An entire generation grew up reading R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books. The movie adaptation took those stories (and our nostalgia!) and blew it up into a big, action-packed adventure. With this week's release of Goosebumps on DVD, we look at other books from our childhood that need the movie treatment. We’ve even included our own adaptation pitches! Give us a call, Hollywood.
Green Eggs and Ham
Original Story: Sam-I-Am pesters an unnamed narrator to try green eggs and ham. He succeeds.
Hollywood Pitch: In this psychological thriller, Sam-I-Am's harassment over the subject of green eggs and ham turns into stalking. As our hero's mental state gradually deteriorates, he begins to wonder if he may actually like green eggs and ham if he gave them a chance...
The Giving Tree
Original Story: A boy befriends an apple tree that falls madly in love with him. She gives him everything, from fruit to pencils, but he still leaves her.
Hollywood Pitch: This story of forbidden love and desire should appeal to YA audiences. The tree (voiced by Jennifer Lawrence) knows she shouldn't fall in love with a human. The boy (Nicholas Hoult) knows he isn't fit for a proper relationship. But sparks fly, sending them down a path of emotional turmoil and maybe... sci-fi dystopian revolution?
Original Story: A little boy says goodnight to the Moon. He then says goodnight to everything within eyeshot.
Hollywood Pitch: Every night for years, our now grown-up hero (Ben Stiller) bid goodnight to the Moon -- and everything else -- as his father taught him. When his father passes away, he embarks on an epic, spiritual quest. Can he say goodnight to the Moon from every country on Earth? Life and love and hope and a soundtrack of golden oldies happens!
Harold and the Purple Crayon
Original Story: With the help of his (magic?) purple crayon, Harold draws whatever he wants or needs into existence.
Hollywood Pitch: Harold used to dream that he could manipulate reality with his handy purple crayon. Years later (and now Keanu Reeves), he learns that his purple crayon dreams were real and that he must save the planet from an alien invasion! Will be a trilogy.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Original Story: A very hungry caterpillar eats a bunch of food, wraps himself in a cocoon, and emerges as a beautiful butterfly.
Hollywood Pitch: The result of an experiment gone wrong, the insatiable caterpillar consumes every leaf and fruit he can find and balloons to enormous size before escaping his laboratory prison. Can the city survive his lettuce-fueled rampage? We'll see after Roland Emmerich hands in his script notes.
Original Story: A vaguely educational and kid-friendly examination of how all animals, uh, you know.
Hollywood Pitch: Adam Sandler stars as a good-natured scientist who embarks on a quest to prove the title of the movie wrong and track down the one animal on Earth that doesn't excrete bodily waste. In the end, he learns that even the most magical of creatures have to go sometimes.
The Little Engine That Could
Original Story: A train is tasked with climbing a steep mountain. He succeeds.
Hollywood Pitch: Set in a postapocalypse inhabited entirely by human-train cyborgs, the story opens with the Little Engine's father perishing while climbing a mountain for his corrupt masters. Now grown and surly (and mo-capped by Andy Serkis), our hero takes on the mission that killed his father to prove something to himself... and to seek vengeance!
The Tale of Peter Rabbit
Original Story: Peter Rabbit disobeys his mother's orders to stay out of Mr. McGregor's garden and finds himself chased away by the crotchety human. Our plucky rabbit must then embark on the long journey home, a major part of which involves, uh, finding his lost clothes.
Hollywood Pitch: Hey! We actually don't have to change much. Just make sure that Peter Rabbit is voiced by a movie star (maybe Kevin Hart?) and cast a handful of respected character actors. Although the film version may leave out that part about the McGregors putting Peter's dad in a pie.
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
Original Story: A mouse asks for a cookie. Then he wants a glass of milk. And so on.
Hollywood Pitch: The mouse is a metaphor, you see. In this experimental, French art film, a simple man loses his family and slides into poverty as he bends over backwards to keep his mouse houseguest happy and content. In a third act twist, we learn that there never was a mouse and that he did everything as part of a delusion caused by mice-induced childhood trauma. Independent Spirit Awards, here we come!
Love You Forever
Original Story: A mother takes care of her son, through thick and thin, from childhood to adulthood. As the title implies, she loves him forever.
Hollywood Pitch: Since ‘Inside Out’ proved that there’s a market for family movies that make every adult in the audience sob uncontrollably, the film version will be a colorful, CG-animated romp through childhood’s rough patches causing you to weep uncontrollably while your baffled children look on. They’ll understand someday.