Hunger Games: loved the book, loved the movie.
Did you know Suzanne Collins, the author of Hunger Games, wrote another super-duper series for kids?
Or that Gregor the Overlander—in the right hands—would make an equally fantastic flick?
Scene: An 11-year-old hero; a kingdom beneath New York City; a tough-as-nails warrior girl (props to Collins for putting girls front and center with shoulders squared and jaws set); an army riding enormous bats; battles between giant cockroaches and monster rats; a kidnapped father; an ominous prophecy; and everyone riding toward certain peril with Boots, Gregor’s two-year-old sister.
The toddler might have to be recast as a five-year-old kid played by a diminutive ten year old. (Doesn’t Dakota Fanning have a shorter sister?)
Give it to Peter Jackson. He knows how to shoot epic battles between crazy-big creatures.
OMG, I AM AN AWESOME PRODUCER.
So, let’s see…what other kid books are just waiting to be immortalized in celluloid? (Are we still using film? Somebody get Marty Scorsese on the phone and ask him! And bring me a coffee! WHERE ARE MY PEOPLE?)
Fablehaven, by Brandon Mull
When you send a brother and sister to spend the summer with a grouchy, secretive grandfather, and his first words are a warning not to leave the backyard, “or else”…well, you just know the book is going to be filled with two-hundred pages of “or else.” Grandpa Sorenson is the caretaker of a sort of game preserve for mythical creatures, and the old lady gnawing through her bloody bindings in a cottage in the deep woods gives the reader a first glimpse of just how menacing the inhabitants of Fablehaven can be.
I’m giving this one to James Cameron and I want it in 3D. Maybe 4D. I want the nasty fairies to fly right off the screen in acid-induced brilliance and smack the viewers upside the head. I want Hugo The Golem smashing the roofs and reaching into the audience with dirty hands to grab fistfuls of popcorn. And I don’t care that she’s too young to play the character, I want Sandra Oh as Lena the Naiad.
Stepping On The Cracks, by Mary Downing Hahn
Where is the next Stand By Me? It’s high time for another soulful, snot-nosed coming-of-age film.
Your kids may know Mary Downing Hahn for her seriously effed-up kiddie horror books (SPOILER ALERT: hello dead drowned girl climbing into bed with the protagonist and breathing swampy ghost breath onto her all night in Deep and Dark and Dangerous), but Hahn also wrote a doozy of a Judy Blume knock-off.
Taking place in small town USA during World War II, sixth graders Margaret and Elizabeth spend their days hating Hitler, worrying about their older brothers fighting the war overseas, and trying to steer clear of neighborhood bully Gordy and his flunkies.
Deep in the woods one day, Margaret and Elizabeth discover Gordy’s incredible secret. Folks, it’s a good one. And I want Jackson Rathbone involved.
Director? Get me Gurinder Chadha. I trust her to cast Margaret and Elizabeth and know how work with teen girl actors. Also, send her a copy of Hope and Glory to review.
Schooled, by Gordon Korman
Has Wes Anderson made a movie for teens? I mean, for real teens, not just young adults who have the emotional capacity of fourteen-year-olds?
Alright then, I have a project for him. It involves a secluded commune, a hippie grandmother named Rain, her eighth-grader grandson, Capricorn (for real, that’s his name)—caught in a time warp and entering public school for the first time (middle school, nonetheless), a sympathetic teacher, and a football captain who is all set to flex his charm and bully-lite attitude in a final year of ruling the roost.
I want to cast a young Owen Wilson and the new Jason Schwartzman.
If Anderson is uncertain, send him these lines from the script sides:
Scene: Capricorn staring into school locker.
Capricorn: “When we lock things away…we’re really imprisoning ourselves.”
Doctor: “What about the parents? Where are they?”
Rain: “Long dead. Malaria. They were with the Peace Corps in Namibia . They died doing what they believed in.”
The Boxes, by William Sleator
Last but not least, a project for Pixar and Tim Burton. Keep Spielberg on speed dial.
Annie’s Uncle Marco returns from one of his frequent, mysterious journeys and entrusts her with two boxes before he disappears again. Instruction on the boxes: Do Not Open. And of course she does. And of course, what’s inside is curious, complicated, and horrible in all the most delicious ways. Throw in some time travel, corporate goons, and a chase scene that reads like something from the Bourne Identity franchise, and I anticipate box office gold with tons of merchandise tie-ins.
The cliffhanger ending may be problematic. Hmmmm….
I want Dean Koontz on the sequel! It’s about time he wrote another kids’ book.
GET ME DEAN KOONTZ!