Novel-to-TV adaptations have become increasingly popular in recent years, with networks and streaming platforms recognising the allure of bringing beloved books to life on the small screen. There are so many books published, such as the Green Bone Saga by Fonda Lee and the Children of Time series by Adrian Tchaikovsky, that deserve adaptations. So, this is a great time to suggest a few books that should be adapted into movies or TV shows.
Five Minds by Guy Morpuss
In this captivating murder mystery, things have gotten so bad that you need to decide how to live your life at the age of 18. Don’t worry, you have options: you can remove yourself from life, turn yourself into an android, enjoy your life with every comfort for 40 years, work for the rest of your life, or join up with four other people in one body only living for four hours at a time a day, but you get to live for 160 years.
Alex, Kate, Sierra, Ben, and Mike have been living together as a commune for twenty-five years, navigating alliances and conflicts. When they decide to participate in a deadly game at a Death Park to win more time, Kate’s acceptance of a dangerous offer leads to one member going missing. How do you lose one person when you have one body and everyone has access to every part of it? Who knows? This would make a fantastic movie or video game. The Death Park alone would be amazing to see come alive.
Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix
The Orsk furniture superstore in Cleveland, Ohio, is facing a mysterious problem – every morning, the store is in disarray, with furniture broken and shattered items. Despite security cameras, nothing is caught, and sales are plummeting.
To solve the enigma, three employees agree to work an overnight shift and investigate the strange occurrences. They soon find themselves faced with horrors beyond imagination as they explore the empty showroom floor. Horrorstor should be adapted into either a movie or a TV show, as this would be a great horror comedy that would do great on Shudder. Watching three people running around a haunted IKEA rip-off store, while animated furniture advertisements pop up occasionally and become progressively more disturbing as the movie continues? Yeah, sign us up.
In the Blink of an Eye (Kat and Lock #1) by Jo Callaghan
The statistics are chilling – in the UK, someone goes missing every 90 seconds. DCS Kat Frank, a widowed single mother and seasoned cop, understands the pain of loss all too well. Leading a pilot program, she is paired with Lock, an Artificially Intelligent Detective Entity (AIDE) that relies on logic rather than instincts.
As they review cold cases that unexpectedly become active, Lock becomes Kat’s sole ally when the case hits close to home. In a battle between AI and human experience, logic and instinct, they must collaborate before another life becomes a tragic statistic. Make this a police procedural TV show and you have a winner on your hands. A seasoned cop working with an AI that can learn, with side characters that are just as interesting as the main characters, with their own backstories to explore? This is becoming a series and it should be a TV show.
Dummy by David-Matthew Barnes
In a small desert town, an elderly widow named Beverly Crisp relies on a life-sized mannequin named Talbot as her companion during night drives. Meanwhile, Jenny Dressel, who works at a nearby gas station, struggles with a sinister desire to kill.
When teenagers mistakenly steal Talbot as a prank, the mannequin seeks revenge, contributing to a string of brutal murders in the town. As Beverly and Jenny unite in the search for Talbot, they discover a wicked bond between them that puts numerous lives at risk. No doubt, this should be a low-budget movie on a streaming site like Tubi, Amazon or Shudder, as it already has that B-movie flavour to it.
The Haunted Forest Tour by Jeff Strand
Get ready for the spine-chilling Haunted Forest Tour, where you can witness the most terrifying creatures in nature from the safety of an armoured tram. This tour unveils a world filled with werewolves, giant spiders, spooky ghosts, and unimaginable monsters, just inches away from you.
But wait, it’s Halloween, and there’s an even more frightful route through the forest, promising an unforgettable scare. Don’t worry, the Haunted Forest Tour has a flawless safety record and takes every precaution to ensure your security. Rest assured, you are in no danger. We guarantee it.
Make this one a movie, add the wit and humour of Jeff Strand with the right cast and you have a winner on your hands. Just make sure that you have the gore mixed with the humour and this will be a new favourite.
The Watchers by A.M. Shine
Stranded in an uncharted forest where every car breaks down, Mina is forced into the darkness and discovers a mysterious woman warning her to seek safety in a concrete bunker. Inside, Mina finds herself surrounded by strangers as the screams outside intensify.
In a room with a glass wall and an activated light at nightfall, she learns about the Watchers, creatures who observe and harm humans who fail to reach the bunker. With fear gripping her, Mina seeks answers. Who are the Watchers? Why are they imprisoning them? And, above all, how can she escape? The Watchers by A.M. Shine has the potential to be one of the scariest movies ever created if done right. A movie that is covered in the horrors of isolation and needing to fight for survival against horrific unknown enemies would be amazing and should be adapted.
Clowns vs Spiders by Jeff Strand
Jaunty the Clown and his fellow performers find themselves unemployed after being told that clowns are no longer popular. Desperate to make a living, they reluctantly accept a job at a haunted attraction called the Mountain of Terror, where they transform into scary clowns. However, the town soon faces a terrifying invasion when millions of oversized spiders emerge from a cave on opening night. It becomes a battle of Clowns vs Spiders. Who will emerge victorious?
This would make a funny, scary horror comedy and should be adapted. Make it campy, but still horrifying. Once again, the right casting will make this one incredible.
After the Fade (short story from They Lurk) by Ronald Malfi
A girl’s sudden death turns a typical evening at an Annapolis tavern into a horrifying nightmare. Something unknown has attached itself to the base of her skull, and it becomes clear that this creature is unlike anything anyone has ever seen before.
As if that’s not enough, the tavern’s patrons find themselves trapped within the walls, surrounded by monstrous beings that scour the night sky, desperately trying to get inside. In this suspenseful tale, the customers of The Fulcrum struggle to survive as they face unimaginable horrors.
Yeah, we got several different shows out of The Walking Dead. We can definitely adapt the short story from Ronald Malfi into a TV series and make it an instant hit!
The Murderbot Diaries Series by Martha Wells
In a future dominated by corporations and space exploration, planetary missions are only allowed with Company approval and supervision. To ensure safety, teams are accompanied by security androids provided by the Company. However, these androids are often subpar due to budget constraints. On a distant planet, a team of scientists is conducting tests alongside their assigned android, Murderbot.
Murderbot, a self-aware SecUnit, has hacked its governor module and yearns to be left alone to explore its own identity. But when a neighbouring mission goes silent, Murderbot and the scientists must uncover the truth together. This one is a little bit of a cop-out because it is already being optioned and adapted for Apple TV+ starring Alexander Skarsgard, but that just means that it’s proving the point of being on this list.
Chaos Walking Series by Patrick Ness
In a town of men plagued by the Noise germ that killed all the women, but gave the men the ability to broadcast their thoughts, Todd Hewitt is the sole boy left in the community. As Todd approaches manhood, he becomes aware of a hidden truth concealed by the town.
This revelation compels him to flee alongside his loyal dog, stumbling upon a silent girl. Todd can’t hear her thoughts. As they evade pursuers, Todd’s intense story takes you on a gripping journey, where he must unlearn everything he thought he knew about being a man and the truth they tried to hide for so long.
So, this was adapted already, but let’s ignore that movie. Let’s move on from it. Let’s adapt it again but this time make it a TV show and put it on Netflix or Disney+. It would have been perfect for the CW crowd, but it’s unclear what is happening with that network, so Netflix, Disney+ or Amazon Prime should make it a TV series.
There we have it. 10 books that should be adapted (or readapted) into either a movie or TV show (or video game).
So, which novel do you think should be adapted? Which books do you think should get the readaptation treatment? Do you think they would work better as TV series, movies or video games? Comment below and let us know!