Saving Hollywood – Books that need made into movies

I think it is pretty obvious that with the rash of live action remakes of cartoons, Hollywood has finally run out of ideas.  Or, more likely, everyone is so afraid that if they go out on a limb, make a movie that all their studies show won’t be liked by billions, they’ll get fired, so they go a tried and true, yet tired route.

  So I got to thinking, if they can spend millions ruining my childhood (Star Wars, Joker), why not throw some millions my way, and I will develop scripts that will give the common man what he wants, good movies.

 Roachmill

This is one of my favorite Dark Horse comic book characters, and it is appealing in many ways.  First, he is half man/half roach…hence the name.  Second, he is a mercenary/bounty hunter.  Third, and most important, the comic run was 10 or 6, depending on which run you go with.  Literally two stories to choose from, and then you can go on from there.  My fear, it’s a pretty violent book, so you will need cut scenes a plenty, and in today’s society, it has to be an R movie, or don’t bother.

Manifest Destiny

One of my favorite books.  I have read the first 8 Trade Paper Backs, and it is the tale of Lewis and Clark, and how they explored the west, while encountering new flora, fauna, Native Americans, and mythical creatures taken from their folklore.  Couple that with sketchy soldiers, terrified people, and a fast pace…the mythical creatures and clever ways to defeat them will help the kids today swallow the fact that its about the 1800’s.  Picture Dances with Wolves and Starship Troopers having sex, this is the movie that comes out.

The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero   Surprise! 

This isn’t a comic book.  This is a book, and the author believes that Harry Houdini was much more than an escape artist/magician, but perhaps he was also a super spy for the US.  It is really quite a fascinating book, which covers his childhood to death, focusing on his vaudeville days, his incredible popularity (rock star levels), then his abrupt change of venue to Europe, oddly going through Germany, and getting to know the government people there, because even royals are star fuckers.  Not to mention, he was an expert lock breaker, so locked up secrets wasn’t really an issue.  If they can make the Sherlock Holmes movies over and over, why not Houdini.  There’s plenty to go over, from him doing his famous escapes, disproving charlatans, learning to fly, to travelling Europe.  I’d much rather watch this than another Mission Impossible movie.

Battlefield Earth

Look, I know that Travolta made that shit version of it in the 90’s, but I actually read the book.  It is by far the best book L Ron Hubbard ever wrote, and trying to fit 1200 pages of book into a two hour movie is absolutely impossible.  Nowadays, trilogy’s are the thing, and this book would be the perfect trilogy.  The characters are cool and well developed in the book, it has an interesting story, and the ending is top notch.

William W Johnstone’s Mountain Man Series

I am an avid reader, and I like to read a lot of nonfiction.  The only bad thing about nonfiction, is it tends to be a bit dry at time.  So when I need to wet my whistle with something light and fun, I often turn to this series, with the main character of Preacher, and how he travelled the old west and Rocky Mountains, helping travelers trying to get west, helping the Native Americans adjust to changing times, giving advice, killing bad guys of all races, sticking up for what’s right as a human, not for a specific group…I love them.  They are fast paced, there are a lot of them, and chock full of action.  And, unlike the actual times, he’s pretty respectful towards women.  I loved “The Revenant”, and it proves that you can have a movie set in those times, that does well.  Who doesn’t want a movie with a beautiful backdrop, large smelly men who tell tall tales, black and white heroes and villains, some historical facts thrown in, violence, and good dialog?  Jerimiah Johnson was a good movie (and book), so I think this could succeed.  Please do NOT use Trace Adkins in it.

Kraven the Hunter

Really, any story with him in it.  He is a modern villain, written decades ago.  You can hate him because he juices up, to give himself his super speed and agility (We all hate Barry Bonds for the same thing)  You can hate him because he is a big game hunter, and has killed every animal known to man (Have you ever seen how the yahoos react on facebook to the people who pose with their trophies they have killed legally and legitimately?)  He’s Russian (we can blame Trump)  He is a villain for today.  He even cloned himself, and then let all his “children” battle it out to the death for Christs sake.  Strike while the iron’s hot!!!

Tomb of Dracula 

With them Rebooting Blade, why not add this to the mix, tie it into the MCU, and they can cross over.  You could even do something with Morbius if need be, but why, the original is a great book, fun, and the old man chasing him is on point in toughness, brains, and dialog.  As long as he’s dressed as the classic vampire, and not updated too much, and he doesn’t sparkle, this could be a great series.

Werewolf by Night  

Since Morbius is a go, this would probably be the better option at this time.  You can introduce a young actor, and you get the action of being a werewolf, you get a good looking young actor to promote the shit out of him, and you get the angst of a teen who turns into a werewolf…by night, and how he is coping with it.  Or, you could take the last two options, and maybe stimulate the Universal brand again, and reboot the Universal Monsters.  As with both, I would hope they would use relatively unknown people, or not over the top popular.  Don’t go heavy CGI, so people actually feel the characters, and not get a bunch of computer imagery.


  Now, I admit, none of these sound like billion dollar ideas.  The thing they all have in common is that Hollywood likes sequels, and these stories all give them a chance to make a few movies, get people used to characters, so that they follow them.  I love the Bourne movies, and when I see an ad for a new one, I know I’m going to the movies to see it.  Damon is a star, but not one I actively go see his movies specifically.  You can remake all the movies you want, but if the main characters aren’t intriguing, do you really care if there is a sequel.  People see sequels because they want to know what is going to happen to their favorite characters, not because of a story idea.

  As always, you can comment on here, or @jaycanchu on Twitter or Instagram, or find me on Facebook and leave me messages and more than likely I’ll answer.

Author: Jay Roach

Jay was born and raised within a 30 mile radius of Ottawa IL, home of Scotty Bowers and a guy who was in soap operas.  His family was Catholic, somewhat filled with ’50 Ideals and conservatism, which they attempted to pass down, and lifetime Democrats.

Jay am none of that nonsense, though he is probably more liberal in social views than most of them.  He's tattooed, has two wonderful boys who are both talented, one a musician, the other designing games.  He have two ex wives that he still get along with.  Jay have two cats (Chloe and Panda Lucifer) who are ambivalent towards Jay's existence unless wet food is involved.

Previously, Jay was the cohost of My Worst Holiday, and left on good terms but will still fill in on occasion.  He now write nonsense articles about whatever grabs his fancy, from old Universal Monster movies, to lunch health, to lists that get stuck in deep in his head and has to purge them.

Jay is an amateur artist, who hopes to branch out into painting this year.  You can see his stuff on social media, or read his stuff in The Roach's Den.

Jay is pretty sure he is allowed to hang around because he have watched a LOT of Burt Reynolds movies. (This is true)

2 thoughts on “Saving Hollywood – Books that need made into movies

  • February 6, 2020 at 12:10 pm
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    Good post! Haven’t read Battlefield Earth–just remember watching the train wreck with Travolta. Would take a lot of $ to do that movie, of course, and for the trilogy you’d need to commit a lot of that up front. That works when you have a relatively sure-fire adaptation like LOTR, but with the tainted legacy of Battlefield, securing that cash would be awfully difficult.

    Reply

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