Hello Hollywood! Get out your checkbooks. We think that some of the ebook singles (between 20 to 100 pages) that we've reviewed over the past year would make great movies. They've got rich characters, imaginative plots and portray worlds that are visually interesting. And we can almost hear the music as we read the words.
So here is Thin Reads' first annual guide to ebook singles that could, perhaps, just maybe...be made into movies. And authors, don't spend your option money yet. This is all back-of-the-cocktail-napkin speculation.
These are our choices (in alphabetical order). We've linked to the original Thin Reads reviews from the past year. Some of the books even made the Thin Reads best-seller list. Drumroll please...
Attempted Hippie, by David Noonan
What it's about: In his junior year of college in 1972, the author, for no good reason, drops out of college, works in a gas station in his New Jersey hometown and then decides to hitchhike across the country with $100 in his pocket to find his brother John, a free spirit. He finds him in San Francisco and then they travel to Chicago in a busted car to visit their straight-laced older brother who is studying to be a lawyer.
Why it would make a good movie: Think Easy Rider meets any Seth Rogin movie. It's a road movie. It's funny. It captures the spirit of America.
Suggested star: Michael Cera or Jesse Eisenberg as the young author.
Suggested music by: The Byrds, New Riders of the Purple Sage, The Grateful Dead. Early 70s soul music would work at the beginning of the movie.
Cocaine Cowgirl, by Jennie Erin Smith
What it's About: The rise and fall Griselda Blanco, one of the most ruthless cocaine smugglers in the history of Colombia before her death in 2012. She was Scarface with a skirt.
Why it would make a good movie: Bullets and blow. And a strong woman in the lead role.
Suggested star: Jennifer Lopez as Blanco.
Suggested music: Anything that was popular in Studio 54 in 1979.
Code Name Villenalle, by Luke Jennings
What it's about: A group of wealthy European businessmen find a beautiful young woman in a Russian jail and turn her into a cold-blooded assassin who will eliminate their enemies.
Why it would make a good movie: Think The Bourne Identity except the lead is played by a woman (with a healthy sexual appetite for added measure). And the exotic foreign locations added pizzazz to the production and will help drive international box office.
Suggested star: Jennifer Lawrence. Who else?
Suggested shooting locations: Moscow, London, Paris, Sicily.
Coronado High, by Joshuah Bearman
What it's about: The true, early 70s story about a group of hippie surfer buddies from Coronado High School in San Diego who form a sophisticated pot-smuggling operation, masterminded by their former Spanish teacher and coach.
Why it would make a good movie: The combination of the California beach scene in the early 70s and the pot-smuggling exploits makes this an attractive property. The hair and costume departments will have a ball with the early 70s fashion. The soundtrack will lift the movie to even high commercial returns.
Suggested star: Matthew McConaughey as teacher/ringleader Lou Villar. Someone get him a copy of the story immediately.
Suggested music by: The Eagles (especially "Life in the Fast Lane" and "Hotel California"), the Doobie Brothers, Electric Light Orchestra.
Mayflower: The Voyage from Hell, by Kevin Jackson
What it's about: The perilous voyage of the Mayflower, the ship that transported the Pilgrims from England to Massachusetts in 1620.
Why it would make a good movie: Adventure on the high seas and a desperate battle for survival in the new land.
Suggested star: Russell Crowe as Captain Christopher Jones.
Suggested set design: The ship could be the star of the movie. It was only the size of two tennis courts, yet it held 102 wretched souls and livestock.
Suggested sound effects: Creaking, wood-soaked timbers. Waves slapping the sides of the boat. Howling wind.
Suggested on-location set: The bleakest, most windswept part of Nova Scotia (filling in for Plymouth Rock).
The Secret Agent, by Stephan Talty
What it's about: During World War II, Eric Erickson, an American oilman based in Sweden, augments his fortune by doing business with the Nazis. The U.S. government then essentially forces him to "volunteer" to become an American spy in Germany.
Why it would make a good movie: Action. Romance. Adventure. Espionage behind enemy lines. This story has it all.
Suggested star: Ryan Gosling as Eric Erickson. Amanda Seyfried as the German love interest.
Suggested music: Swing, baby, swing. Benny Goodman will be hot if this ebook single gets made.
Sleep Donation, by Karen Russell
What it's about: It's the near future and an epidemic begins to afflict millions causing people to lose the ability to sleep. Those who have the ability to slumber, donate their sleep to the afflicted. The protagonist, Trish Edgewater, works for a company called Slumber Corp, an organization that attempts to convince sleeps to donate to the sleepless. And then she finds "Baby A," who is a universal sleep donor and just might be the answer to the world's problems.
Why it would make a good movie: Interesting plot that can be sold quickly and easily to young audiences. Highly visual story with interesting set pieces like trippy, black-market sleep outposts where people go to try to rest. And the "Baby A" angle gives the movie a real narrative drive. The story will need to manufacture a love interest to turn it into a Hollywood movie.
Suggested star: Kate Mara (reporter Zoe Barnes on House of Cards) as Trish Edgewater.
Suggested music: Miles Davis
What ebook single do you think would make a great movie?
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