As I was watching the trailers lately for Star TrekThor IIWorld War Z, and a few others, and thinking of what’s coming down the pipeline (The Hobbit IISnow CrashEnder’s Game, and others), as well as reading all the talk lately about the Star Wars franchise and what’s happening there, I was thinking it’s a pretty good time to be alive for those of us who enjoy good science fiction-fantasy films (or enjoy making fun of bad science fiction-fantasy films).

Giant talking trees that throw rocks!!Clearly, one large reason for the explosion in such films’ popularity is the relatively recent ability to simply film the kinds of scenes we expect to see. It wasn’t too long ago, for instance, that conventional wisdom thought that the Lord of the Rings, for instance, was unfilmable: “A thousand page story with giant, talking trees and a disembodied villain? Yeah, good luck with that on-screen.” The same was true of Cloud Atlas, albeit for different reasons than the visuals: “Six different stories?. All with different characters? And then you stop telling each one in the middle? And pick them up later? But backwards? Get out of my office.”

All of which got me to thinking, with all that can be done nowadays with CGI and motion capture and all the other special effects, is there any fantasy or science fiction novel out there that is still “unfilmable,” whether it be due to visuals, or topic, or structure (yes, there are some people who would argue the movie only showed Cloud Atlas was indeed unfilmable). How about it? Any books still out there you think can’t be filmed? Not the ones you don’t want to see filmed — that’s a different question (“Leave me my vision!”), but ones you think can’t be filmed?


  • Bill Capossere

    BILL CAPOSSERE, who's been with us since June 2007, lives in Rochester NY, where he is an English adjunct by day and a writer by night. His essays and stories have appeared in Colorado Review, Rosebud, Alaska Quarterly, and other literary journals, along with a few anthologies, and been recognized in the "Notable Essays" section of Best American Essays. His children's work has appeared in several magazines, while his plays have been given stage readings at GEVA Theatre and Bristol Valley Playhouse. When he's not writing, reading, reviewing, or teaching, he can usually be found with his wife and son on the frisbee golf course or the ultimate frisbee field.