Oh I wish this one was about classics that actually had modern adaptations because there are ones out there that will always have my little beating heart. The ones that particularly come to mind are:-
These are actually very clever and witty adaptations and some people may (or may not) be surprised to learn that they are adaptations of The Taming of the Shrew, Pride and Prejudice (slightly more obvious) and Emma.
Sadly this week didn’t ask us ‘Classics That Currently Have Modern Adaptations That You Love’ but ‘Classics You Wish Had Modern Adaptations.’
Now there are plenty of adaptations in existence so there may already be a modern adaptation or two of some of the below that I don’t know about but I picked my Top 5 anyway.
This was a struggle!
I don’t even want any of the dynamics or events of Little Women to change, I just want that shizzle scaled up to modern times.
Mr. March is away in another country as a war correspondent for a very liberal news station while Marmee is an activist and volunteer for almost every cause going. The conservative neighbours are very twitchy about them, their placard producing ways and their four expressive teenage daughters.
Meg’s just trying to find acceptance and possibly a steady boyfriend that isn’t going to judge her family, Jo is writing a satire about her life and is best friends with her mixed race neighbour Laurie (the other neighbours are twitchy about him too), Beth is getting sicker and is undergoing all sorts of expensive tests and Amy is a very talented artist who hopes to win a scholarship so she can get the hell out of dodge.
Instead of Puritan times, The Crucible is set in a corporation called Pure-I-Tan which is a cosmetic company aimed at permanent skin tans on a cellular level. Why? Because it’s the only thing I could think of.
This company is rife with sexual discrimination with anything from a large discrepancy between the male/ female pay gap, policies that are detrimental to female employees to sexual harassment in various degrees of severity. A senior manager, John Proctor, has been having an affair with his PA, Abigail, despite the fact that John’s wife also works for the company.
John isn’t a bad guy, just flawed, and he soon realises his mistake and calls it off. Abigail, disgruntled and angry at the way she feels she’s been treated starts to throw out some pretty serious accusations. HR, knowing that they need to sort out some of these issues, unfortunately believes Abigail’s lies. Abigail gets a taste of power, ropes some friends to join in and it all escalates rather horribly from there.
Oliver Twist was abandoned at birth in a South East London hospital and was immediately put into the foster care system. Despite spending his formative years wondering who the hell he is and being treated appallingly by the foster care workers he’s actually relatively naive and craves human companionship.
Unfortunately he makes a ‘friend’ called Dodge who is part of a notorious South East London gang and soon Ollie is involved in drugs, gangs and prostitution rackets. The gang leader Fagin is alright enough but Ollie doesn’t like Billy, one of the gang’s associates.
When Ollie hears that Billy is planning the murder of a local politician who is determined to stamp out crime (and who offered Ollie an apprenticeship) he realises he needs to leave the gang life before he also ends up dead and is helped by Nance, Billy’s prostitute girlfriend. It gets worse before it gets better. But at least it does get better.
Connie is married to Cliff, a high ranking politician who is suffering from impotency issues that he’s taking medication for. It’s not working. Cliff is also very much focused on the most important thing in his life – becoming an even higher ranking politician in the Houses of Parliament.
The lack of emotional and sexual intimacy is beginning to impact Connie and Cliff’s marriage but they are maintaining the charade for the sake of Cliff’s political career. Connie is essentially living in the penthouse suite of the Chatterley Hotel while Cliff works, earning her the sarcastic nickname ‘Lady Chatterley.’
While on a walk one day she meets Olivia the hotel gardener and after several conversations Connie discovers that she is attracted to Olivia, and they begin an affair (Olivia becoming Lady Chatterley’s Lover – see what I did there?) which they have to keep incredibly secret from both Cliff and the public, not just because it’s an affair but because it’s a same-sex one and Cliff’s whole career and Connie’s life would come crashing down.
I’m cheating here. This is a modern adaptation of a fairy tale rather than a classic. But it’s a classic fairy tale – does that count?
Sorrell lives in a small town with her overprotective parents and her overbearing grandmother. Every move that she makes is monitored, from leaving the house to go to community college (she wasn’t allowed to move away) then from college to her job working at her parents forestry company (she wasn’t allowed to work anywhere else) and then again to her grandmother’s house where she has to act as a pseudo carer.
She has no friends. She’s not allowed boyfriends which is fine because there’s no one she’s interested in. Unfortunately one of her parents timber harvesting employees is older, creepy and is taking a heavy and unwanted interest.
Sorrell feels trapped and isolated and begins to fantasize about how she can escape her life even going as far as imagining chopping up grandma when her grandmother hits her.
Then, one day, a handsome dangerous stranger called Fen arrives in town. Sorrell’s interested. She’s very interested and luckily (or unluckily) Fen also takes an interest.
Choose your own adventure – edgy dark romance? Edgy dark romance with a hint of murder? Edgy dark romance that is basically an overt Heather’s rip-off? Edgy dark romance that isn’t actually an edgy dark romance because Fen doesn’t really exist and is, in fact, a figment of Sorrell’s imagination and her dark side is unleashed?
Up to you!
So there are my five choices, what are your thoughts and what would be your top 5 modern adaptations if you could wish them into being? In fact, what are your top 5 modern adaptations that exist?
Until next time!