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Book series we want to see turned into cinematic universes

The Cinematic Universe trend has been up and running for a while now, and since Marvel has announced phase four, it doesn’t look like its slowing down any time soon. And while comic books and the occasional true story of paranormal investigators (I’m looking at you, The Conjuring universe) seem to be a goldmine of sources for cinematic expansion, what with all the tie-ins and crossovers and origin stories, I’m still waiting for the cinematic universe that I’ll connect to. And honestly, I think that universe has to come from YA. These are the book series that I want to see turned into films. Not just films, but dozens of films. Take my money, Hollywood!

Laini Taylor’s Continuum Universe

In case you were unaware (because I was until relatively recently), Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Strange the Dreamer worlds are connected! While in Strange we are unaware there is any connection to Laini’s previous trilogy, we are treated to a surprise in Muse of Nightmares, where secrets of the Continuum universe are revealed. And while I don’t want to get into spoilery details, I can say that the fantasy geek in me is foaming at the mouth to see the universe expanded beyond just these two series. I want Kaoru and Sarai to meet up, NOW. Let’s make it happen people!

Gail Carriger’s Finishing School Universe

For those of you who are unaware, I recently started reading the Finishing School series and I am utterly and irrevocably obsessed. These. Books. Are. So. Good. But what you may not know is that the world of Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality is much, much larger than these four books. Finishing School shares a world with not one, but two adult series: The Parasol Protectorate and The Custard Protocol. I desperately want these to become films or a TV show, and we can see characters jump back and forth between the series and the timeline. Each book series is set in a different decade of Victorian/Edwardian history, and I am ready to see all the glorious fashions and make-believe technology on the silver screen!

Holly Black’s Faerie Universe

I know what you’re gonna say. “We get it, Savannah. You love Holly Black.” Yes, now just hear me out. Holly Black’s Faerie Universe would be a brilliant expanded cinematic universe! For those of you who don’t know, Holly has been working in the fae lands for a while now, beginning with the Modern Faerie Tales series which began publishing in 2002. I’m thinking we begin with Tithe, making it an early 2000’s period piece. Then an adaptation of The Darkest Part of the Forest is in order. Then we get to the Avengers of the Holly Black Faerie Universe, The Cruel Prince. That way, we already have the origin stories from all the side characters. Then, in between the releases of The Wicked King and The Queen of Nothing adaptations, we get adaptations of Valiant and Ironside. Really, this plan is foolproof. Someone get a film producer on the line!

Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies Universe

If you were around YA during the mid 2000’s, you probably heard of Scott Westerfeld Uglies. I mean, that green cover was straight up iconic. Before The Hunger Games, there was Uglies. And while this was a seminal title for me, making me perhaps somewhat biased, I still believe the Uglies world would make a great expanded universe. There is the original trilogy that follows Tally Youngblood and her struggles against the Pretty regime and an additional fourth book called Extras that takes place a few years after the events of the first trilogy. Not only that, but Scott is returning to the world of Uglies with his new Impostors series, set decades after the events in Uglies. And can I just say Impostors is so, so good! The high-paced, frenetic action makes it a brilliant candidate for adaptation, and I would be over the moon to see this world brought to life visually. I’m just saying, if the world is looking for a new dystopian cinematic universe, this is the one.

Lois Duncan’s Psychic Universe

This one might be a bit of a long-shot, but just hear me out for a hot minute. I’m thinking this could be a horror cinematic universe in the vein of the Conjuring franchise. Lois Duncan, classic YA thriller writer who brought us the likes of I Know What You Did Last Summer has a lot of titles under her belt. And I mean A LOT. And surprisingly, a number of them deal with psychic powers and the magical. I think these books could be turned into standalone films connected by their supernatural elements. And then, perhaps an adaptation featuring spin-off and collaborations between the different characters from these books! James Wan, where you at?

Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunters Universe

I mean, COME ON. How could I not include the Shadowhunters in this list? Show me a more extensive YA book universe, I dare you! And while there is a show on freeform and a film that came out in 2013, I think there a goldmine of un-tapped movie potential. Especially since a little birdie (aka, all of Shadowhunters fandom) told me the show deviates heavily from the books. I’m ready for a Shadowhunters film re-boot. But, perhaps since it is now the year 2020, we start instead with her more recent trilogy, The Dark Artifices. Then we go back and we see Clary and Jace’s orgin story in The Mortal Instruments, with films from the Infernal Devices and the Last Hours peppered as we go. By the time all those films come out, The Wicked Powers, the finale to the Shadowhunters Chronicles, will be ready to release. Probably. And then we can watch in awe and possibly horror as YA era ends.