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12.12.2013by: Alex Maidy

Top 10 Books That Should Become Film Trilogies

The second chapter of Peter Jackson's enhanced trilogy based on THE HOBBIT, THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG looks to amp up the events of the first movie while supplementing the story with J.R.R. Tolkien's additional appendices. Once the third and final film hits theaters next year, studios will be on the lookout to make the next big trilogy of films. The best place to look would be in published literature, especially fantasy, where there are a number of series primed and ready for the silver screen. Here are the top ten books and series that should be adapted as trilogies for the big screen. If your favorite didn't make the list, make sure to add it to the talk backs below.

#10 - Piers Anthony's XANTH

Piers Anthony's Xanth books are the perfect blend of LORD OF THE RINGS, NARNIA, and HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY. They mix fantasy, science fiction, and humor in a 27 volume "magical" trilogy that would make for a daring and unique big screen adventure. A lot of Anthony's writing would be lost in a movie, but with the exception of only a few movies have we seen a truly funny fantasy film.

#9 - Clive Barker's IMAJICA

Clive Barker has made many forays onto the big screen but his sprawling fantasy novel IMAJICA would be tailor-made for a trilogy. The story takes place on Earth, the Fifth Dominion, and has characters cross between parallel worlds. The 800+ page novel is a very adult-oriented fantasy tale that has enough subtext to make it an intriguing candidate for a movie.

#8 - Tad Williams' OTHERLAND

Tad Williams' series is actually comprised of four books which could be condensed into a three film adventure. The future set series is a science fiction world based around virtual reality that would be a mix of THE MATRIX and more conventional fantasy fare. Warner Bros has been developing OTHERLAND as a potential film since 2012.

#7 - Isaac Asimov's FOUNDATION

Taking place in the same universe as I, ROBOT, the FOUNDATION series of seven novels is built around the trilogy that started it all. Asimov's writing is hard science fiction in that it is built around a lot of complex concepts like the mathematics at the heart of the novel known as psychohistory. Once you get past the learning curve, FOUNDATION gives you a huge , hundreds of thousands of years worth of story that could make for a damn fine movie.

#6 - Chuck Palahiunk's DAMNED Trilogy

Breaking away from fantasy and science fiction for a moment, Chuck Palahniuk (FIGHT CLUB, CHOKE) is two volumes into a trilogy inspired by Judy Blume novels like ARE YOU THERE GOD, IT'S ME, MARGARET? Palahiuk describes them as THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION crossed with THE LOVELY BONES and it is just as dark and funny as you would expect. Like Dante, DAMNED starts in Hell and DOOMED takes the narrator to Purgatory. Totally batshit and perfect for the movie treatment, hopefully these get made soon.

#5 - Terry Pratchett's DISCWORLD

Pratchett's satirical look at fairy tales and mythology, DISCWORLD is a sprawling series with a devoted fanbase. Difficult to film, Pratchett's novels have been adapted for radio and several British television movies. But, the world could use another dark and funny voice. I could see Peter Jackson himself helming something like this, a nice flip to his work with Tolkien.

#4 - Robert Jordan's WHEEL OF TIME

Robert Jordan's fourteen volume high fantasy series is likely the closest thing to modern Tolkien. Jordan died before the entire story could be told and the final volumes were written based on his notes and outlines. But, if we go back and start with the first three books, you would definitely have a rival to LORD OF THE RINGS and even GAME OF THRONES. Dragons, battles, intrigue, WHEEL OF TIME has it all.

#3 - Justin Cronin's THE PASSAGE Trilogy

Ridley Scott optioned THE PASSAGE before the first volume was published. John Logan was tapped to write the film which has made zero progress. With the third and final volume set for publication next year, it is only a matter of time before this post-apocalyptic horror epic makes it to a theater near you. It has everything you need: vampires, action, romance, you name it. Stephen King is a fan so that is good enough for me.

#2 - Stephen King & Peter Straub's THE TALISMAN/BLACK HOUSE

While THE DARK TOWER is Stephen King's greatest unfilmed work, his collaboration with Peter Straub is a close second. THE TALISMAN and the sequel BLACK HOUSE tell the story of Jack Sawyer and his adventures crossing between our world and the next. The movie is sort of a lighter version of THE DARK TOWER with just as much action, thrills, and adventure to make a worthy series of films. Steven Spielberg was trying to get it made both as a film or a television series for a long time.

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+0
7:08AM on 11/25/2014

Mistborn

Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy could be very interesting and the rights to it are available (as of February 2014). He has a strong cast of characters, an amazing world, a self contained first novel and interesting twists that continue the story after the first novel. A mood trailer from the previous owners of the rights has been released onto youtube [link] and I really hope to see Vin and Kelsier unleashing their abilities on the big screen. Since this could be a broad reaching audience
Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy could be very interesting and the rights to it are available (as of February 2014). He has a strong cast of characters, an amazing world, a self contained first novel and interesting twists that continue the story after the first novel. A mood trailer from the previous owners of the rights has been released onto youtube [link] and I really hope to see Vin and Kelsier unleashing their abilities on the big screen. Since this could be a broad reaching audience I hope someone picks it up, I could see fans of LotR, The Hunger Games and many of the movies referenced in the mood trailer to go see this.
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10:38PM on 12/12/2013
I had a feeling this one would be on the list. I just read the first book a couple months ago and it was awesome. It would be a better tv show. I want to check out all the other fantasy series suggested on this article.
I had a feeling this one would be on the list. I just read the first book a couple months ago and it was awesome. It would be a better tv show. I want to check out all the other fantasy series suggested on this article.
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6:40PM on 12/12/2013
Sexus, Plexus and Nexus. The Rosy Crucifixion Trilogy by Henry Miller.
Sexus, Plexus and Nexus. The Rosy Crucifixion Trilogy by Henry Miller.
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6:39PM on 12/12/2013
Sexus, Plexus and Nexus. The Rosy Crucifixion Trilogy by Henry Miller.
Sexus, Plexus and Nexus. The Rosy Crucifixion Trilogy by Henry Miller.
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+2
2:14PM on 12/12/2013
My suggestions:

- THE CRYSTAL SHARD by R.A. Salvatore (starring Ray Park as Drizzt)
- CASTLE PERILOUS by John DeChancie
- THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA by Scott Lynch

Also, the #1 pick on the list is missing a persuasive paragraph.
My suggestions:

- THE CRYSTAL SHARD by R.A. Salvatore (starring Ray Park as Drizzt)
- CASTLE PERILOUS by John DeChancie
- THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA by Scott Lynch

Also, the #1 pick on the list is missing a persuasive paragraph.
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7:30PM on 12/13/2013
Damn, I never thought of Ray Park as Drizzt, but that makes a hell of a lot of sense--the agility, the weapon wielding, it would be sick. Sadly, it will never happen though. R.A. Salvatore wrote on his facebook page the other day congratulating the fact that The Sword Of Shanara (I don't think I spelt that correctly) was getting a TV series and as a PS: he added, Drizzt is the intellectual property of Wizards of the Coast and they have no interest in making him into a movie or TV series :(
Damn, I never thought of Ray Park as Drizzt, but that makes a hell of a lot of sense--the agility, the weapon wielding, it would be sick. Sadly, it will never happen though. R.A. Salvatore wrote on his facebook page the other day congratulating the fact that The Sword Of Shanara (I don't think I spelt that correctly) was getting a TV series and as a PS: he added, Drizzt is the intellectual property of Wizards of the Coast and they have no interest in making him into a movie or TV series :(
+0
2:04PM on 12/12/2013
A big budget comedic fantasy movie about Captain Vimes and the Night Watch would be incredible.
A big budget comedic fantasy movie about Captain Vimes and the Night Watch would be incredible.
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12:44PM on 12/12/2013
Good list. Would def. love to see The Passage get the big screen treatment. Also Glen Duncan's The Last Werewolf would make a great trilogy. There is only two books so far. The third comes out sometime in 2014.
Good list. Would def. love to see The Passage get the big screen treatment. Also Glen Duncan's The Last Werewolf would make a great trilogy. There is only two books so far. The third comes out sometime in 2014.
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10:02PM on 12/12/2013
thanks for the heads up. didn't know when it was actually coming out. good series:)
thanks for the heads up. didn't know when it was actually coming out. good series:)
2:24PM on 12/12/2013
I believe that book is called By Blood We Live and is out now in hard cover.
I believe that book is called By Blood We Live and is out now in hard cover.
12:41PM on 12/12/2013

Several of these would work better as a TV series

with that in mind, I'd suggest David and Leigh Eddings' 5-volume series BELGARIAD and its follow-up, The MALLOREON. Each book would be a season's worth of material, and its quest narrative is easy to adapt. The characters are also really strong - I consider Polgara the Sorceress to be one of the strongest female characters in fantasy, and Ce'Nedra turns the traditional princess archetype on its head. Plenty of action, intrigue and snarky humour: the bickering relationship between Polgara and
with that in mind, I'd suggest David and Leigh Eddings' 5-volume series BELGARIAD and its follow-up, The MALLOREON. Each book would be a season's worth of material, and its quest narrative is easy to adapt. The characters are also really strong - I consider Polgara the Sorceress to be one of the strongest female characters in fantasy, and Ce'Nedra turns the traditional princess archetype on its head. Plenty of action, intrigue and snarky humour: the bickering relationship between Polgara and her father Belgarath would make for great comedy.

Those producers looking for the next GAME OF THRONES would look at THE SARANTINE MOSAIC by Guy Gavriel Kay. Set in an alternate Byzantium, it has plenty of sex, violence and political intrigue.
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11:20AM on 12/12/2013

All good except.....

You missed a few with both the Dragonlance series and the amazing Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. The Covenant series is brilliant and would make for some truly breathtaking movies.
You missed a few with both the Dragonlance series and the amazing Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. The Covenant series is brilliant and would make for some truly breathtaking movies.
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11:01AM on 12/12/2013

Roger Zelazny's Amber

Though it would probably fare better as a series on something like HBO, the 1st five books of Roger Zelazny's Amber series (Corwin's story) would be awesome to see on big or little screen. I'm hoping that since George RR Martin was a friend that sooner or later someone will pick it up. A few years ago I know SyFy looked at it but wasn't able to do anything with it.
Though it would probably fare better as a series on something like HBO, the 1st five books of Roger Zelazny's Amber series (Corwin's story) would be awesome to see on big or little screen. I'm hoping that since George RR Martin was a friend that sooner or later someone will pick it up. A few years ago I know SyFy looked at it but wasn't able to do anything with it.
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+1
10:33AM on 12/12/2013

Another I would have included

Andrzej Sapkowski's series based on 'The Witcher' saga.
Andrzej Sapkowski's series based on 'The Witcher' saga.
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+3
9:45AM on 12/12/2013

You Missed a Few...

Roger Zelazny's 'Chronicles of Amber', and Larry Niven's 'Ringworld' and associated books.
Roger Zelazny's 'Chronicles of Amber', and Larry Niven's 'Ringworld' and associated books.
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2:13PM on 12/12/2013
Ringworld was the first thing I thought of when I saw this.
Ringworld was the first thing I thought of when I saw this.

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