Writers on the BIG SCREEN


For the past three years fans of HBO’s wildly popular series Game of Thrones has dominated television ratings and social media. It’s become one of the most popular shows on television with an average of 11.6 million people watching every show, even reruns!

The show is based off the series A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin who is also heavily involved in the process of creating the show itself. The series was published in 1996 and as of now contains five books. Because of the success of the HBO show the book series has become more and more popular in the past few years with old and new fans alike. In addition to the five book Martin has also published companion books such as a cookbook, a map for the extensive universe, and even a graphic novel.

avengersRecently there has been an explosion of books and comics that have appeared on the big screen. Marvel Studios has raked in over 6 BILLION (yes with a B people) with just six films in nine years. They’ve also started a new show on ABC called Agents of Shield the show has drawn in fans from the films and comics and has done an excellent job of utilizing social media to spur on more interest. They are currently in talks with Netflix for shows as well. The best part about the Marvel franchise is that all the films and shows are interconnected. Nothing happens in one films that doesn’t happen in affect something else.

In the DC universe Batman and Wonder Woman are suspected to be joining the next film in the new Superman line up (possibly the start of a Justice League America franchise?). Spider-Man recently got a reboot, X-Men Days of Future Past comes out this summer, and Fox is considering a reboot of the Fantastic Four. Phew!

On top of that The Hunger Games, The Twilight Saga, and Harry Potter are other books that made an enormous splash in theaters and have rekindled interest in the YA genre across a huge amount of age groups.

Obviously there’s a trend here. Wondering what other writers have made it to the big screen?

gone girl cover

Gillian Flynn published her book Gone Girl in January of 2012. The movie version will be released October 3rd of 2014. The film is being directed by David Fincher who has directed films like Fight Club, Se7enGirl With the Dragon Tattoo and many, many more. 

Flynn not only wrote the book though, she’s also writing the screenplay for the film which will star Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. There have been rumors that the ending of the story will be changed but Flynn assured her fans in an AMA on Reddit that the ending wouldn’t stray too far from the book. Here’s a TIME article if you don’t have time to scroll through the whole AMA.

I LOVED the book and I’m so pumped to see what Flynn can do on the big screen this October.

Flynn’s other book Dark Places is also being turned into a movie. Seriously, she’s amazing and I’m so excited to see a female author get so much attention and have so much control over her projects.

I haven’t read this one yet unfortunately but Flynn’s website tells us that the director taking over the project is Gilles Paquet-Brenner who has adapted another internationally acclaimed book Sarah’s Key.

Dark Places is to be released on September 1st of 2014.

Next up? Another HBO show.

true detectiveTrue Detective premiered January 2014, ran for 8 episodes, and has been nominated for an Emmy. It traces the journey of two Louisiana detectives, played masterfully by Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey. These two mismatched men hunt a serial killer for over seventeen years.

While this show was not originally a book it was written by Nic Pizzolatto who is a novelist and a professor at several universities including DePauw University and the University of Chicago.

True Detective was HBO’s most watched ‘freshman’ series ever, meaning that it broke record for it’s viewership in it’s first season. The show averaged 11.9 million views per episode. The first season’s story has drawn to a close and there is much speculation about who will be cast for the next season and what topics it will cover. There is a lot of clamor for HBO to run a strong female detective or possible two after their success with two men.

Watch the trailer here and the amazing credit sequence here.

Writers aren’t just in the literary world. They’re spreading out into the worlds of television and film to amazing critical success. Personally I find films and television shows written by traditional novelists and authors to have more depth both in their premises and their characters. It’s a fresh trend that I’m very excited to see continue.




  1. OOo… Interesting post! I dunno, though – I kind of vehemently hate the majority of books that end up being turned into movies. It’s a rough transition for me when they cut parts of the book that I thought were integral to the work or when the screen version doesn’t fit what my imagination already created. One of my most hated is the differences between the novel Breakfast at Tiffany’s and the movie – the context was completely changed! Are there any screen adaptions that you don’t like or are you mostly a fan of them?

    1. It really depends on what the book is. I mean I think the Hobbit and LOTR movies are fantastic but on the other hand I’ve seen TERRIBLE movies based off books. I’m really excited for this Gone Girl movie because the author is writing the screenplay herself!

  2. My favorite tv show ever (still mad that HBO cancelled it) was called “Bored to Death.” The script was written by Jonathan Ames, and it included a lot of autobiographical information about being an author, along with a lot of fictional stuff about being a private investigator. I always thought it was cool that there was a tv show about being a writer.

    1. Especially since she’s a woman too. There are so few of us in the screenwriting world (at least on the national/Hollywood level). Not to mention it means the story will maintain a lot of it’s original elements and themes. I guess Ben Afleck was completely ‘blown away’ by her version of the story in screenplay format 🙂

  3. I really love this topic.It’s something I’ve been noticing a lot of as well in the recent years and I think it is great. Yes some movie adaptations of books can be and are “horrible” compared to the books. This past semester I’ve learned a lot about screenwriting and I can understand why things are changed from book-to-screen. It’s hard to encompass every detail a 450 page book has into a two hour film. That’s why it’s important, I think, to take the main elements that make a novel successful and implement it into the movie version. Though I realize that some (or most) adaptions don’t do that. I just take everything with a grain of salt, as the saying goes.

    Anyways I agree with you when you say “films and television shows written by traditional novelists and authors to have more depth both in their premises and their characters”. This is beautifully written. And even if these films or shows aren’t written by the author, I think having the author be connected to the production is really important. Because if the author can have a say in what is written, that small detail that was not put in that makes people angry? It must have been okay’d to be left out by the author. Meaning the author was okay with it not being there. And if the author is okay with it, honestly I am too as a viewer. (As you can see I have thought about this before (:)

  4. I do love to see novels and comics emerge on the big screen. Game of Thrones keeps me glued to my seat even though I know exactly what to expect. But some of these blockbusters bore me to death. The new Captain America is more effective for insomnia that a full scrip of Ambien. I hope that as these movies based on comic books and action heavy plots evolve, directors and screen writers take more time to develop characters we can actually care about.

    1. Of course this has been happening almost as long as movies have been made. But I feel like we are one of the first generations to have quite a few book series that meant so much to us as children be made into films. And some of them were really really badly done. So to have this resurgence of authors writing their work for film is really awesome because it (hopefully) means things will stay true to the stories we love from the books

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