Over the years we've been lucky to see a number of amazing comics, books, video games, and even theme park rides turned into massively successful movie franchises. The Lord of the Rings was made into an epic that takes the better part of a day to watch, all seven Harry Potter books made the transition to film, and we even got four movies out of The Hunger Games trilogy. And those are just the franchises we've seen come to a close. We're already 20-plus movies deep in the MCU and it shows no signs of stopping and the DCEU is getting a much-needed shakeup this year with Birds of Prey and Wonder Woman 1984.
You could almost be forgiven for thinking that there's no possible way there's anything left to adapt. But you'd be wrong. There are so many incredible properties that deserve big screen and big-budget adaptations but haven't yet received their due. We're here to fix that.
These are some of the amazing movie franchises that would be smashing box office records, spawning merchandise of all kinds, and creating dedicated fans who line up days in advance just to see a cast panel at SDCC in our FANGRRLtopia.
The Legend of Zelda
This classic Nintendo franchise has been alive and kicking for more than thirty years. The game has spawned dozens of manga adaptions and even had a short-lived animated series in the late '80s, but it's baffling that it's never been adapted for the big screen. That all changes in our FANGRRLtopia! We're dying to see the stories of Link, Zelda, Ganon, and Hyrule brought to life in an epic, sweeping fantasy that feels like a cross between Pirates of the Caribbean and The Lord of The Rings. And of course, in our utopia, Zelda is a self-rescuing princess. After all, she's always been just as influential and instrumental in saving the day as Link.
An all-female Expendables
The original Expendables series paid tribute to the epic blockbuster action films I grew up watching in the late '80s and early '90s. The only problem? The cast was practically all men. Sure, there was usually the token girlfriend or female badass, but we deserve better. In our utopia, we finally get the incredible, lady action hero team-up of our dreams as we watch some of Hollywood's finest kick ass and take names. As with the originals, we'll need the right mix of the old guard and the new so here's the cast of my dreams: Sigourney Weaver, Halle Berry, Linda Hamilton, Michelle Yeoh, Jodie Foster, and Lucy Liu will be joined by Sarah Michelle Gellar, Gal Gadot, Zoe Saldana, Priyanka Chopra, and Kerry Washington. With a bonus Chris as the token male. (Pick a Chris, any Chris. No, not you, Chris Pratt.)
Song of the Lioness
Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness fantasy series has captured the hearts of teen girls everywhere since it was published in the '80s. In our FANGRRLtopia, this series would not only fill the hole that the Harry Potter series left when the eighth and final film was released but also give kids characters they can relate to. The books don't shy away from difficult topics like gender identity, bullying, first periods, and discovering who you are as a person. It would be incredible to see these themes brought to life in a thoughtful and caring manner. This is the series that so many of us needed when we were younger, and in our utopia, we're happy to give this as a gift to future generations.
The Poppy War
The third and final book in R. F. Kuang's grimdark, historical fantasy trilogy is set to release later this year, which makes it a perfect choice for turning into a blockbuster movie franchise. Make no mistake, this book is not your happy, shiny fantasy series, and it's not for the faint of heart. This dark, twisty, and somewhat magical take on the Second Sino-Japanese War will appeal to fans of Game of Thrones, Watchmen, and Westworld. It's a compelling story that would blow everyone away if it was brought to the big screen bankrolled by a big-budget studio. Just imagine the sweeping shots of China, the large scale battles, and the special effects and CGI that go into creating the monsters and magic that haunt the pages.
This feel-good comic full of female friendships is the movie franchise that pre-teen and teenage girls in our FANGRRLtopia need. There are so many mysteries to solve and monsters for the girls to fight that this series could become the teen Fast and Furious franchise, where each movie gleefully ups the stakes, ratchets up the adventures, and throws reality to the wind. Campers Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are ride or die; they love and support each other without questions. The best part? It's wonderfully inclusive, featuring strong female role models, a girl-on-girl crush, a trans character, and girls from all different backgrounds. That's precisely the kind of franchise our utopia needs more of.
The Broken Earth Trilogy
If there's any book series that deserves the full Lord of the Rings treatment, complete with extended editions that stretch the movie-watching experience to a full half-day, it's N. K. Jemisin's Hugo Award-winning series. It's an epic fantasy story that deftly weaves together three separate narratives against a backdrop of a far-future Earth suffering from massive, apocalyptic events known as Seasons. Not only is the world building rich, expansive, and detailed, the characters are compelling and draw you in. This is the type of movie that deserves a giant Christmas time release, midnight launch parties, and hordes of fans showing up in full costumes to drink in the sight of their favorite characters on screen.
Everyone knows that the only right way to play the Mass Effect games is with a female Commander Shepard, which is why in FANGRRLtopia, the adaption of this movie would go the same route. Her job? Oh, she has to save the galaxy from a race of powerful mechanical beings known as the Reapers. With the Skywalker saga finally having reached its end, this franchise with its alien battles, cool tech, and a motley crew of friends would be the perfect thing to fill that hole. Plus, video game adaptations are so hot right now, and while they haven't always guaranteed a successful box office run, they tend to leave the fans happy — and many would love to see this world brought to life.
Brian K. Vaughan's epic space opera/fantasy is practically begging to be adapted into a movie series. And a series it would have to be, as it would be impossible to distill this sweeping story down into just one or two movies. The story set against the backdrop of an intergalactic civil war follows Hazel, the daughter of Marko and Alana, from birth to all the way adolescence. Add in the inevitable prequel where we get to see just how Marko and Alana fell in love, and this could easily end up being at least a trilogy plus one. Imagine Jupiter Ascending meets Star Wars meets Shakespeare. Anything that epic simply has to exist in our FANGRRLtopia.