john green with looking for alaska cover

11 Famous Books That Still Haven’t Received Film Adaptations


Believe it or not, well-known books that haven’t caught the eye of some big-shot Hollywood producer do still exist in the world. And if you don’t believe us, this list is our proof. Your move, fancy movie people!


  1. ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ by J.D. Salinger


catcher in the rye cover

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


During his lifetime, Salinger was stringently against anyone adapting his magnum opus for film. But now that he’s gone that might be beginning to change, what with a recent biopic about Salinger’s young adulthood.


  1. ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ by Gabriel García Márquez


one hundred years of solitude cover

Image courtesy of Goodreads


This enchanting family saga popularized the magical realism genre and cemented Márquez as one of the great writers of the twentieth century. However, the unpredictable whimsicality that makes it so compelling may be preventing it from successfully reaching the silver screen.


  1. ‘Number the Stars’ by Lois Lowry


number the stars cover

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The Giver was made into a big budget picture last year, but this heart-in-your-throat tale of a young girl helping Danish Jews survive the Nazi occupation still hasn’t received the movie treatment it deserves.


  1. ‘Looking for Alaska’ by John Green


looking for alaska cover

Image courtesy of Wikipedia


Despite many hopeful fits and starts, John Green’s debut novel has yet to be made into a feature film. We’re waiting for you, wayward students of Culver Creek Academy!


  1. ‘Bel Canto’ by Ann Patchett


bel canto cover

Image courtesy of Bobcat Beat


At a fancy South American gala, terrorists burst in and take the terrified guests hostage. Bonding and revelation ensues. Before you ask any more questions, read this compelling novel—it’s only a matter of time before Hollywood comes calling.


  1. ‘Infinite Jest’ by David Foster Wallace


infinite jest cover

Image courtesy of Wikipedia


At 1,079 pages, Infinite Jest is not the easiest book to turn into a workable screenplay. Still, we are surprised no one has tried for this story of family, heartbreak, and tennis.


  1. ‘Nineteen Minutes’ by Jodi Picoult


nineteen minutes cover

Image courtesy of Jodi Picoult


‘My Sister’s Keeper’ got its movie; why not this Picoult classic? A novel about the shocking aftermath of a school shooting, this novel 2007 novel remains, unfortunately, as timely as ever.


  1. ‘Ubik’ by Philip K. Dick


Rubik cover

Image courtesy of Collider


For decades now, the Philip K. Dick canon has been the bread and butter of the Hollywood big-budget genre film, providing content for hits like Blade Runner, Minority Report and Total Recall. But ‘Ubik’—a futuristic horror show that only Dick could have dreamed up—still remains confined to the page.


  1. ‘A Confederacy of Dunces’ by John Kennedy Toole


a confederacy of dunces cover

Image courtesy of Wikipedia


Despite many efforts by many great (and late) comedians to adapt Toole’s beloved book, it has never panned out. Seeing as the role of rotund Ignatius Reilly may be cursed, perhaps that’s for the best.


  1. ‘The Night Circus’ by Erin Morgenstern


the night circus cover

Image courtesy of Erin Morgenstern


The story of young love and magical intrigue underneath a big tent drew raves, but as yet no movie. We wonder who would play the leads…


  1. ‘Invisible Man’ by Ralph Ellison


invisible man cover

Image courtesy of Goodreads


It’s been 65 years since Ellison’s unnamed protagonist said he was ready to re-enter the cruel, racist world he had once resolved to abandon, yet we still haven’t seen that pledge in live action. This is a tale that deserves to be told to a new generation.


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