3 Apocalyptic Stories that Need to be Adapted ASAP

Given the state of the world, I feel like we’re all thinking about the end. Anticipating it, welcoming it, trying to prevent it, just generally worrying about it – point is the world is a crazy place right now and it’s hard not to think of its end. What exactly will be our demise? What would the apocalypse look like? What would happen to everyone, everything? I have no idea, but there are many creative stories out there that give poignant depictions. Here’s just three unconventional ones that make for a great read and need to be adapted for the big screen.

1. Jam by Yahtzee Croshaw

Starting with more of a fun apocalypse, Jam poses the important question of what would happen if a giant layer of man-eating jam was slathered on Brisbane, Australia? Can the survivors manage to build a new life and stop the spread of the man-eating jam before it devours the world? Read to find out! It’s quirky plot aside – Jam’s apocalypse explores the breakdown of power structures and the new structures people create for themselves to cope. It has a core cast of characters, Tim, Travis, Angela, and Don, a rag-tag group of neighbors who, in their own way, surprisingly thrive in this apocalypse.

Why it needs to be adapted: It’s man-eating jam terrorizing Brisbane with funny survivors and mysterious American agents trying to cover the mis-hap up, need I say more? It’s the perfect disaster comedy just waiting to happen (preferably directed by Edgar Wright).

2. Severance by Ling Ma

A hard story to describe, Severance is a little bit of everything. It’s a literary, apocalyptic, millennial office satire, immigrant narrative story. It centers around protagonist Candace Chen as she navigates the world post-Shen fever, a fungal virus from China that causes people to become zombie-like versions of themselves, stuck in routine doing the same actions again and again, even as their bodies decay. Really though, Severance is about today’s capitalism and how it treats its workers. Pre-Shen fever, Candace was an Asian American who oversaw the bible department of a major book production company that relied on cheap and exploitative labor back in China. Set mostly in the past of Candace first traversing a broken-down New York City and her immigrant backstory – Severance explores what it means to survive in today’s capitalist world.

Why it needs to be adapted: It would be horrifically expensive to do, but the weirdly cozy apocalyptic New York of Severance is a rich setting that needs to be put on screen.

3. “Through the Flash” by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

One of the many brilliant short stories from Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s collection Friday Black, “Through the Flash” gives an apocalypse stuck in a time-loop. Protagonist Ama, her family, and whole neighborhood have been stuck in time ever since “the flash” hit them. This mysterious flash comes over them and the day just resets, everything resets. The violent acts, murders, and betrayals of yesterday are all reset. No one physically ages anymore, but people “accumulate” skills and knowledge. Ama has extremely fast reflexes and her brother, despite being stuck in a 6-year old’s body, is a genius. Fueled by it’s curious time-loop, “Through the Flash” explores life in an apocalypse where people literally can’t move on. No progress can be made, every day is the same, every day they re-live the same horror. It’s a story about forgiveness, generational trauma, and how people try and evolve even in the face of an endless end.

Why it needs to be adapted: I’m biased, I’m a sucker for any time-loopy thing. But like, who isn’t? Also, the way the characters interact (violently, lovingly, rashly) would make for an incredibly dynamic watch.