Last week, the trailer for Ender’s Game, one of 2013’s most anticipated films, was released. Other than being highly anticipated, its source material is lauded as one of the greatest Sci-Fi novels ever written. Ender’s Game has a great deal of colleagues with that particular description attached to it that have never been adapted into a feature film before. This begs the question then: What Sci-Fi books should be adapted I’m ever so glad you asked, because I just so happen to have some suggestions.
The book: Doomsday Book
For Kivrin, preparing an on-site study of one of the deadliest eras in humanity’s history was as simple as receiving inoculations against the diseases of the fourteenth century and inventing an alibi for a woman traveling alone. For her instructors in the twenty-first century, it meant painstaking calculations and careful monitoring of the rendezvous location where Kivrin would be received.
But a crisis strangely linking past and future strands Kivrin in a bygone age as her fellows try desperately to rescue her. In a time of superstition and fear, Kivrin — barely of age herself — finds she has become an unlikely angel of hope during one of history’s darkest hours.
Five years in the writing by one of science fiction’s most honored authors, Doomsday Book is a storytelling triumph. Connie Willis draws upon her understanding of the universalities of human nature to explore the ageless issues of evil, suffering and the indomitable will of the human spirit.
Why it should be adapted:
Doomsday Book is a bit of a Catch-22 as far as a cinematic approach goes. It is the first in Connie Willis’ Oxford Time Travel series and Hollywood gets all warm and fuzy inside at the notion of having a new franchise to churn out some money with. See: Twilight, The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, etc. It’s all that a major studio can hope for and more. The caveat to this is that this series are largely stand-alone stories with recurring characters occasionally thrown into the mix. That makes the prospect of its adaptation dicey, at best. The other inherent problem here is that studios need to be fairly certain of a source materials fan-base and the assurance that it will translate into box-office numbers. That isn’t always the case. See: Eragon and John Carter.
All of that aside, though, Doomsday Book, and possibly Oxford Time Travel, has a rather solid story that the general audience member would be able to latch onto and relate with. Even though the supposed “end of the world” has come and passed, our society as a whole has constant fear that some new element, in this case a disease, might come into it and throttle the world as we know it. Combine that with the sheer terror of being in a time that isn’t your own, a time that in itself could kill you.
The cherry on top of the cake for studios and audiences is the inclusion of a heroine that one can root for to survive(see: The Hunger Games). Whether a studio would be willing to produce the rest of this series is something no one can predict, but Doomday Book feels like such an easy film to make that Hollywood would be crazy not to.
Next up : Brave New World.