Hours) and written for the screen by Eric Roth, the film’s set for release in 2012.
You Shall Know Our Velocity by Dave Eggers
The book was optioned by Process Productions and will be directed by Miguel Arteta, who directed the Michael Cera-led 2010 film Youth In Revolt.
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The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
In August 2001, the book was optioned by Scott Rudin for Paramount Pictures. It originally had Stephen Daldry attached as director with rumors that Brad Pitt, Tim Robbins, and Naomi Watts were cast as the Lambert children. But last month, Rudin announced that it will be written and directed by Noah Baumbach as a dramatic series project for HBO.
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
Although original plans were for Terry Gilliam to direct the film adaptation, in February of this year, it was reported that plans for a television adaptation are underway instead, with Terry Jones (of legendary comedy troupe Monty Python) and Gavin Scott in talks to write the series.
Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Vonnegut sold the films right to Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia, and by January 1985, had finished the first draft of the film’s screenplay. When Garcia died in 1995, Robert B. Weide acquired the rights to the film on a verbal agreement between him and Vonnegut, although in 2006, Weide announced that he had lost the rights and the following year James V. Hart (Hook) announced he wrote a screenplay which Vonnegut had approved of before his death.
The Sandman Series by Neil Gaiman
Throughout the late '90s and into the '00s there have been countless rumors about the supposed film adaptation of the series but as of yet, nothing is in production. At a 2007 Comic-Con Q & A panel, Neil Gaiman had this to say about it: "I'd rather see no Sandman movie made than a bad Sandman movie. But I feel like the time for a Sandman movie is coming soon. We need someone who has the same obsession with the source material as Peter Jackson had with Lord of the Rings or Sam Raimi had with Spider-Man."