Friday, September 27, 2013

Book to Movie: Rivers of London (Midnight Riot) by Ben Aaronovitch

3,93 Stars of 5 by 10,912 ratings (Goodreads)

"What would happen if Harry Potter grew up and joined the Fuzz?" - Diana Gabaldon

The novel centres around the adventures of Peter Grant, a young officer in the Metropolitan Police; who, following an unexpected encounter with a ghost, is recruited into the small branch of the Met that deals with magic and the supernatural.
Peter Grant, having become the first English apprentice wizard in fifty years, must immediately deal with two different but ultimately inter-related cases. In one he must find what is possessing ordinary people and turning them into vicious killers, and in the second he must broker a peace between the two warring gods of the River Thames (Source: Wiki)

Will it be a good series?
In June news broke, that Feel Films (London based production company, that holds the rights for Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell) has optioned Rivers of London for television. (Source: DenOfGeek)
I expect, that one series/season with roughly four to six episodes will tell the story of one book. My answer:
Yes, it will be a good series, due to the combination of fantasy elements with the traditional crime genre. It has a great plot, like-able and interesting characters as well as heaps of fantasy. British television has hit a streak right now (Doctor Who, Downton Abby, Luther, Sherlock) - which brings up the hope for a great Rivers of London series.
But why not a movie? 
The visuals and scope do not necessarily demand the high-budget of a movie, and I think, that more time to develop the characters and the story will actually help the finished product. 
Another reason why a movie company will never ever make a movie based on the books (even if there were no television series) is the simple fact, that we saw something similar bomb at the box-office: R.I.P.D.
With an estimated budget of $130 Million the Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds led movie only earned $70 Million in the world-wide box office. The greatest similarity of course is the formula: cops + fantasy. In theory that sounds good, but the script had many problems as I wrote two years ago. The protagonist was bland, the motivation unclear and the ending really unsatisfaying. For the next few years the "cop + fantasy" idea will be avoided in Hollywood like the plague. 
One of the victims could have been a possible Rivers of London adaption, but thankfully we will get a series.