Dystopian Novels We Want to See on the Big Screen

There's something cathartic and exciting about a truly thrilling dystopian novel.

Action-packed adventures like The Hunger Games and the Divergent series represent some of the most intricate and intense storylines this genre has to offer, but they're only a tip of the iceberg when it comes to unpleasant imaginary futures.

Riverdale: kevin reading a book

(Riverdale via The CW)

While we definitely don't want to see any of these futures in the real world, we do want to see some of our favorite novels come to life in another big way: on our movie screens.

Keep scrolling for our favorite dystopian novels we definitely want to see on the big screen.

The Moon Dwellers by David Estes

Featuring a future in which humankind has been forced underground to escape destruction, this book follows seventeen-year-old Adele as she serves a life sentence in prison for her parent's treasonous crimes. When war breaks out and Adele escapes, she must find a way to unravel the secrets of her family's past to discover the truth behind conflict in the Tri-Realms. Not only do we love a strong female lead, we also appreciate the interwoven stories of friendship and romance that give this novel multiple relatable layers. Not to mention, there are four books in this series—aka, three built-in sequels.

The Moon Dwellers by Dan Wells

(via Amazon)


Legend by Marie Lu

This novel, set in a future United States, features a split nation, the western half of which has been renamed the Republic. Fifteen-year-old June, a military prodigy from a wealthy family, and Day, a notorious criminal within the Republic, are thrown together through the murder of June's brother. Although on opposite sides of this fight, June and Day quickly learn that their meeting is far from chance, and that their bond is representative of the incredible lengths their country will go to in order to keep its secrets. There's been movie buzz around this thrilling novel since 2011, but we've yet to see any follow-through. It was acquired by BCDF Pictures earlier this year, but until we see some real progress we're keeping our fingers crossed that this amazing story will make it to the big screen.

Legend by Marie Lu

(via Amazon)


Unwind by Neal Shusterman

If we're talking about messed up dystopian themes, it doesn't get much worse than the Unwind series. In Neal Shusterman's imaginary future there's a law that human life cannot be touched or altered until a child reaches the age of thirteen. From thirteen to eighteen, however, parents can choose  to get rid of their children through unwinding, which transplants the child's organs into various recipients, thereby redistributing a child's life without legally ending it (under this dystopian law). It brings up interesting questions of life and death all within a thrilling and compelling story that we couldn't stop reading. While it would be difficult to watch, we would relish the opportunity to see what could be done with this story in a cinematic realm.

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

(via Amazon)


Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Set in a New York City that's been decimated by war and plague, Enclave follows teens Deuce and Fade, who have been banished from their underground home and forced to live Topside. With little knowledge of their new surroundings and an impending threat they hardly understand, the two teens must find a way to survive in this dangerous new world. With compelling relationships, constant action and an intricate storyline, we believe there's more than enough in this novel to create quite an amazing film.

Enclave by Ann Aguirre

(via Amazon)


The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson

After the war, Eden's life was forever changed. Struggling to survive the powerful group known as the Wolfpack who now controls the earth's resources, Eden escapes to neutral ground—a place called Sanctuary Island. But it's possible this safe haven may not be the shelter Eden was dreaming of. In fact, it may be even more dangerous than the world she left behind. While the thrilling and mysterious elements of this novel are enough in and of themselves to demand a movie, it's the complex and intricately designed dystopian world that we truly want to see on the big screen. It's like nothing we've ever read before, which automatically means we'd love to see it with our own eyes, even if that can only happen in movie theaters.

The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson

(via Amazon)


Flawed by Cecilia Ahern

In a world where following the rules comes above all else, Celestine North is practically the picture of perfection. However, not every action is black or white, and Celestine suddenly finds herself as one of the Flawed, a second-class group of citizens punished for their imperfections. We primarily want to see this novel on the big screen to live vicariously through Celestine's character, who is as intricate and complex as they come. As she battles with her new criminal status, she also questions her own beliefs and value systems, creating an incredibly lovable and inherently imperfect character who would be a joy to watch on screen.

Flawed by Cecilia Ahern

(via Amazon)


Bluescreen by Dan Wells

If you liked Ready Player One, then you'll definitely agree with us that the entire Mirador series needs a movie adaptation. These books are set a little too close for comfort, as they feature the world of 2050 in which humans are online basically 24 hours a day thanks to a smart device implanted in a person's head. However, a virtual world can't escape real-life consequences, and Marisa Carneseca is about to find out that manipulating online realities is much more dangerous than she ever imagined.

The story may sound a little too simplistic and straightforward in its message, but trust us—it's anything but. A tangled web is revealed over the course of the three books in this series, pulling the audience in and creating a story that's practically tailor-made for the big screen.

Bluescreen by Dan Wells

(via Amazon)


Not a big fan of dystopian stories? Let the stars guide your movie viewing! Click HERE for the book-turned-movie you should watch, based on your zodiac sign.