#5: Lord Foul’s Bane
Stephen R. Donaldson’s fantasy novel was published in 1977. In addition to all the standard problems that would arise when adapting fantasy novels, this one also features rape as an early and central plot incident. Culturally we have some tolerance for anti-heroes, but we remain squeamish about disease and disfigurement. (Case in point, HBO’s Game of Thrones has been pretty open about portraying sex and is bold to show some pretty horrific death scenes, yet it changed one character losing his nose to a scar and another getting her face chewed off to a slightly less horrific disfigurement.)
I expect that if Peter Jackson can make adults look like hobbits that there would be a way to film Saltheart Foamfollower–the giant who takes on an increasingly important role. Even so, the combination of thematically dark material with art design challenges might make this material prohibitively expensive to undertake, especially for a fan base nowhere near as big or diverse as that of Lord of the Rings.
Who might we like to see try? It’s hard to imagine James Cameron doing anything this dark, but the problems with Avatar had nothing to do with world building or visuals…