9. THE EYRE AFFAIR, BY JASPER FFORDE (2001)

Status: Not in development

In Jasper Fforde’s The Eyre Affair, a detective named Thursday Next lives in an alternate version of Great Britain that is a veritable police state. Here, cloning is common, time travel is the norm, and literature is treated as a religion. After an original copy of Charles Dickens’ Martin Chuzzelwit is stolen, Thursday must track down the thief before he can change or disrupt the novel in any way.

During the course of the novel, classic characters from literature are kidnapped or killed, and timeless novels are irrevocably changed. Fforde’s work is fast-paced and inventive, with sharp humor on nearly every page. The prospect of an Eyre Affair movie is simply too tantalizing to pass up and it’s shocking to us that a film adaptation has never even been rumored.