6 Historical Events We Want to See Made Into Movies

6 Historical Events We Want to See Made Into Movies


It only took a couple millennia, but they’re finally making a movie about Pompeii, the ancient city forever preserved in ash when Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D. Except, this movie looks like a ridiculous mash-up of 300 and Titanic: It’s in the romanticized Roman times, but we already know that one (probably both) of the star-crossed lovers will die at the end.

This headscratcher of a movie got us thinking: What other pivotal historical events would we want to see properly dramatized? Not that we have anything against Kit Harington and his gorgeous (we’re in denial that they’re CGI) abs, but when we leave the preview thinking about Jon Snow and not a destroyed civilization, your film may need some work. Read on for our dream historical movies.

  1. Book

    1. The Killer Angels

    Battle of Gettysburg

    This would have to be a remake, because the 1993 film Gettysburg already borrowed heavily from Michael Shaara‘s The Killer Angels for its screenplay. You know what else did? Joss Whedon’s cult classic space western Firefly. Since Hollywood loves a remake, and those Browncoats aren’t getting a sequel to Serenity anytime soon, it’s high time to recast this Civil War tale for Millennials—and to play up the book’s unexpected, and delightful, sense of humor.

    Pitch: Lincoln meets Firefly meets M*A*S*H

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    2. Lucy

    The discovery of Lucy

    We all take it for granted that we live in a time where scientists have discovered fossils belonging to what is believed to be our most immediate ancestor, the 3.2 million-year-old “Lucy.” But what else do we know about Donald Johanson, the scientist who discovered our hominid forebear? And how did his 1974 discovery change how the human race views itself? We’d love to see Johanson’s discovery—and the subsequent shake-up in the scientific community—dramatized.

    Pitch: Contact meets Gorillas in the Mist

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    3. The Caning of Charles Sumner

    The caning of Charles Sumner

    Today’s bickering political pundits have nothing on the brutal beatdown that occurred on the Senate floor in 1856. As much as you might have snoozed through history class, I guarantee you remember the WTF anecdote of Preston Brooks taking the slavery debate into his own hands and beating Charles Sumner with his cane. Two-thirds of the movie will focus on the build-up alone.

    Pitch: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter meets Game Change

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    4. Just Kids

    Transformation of the New York City arts scene

    Patti Smith‘s memoir Just Kids chronicles less of an event in history and more of an era: Recounting her years living in the Chelsea Hotel in 1960s New York, lover/collaborator Robert Mapplethorpe by her side, Smith name-drops in the least name-droppy way. Whether she was coming face-to-face with her idols or meeting contemporaries who would become legends, Smith reveals the secrets and triumphs and desperations of the artists’ scene without pretension. And just imagine the cast!

    Pitch: Almost Famous meets Inside Llewyn Davis

  5. Malala Yousafzai‘s shooting and recovery

    We know we’ve been a bit glib in the other entries, but this is the one event that really should become a movie as soon as possible. I Am Malala—chronicling Yousafzai’s crusade for young women to have access to education, her assassination attempt, and her triumphant return— was one of the most powerful memoirs of 2013 and needs to be read. But anyone who doesn’t know Malala’s story through the Internet or her book, will take their inspiration from her big-screen persona.

    Pitch: Gandhi meets Pay It Forward meets Persepolis

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    6. Roving Mars

    Mars rover landing

    Forget the battles and the disaster movies: Let’s see human triumph that happens without loss of life. With NASA’s moon program cancelled, the United States needed to still make its mark in space—and it did exactly that, by successfully landing the Mars rover Curiosity in 2012. The title’s already there: 7 Minutes of Terror, based on the pulse-pounding landing process that moved Mission Control to such infectious delight. Also, you know that the role of the mohawked systems engineer Bobak Ferdowsi would be gold for any up-and-coming actor.

    Source: The Atlantic

    Pitch: 127 Hours meets Apollo 13


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