Friday, December 5, 2014

What fantasy series do you want to see onscreen?

With the third and final Hobbit movie closing the book on the Peter Jackson-era of Tolkien movies this month, io9 recently postulated (rightly) that this opens up opportunity for studios to begin anew with big fantasy films.

True, there have been films in the genre, but nothing comes close to the Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter films that kept viewers coming back. Those two franchises brought fantasy films out of the "it's just a genre film" and fully into the mainstream spectrum. Soon we had Narnia, and a host of gritty fairytale films.

So what's your favorite fantasy book or comic that you'd like to see onscreen? I can think of a few I've been hoping to see:

Chronicles of Prydain

I've long wanted to see a solid effort at bringing Lloyd Alexander's series to film. For me, it hits the sweet spot of youth-oriented tales that build up to a more epic ending (call it the Harry Potter path for lack of a better term).
From the Dell series (I had the boxed set in the 80s)
The earlier Disney effort of The Black Cauldron was visually well executed, but seemed to be ahead of it's time. Many critics said it was "too dark" for children when it was released. I doubt that argument would hold as much weight today. A more grown-up live action version would be ideal.

Animated N.C. Wyeth

This would be a monumental project, but I'd love to see a way for a more painterly-style of animated films to bring classic stories to life. I've long loved N.C. Wyeth's dreamy illustrations of fantasy, pirate, and even western myths. I'm not an art expert, but I do enjoy the high-degree of technical skill he employed to bring his fantastical subjects to life. Here's what I posted to the io9 article:


His work on The Boy's King Arthur, Treasure Island and various other tales are among my very favorite illustrations. I could see those each becoming a film or using them as inspiration for a totally unique and original story.

Amethyst: Princess of Gemworld

I've spoken about my fondness for this series before---and that hasn't waned. Amethyst is sort of a mixture of Wonder-Woman-meets-Shazam. She's a warrior princes with some magic abilities, with a well-conceived world built on gemstone houses (like Game of Thrones).

The 80s comic series was really great, and the revival a year or two past now under the Sword of Sorcery title was likewise well executed. I really enjoyed the art by Aaron Lopresti.

I'd love to see this become a reality by the time my daughter is old enough to appreciate it. I'm guessing this isn't on DC or Warner Bros. "hot property" lists to develop. Look how long it took them to get Wonder Woman into a live action film! They did do a plucky little series of shorts in an anime style that were quite charming:

But I'm still hoping for something more substantial. Amethyst seems to strike a chord with parents in general. I met a guy at comic convention a few years ago that named his own daughter in honor of the eponymous princess!

Both the original Princess of Gemworld and the later Sword of Sorcery runs are available in collected editions.

So what would you like to see?

How about an Erol Otus animated feature? Or maybe you'd like Discworld to finally get a shot at the big screen?


Keith Sloan said...

I've always wanted a live version of the Tros of Samothrace books -- they would translate very well to film or tv!

Averjoe said...

David Eddings - The Elenium series, Tad Williams - Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series, Fritz Leiber - Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser

Jay Exonauts said...

Great suggestions you guys! Fafhrd & the Gray Mouser for sure!