18 votes

What lesser known intellectual properties you would like to see in movies or TV shows?

"Lesser known" can be relative to whatever you want, it doesn't need to be super obscure or unknown.

Anxious to learn about the great IPs you love!

23 comments

  1. [4]
    Protected
    Link
    I think with a good, respectful director and sufficient budget you could make a really good Myst TV show. Several Joe Abercrombie books could be movies or a single TV show. The Cytoverse by...

    I think with a good, respectful director and sufficient budget you could make a really good Myst TV show.

    Several Joe Abercrombie books could be movies or a single TV show.

    The Cytoverse by Brandon Sanderson could be movies.

    A massive sci fi Culture show with several seasons in the vein of Star Trek TNG.

    Peter F Hamilton's Commonwealth too. Paula Myo would be the protag.

    Ni no Kuni could be a cartoon show.

    Outer Wilds could be a movie.

    The Books of Babel by Josiah Bancroft would make an excellent show but would depend greatly on good actors, a good wardrobe and decent CGI.

    Writing stuff like this worries me a bit though because there have been IPs I thought would make for great television that have been adapted and the results have been... Less than spectacular...

    11 votes
    1. [2]
      grahamiam
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Ni no Kuni has a movie. It's pretty low rated, but personally I wasn't a fan of the story in the game either. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9760504/

      Ni no Kuni has a movie. It's pretty low rated, but personally I wasn't a fan of the story in the game either.

      https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9760504/

      8 votes
      1. Protected
        Link Parent
        As far as videogames go I think aside from Myst they're all best adapted as distinct stories set in the same universe. Or at least seriously reimagined. (But I wasn't aware of that movie!)

        As far as videogames go I think aside from Myst they're all best adapted as distinct stories set in the same universe. Or at least seriously reimagined.

        (But I wasn't aware of that movie!)

    2. sharpstick
      Link Parent
      Why more go Peter Hamilton's work is not put to film I'll never figure out. His stories are epic and full of action but fairly straight forward. He is my go-to when I want to just get lost is a...

      Why more go Peter Hamilton's work is not put to film I'll never figure out. His stories are epic and full of action but fairly straight forward. He is my go-to when I want to just get lost is a great space-opera.

      2 votes
  2. [2]
    MimicSquid
    Link
    There's a series of short stories by Spider Robinson about a place called Callahan's Crosstime Saloon. It's full of oddballs both human and otherwise, and the people interact with such comradery...

    There's a series of short stories by Spider Robinson about a place called Callahan's Crosstime Saloon. It's full of oddballs both human and otherwise, and the people interact with such comradery and good cheer. It honestly taught me valuable lessons in what friendship would look like when I found it and how to be a better man and a better person. In that the three books that make up the core of the series are compilations of short stories originally published in Analog Science Fiction, it's already structured in a way that'd be most excellent for a TV series. It's already about a cast of interesting characters with a "monster of the week", so to speak.

    That said, until recently I couldn't have seen it as making it to the small screen, as it happily humanizes all sorts of people. Hippies, crossdressers, trans people, polyamory, aliens, conscientious objectors... having been written in the 70's, there's aspects of it that are very strongly artifacts of its time. Still, I really do wish it'd have a day in the sun.

    7 votes
  3. [5]
    patience_limited
    Link
    Okay, time to put on my "connoisseur of obscure science fiction" hat... Ian McDonald's The Broken Land is an undeservedly forgotten biopunk extravaganza with sympathetic characters, very topical...

    Okay, time to put on my "connoisseur of obscure science fiction" hat...

    Ian McDonald's The Broken Land is an undeservedly forgotten biopunk extravaganza with sympathetic characters, very topical politics and plotting, and beautifully rendered scenes. The story is tight and concise, without the excess length to create dangling threads for sequels that publishers demand these days. I'd love to see it as cinema. Frankly, I'd love to see almost any McDonald as visual storytelling, but his more recent work is so dense, intricate, and multilayered that it would be very difficult to decompose into intelligible plotlines.

    Lavie Tidhar's The Violent Century deserves a mini-series. The short description is "WWII and the subsequent 20th Century conflicts, with superheroes and supervillains", but that trims off a complex morality play that John LeCarré would have admired. Minus points for practically no female characters, but that's 20th Century authenticity for you.

    If they can butcher Richard Morgan's Altered Carbon into a mini-series, then George Alec Effinger's Budayeen books are up for grabs. Probably will never happen as long as Western media find anti-Muslim sentiment a palatable source of cliché villainy post-9/11.

    Ursula LeGuin's The Left Hand of Darkness might be unfilmable, but I'd love to try writing a screenplay. So much of the main character's experience and growth is interior, and the winter scenery would be unendingly bleak. But then Katla got an eight-episode series, so who knows?

    Michael Swanwick's Vacuum Flowers would be just about manageable with the SFX budget and screenwriting that got The Expanse done. Likewise, Alastair Reynolds' Revenger. Both are ripping yarns of satellite/asteroid belt colonies, swashbuckling, space chases, etc.

    I could go on, but the sun came out, things to do.

    7 votes
    1. [4]
      smores
      Link Parent
      Speaking of Ursula K. Le Guin, I would love to see a film adaptation of The Dispossessed. The book always felt somewhat cinematic to me, and the visuals contrasting Urras and Anarres could be...

      Speaking of Ursula K. Le Guin, I would love to see a film adaptation of The Dispossessed. The book always felt somewhat cinematic to me, and the visuals contrasting Urras and Anarres could be striking.

      6 votes
      1. [3]
        patience_limited
        Link Parent
        Oh, totally, though I think it might run into the same polemical narrative problems with overstated economic and political extremes as Marge Piercy's Woman on the Edge of Time. Considering how...

        Oh, totally, though I think it might run into the same polemical narrative problems with overstated economic and political extremes as Marge Piercy's Woman on the Edge of Time.

        Considering how badly the political subtexts in Altered Carbon and Foundation were handled, I don't trust what might come out the other end of a standard Hollywood or streaming service production of either of these stories.

        3 votes
        1. [2]
          lou
          Link Parent
          Foundation was a profound disappointment. Why must Hollywood turn everything into a sappy melodrama? I couldn't care less about romance in something like Foundation. If you must make a generic...

          Foundation was a profound disappointment. Why must Hollywood turn everything into a sappy melodrama? I couldn't care less about romance in something like Foundation. If you must make a generic sci-fi melodrama that's fine, but you don't need Asimov for that...

          3 votes
          1. NoblePath
            Link Parent
            Foundation: Seriously sad disappointment. I couldn’t watch past ep 3.

            Foundation: Seriously sad disappointment. I couldn’t watch past ep 3.

            2 votes
  4. drannex
    (edited )
    Link
    I would be absolutely ecstatic if they made a show following the Heechee Saga by Frederick Pohl The story I imagine would be in the spirit of The Expanse meets Dark Matter meets For All Mankind,...

    I would be absolutely ecstatic if they made a show following the Heechee Saga by Frederick Pohl

    The Heechee Saga, also known as the Gateway series, is a series of science fiction novels and short stories by Frederik Pohl. The Heechee are an advanced alien race that visited the Solar System hundreds of millennia ago and then mysteriously disappeared. They left behind bases containing artifacts, including working starships, which are discovered and exploited by humanity

    The story I imagine would be in the spirit of The Expanse meets Dark Matter meets For All Mankind, where an already spacefaring society begins to discover alien ships, power sources, powerful new technology and all the major governments were scrambling to find more (in the books its the Soviet Union, USA, Asia, the United States of Brazil, and the government of Venus) as well as individual fortune seekers.

    There was a show being planned at one point (I just found out) but appears to be dead.

    5 votes
  5. balooga
    Link
    Many years ago I discovered The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect, a sci-fi novella self-published for free reading online. Few works of fiction have left the sort of lasting impression on me that...

    Many years ago I discovered The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect, a sci-fi novella self-published for free reading online. Few works of fiction have left the sort of lasting impression on me that it has. It's not the sort of book I would actively seek out; it's loaded with extreme NSFW imagery, graphic descriptions of violence and sex. But they're there for a reason, not simply for puerile shock value. The book explores the technological singularity, the rise of AI, and the essence of what it means to be human when all of the things that make us recognizably so are stripped away.

    I have no idea how this could be made into a movie for general audiences. I bet HBO could serialize it and keep it more or less faithful to the spirit of the original. However it got made, I would hope a new ending could be devised, because the last chapter is a pretty disappointing end to an otherwise fascinating story.

    4 votes
  6. [4]
    nacho
    Link
    There are a lot of bad viking-related movies and shows that hybridize the history of the sagas and weird fantasy/mishmashes of other things. I know Jan Guillou's three books on the fictional...

    There are a lot of bad viking-related movies and shows that hybridize the history of the sagas and weird fantasy/mishmashes of other things.

    I know Jan Guillou's three books on the fictional Swedish Knight Templar Arn Magnusson were made into to (relatively bad) movies in 2007-8. It deserves a proper TV series. There's a lot of material to go into.


    Norwegian Nobel laurate Sigrid Unset's trilogy about Kristin Lavransdatter, set in the 14th century in Norway is also something that could make a good TV show. This is the work she received the Nobel prize for.


    Thirdly, and keeping with the theme, the Norwegian author Tor Åge Bringsværd's Gobi-series of five novels about Asia in the Middle Ages seen through the eyes of the crusades and the migrations with a German jester as protagonist are also worth a good TV show.

    Here, there's also a mix of history and fiction, with a compelling story with many twists and turns.


    Finally, Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey–Maturin series of sea novels set in various boats and battles around the world in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars deserves a long TV show. A few of the 20 historical novels were mish-mashed into the movie Master and Commander. There's way more to get at here,

    4 votes
    1. [3]
      cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Have you seen Hornblower yet? It's basically exactly what you describe, but based on C.S. Forester's novels. I would also love to see a proper Aubrey–Maturin based TV series finally get produced...

      set in various boats and battles around the world in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars

      Have you seen Hornblower yet? It's basically exactly what you describe, but based on C.S. Forester's novels. I would also love to see a proper Aubrey–Maturin based TV series finally get produced too though, since it also ranks among my favorites.

      And while not about the Royal Navy, Sharpe is another amazing Napoleonic Wars show based on Bernard Cornwell's novels, that is well worth watching too.

      p.s. Another similar-ish books series that I would also love to see made into a TV series is Brian McClellan's The Powder Mage trilogy. It's not Napoleonic Wars based, since it takes place in a Fantasy world where magical powers are present, but it's still very reminiscent of that period in our history since the story revolves around a revolutionary war being fought by musket regiments.

      5 votes
      1. [2]
        nacho
        Link Parent
        Brian McClellan! Good Shout. They definitely deserve a dramatization. Hornblower was good; the books are great. There's just something about Aubrey and Maturin as characters that hits me...

        Brian McClellan! Good Shout. They definitely deserve a dramatization.

        Hornblower was good; the books are great. There's just something about Aubrey and Maturin as characters that hits me differently. They just feel like the could have been real people, and fun ones at that.

        2 votes
        1. cfabbro
          Link Parent
          There might actually be some good news on that front! ‘Utopia Falls’ Showrunner Joseph Mallozzi To Adapt Fantasy Novels ‘Powder Mage’ As TV Series With No Equal Entertainment & Frantic Films

          Brian McClellan! Good Shout. They definitely deserve a dramatization.

          There might actually be some good news on that front!
          ‘Utopia Falls’ Showrunner Joseph Mallozzi To Adapt Fantasy Novels ‘Powder Mage’ As TV Series With No Equal Entertainment & Frantic Films

          1 vote
  7. autumn
    Link
    League of Peoples series by James Alan Gardner. Tons of cool gender identity and outcast themes in those books.

    League of Peoples series by James Alan Gardner. Tons of cool gender identity and outcast themes in those books.

    3 votes
  8. patience_limited
    Link
    More obscure but potentially filmable stories: Rebecca Ore's Becoming Alien series. It would take extraordinary costuming/makeup/CGI skills, some stellar acting talent, and a great screenwriting...

    More obscure but potentially filmable stories:

    Rebecca Ore's Becoming Alien series. It would take extraordinary costuming/makeup/CGI skills, some stellar acting talent, and a great screenwriting team to pull it off, but this could be a Star Trek scale winner in 2020's America if done properly. It tags economic inequality, class and race prejudices, xenophobia, gender subtleties, alienation, loneliness, relationship struggles, aging, drug abuse, culture shock, refugee crises, pandemics, terrorism, military hegemony... and addresses them with respect for the reader's intelligence. The protagonists are young, so this could be pitched as YA material, but the situations would be challenging enough for any mature adult (including interspecies relationships). Also, not a Farscape, Babylon 5, Firefly, Star Trek, Star Wars, or any other obvious space opera franchise clone. Probably more filmable than the fantastic Becky Chalmers or Ann Leckie material, though.

    On that note, I am sure someone will try to make a movie out of Catherynne M. Valente's Space Opera, though I doubt the effort will prove any more successful than the attempts on Douglas Adams' books.

    Kameron Hurley's Bel Dame Apocrypha series could be chopped into something wild, visually stunning, twisty-plotted, and horrifically, tragically violent. This stuff makes Mad Max: Fury Road look like a roadside picnic. Not for the bug-phobic, though. If SyFy Channel could manage Killjoys, they can do this.

    3 votes
  9. NoblePath
    Link
    So i was going to say we should give Asimov another try with the caves of steel, but as i was looking for the title i saw it had already been done by bbc with Baley played by peter Cushing! I...

    So i was going to say we should give Asimov another try with the caves of steel, but as i was looking for the title i saw it had already been done by bbc with Baley played by peter Cushing!

    I would also like to see an updated version of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. Also maybe the gospel of John, not by evangelicals.

    Finally, especially apropos for our times, Foucault’s Pendulum*, by Eco.

    3 votes
  10. screenbeard
    Link
    Some narrative podcasts I've loved deserve to be more well known with a TV show. The Red Panda Adventures by Decoder Ring Theatre is about a pre WW2 Canadian super hero duo fighting crime, then...

    Some narrative podcasts I've loved deserve to be more well known with a TV show. The Red Panda Adventures by Decoder Ring Theatre is about a pre WW2 Canadian super hero duo fighting crime, then the rise of Nazis, then in the war itself. It had a base 120 episode run and it's super satisfying.

    Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars is comedy western recorded in the style of old Time Radio by Thrilling Adventure Hour. The writing reminds me of the best of Joss Whedon, back when he was making Buffy and Firefly. Early episodes even have guest appearances by Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk. It's good silly fun.

    3 votes
  11. teaearlgraycold
    Link
    I think A24 could do a great job with a film inspired by Stephen King’s “The Jaunt”. It’s a sci-fi/horror short story about interstellar travel. You’d need to do something to flesh out the story a...

    I think A24 could do a great job with a film inspired by Stephen King’s “The Jaunt”. It’s a sci-fi/horror short story about interstellar travel. You’d need to do something to flesh out the story a bit, but it’s a great starting point IMO.

    2 votes
  12. aditya
    Link
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bartimaeus_Sequence They're technically YA, but I think a lot of the narration is a bit more adult. It's one of my favourite series, and I think it's rather...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bartimaeus_Sequence

    They're technically YA, but I think a lot of the narration is a bit more adult. It's one of my favourite series, and I think it's rather underrated. I'm not sure how the footnote style (which is a significant tool) would translate to visual media.

    1 vote