14. THE DHARMA BUMS, BY JACK KEROUAC (1958)
Status: Not in development
Kerouac’s work hasn’t had the best track record of being made into decent movies, but The Dharma Bums would make for a great flick if tackled by someone who really knows the material. Taking place years after On the Road, The Dharma Bums further explores Kerouac’s life (under the character name of Ray Smith here) and his concurrent penchant for the wilderness as well as the party circuit. It also chronicles his introduction to Buddhism, which is easily the book’s most interesting aspect.
This is a character odyssey without a doubt, but Kerouac’s voice is so strong and his ideas so unique that it would be able to carry an entire film without much deviation from the source material. We’re pretty sure that Johnny Depp has called dibs on every Kerouac movie that comes out, so we just assume he’ll have to star in the movie, but his star power would make it easier for this to get green lit in the first place.