Arnold Schwarzenegger has decided to get his pepaw on in another of his past successful franchises. Old Man Schwarzenegger is planning to bring a slower, saggier Conan the Barbarian back to the screen with The Legend of Conan. This led to Swedish producer Fredrick Malmberg, owner of Robert E. Howard’s full catalog of Conan and pals, dropping this gem:
“These days, it comes down to brands and characters and we are looking at long-term possibilities. We look at how Marvel played out with its rich based of characters, and this too is a universe that lends itself to exploitation in TV and film. There aren’t many libraries like this.”
This got me thinking about the whole Hollywood preoccupation of milking a successful formula by slinging shit at the big screen and hoping some of it sticks…to money…and sequels. That got away from me.
Anyway, the Marvel Cinematic Universe success is the new Young Adult Novels to film adaptation. So many studios bought up, and continue to buy, YA series with the potential for many, many sequels. And so many of them tanked hard. So very, very hard.
1. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013)
Author Cassandra Clare has enough books revolving around the lives of Shadowhunters to spawn a cinematic universe equal to that of Star Wars. Audiences weren’t excited enough about this poorly-written and terribly-cast flick to get the world of demon fighters off and running.
2. Vampire Academy (2014)
This was another teen-skewed series with potential. Richelle Mead has six books in the Vampire Academy series and six spin-off books in the series Bloodlines. Following the Twilight and The Hunger Games school of movie-making, Mead’s books could have been turned into 14 movies. Alas, even Lea Thompson’s daughter Zoey Deutch (the brunette) couldn’t get the world of Moroi and Strigoi started.
3. I Am Number Four (2011)
This is another six book series written under the collective pseudonym of Pittacus Lore. Instead of a female lead, this movie has an alien guy with powers and his guardian Raylan Givens! The alien guy also gets to kiss the girl from Glee. Nope. The other one. The cheerleader. No one cared about Bored Face McAlien and his search for other kids like him.
4. Beautiful Creatures (2013)
Now we return to the ladies with the story of a family of Casters that are claimed by either the Light or the Dark on their 16th birthday. It’s another teenage love story with terrible Southern accents and goofy effects thrown in for maximum meh. Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl wrote a total of four books in the Caster Chronicles, but could barely push out one turd of a movie.
Darren Shan’s series is only three books, but you know they can squeeze four movies out of that shit. Add to that the other books in The Saga of Darren Shan and you’ve got movies for decades. Well, you would have had movies for tens of years, but this one killed any hope of that. Don’t worry, tiny Josh Hutcherson. You’ll grow up to be Katniss’ love interest in a much more successful book-to-movie adaptation.