The Story: Dav Pilkey’s Captain Underpants series follows the adventures of two young lads, George and Harold, and the principal they accidentally hypnotize into thinking he’s a superhero. When the underpant-sporting oaf goes looking for trouble, George and Harold must tag along to make sure he’s okay…
The Movie Version: With the books a roaring success all around the globe, it must surely only be a matter of time before they're turned into a comedy movie. Get ready to file next to Kick Ass and Super as another slice of superhero spoofery, albeit with much kess violence…
Dream Cast: Whoever plays Captain Underpants needs a light comic touch as well as some moderate action chops (although, given the captain’s general ineptitude, perhaps not), so we’ll nominate Woody Harrelson for the role.
Dream Director: Now that Jon Favreau’s out of the Iron Man chair, we’d like to see him bring his action-comedy sensibilities to this one.
The Enormous Crocodile
The Story: Roald Dahl’s giant croc is a bit of a shit all told, swaggering through the jungle bragging to all the other animals about how he’s going to eat some children. Fortunately, the rest of the menagerie aren’t keen on the idea and set about thwarting his plans at every turn…
The Movie Version: Now that Shrek has hung his boots up once and for all, we’d like to see Dreamworks Animation turn their attention to this unsettling tale of the reptilian master of disguise.
Dream Cast: Alan Rickman voices the sinister croc, with Michael J Fox appearing as Mugglewump the monkey and Timothy Spall as Trunky the elephant.
Dream Director: Dean DeBlois did a bang-up job on How To Train Your Dragon , so we’ll opt for him. We could see this working well in 3D!
George's Marvellous Medicine
The Story: Another Roald Dahl classic, this time telling the story of eponymous scamp George and his hideous grandmother. Tired of her constant bullying, George decides to play a trick on the sour old bag, replacing her daily medicine with a concoction of his own making. Mayhem duly ensues…
The Movie Version: Frankly, we’re stunned this one hasn’t been made yet, although the plot is fairly slight, which could be a contributing factor. However, the sequence when Grandma drinks the medicine is made for the big screen!
Dream Cast: Rik Mayall once performed a reading of this on kids' TV show Jackanory , and his impression of Grandma was so spot-on, we can’t think of anyone better suited to the role! As for George, Outnumbered ’s Daniel Roche would be a good pick.
Dream Director: Terry Gilliam. Imagine how awesome that would be!
The True Story Of The Three Little Pigs
The Story: Jon Sciezka reexamines the classic yarn of the three little pigs by getting the wolf’s side of the story. Sure enough, the furry fellow is sick and tired of being portrayed as the villain, claiming that the reality was very different from the pack of lies peddled by his porky enemies…
The Movie Version: This could easily be spun into a big-screen comedy, with the wolf acting as narrator for this new version of the story.
Dream Cast: Jack Nicholson lends his voice to the roguishly charming Alexander T. Wolf, whilst the Jonas Brothers play the self-righteous trio of piggies.
Dream Director: We’re envisaging this one in a similar vein to The Fantastic Mister Fox , so we’ll plump for Wes Anderson to repeat the trick here.
The Story: Okay, you can stop giggling at the title now. Snotty Bumstead (or Nottingham Bumstead, as his birth certificate would have it) is a ten-year-old boy who finds himself home alone when his mum disappears on business. Fortunately she’s left Snotty her credit card, allowing him to buy in a host of fruit machines, turn the lounge into a football pitch and live exclusively on take-away pizza. It’s every kid’s dream, but can Snotty keep it going when a host of meddling adults begin sticking their noses in?
The Movie Version: Hunter Davies’ novel is full of wry humour, and we could see this appealing to kids and adults alike as an adolescent comedy.
Dream Cast: The kids need to stay kids (no eighteen-year-olds as ten-year-olds please), so we’ll need unknowns there. However, we reckon Emma Thompson would be a perfect fit for meddling neighbour Mrs. Cheatham.
Dream Director: Richard Ayoade nailed adolescent angst with Submarine , and he’d be a great choice to ensure Davies’ sense of humour translates from page to screen.
The Big Ugly Monster & The Little Stone Rabbit
The Story: Chris Wormell presents a heartbreaking tale of a monster so ugly he causes the sky to cloud over just by looking at it, and the stone rabbit he carves as a companion. Funny, sad and sweet-natured, we defy you to read this without welling up at least once!
The Movie Version: It probably wouldn’t be the wordiest of scripts (the rabbit is made of stone after all) but we don’t see why this couldn’t be adapted into a sweet little fable of not judging a book by its cover.
Dream Cast: Love him or hate him, Seth Rogen has got the perfect voice for a monster, and his mixture of humour and self-deprecation would suit our grotesque hero quite nicely.
Dream Director: Spike Jonze demonstrated a wonderful affinity with childhood in his adaptation of Where The Wild Things Are . If he fancies another stab at an animated yarn, he could do a lot worse than this.
The Curse Of Camp Cold Lake
The Story: One of R.L. Stine’s spine-chilling Goosebumps series, this is the story of Sarah, a young girl at summer camp who is sick and tired of being picked on by the other kids. Planning to drum up some sympathy, she heads down to the lake with the intention of pretending to drown. Little does she know, something is lying in wait down by the water…
The Movie Version: Crank the protagonist’s age up to 19 and you’ve got a slasher movie on your hands! Prepare for a whole new wave of teens-in-peril movies if Scream 4 makes a few quid…
Dream Cast: We’ll have Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Sarah. So what if she’s 27? You can get away with knocking off at least a decade in a horror movie…
Dream Director: Frank Darabont is a dab hand at carefully adapting existing material (he’s done justice to no less than three Stephen King stories ) and as The Walking Dead has proved, he’s no stranger to scares either.
The Dinosaur Eggs
The Story: Francis Mosley’s picture book tells the tale of a trio of strange eggs found by childless couple Alfred and Mary. Somewhat implausibly, they turn out to be dinosaur eggs, and Alfred and Mary are soon bringing up a T-Rex, a Stegosaurus and a Diplodocus as their kids. It takes all sorts…
The Movie Version: Pixar, your next project has just arrived…dinosaurs go to school? Yes please.
Dream Cast: Alfred and Mary are a twinkly, cuddly pair so we’ll have Jim Broadbent and Kathy Bates bring them to life.
Dream Director: We’ve only just finished crying after Toy Story 3 , but even so, we’d like Lee Unkrich to give our heart-strings another going-over here…
Through The Dragon's Eye
The Story: Three young kids find themselves stumbling upon the fantastical realm of Pelamar whilst painting a mural on their playground wall. There they are greeted by Gorwen the dragon, who needs their help to repair his world’s life-force. Various magical hi-jinks ensue as the children attempt to save their newfound friends from the villainous influence of Charn The Evil One…
The Movie Version: Christine and Christopher Russell’s fantasy yarn is actually adapted from a BBC TV show, but we don’t see why that should make it ineligible for a big-screen remake. It would work brilliantly as a junior quest movie, a My First LOTR if you will.
Dream Cast: We’d like Patrick Stewart to voice the kindly Gorwen, with Gary Oldman playing the frankly terrifying Charn. He liquidises people you know!
Dream Director: Guillermo Del Toro would bring his usual macabre charm to the weird and wonderful land of Pelamar.
The Deptford Mice Trilogy
The Story: Robin Jarvis’s fantasy saga tells the story of a group of mice living in Deptford, London, and charts their struggles with a race of fearsome rats loyal to the evil cat-God Jupiter. It might sound childish, but some of the action is stunningly brutal, with suicide, torture and murder all touched upon at various points!
The Movie Version: The material might be a little heavy for Pixar’s usual audience, although judging by Wall-E and Up , the studio is increasingly happy to take on more “adult” fare. In any case, CGI would be the only way to go with this one…
Dream Cast: Jeremy Irons voices the villainous Jupiter, with Sam Rockwell as the cheeky Picadilly and Zooey Deschanel playing heroine Audrey Brown.
Dream Director: We’d love to see Tim Burton have a bash at this, particularly when handling the more occult sections of the story…
The Story: Mr Majeika is a teacher at run-of-the-mill primary school St. Barty's. However, Majeika is no run-of-the-mill teacher, largely because he is a wizard. Magical mayhem ensues as Mr Majeika livens up the children’s daily grind, usually getting himself in trouble with the other teachers as he does so…
The Movie Version: With the curtain soon to fall on the Harry Potter saga, there is going to be a big, magical hole to fill in Hollywood. Step forward Mr. Majeika. It’ll be nice to have a more light-hearted approach for a change.
Dream Cast: Robin Williams riffs on his performances in Aladdin and Dead Poets Society to bring the magical, rule-bending teacher to life.
Dream Director: Robert Zemeckis atones for the terrifying Polar Express by helming this one. No dead-eyed, animated freaks this time eh Rob? Cheers.
The Story: Kipper me capstans, it’s Captain Pugwash! The good-natured (if slightly buffoonish) captain of the Black Pig sails the high seas in search of adventure, finding it more often than not in battle with his deadly rival Cut-Throat Jake. Good, old-fashioned, swashbuckling fun.
The Movie Version: This could be what the Pirates Of The Caribbean sequels should have been aka a knockabout high-seas romp. Oh, and in case you’re wondering about the suitability of the material, those double-entendre claims are made up! The cabin-boy is named Tom (not Roger), Master Bates is actually called Master Mate and there is no such character as Seaman Staines…
Dream Cast: Jeff Bridges would make a cracking Pugwash, with Mickey Rourke hamming it up as Cut-Throat Jake. Rory Culkin plays Tom, the resourceful cabin-boy.
Dream Director: Roaring adventure on the rolling seas…could Spielberg be persuaded to have a nibble?
The Velvet Throne
The Story: A short story by Aussie writer Paul Jennings, this bizarre and unnerving tale follows the put-upon Mr. Simpkin, who finds himself locked in a public toilet late at night. Reading the surrounding graffitti, he realises that something odd is going on as every message scrawled on the cubicle wall is steadily coming true…
The Movie Version: This could actually be tweaked into a taut little mystery story as there is a palpable sense of menace surrounding the mysterious graffiti. Perhaps J.J. Abrams could have a go at the script…
Dream Cast: John Turturro plays the increasingly hysterical Simpkin with bug-eyed aplomb.
Dream Director: Given that the whole thing takes place in a toilet cubicle, we’ll opt for Buried director Rodrigo Cortes.
Frog & Toad Are Friends
The Story: Frog and Toad are a pair of mismatched chums who encounter a variety of life’s little tribulations through Arnold Lobel’s loveable picture-book series. From the joy of play, to feeling blue, to forgiving people, all bases are covered by Frog and Toad.
The Movie Version: There were a series of claymation shorts made in the ‘80s that did a fairly good job of capturing the charm of the characters, so we’d like to see a full length film made using the same techniques. No CGI for these two…they need to be a bit rough around the edges!
Dream Cast: Bill Murray plays the grouchy, irascible Toad with Owen Wilson as his altogether sunnier pal Frog.
Dream Director: Nick Park is the best in the business when it comes to claymation, and we’d trust him to render a suitably loveable version of the green-skinned double-act.
Harold & The Purple Crayon
The Story: Harold is a four-year-old infant who possesses a magical purple crayon, allowing him to create whatever he wants simply by drawing it. Life lessons are learned along the way, with the primary message being that life is what you make of it, for better or worse. How wholesome!
The Movie Version: A kid with a magical crayon that brings drawings to life? That’s a concept rich in cinematic potential if ever we heard one. Presumably you’d need a hefty dose of CGI to bring this to life, but the narrative possibilities are endless!
Dream Cast: Presumably you couldn’t cast an actual four-year-old here, so we’re assuming this would require a bit of vocal work from an established star. Nancy Cartwright has made a career out of voicing a ten year old boy…knock six years off Bart Simpson and we’re in business!
Dream Director: Joe Dante almost always knocks these sort of child-friendly fantasy movies out of the park.
The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole
The Story: Adrian Mole is your average teenage boy: worried about acne, frustrated by his parents and increasingly obsessed with sex. Sue Townsend’s diary series sums up the adolescent experience perfectly with laughs aplenty and a healthy dollop of pathos on the side.
The Movie Version: A lot of the humour is firmly rooted in the early ‘80s and we’d like to see that setting maintained in a British-made film. Much as we love him, we don’t want Michael Cera as Adrian Mole…
Dream Cast: We’d like a young British newcomer to play Adrian, with Alfred Molina and Brenda Blethyn as his parents.
Dream Director: It probably wouldn’t be edgy enough for Chris Morris, but given that we’re speculating as to our “dream director”, we’d love to see what he could do with it!
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
The Story: Young Sophie and her mother are both startled and delighted by the arrival of a hungry tiger to their afternoon tea. Said tiger proceeds to eat everything in the house (except for Sophie and Mum, thankfully) before slinking off, never to return.
The Movie Version: Okay, so it’s somewhat slight, but Where The Wild Things Are was only 338 words long, and that worked out okay! Plus, tigers are very cool indeed…
Dream Cast: We’d like Sir Ian McKellen to play the tiger, with Outnumbered ’s Ramona Marquez as Sophie and Emily Blunt as her mum.
Dream Director: Michel Gondry could bring this one to life as a striking, visual feast. Yum.
Stig Of The Dump
The Story: Eight-year-old loner Barney finds an unusual friend in the form of Stig, a scruffy-looking fellow he meets hanging around the local chalk pit. It turns out that Stig is a remnant of the Stone Age, who has managed to carve out a serviceable life from the modern junk dumped around his home. Good for him.
The Movie Version: There have been a couple of TV series made from Clive King’s classic tale, but as yet, no feature-length film. With our culture of waste back at the top of the news agenda, now could be the perfect time.
Dream Cast: We’ll cast Stig as a fully grown man to maximise his comic potential…if Will Ferrell could rein it in a bit (and that’s a big if, we know), we’d love to see him recapture the vulnerable likeability of his Stranger Than Fiction performance.
Dream Director: As mentioned before, Stranger Than Fiction ’s Marc Foster managed to coax a great performance from Ferrell, so we’ll hire him for this one to keep the star’s shouty tendencies in check.
Uncle Montague's Tales Of Terror
The Story: Lonely, solitary child Edward is introduced to a world of ghostly goings-on by his spooky Uncle Montague, who has some devilishly scary stories up his sleeve. But how exactly does he know all these yarns? And who are the children trying to get into his house…
The Movie Version: Portmanteau ghost stories are usually done as TV specials rather than feature films, but we’d love to see a full-length version of this brilliantly eerie tale, because the overarching narrative is a belter. Children need horror movies too you know!
Dream Cast: We’d like to see the brilliant Andy Nyman play Uncle Montague. Anyone who has been to see Ghost Stories at the theatre will know that he is a master of the macabre.
Dream Director: A directorial double-act of League Of Gentlemen alumni Jeremy Dyson and Mark Gatiss. Gatiss in particular has the genre down pat, as evidenced by his superlative Crooked House series.
The Story: The year is 1659 and 14-year-old Mary Newbury is off to the New World from her home in England. Unfortunately for her, she becomes embroiled in a Salem-esque series of witch trials as soon as she gets there. A cracking yarn from Celia Rees, packed with excitement and intrigue.
The Movie Version: The Crucible was a brilliant retelling of the Salem witch trials, but the period remains under-explored on the big screen. This would be the perfect way of opening the topic up to a new audience, and would likely appeal to kids and adults alike.
Dream Cast: Chloe Moretz plays young Mary, with Helen Mirren taking an early cameo as her unfortunate grandmother, whose hanging for witchcraft prompts Mary to flee England in the first place.
Dream Director: Joe Wright has just finished work on dark fairytale Hanna , so we’d like him installed in the director’s chair post haste!