I never had a lot of hope for Winter's Tale — the novel is about as adaptation-proof as any modern bestseller, and no two-hour film version could ever hope to do justice to the sprawling, cross-century narrative or the dozens of characters who populate the book. When I saw the trailers, with lots of gauzy Hallmark cinematography (really, Caleb Deschanel?) and Colin Farrell with a bad haircut, I knew it was a lost cause. But I'm sure there were some fans who were really excited, and hoped that maybe, just maybe, the guy who wrote Batman & Robin and Lost in Space (and yes, A Beautiful Mind, but c'mon, that's not really that good either) might be able to make a halfway decent movie, even if it only used about a quarter of the actual story. They are probably not very optimistic right now.
Still, there are a lot of novels that I would like to see adapted — most prominently, William Gibson's Neuromancer. It's almost 30 years old, though, and it's been hugely influential on so many other books, movies, and games, though, from Shadowrun to Snow Crash to The Matrix, so that at this point, its unique style and atmosphere aren't quite as shocking to first time readers. To make a truly impressive movie out of the book, you'd need a world-class director with a distinct visual style and a personal philosophy — someone on the level of a Kubrick, or Cronenberg, or at the very least, a Fincher or Ridley Scott circa 1982. Otherwise, you'd likely end up with a movie that felt like a watered-down mix of Blade Runner, TRON, and Elysium, or, heaven help us, William Shatner's TekWar. So every time I hear that another effort to get a Neuromancer movie off the ground has fallen apart, I breathe a sigh of relief and cross my fingers in the hope that the next attempt will be made by someone I can trust.
What's your dream book, comic series, game, or other media property that could become a nightmare movie? Not something that you wouldn't want to see adapted under any circumstances, but something that you would never, ever entrust to the director of Torque.