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5 Classic Novels, Meet Your Dream Film Directors!

5 Classic Novels, Meet Your Dream Film Directors!

There's a rumor circulating that David Fincher, the director of such modern-day classics as Fight Club, The Social Network, and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, is about to add another notch to his considerable directing belt: a little classic gem called 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Yup, good ol' Fincher is going to take on Jules Verne's Captain Nemo and crew. Of course, this led us to wonder which other directors should consider classic novel adaptations. Here are our top 5 picks for modern-day directors paired with classic novels.

1. Quentin Tarantino, meet The Count of Monte Cristo

Yes, we know there's already been a few big screen adaptations of Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo, most recently starring a very young Jim Caviezel and Guy Pearce. But think about what Tarantino, best known for his unique storylines and unrepentant violence, could bring to this tale of revenge. It would go from a twisty, smart story about a man who sets out to tear down the life of the man who imprisoned him, to a twisty, smart story of a man who chooses to... well, LITERALLY tear apart the man who put him in prison. Limb by limb. Same story, just with a LOT more violence. Tarantino + a revenge story? Seems like a match made in heaven.

2. Tim Burton, meet anything by Edgar Allan Poe

Poe's stories and poems (such as The Tell-Tale Heart and The Raven) are dark and creepy, perfect for a stormy night. Can you think of anyone whose movies match that description? When you think about it, it seems so obvious. In fact, it's kind of shocking that this hasn't happened yet. Tim Burton loves making creative, dark movies. What he did with classic novels-turned-movies Sleepy Hollow and Alice in Wonderland, you know he's got the chops to make something awesome out of Poe's works.

3. Kathryn Bigelow, meet Slaughterhouse-Five

Kathryn Bigelow, best known for war-esque movies such as The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, would have a field day with Kurt Vonnegut's World War II-set novel. It centers on the fire bombing of the German city of Dresden, and while it's got some crazy sci-fi elements (specifically, a man is kidnapped by aliens and jumps back and forth through time), we know someone who could help Bigelow (her credits are light on the sci-fi) with that. Enter James Cameron, Bigelow's ex-husband and Avatar extraordinaire. Either way, this is something that has to happen at some point.

4. J.J. Abrams/Damon Lindelof, meet Lord of the Flies

You may be confused by this one; after all, J.J. Abrams hasn't shown much interest in movies about kids killing each other. But you know what Abrams and Lindelof do seem to love? MAKING PEOPLE RUN AROUND ISLANDS. Seriously, this one just writes itself.

5. Steven Spielberg, meet All Quiet on the Western Front

This is a gut-wrenching book about the horrors of World War I, and who better to tackle that difficult subject than Spielberg? After all, he's taken a long, hard look at World War II with both Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan. His most recent movie, Lincoln, takes place near the end of the Civil War. World War I is a time period that the venerable director hasn't tackled yet, and we can think of no one who would do it justice better than Spielberg.

What classic movies and modern directors would you match up?

Tags: movies, tim burton, edgar allan poe, steven spielberg, books-and-comics, quentin tarantino, the count of monte cristo, slaughterhouse-five

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About the Author
Swapna Krishna

Swapna is a Washington, DC-based freelance editor who loves all things space and sci fi. You can find her book reviews at S. Krishna’s Books ( and on Twitter at @skrishna.

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