Today in Terrible Ideas: There's Going to Be a Choose Your Own Adventure Movie
Actually, this idea might not be terrible! I mean, yeah, it probably will be, but it's not that adapting one of the Choose Your Own Adventure
books to film is fundamentally undoable. It could totally be done, I think, just not as a feature film. Think about if Netflix staged this, and staged it right, as basically a branching TV series: Everyone would start with the same episode, setting up the basic concept; from there on out, instead of automatically playing the next episode in sequence, each viewer would be able to choose what happened next from a couple of options, and follow a branching path. And a branching path off of that branching path, and so on—basically, mimicking the structure of the books, but taking advantage of streaming video to make it work in a different medium. That'd be kind of awesome, right? Probably expensive, but awesome?
Alas, that doesn't seem to be the approach that 20th Century Fox is taking; according to the Hollywood Reporter, they've hired Night at the Museum writers (and occasional Mercury pen pals) Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon and We're the Millers director Rawson Marshall Thurber to adapt it as a feature film, which—if it's anything like every other narrative-based feature film—will pretty much have to ditch the unifying thing that the books had (the ability to choose your own adventure) in order to come up with a static narrative. So we're left with
Choose Your Own Adventure: The Movie, I guess? Which makes me wonder why you'd bother adapting the books at all, unless you're just looking for lizard-brain brand recognition. (A tactic that worked out great for Battleship.) Anyway, Hollywood, what're you gonna do, whine whine whine, etc. All I know is I'd feel a lot better about this if they'd handed it over to Ryan North.