Undefended: Five Novels & Five Directors

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Undefended: Five Novels & Five Directors

This week, FilmFisher writers were asked to pair up five novels which hadn’t (exactly) been adapted to the screen with the five directors who had the talent to make them come alive on the screen. This prompt inspired quite a bit of back scenes conversation. Fill the comments box below with your own ideas.


Joshua Gibbs

  1. A Confederacy of Dunces (John Kennedy Toole), Spike Jonze
  2. Till We Have Faces (CS Lewis), Terrence Malick
  3. Demian (Herman Hesse), Johnathan Glazer
  4. Blood Meridian (Cormac McCarthy), Tomas Alfredson
  5. The Little Prince (‎Antoine de Saint-Exupéry), Sofia Coppola

Rikki Elizabeth Stinnette:

  1. A Tale of Two Cities, Tom Hooper
  2. Right Ho, Jeeves, Julian Fellowes
  3. Beyond the Western Sea (by Avi), John Lee Hancock
  4. Skeletons on the Zahara, Steven Spielberg (This is technically nonfiction, but it reads like a novel.)
  5. The Death of Ivan Illyich, Terence Malick

Timothy Lawrence:

  1. David Fincher’s “Fahrenheit 451” (Ray Bradbury)
  2. Terrence Malick’s “The Great Divorce” (C.S. Lewis)
  3. P.T. Anderson’s “Catch-22” (Joseph Heller)
  4. Jonathan Glazer’s “Brave New World” (Aldous Huxley)
  5. Guillermo Del Toro’s “The Children of Húrin” (J.R.R. Tolkien)

James Banks:

  1. Werner Herzog’s “Crime and Punishment” (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
  2. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s “The Feast of the Goat” (Mario Vargas Llosa)
  3. Gueillermo del Toro’s “Darkness at Noon” (Arthur Koestler)
  4. Steven Knight’s “Ulysses” (James Joyce)
  5. Stephen Frears’ “Lucky Jim” (Kingsley Amis)

Joseph Gross

  1. Alfonso Cuaron’s A Canticle for Liebowitz (Walter M. Miller)
  2. Edgar Wright’s Good Omens (Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett)
  3. Terrence Mallick’s The Power and the Glory (Graham Greene)
  4. The Coen Brothers’ The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Mark Twain)
  5. Terry Gilliam’s Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)

Remy Wilkins:

My first draft had Dante’s Paradiso by Andrei Tarkovsky because who cares about accessibility?

  1. The Writings of Flannery O’Connor adapted to the screen by the Coen Bros
  2. Don DeLillo’s Underground by Paul Thomas Anderson
  3. Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex by Sofia Coppola
  4. Mark Dunn’s Ella Minnow Pea by Wes Anderson
  5. Neal Stephenson’s Snowcrash by David Fincher

Thomas Banks:

  1. ”Judas” by Eric Linklater. James Franco to direct.
  2. ”Candide” by Voltaire. Terry Gilliam to direct.
  3. ”The Golden Ass” by Apuleius. Michael Winterbottom to direct. Starring Russell Brand.
  4. ”The Man Within” by Graham Greene. Joe Wright to direct.
  5. ”Salammbo” by Gustave Flaubert. Guillermo del Toro to direct.

Nate Douglas

  1. Flannery O’Connor’s *The Violent Bear It Away *directed by Vince Gilligan
  2. Dostoevsky’s *Brother’s Karamazov *directed by Terrance Malick
  3. Hugh Laurie’s (yes, that Hugh Laurie) *The Gun Seller *by Martin McDonagh
  4. PG Wodehouse’s *Leave It To Psmith *by Edgar Wright
  5. Richard Adam’s *Watership Down *by Guillermo Del Toro

Sean Johnson

  1. Notes From Underground (Dostoevsky): Terrence Malick
  2. The Sword of Honour (Evelyn Waugh): PT Anderson
  3. Brighton Rock (Graham Greene): (readapted by) Alfred Hitchcock
  4. Loving (Henry Green): James Ivory
  5. The Napoleon of Notting Hill (G.K. Chesterton): Wes Anderson

Nate, glad we both had the instinct to pair Dostoevsky and Malick; is that a Leithart influence?

Josh, Jonze on Confederacy of Dunces is inspired. I’d pay 20 big hard-earneds to see that in 2D.

Justin Spencer:

  1. Gilead directed by Terrence Malick
  2. The Ground Beneath Her Feet directed by Martin Scorsese
  3. Invisible Man directed by Steve McQueen
  4. My Antonia directed by Anthony Minghella
  5. Phantastes directed by Tomm Moore

Brian Murnion

  1. “Steve Jobs” directed by David Fincher
  2. “The Island of the Day Before” by Laurence Olivier
  3. “After The Plague” directed by Brian De Palma
  4. “The Teachings of Don Juan” directed by Luis Buñuel
  5. “The Catcher In The Rye” directed by François Truffaut

Sean Johnson commented: Justin! Malick’s Gilead was my 6th choice. Glad it made the list.

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