1. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
"There was nothing I wanted to do more than be unconscious again, wrapped in black, gone away. I was raw. I felt swollen with potential tears, like a water balloon filled to burst. Begging for a pin prick."
Plot: The story revolves around Camille Preaker, a journalist with a dark past, who returns to her home town where horrific murders of little girls - the victims have all their teeth pulled out - are taking place.
The protagonist: Beautiful Camille who has the habit of carving words into her skin. She is gorgeous but almost her entire body is covered in scars and she always covers them. She also has very toxic relationship with her mother.
Chances of the movie being made: Imdb says "Entertainment One and producers Marti Noxon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity) to bring Sharp Objects to TV.". The rights are sold, but I'm very skeptical. There is a phenomenon out there that I'm almost tempted to call Gone Girl curse. First Gone Girl fails to score big during awards season. Then there is disastrous marketing for Dark Places. Then Flynn's Utopia project falls apart. I'm truly not holding my breath for this being made. It would be a shame if this didn't get adapted properly, seeing how it's as good of a book as Gone Girl and it has even better adaptation potential. But if all it gets is production values and the care of Dark Places (where the appreciation for the material they had, except for the cast, wasn't there) then perhaps it's best if no one touches it until they have the means and the will to do so.
Cast: I'd cast the gorgeous and elegant Rebecca Ferguson as Camille and Michelle Pfeiffer as her cruel, controlling, posh mother. There is also the part of Camille's mysterious step sister. Elle Fanning would be perfect here but she is gonna be too old by the time this gets made, if it ever gets made. I'd love for Stephen Dillane to show up as Camille's protective boss. I just envision Stephen whenever I can while reading books.
2. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
“"When did you become so weak?” I don’t know. I don’t know where that strength went, I don’t remember losing it. I think that over time it got chipped away, bit by bit, by life, by the living of it.”
Plot: Rachel is a broken, divorced alcoholic. In her empty life her biggest pleasure is staring through the window of a train every day at a couple, living in the house the train passes by, whose names she doesn't even know. One day Rachel sees something that changes everything.
The protagonist: Once beautiful Rachel who now has put a bit of weight and spends majority of her time being drunk, which also causes black outs that makes it almost impossible for her to remember what happened.
Chances for the movie being made: High, it's already in development. The book is really gripping and the portrayal of alcoholism is very convincing and realistic. There is also a big mystery, one that I myself guessed only 2 chapters before the answer to the big question was revealed, so let's hope whoever writes the script can scatter hints and red herrings as well as Hawkins did in the novel.
Cast: I really hope Emily Blunt - who is in talks to be in the film - stars as Rachel because she would be a wonderful choice. There are two other big female characters - Anna, the woman for whom Rachel's husband left her and Megan, whose role in the story I should not reveal. It was just announced this week that Rebecca Ferguson is in talks to play Anna. Well, I will definitely hate Anna less in the movie, then. Casting someone like Paul Rudd SPOILER as Tom END OF SPOILER would be a good move. As for Megan, they need a lovely looking blonde so perhaps Carey Mulligan?
3. Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
"You only scream when you’re finally safe."
Plot: Ani is beautiful, skinny, wealthy. She has a rich fiance and everything that a modern, successful woman is told to have in order to be perceived as successful. But the flashbacks to Ani's school years reveal real Ani and the horrific violence and life-altering humiliation she was subjected to.
The protagonist: Ani, coming from rich but ordinary background and climbing up to the highest level of social ladder.
Chances for the movie being made: It's happening. Reese Witherspoon, who truly has an amazing eye for books that would make great movies (she was also the one who bought the right for Gone Girl) is gonna produce the film and Lionsgate recently acquired the rights. The novel moves back and forth between the chapters set in present time and the time Ani was 14 year old girl in elite school. We gradually find out what the horrible things that happened to Ani are in the past tense chapters, and in the present we see that Ani is not as cold, calculating and cruel as we previously suspected. It's a very rich and dynamic character and the book's pivotal sequence is truly mesmerizing and shocking and it would make for one hell of a movie sequence. Also the construction of the story is just wonderful because you keep reading and reading to discover the answers - what happened to Ani in school? What is "the incident"? What happened to her class mates? Why is it so important to her that people believe her? Why wouldn't they believe her? They will have to make sure there are no spoilers in the marketing materials when it comes to this film. There is also a lovely subplot involving Ani and her former teacher - Andrew - and you just root for these two to end up together. Don't be fooled by the not so great cover, the silly way the name of the protagonist is spelled or some negative opinions on Goodreads. This is a terrific book and the film has the potential of being amazing.
Cast: I envision Abbey Lee, who was so wonderful in Mad Max: Fury Road, as Ani. There's gonna need to be another actress for 14 year old Ani as she has completely different figure than present time Ani who is approaching size 0. Casting anyone other than a model for grown up Ani and forcing the actress to lose weight would be just cruel here, though apparently a whole bunch of actresses are either size 2 or 0 - what the hell, does anyone actually eat? Seeing how Ani's fiance Luke is supposed to be this guy everyone wants - Henry Cavill would be the right choice. Also it would be an interesting part for him, seeing how Luke is kinda an asshole. And as for Andrew? He is 10 years older than Ani, so it would have to be someone close to his 40s, who looks kind and warm. I want to type Paul Rudd again. But it needs to be someone taller. I'm thinking Chris Hemsworth but he is Cavill's age. But hey, he would fit the part.