Six Books That Deserve a Second Chance At The Screen

HarperCollins | Katherine Tegen Books

There have been many successful book-to-film adaptations of YA bestsellers like The Hunger Games. Unfortunately, there have also been plenty of adaptations that have bombed at the box office. Here are some series that deserve a second chance to reach the theater or television.

The Mortal Instruments

Clary Fray, The Mortal Instruments
Entertainment One Films | Constantin Film

While I said “second chances” at adaptation, we’ll go with “third chance” on this series.

The Mortal Instruments, the debut series from Cassandra Clare, has had a film adaptation and television series. Both of the adaptations fell short with readers for various reasons.

Fans felt the movie strayed too far from the source material, combining plot points from the first and third books.

When it comes to the Freeform series, many fans rejoiced at the second chance. However, many have criticized the adaptation for straying from the plot and awkward dialogue.

A third chance is just what this amazing book series needs. If the showrunners stick to the plot and use writing that sounds natural, a television series with an actual budget could finally get it right. And if a third chance is successful, maybe the rest of the Shadowhunters books–and the extended universe–could make it to the screen, too.


Divergent book, film
Katherine Tegen Books | Lionsgate | Red Wagon Entertainment | Summit Entertainment

This movie franchise ended before they could finish adapting the entire book series by Veronica Roth. The last book was supposed to be split into two movies, trying to follow in the steps of Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. However, the fourth and final movie never came.

Fans loved the first film because it felt like the book was genuinely captured on screen. However, that didn’t happen with the second and third films. Not only that, but the series raked in diminishing returns at the box office.

Summit and Lionsgate decided to pull the final film from the schedule with the idea of rebooting the series on the small screen. That obviously never happened–but maybe it should.

Many fans have revisited the series in the last couple of years, and now’s the perfect time to get a second chance. Yet again, a television series might do well since it will allow more details that were looked over in the films to shine.

The Princess Diaries

Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews in The Princess Diaries
Buena Vista Pictures | Walt Disney Pictures | BrownHouse Productions

Don’t get me wrong, I love Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews in the films. And I’m looking forward to the third film Hathaway has said is currently in the scriptwriting phase.

However, many fans of the Meg Cabot series wish there was more to the franchise. The films are based on an 11-book series that has so much more to the story than seen on screen.

I’d love to see a television series that covered the entire story arc of Mia’s ascent to the throne and go into details that weren’t in the films. Some of these details include Mia and Michael’s whole relationship, and characters that were straight-up missing.

I Am Number Four

I Am Number Four book, film
HarperCollins | Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures | DreamWorks Pictures | Reliance Entertainment | Bay Films

This hit book series by Pittacus Lore has had one chance at the big screen so far. But, hopefully, that will change in the near future.

The first book was adapted into a movie that bombed at the box office and subsequently canceled the sequel. The biggest downfall of the film was the acting and special effects, according to critics and fans. Alex Pettyfer–who also stunk up the Mortal Instruments movie–wouldn’t have been my dream casting.

I Am Number Four would benefit significantly from a second chance, this time as a television series. Now is the perfect time since darker and more angsty shows have been successful on TV. Each season could follow a book, and if the series does well, there’s a spinoff series set directly after it.

Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures book, film
Penguin Books | Warner Bros. Pictures | Alcon Entertainment | 3 Arts Entertainment | Belle Pictures

Beautiful Creatures, the first in a quartet, was given a chance at a movie but failed at the box office. While many fans of the series were excited to see Ethan and Lena on the big screen, the rest of the viewing public didn’t care much.

Nowadays, shows about dark, magic-filled, modern-day worlds have been major hits. The series itself has the same vibe as the original Charmed series with a dash of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s books would definitely do better as a series on a streaming platform or channel like The CW. However, if it is given a second chance, keep it away from Disney. The material in the books is too dark for the family-friendly House of Mouse.

The Host

The Host book, film
Little, Brown & Company | Open Road Films | Nick Wechsler Productions | Silver Reel

Stephenie Meyer’s first novel outside the Twilight series had many fans hoping for a sequel. Those sequels were still in the works in 2011, but nothing has been heard since.

The film adaptation fell short for many fans because of casting choices, plot changes, and timing problems. I’m still hoping for a second chance in the form of a limited series. It’s such an underrated book. Maybe if Hollywood managed to give The Host a fantastic adaptation, Stephenie Meyer would finally get around to writing the sequels she promised….