Movies I Wish Were Based on Books

Hi guys! A few weeks ago I was watching a booktube video and one of the books mentioned seemed strangely familiar to me, even though I’d never seen it before. Turns out, I’d watched the movie adaption. So of course I started wondering what other movies might be secret adaptions and in turn – what movies I wish were secret adaptions. These are all movies I think would make excellent novels, not necessarily my favorite movies of all time, some of which are in fact adaptions (I.e Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Trainspotting) and some of which I think would lose some of their magic on page. (Le passé, Frances Ha, American Honey)

26285-fullBlack Swan (2010)

A committed dancer wins the lead role in a production of Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” only to find herself struggling to maintain her sanity.

This is an incredibly aesthetically pleasing movie, and while a novel would lose that visual aspect – I think the fact that most of the tension stems from internal conflicts and turmoil would make up for it. I picture this as a dark and twisted psychological thriller a la Megan Abbot’s cheerleader noir Dare Me.



MV5BMjE4NTA1NzExN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNjc3MjM3._V1_.jpgHow to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)

Benjamin’s an advertising exec and ladies’ man who, to win a big campaign, bets he can make a woman fall in love with him in 10 days. Andie works for Composure magazine and is assigned an article on “How to Lose a Guy in 10 days.”

Ok, I’m already cheating. This movie was based on a book, but it wasn’t based on a novel and I wish it was. Hate to love’s one of my favorite tropes and no one does it better than Andie and Benjamin. The book cover would feature that famous yellow dress, of course.

MV5BMTY4MjQ2MzU1OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTM2Mjc3ODE@._V1_.jpgThe Craft (1996)

A newcomer to a Catholic prep high school falls in with a trio of outcast teenage girls who practice witchcraft and they all soon conjure up various spells and curses against those who even slightly anger them.

Y’all know I love reading books about witches, so of course I want the ultimate teen-witch movie in book format. I picture the book version as a mix between The Merciless and Labyrinth Lost, though honestly Zoraida Córdova’s Brooklyn Brujas would still be the baddest witches on the block.


MV5BZDdiZTAwYzAtMDI3Ni00OTRjLTkzN2UtMGE3MDMyZmU4NTU4XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjU0OTQ0OTY@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,672,1000_AL_Before Sunrise (1995)

Jesse and Céline meet on a train in Europe, and wind up spending one evening together in Vienna. Unfortunately, both know that this will probably be their only night together.

I’ve always had a thing for stories that take place in the span of one day and Before Sunrise is my favorite. We already know this works well in books based on novels like The Sun Is Also a Star, so I think this trilogy would be just as amazing on the page. Not to mention, it’d be like actually reading the book Jesse wrote about his meeting with Céline.


MV5BMTE5OTkwYzYtNDhlNC00MzljLTk1YTktY2IxZjliZmNjMjUzL2ltYWdlL2ltYWdlXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTQxNzMzNDI@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,671,1000_AL_.jpgNotting Hill (1999)

The life of a simple bookshop owner changes when he meets the most famous film star in the world.

Notting Hill is one of the best romantic comedies out there and I’m convinced it’d be just as good as a novel. All it’s humor and charm would easily translate on to page and I mean, it’s partly set in a bookstore, you guys – it’s meant to be!




MV5BNjIwOGJhY2QtMTA5Yi00MDhlLWE5OTgtYmIzZDNlM2UwZjMyXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTA4NzY1MzY@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,647,1000_AL_.jpgLove Me If You Dare (2003)

As adults, best friends Julien and Sophie continue the odd game they started as children — a fearless competition to outdo one another with daring and outrageous stunts. While they often act out to relieve one another’s pain, their game might be a way to avoid the fact that they are truly meant for one another.

This quirky, yet intense love story would make a really interesting novel, with a unique premise, strong leads and an unforgettable love story at it’s core. The cover art would of course have to be the carousel tin box they exchange back and forth.


MV5BMTU3ODg2NjQ5NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDEwODgzMQ@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,679,1000_AL_.jpgPan’s Labyrinth (2006)


In the falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world.

I remember googling “Is Pan’s Labyrinth based on a book?” after watching it for the first time, but sadly it isn’t. I would’ve loved to experience this dark, strange fairy-tale in book form, but of course Guillermo del Toro himself would’ve had to write it. Cause no one else could do this story justice.


MV5BZWZhZmFkMjQtMWYyMC00NmQ3LTk5M2MtZDU3ZjNjYmM0ZTYxXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjE5MjUyOTM@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,666,1000_AL_.jpgCoyote Ugly (2000)

Aspiring songwriter Violet Sanford, after getting a job at a women-run NYC bar that teases its male patrons, comes out of her shell.

At the mature age of 25, I can finally admit that this is no cinematic master piece and that the reason I watched this 100 times growing up was probably my epic crush on Piper Perabo. But I  do think this would make a pretty awesome New Adult novel – it has an awesome girl gang, a cool setting and a charming love interest. What else do you need?


What movie do you think would make a good book? And who would you want to write it? 


26 thoughts on “Movies I Wish Were Based on Books

  1. Pans labyrinth would have made an amazing book! I can’t think of any TV shows or movies that I like that aren’t based on books or had books written afterwards haha. My mind has gone blank

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is such a fun topic!I’ve never really thought about reversing an adaptation. I think Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind would be really interesting from a first-person perspective and maybe Interstellar would work well too as a book. (I had to Google them to double check that they’re not based on books because *so* many good things are!)

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh I definitely recommend Interstellar! It’s hard SF but it’s not too dense and it’s very clever.


  3. I was surprised to learn that Black Swan, Notting Hill and Pan’s Labyrinth are not based on books. I would probably read The Craft and Pan’s Labyrinth. As for who will write them…

    The Craft – Anne Rice, Charlaine Harris or Kim Harrison
    Pan’s Labyrinth – I was going to say Brandon Sanderson but you’re probably right, Del Toro is a better choice. Don’t judge me Aurora but I haven’t read any of his works 😐


    1. I could totally see Anne Rice writing The Craft – that would be amazing! I couldn’t judge you if I wanted too, I haven’t read any of his books yet myself. I just don’t think anyone else could do his vision justice. Thanks for reading! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Love this post! Someone recommended a book to me that was similar to Black Swan — The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma. Not the same story, but similar elements that might fit the bill for what you’re looking for!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I would love if Black Swan or Pan’s Labyrinth were books. Those two are highly regarded films for me. I think they are both masterpieces in their own rights. Good choices! I would love if the YA book Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira was a book. I am not very into YA books these days, but I saw she is releasing a new book. I then thought about he debut which I loved I bought two copies: one signed and one unsigned. I highly recommend it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I couldn’t agree more – they’re both fantastic movies. I haven’t read Letters to the Dead yet, but I’ve had it on my shelf for a long time. You’ve made me excited to pick it up again, so thanks for the recommendation!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’d imagine I would love Black Swan as a book… it should be super creepy and twisted, though! I’m pretty sure Before Sunrise has a book! I’m not sure which one came first, but I think the director wrote the book 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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