Justine Lewis discusses the books she thinks would make great films.
My new release, Acting The Part, a romance between a cynical gofer and a film director, takes place on a movie set. A decision that stumped me when I was writing the book was figuring out the film they were making. I wanted the fictional movie to be a story or a book that readers might be familiar with – not a story completely made up.
But thinking of a well-known story that hasn’t already been made into a movie was a real challenge; pretty much every well-known book has made it to the big or small screen at some point. In the end I chose the story of an historical figure who fascinates me, Eleanor of Aquitaine, to be the subject of the movie. But it did get me thinking about books that I’ve enjoyed that I would love to see on screen. With a bit of cheating, here’s my list.
The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion
Simsion began by writing Don Tillman’s story as a movie script and it was recently announced that it will be made into a film. The genetics professor’s quest to find himself a wife is funny and heart-warming. I am curious to find out who they will cast as the awkward and yet, according to Rosie, quite attractive Don. Can’t wait.
The Cuckoo’s Calling and the Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith
As I’m researching this list I’m realizing that the movie studios are way ahead of me. Google tells me that that J.K. Rowling’s crime series is going to be adapted for the small screen. Huzzah! Supermodels, fashion designers and billionaires meet London’s underworld. Not to mention all that unresolved sexual tension between troubled detective Cormoran Strike and his resourceful secretary, Robin. Also would love to see whom they cast as Cormoran. Matthew Macfadyen? Eric Bana? Clive Owen? Also can’t wait.
The Stephanie Plum series, by Janet Evanovich
So I’ve recently discovered that One for the Money has been made into a movie. With strange casting decisions. And it seems to have been a bit of a flop. But why not a TV series? There are twenty-one books for crying out loud. Stephanie is a terrific character and Evanovich’s dialogue leaps off the page. More Stephanie Plum please!
Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, by Helen Fielding
Cheating again. I know this was made into a film but I’d like to see a film that actually resembles this book. As much as I adore Hugh Grant, he didn’t belong in this film. Nor did that ridiculous second fight scene.
The Year of Wonders, by Geraldine Brooks
I love Geraldine Brooks’ writing and her impeccable historical research. This story, told from the point of view of a young widow, is about a village that decides to isolate itself from the rest of the world when the bubonic plague outbreak of 1665 sweeps through the village. There’s heartbreak, witchcraft, murder but just enough nooky to keep you despairing entirely.
P.S When Google suggested Year Of Wonders Film my heart leapt, but no, the movie by that name is not based on this book.
Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, by Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Burrows
So I’m a sucker for a good historical novel. It will take a clever scriptwriter to turn this epistolary novel into a film. But think of it: a picturesque setting, a cast of fabulous secondary characters and a very sweet romance. Google tells me that I’m hardly the first person to think this book would make a good film — the rights have been sold — but the film seems to be languishing in development. Making a movie involves lots of challenges, as my characters in Acting the Part found out so let’s hope that it all comes together for them.
What books would you like to see made into a movie?
Poppy Greenwood needs money fast. Her estranged father, one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, has promised to help – on the condition that she work on the set of his next movie. Although Poppy despises the world of show business, she has little choice but to agree.
Hot-shot director Max Madden has an Oscar in his sights. He needs this film to be a success but an overblown budget and a difficult cast are ruining his plans. Not only that, but the executive producer’s daughter has arrived to spy on him. To keep a close eye on Poppy, he insists she work directly for him.
But as they work together on location in southern France, the temperature begins to rise. Max knows the boss’s daughter is definitely off limits – and Poppy does not want a relationship with anyone in the industry. Yet against their better judgment, an intense chemistry begins to build . . .
Justine Lewis grew up in Canberra, Australia and after travelling overseas and living in Europe for a time, she settled back in Canberra with her husband and young family. She has spent her professional life writing legal advice – which some may say is similar to creative writing – but the lack of sexy heroes and happy endings led her to try writing romance. She has placed in the finals of Romance Writers of Australia writing contests, winning the Emerald Short Award in 2014. She loves Earl Grey tea, talking about which of Jane Austen’s novels is her favourite, and searching for the perfect frock. She will read anything, but loves romance most of all.