Books have always been a great inspiration for movies. From ‘The Lord of the Rings’ to ‘To all the Boys that I’ve Loved.’ Hollywood can never run out of materials as long as someone is willing to write a book. In fact, the current trend of converting a beautifully written chick lit into movies (I’m not talking about Fifty Shades, plis dear) has given viewers a chance to connect with their favourite characters. We see the successes with Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan, Nicola Yoon’s Everything Everything (The Sun is Also a Star is in the works too!), Netflix’s The Kissing Booth and To all the Boys I’ve Loved. *Swoons*
Why then has Nollywood not tapped into this form? Is it the lack of books or are we waiting for the mainstream books?
If you grew up watching Nigerian movies, you would understand the nostalgia behind the recent Old Nollywood memes on the internet. It may seem now that Nollywood is running out of content but there are more than enough materials to go around!!
Some Nigerian books have been made into movies, especially Yoruba plays. But we will like to see more English novels made into movies.
You will remember Half of a Yellow Sun, this was the first time a lot of us saw John Boyega on screen as Ugwu who was narrating the story. The movie adaptation of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart was said to have launched Peter Edochie’s career.
So, we have decided to compile Nigerian novels that will make a good movie!! *Drum roll*
- Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo. I know, I know. It is a mainstream book and movie studios will need to come with the big bucks to acquire the rights to this book. But I think it will be totally worth it. It’s not an uncommon story but we will need a good director to bring this book to light. Think Andrew Dosunmu of Mother of George. Read the review here.
2. The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma. The novel follows four brothers in a small Nigerian village who are given a violent prophecy which shakes their family to the core. It is set in the 1990s, during the rule of Sani Abacha. This is another awesome book with incredible storytelling too. The book is so delicate that adapting it to screen will need an adept director that is very attentive to detail. I nominate Biyi Bandele for this. Yay or Nay?
3. Easy Motion Tourist by Leye Adenle. It features Guy Collins, a British hack who stumbles by chance into the murky underworld of Lagos. A woman’s mutilated body is discarded by the side of a club near one of the main hotels in Victoria Island. Collins, a bystander, is picked up by the police as a potential suspect. The movie could be directed by either Walt Banger of Catch.er or Eric Aghimien of Slow Country.
4. Fine Boys by Eghosa Imasuen. This coming of age drama out of Benin is everything. If there’s anything to know about me (apart from my love for food, music, books and movies) is that I loooove coming of age movies. I’m sure I’ve seen at least 70% of all the coming of age movies available. I nominate Imoh Umoren to bring this movie to light and if he’s not available, I nominate Eric Aghimien. Read our review here.
5. After They Left by Edify Yakusak. This book’s plot is all you need as a good recipe for a movie screen. A gripping tale of survival of two children. We nominate Kunle Afolayan or Steve Gukas to direct this movie. Read our review here.
6. Dirim’s Man by Dumebi Ezar Ehigiator. This chick lit has it all, humour, family drama and a wedding. What else do you need for a feel good love story? We nominate Niyi Akinmolayan or Tope Oshin to do justice to this story. Listen to Lady B’s audio review here.
7. Scent of Water by Sinmisola Ogunyinka. I don’t know where I’m going with this but I think the plot is workable. This is an inspirational novel about a man who was sentenced to prison unjustly. During a church outreach, he met the woman who would save him. I love the amount of research that went into this book. So, maybe it shouldn’t be a movie, maybe it should be a TV miniseries. I can already imagine Rita Dominic in the show, what does Mildred Okwo think?
8. A Love Rekindled by Myne Whitman. Second chance romance plot anyone? This is a perfect one. Although Lady B says she’s tired of them but wait till she sees this on the big screen… I’m sure she’ll change her mind. This story is straight up Biodun Stephen or Emem Isong’s alley.
9. The Fourth Finger by Sally Kenneth Dadzie. Do you like drama? The twists and turns and… you get the drift. Sally has perfected her skills over the years and I’m surprised no one has adapted her stories to screen yet. This is a gold mine!! This story will also work as a TV series. Victor Sanchez Aghahowa and Chris Ihidero what are you doing?
10. Hang no Clothes Here by Bolaji Olatunde. This book is about a police officer who got himself tangled in a web of espionage. We saw a tweet from movie director, Imoh Umoren with a copy of this book, does that mean something? Should we do a dance or is it too early??
Honorable mention to Tunde Leye’s Afonja – The Rise. As period drama biopics go, we haven’t had a lot of them on the big screen. We hear Izu Ojukwu has Queen Amina in the works. Although there have been Yoruba movies or plays about Afonja. I think Tunde Leye’s book will be a perfect blend of nonfiction and fiction. Read the review here.
We also hear Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bones, which we reviewed here is in the works, so is Chimamanda Adichie’s Americanah. Lupita will play the role of Ifemelu, it’s going to be a TV series and we can’t wait for it. So grab your popcorn, we’re in for a ride.
So, what other books can’t you wait to see on TV? Share them with us in the comments section.