We Need More Carl Hiaasen Movie Adaptations

By Nina Phillips | Published

Carl Hiaasen has written over 20 fiction books under his belt, most, if not all, offer humorous moments set in Florida. Each story is unique but carries similar elements, such as the focus on saving nature and bad people and companies often get bad karma, man-made or natural. 

Only Two Carl Hiaasen Novels Have Been Adapted

Despite the amusing stories, few of Carl Hiaasen’s books have been adapted into movies. Currently, only one of his adult novels, Striptease, and one of his children’s books, Hoot, have been turned into a movie. Unfortunately, while Hoot did alright with an audience score of 54 percent, Striptease was pretty much a failure with only 24 percent. 

Hoot Is A Children’s Movie About Conservation

Hoot by Carl Hiaasen focuses on a young boy named Roy (Logan Lerman) who moves to Florida and gets bullied at school. When he’s suspended for fighting back, Roy comes across a boy running around barefoot who calls himself Mullet Fingers (Cody Linley). Mullet Fingers takes Roy to the building site of a new pancake house and shows him that the land is home to endangered burrowing owls, and the two set out to stop the construction and save the animals

Striptease Is About Corruption

demi striptease

Carl Hiaasen’s Striptease follows a similar vein but with much more adult themes. A woman named Erin (Demi Moore) ends up losing her daughter, Angela (Rumer Willis), after her divorce and has to turn to exotic dancing to try and get enough money. While she’s at the club, she ends up entangled in political cover-ups and murder to hide the corruption of sugar growers in Florida. 

Plenty Of Great Stories To Choose From

In a time when environmental concerns are at an all-time high, movies based on Carl Hiaasen’s books could be just what people need. The novels all cover various forms of corruption and harm to the planet while providing witty and dark comedic moments.

One of my favorite books by Carl Hiaasen, and one I would love to see adapted, is Sick Puppy. The story follows an eco-terrorist named Twilly Spree, as he decides to teach a litterbug a lesson. However, he ends up embroiled in a bridge project when the litterbug refuses to stop throwing trash everywhere. 

Vince Vaughn Was Attached To An Adapatation

vince vaughn

Several times, there have been talks about turning his other books into movie adaptations, such as Skinny Dip and Bad Monkey, the latter of which ent so far into production Vince Vaughn was attached, but so far, no other story than the two above has ever been adapted and released  

Part of the problem with adapting Carl Hiaasen’s books is due to the way he narrates the story. Without a proper narration, some of the humor doesn’t come out quite right. However, with the right director, and a little help from the author, it could be pulled off quite easily, especially with modern CGI to help with the endangered animals. 

Stop Adapting Grisham And Start Adapting Hiaasen

Not only would they be entertaining films, but they would be educational. Though the books are all fictional, a lot of the issues he brings up in his novels are real issues going on in Florida. Movies made about Carl Hiaasen’s books would probably help raise more awareness than books alone. 

For now, I’m not holding my breath. There have been so many of his books picked up for movies, only for them to never get finished. But if there ever is a day when one of the movies or TV shows does get picked up, I will be ready to watch it.