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There are certain novels they say just can’t be filmed, but guess what? Most of them have been. “Dune”? “Naked Lunch”? “The Virgin Suicides”? “The 120 Days of Sodom”? “Ulysses”? All done — “Ulysses” twice, even.

Call it the inability of a filmmaker to resist a good story, or call it the weakness of a producer for a property with a built-in audience, but whatever the reason, this season sees a wave of “unfilmables” hitting our screens. There’s Ang Lee with the decade-in-development “Life of Pi,” Lana and Andy Wachowski codirecting “Cloud Atlas” with Tom Tykwer, and the Holy Grail of unfilmed books, “On the Road,” as imagined by Walter Salles.

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