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Does anyone else think¬†Jess Walter’s novel The Zero¬†should be a movie? The entire time I was reading all I could think of was how it would make a great movie, and dare I say, a better movie than a book. I know, I know, it seems terrible and I’m pretty sure JGB would disagree with me, but I’m starting to think that the best way to experience a psychological thriller is visually.

As I read The Zero, I keep thinking of how seeing on a screen in front of you, scenes flashing from one to another, the repetition and confusion, and even the floaters and flashers in Remy’s eyes would be amazing. The viewer would be immediately dropped into Remy’s confusion and sense how he feels and navigates his unpredictable world.

I do understand that the book gives us seemingly the same effects. A reader will feel Remy’s confusion, empathize with his losses, and understand his frustration, but I feel that many times the adrenaline rush is lost in a book. One can easily close the book not knowing if the next fragment of Remy’s memory is going to be a life-changing discovery, or just another one of his strange missions. With a thriller movie, one becomes instantly engrossed and there is no escape, the sound effects, music, and visuals, all creating a tension, that for me is more exciting than any book could be.

Don’t get me wrong, I love reading and do not think that all movies made from books are better, in fact, most of the movies I’ve seen that are made from books are no better, or much worse than the book. The best example I can think of is the movie My Sister’s Keeper based on the Jodi Picoult novel where the wrong sister dies.

Now, that movie would have been great had they killed off the correct sister, but there are books that I don’t think would be particularly interesting if made into movies. One, for instance is The Catcher in the Rye, one of my favorite books, but a movie would not heighten anything more than the book could have.

So, think about how cool of a movie The Zero would be, and maybe it will be coming to theaters soon.

5 Responses to “This Book should be a Movie”

  1. Maybe it will be coming to theaters soon — who knows? — but I do very much agree that with an inventive director the confusion of Remy’s consciousness could indeed be fascinating and compelling. Thanks so much for this post, Verena.

  2. gray15 says:

    Verena, I could not agree more with you, and I hope that it is made into a movie in the near future as well. While I was reading both the book and your blog I could not help but be reminded on the movie “Vantage Point” which came out in 2008. This movie has a similar style to “The Zero” in that it has a fragmented plot, which seems to jump from one idea to the next. If you really liked this book and want it to become a movie just as badly as I do, then I highly recomend you watch “Vantage Point”.


  3. Marta says:

    I was definitely reminded more strongly of movies than I was of other books as I read The Zero. I thought a lot about Fight Club, perhaps partially due to hanging round with my blonde-twin-who-is-younger-than-I while she was in the throes of oral report research.
    (By the way — I think Fight Club the movie is slightly better than Fight Club the book, which totally scandalizes my aforementioned Palahniuk disciple sister-friend. Perhaps JGB would side with her. But I think it’s for all the reasons that you’ve described; perhaps this sort of story, with all its fragmentation and intrigue and depiction of bizarre visual stimuli and decaying mental states, just lends itself better to film.)
    I was also consistently reminded of Jacob’s Ladder and Memento, neither of which I was able to procure in time to force my other, taller half to watch with me.

  4. Olivia says:

    Verena! I definitely see what you mean about the potential for The Zero’s adaptation into film. I do think that these hypothetical filmmakers would have to be careful not to create a film that was too distractingly and continuously jumpy; if there was a scene change in a film literally as often as in the novel, I think this could be a problem. In the book, there are scenes that last pages in print but would only be a few short minutes on screen.

  5. Jenny Mix says:

    This is interesting because I just finished reading the post about The Reluctant Fundamentalist being turned into a movie (I had to track this post down after that). I agree with Verena, and all of you who agree with her, The Zero would be a great movie. I’m curious as to why they picked to put The Reluctant Fundamentalist into movie form before The Zero. The conclusion I come to is that the views of 9/11 in The Zero are… a little cruel and sarcastic at times, almost as if Jess Walter is making fun of the 9/11 hype. Though, if this is the reasoning, Changez laughing when the towers fall may be a delicate, touchy, subject to transition into movie form.