Literary adaptations have always been a popular starting point with movies, but Where The Crawdads Sing is one of the few examples that prove changes from the book can actually make a movie great. But at the same time, too many diversions from the source material can ruin the film for devoted book fans.
It’s a tricky balance to master, but fans on Reddit have begun to share their thoughts on some films that sadly get it completely wrong. Though these creative freedoms led to major disappointments like The Dark Towerothers like Children of Men benefited from it.
The Dark Tower (2017)
Stephen King’s dark tower series remains one of the author’s crowning accomplishments even today, but many fans were left completely bewildered by the number of creative changes that were made in the 2017 adaptation. Not only did it try and squeeze an entire series into one film, but it did so with very little care about remaining faithful to King’s text.
Redditor brokenpedley comments on the changes, writing that “The Dark Tower movie is a train wreck compared to the book, they got very very little right if anything at all really. Casting was fine, the story was really different in all the worst ways.”
Blade Runner (1982)
Lots of audiences might not have known that Blade Runner is a book adaptation at all, but Ridley Scott’s classic sci-fi is actually based on the novel ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’ by Philip K. Dick. And although the two projects center around the same story, their presentations are completely different.
Reddit user artaig argues that “sometimes book and film have to tell different things, but you need competent people behind.” In other words, it’s okay to change things for a book adaptation, as long as these changes are made in pursuit of a more engaging film.
Although Robin Williams was considered one of the most versatile actors of his time, and Jumanjic was considered one of his best and most inventive films ever, there are still plenty of aspects of the movie that disregard the source material pretty heavily.
The film takes plenty of creative liberties when it comes to the plot, and whilst these mostly work in favor of the story, there’s no denying that they’re fairly major changes. Redditor crazy_employ8617 notes this, arguing that “there has never been a Jumanjic movie anything like the book.”
I Am Legend (2007)
I Am Legend is a film that’s become famous for its emotional and memorable conclusion, but many fans of the book will remember that things were much different in Richard Matheson’s original novel. The film took the story in a completely different route, missing what many fans consider to be the whole point of the story.
Redditor gruppet agrees, writing: “They missed/changed THE ENTIRE POINT of the book. It was so weird because it would have made such a cool twist and satisfying end to yet another vampire movie.” Many fans share the same sentiment, left disappointed by the film’s inability to accurately convey the meaning of the story.
The Shining (1980)
Although Kubrick’s The Shining is widely regarded as one of the best horror movies ever made, there are plenty of Stephen King fans that dispute the classic movie’s success. As many horror fans have pointed out over the years, the film makes some serious narrative changes from King’s original story.
Redditor 5th_law_of_roboticks writes: “The Shining is an odd one because in some ways it differs vastly from the book (the entire 3rd act of the movie is completely different from how the book ends), but in other ways, it’s a surprisingly close adaptation.”
Children of Men (2006)
Even almost 20 years later, Children of Men is still considered one of the best modern sci-fi movies ever. But whilst cinephiles have been enamored with Lubezki’s cinematography and Cuaron’s direction, fans of the book have been criticszing the film’s many narrative changes.
However, other people praise Children of Men‘s narrative changes, arguing that the film actually fixed some of the book’s many problems. One of these people is Reddit user tilston, who believes that ‘The Children Of Men’ is “a terrible book which inspired one of the greatest sci-fis ever made.”
World War Z (2013)
When it comes to “creative liberties,” the world War Z movie takes the concept a little too far. Fans of the original book have consistently criticized the movie for changing much of the plot, style, and even structure of the story. In many ways, the two projects are completely distinct from one another.
Reddit user hirasmas writes: “The movie is just a zombie action flick telling the story of Brad Pitt. The novel is a series of interviews and recollections of how various people in different places dealt with the zombie uprising. The only thing the movie and novel have in common is that there are zombies basically.”
Forrest Gump (1994)
Once again, many people will be unaware that Forrest Gump was adapted from a book in the first place, but perhaps that’s not a bad thing here. Many people believe that Forrest Gump demonstrates exactly when narrative changes are actually necessary, with the movie fixing a lot of the book’s flaws.
One of the main concerns with the book was that Forrest wasn’t a particularly likable character, so this obviously had to be changed in order to make Forrest Gump one of Tom Hanks’ best movies so far. Redditor casty201 writes: “The book was kind of all over the place but the movie really fixed the holes that the book had.”
Percy Jackson And The Lightning Thief (2010)
The movie adaptations of the Percy Jackson franchise have long been considered some of the worst examples of book-to-screen translation. Not only does the first film completely change the book’s central conflict, but it also presents all the characters in a totally different way from Riordan’s original story.
These narrative changes caused plenty of uproar amongst Percy Jackson fans at the time, and many of them are still rightly mad about it today. Redditor dramatic_dare4306 comments on one of the biggest changes: “I still can’t wrap my head around them making the whole goal of the first movie getting the pearls. Poseidon gives [Percy] the pearls! It literally takes five seconds.”
Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire (2005)
the Harry Potter films are often praised as some of the most accurate book adaptations ever made, and this is definitely true about the series as a whole. But, as many fans have noted over the years, Goblet of Fire deviates pretty strongly from both the content and the tone of Rowling’s novel.
the Goblet of Fire film is full of lots of teenage drama and needless schoolyard conflicts, whereas the book has much higher stakes and intense plot points. One Redditor sums the problem up perfectly, writing: “[Goblet of Fire] was my favorite book of the series, and my least favorite movie.”
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