There is no doubt that zombies are hot right now. Aside from the proliferation of zombie books and short stories as well as low budget and direct to video movies, zombies have burst into the mainstream. “The walking dead” is a hit TV series. “Warm bodies” is currently in theaters and has a total box office of around $50 million in just over the first two weeks of its release. This summer will bring “World War Z,” starring Brad Pitt, to theaters in what looks to be a surefire blockbuster. So, with all this zombie love, I got to thinking about what zombie books I would like to see made into a movie. Here is a quick look at three books that should be made into movies.
Number 3 on this countdown is “Cell” by Stephen King. Now, I am admittedly a King fan and I thought “Cell” was a good book (if below average for a King novel), but this combination of Stephen King’s name and uber-popular zombies should make this movie a cash cow. Once you get past the kind of lame pressure (a strange pulse turned everyone who was using a cell phone at that time to become a zombie), the story is good and easily translatable to film. There have been rumors about a movie for years now (with Stephen King announcing on his website a couple weeks ago with the movie going forward with him as the screen writer) and John Cusak slated to star. That would be a good casting choice as the protagonist is a somewhat nerdy comic book artist. I just hope that this movie becomes a reality before too much longer and does not linger in limbo like the much discussed “Dark Tower” project.
Number 2 is a tough choice but I will go with “The condemned” by David Jack Bell. I have reviewed the book already so I will not spend time going over the story but it has all of the elements needed to make a great movie: post-apocalyptic world, military defense against zombies, a terrorist subplot, and a crazy conspiracy theory professor. With a thoughtful lead character who is worried about his family and friend (think Will Smith from “I am legend”), the crazy sidekick (Brad Pitt circa “12 monkeys” or Colin Farrell at his quirkiest), and the crazy professor (straight-guy crazy like Johnny Depp or completely over the top like Christopher Lloyd in “Back to the future”), this book has the makings of a blockbuster if done right.
Number one on my list is actually not a better book than “The condemned” but I think it would make a better if it is done correctly. The book is “Dead sea” by that zombie guy, Brian Keene. Now, fans are calling for a movie of his other zombie world, “The rising,” but I would rather see “Dead sea” for one simple reason: it is a better story. “Dead sea” is an all-out action tale of a small group of people in Baltimore trying to survive the zombie apocalypse. Heck, I do not even care too much who stars in it as long as they can kill zombies. With good CGI, this could be a great movie (and the ending scene would be great). There has been some interest as reported by the author, as well as a TV movie for one of his books, so there is hope of this one some day.
Here is a bonus movie that I would like to see made into a movie: “The Sinister Mr. Corpse.” This novel is not the traditional zombie book. After all, it was written by Jeff Strand. But it would make a great movie if done right. Stanley Dabernath is a failure of a film producer that is killed by a milk truck. He is brought back to “life” as a zombie on a live TV show and becomes a celebrity as Mr. Corpse. But there is a dark side to his afterlife as his creators have an agenda for him that he may not want to be a part of. Again, this is not a traditional zombie tale but one that is packed with comedy and action. With the right actor as Mr. Corpse, think Johnny Depp as his strangest, this could be a great movie.
Wake up, Hollywood! Zombies are hot right now and the four books above would make killer movies. Of course, those are only the tip of the iceberg but they might as well go with the best. Any other ideas would be welcomed.