One book genre that has done exceedingly well when adapted for the big screen is young adult fiction. Franchises like The Hunger Games, Twilight, Harry Potter, and Divergent have become huge successes, and among book lovers there’s just one question: what series is up next? There are a slew of YA books that have been optioned to become movies, with the film rights being secured long ago. However, that doesn’t mean they’ll all finally make it into production and on to theaters. Here are five book series that have a good chance of becoming movie franchises.
1. Tonya Hurley’s Ghostgirl
This book has a great plot that would translate well into film, and so far three Ghostgirl books have been written. The gist of the series is that a little talked about, non-popular teen girl named Charlotte feels like she’s invisible to the world because no one notices her. So when she chokes on a piece of candy — a gummy bear, to be specific — and dies, she gets recruited to become a ghost. And she doesn’t just become any ghost, mind you, but a helpful one that acts as the conscience for still-living teens who need help.
This movie would do best as a comedic romance with supernatural elements, and we’ve seen other franchises in that vein do well before. Film rights were secured for this book series by MARV Films, but there’s no word on whether or when it will go into production.
2. Patrick Ness’ Chaos Walking Trilogy
This book series is set in a world where everyone and everything that’s living can hear everyone else’s thoughts. As you could imagine, things go a bit crazy. However, the way that the characters realize everyone else’s thoughts isn’t the way that you’d think, but in a stream of sounds, images, and words appropriately called Noise. There are three books in the series, which could all turn into fantastic movie adaptations: The Knife Of Never Letting Go, The Ask And The Answer, and Monsters Of Men.
The rights to turn Chaos Walking into a film was secured in 2011 by Lionsgate, which is interesting as it was working on The Hunger Games movies at the time. It’s suspected that this trilogy of stories is being tapped by the studio as its next young adult series to follow up the Hunger Games, and it would definitely appeal to fans of that franchise. Ness has also written three short stories set in the same world as Chaos Walking, but it’s not certain if elements from those works would turn up if a movie finally goes into production.
3. Julianna Baggott’s Pure
This is a dark book series that could make for a thrilling movie if the casting is done well and the writers take care when adapting it. Along with Pure there are two other novels that form a trilogy, Fuse and Burn. The entire series is based in a world where nuclear war has ravaged everything, and everyone that survived is divided into two camps: the pures who haven’t suffered the effects of radiation and reside in a bunker that protects them, and the wretches, who don’t live in a bunker, were affected by the nuclear blast, and are left to fend for themselves.
The series’ main characters are Pressia, who is a wretch, and Patridge, who is a pure. When they unexpectedly meet, their worlds collide and all sorts of drama goes down. The contrast between them is what would make this series a successful movie franchise, and its dark themes would make it appealing to adults as well as the younger crowd that’s a fan of the YA books.
4. Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed In Blood
This book series isn’t known by most people, but you probably have heard of a series that’s similar to it: Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight. The two are so similar that Meyer’s production company, Fickle Fish Films, bought the movie rights to Anna Dressed In Blood — this was a brilliant move, because if moved into production it would easily snag movie goers who are pining for more installations of Twilight.
Anna Dressed In Blood has a sequel, which is another factor that makes it a prime candidate for coming to the big screen. The novel focuses on the life of a teen named Cas, a monster hunter that happens upon a murderous ghost named Anna. While Anna typically killed anyone that entered the home she used to share with her family, she sacrificed herself so Cas could live and he in turn rescues her. There’s a big romantic element in the story, and the novel’s themes would translate well on screen.
5. Julie Kagawa’s The Immortal Rules
Who doesn’t love a good movie set in a post-apocalyptic world? Films in that vein tend to send people rushing to theaters, and that’s why The Immortal Rules is a great candidate for being adapted into a film. The book is about what happens after a disease called the Red Lung Virus decimates humanity and turns just about everyone on the planet into a vampire. Those who don’t become vampires are turned into vampire hybrids called Rabids, Registered humans who are slaves for vampires, or Unregistered humans who have to find ways to survive on the fringes of society. One person who wasn’t affected by the virus and is fighting to stay that way is Allison, a teen girl that’s on a search for a rumored place that’s supposed to be free of vampires.
After a violent attack, Allison is left in serious trouble but is given a choice that can literally change her life forever. Two books followed The Immortal Rules that form a trilogy called Blood of Eden: The Eternity Cure and The Forever Song. Each contains fantasy and sci-fi elements, and it almost has a Buffy the Vampire Slayer vibe to it. In 2012 Palomar Pictures bought the option to turn the book series into films, but no scripts have been written, no director cast, and few moves have been made to bring it into production.