No More Usual Suspects

The Arts

With autumn comes news that we’ll shortly have a new slew of literary adaptations in our cinemas – good, it’s about time more books were adapted into films. What will we get, China Mieville’s ‘The City And The City’, JG Ballard’s ‘The Drowned World’ or perhaps something a bit more obscure – Alexander Baron’s ‘King Dido’?

No, it’s ‘Wuthering Heights’, ‘Jane Eyre’ and lots more ‘Sherlock Holmes’. Year in, year out the same old Mills & Boon romances and ‘classics’ arrive. What we forget is that when they were written, other books were popular in the same period too, often from the same authors. Why can’t we have good stories that haven’t been told? I don’t want another kick-ass Sherlock Holmes, a comedy Dracula, a post-modern Robin Hood or a tap-dancing Frankenstein, what I’d like is to see a fairly unfamiliar novel filmed in a way that’s true to its original intentions, undistilled and properly done.

But that wouldn’t be a brand, and the brand is now king. The ‘exciting and innovative’ news is that ‘Wuthering Heights’ has been shot with a hand-held camera – how daring!

6 comments on “No More Usual Suspects”

  1. Jon says:

    I’ve just had the pleasure of “The City And The City”. I find it hard to believe that it’s not even been adapted for radio, possibly as part of the more experimental Radio 3 Drama strand.

  2. J. Folgard says:

    I thought the same about ‘The City & the City’ -it could make a great tv miniseries, and the executives might be reassured by the familiar crime drama tropes Miéville used in his story. Oh well, wishful thinking!

  3. Helen Martin says:

    What about ‘Roofworld’, wouldn’t that be suitable? If you want Shakespeare how about ‘Titus Andronicus’ or ‘Cymbeline’? No Dickens for twenty more years.

  4. Gretta says:

    I reckon these classic adaptations will still be outnumbered by adaptations of comics. *sigh* Do scriptwriters exist any more?

  5. FabienneT says:

    @Helen: Titus Andronicus has been done, I’ve seen the movie twice, it’s terrific! (Titus, 1999 with Anthony Hopkins:

    Well, I think most of Christopher Fowler’s books would be great to adapt … Don’t you think? Although not anyone could do it…

  6. Alan Morgan says:

    A cartoon series perhaps – like this one of The Watchmen.

    However you link properly. But funny, so achingly funny.

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