Changes in stories when books are made into movies

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Melissa Breen
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Re: Changes in stories when books are made into movies

Post by Melissa Breen » 25 Jun 2019, 18:21

casaloma wrote:
09 Apr 2019, 10:59
People always get extremely upset when their favorite part of a book is changed on screen. I have come to believe that they're almost two separate things. Even if the author writes the screenplay, there's no guarantee the author's ultimate vision will get to the screen. One recent example I could cite is the recent television series The Haunting of Hill House. I adored the Shirley Jackson original book as well as the first movie adaptation. The television series has very little in common with the book but I also adored the series. They managed to pay homage to the Jackson story through its use of names and some tidbits throughout the series but the story was its own and brilliant on its own. So instead of getting mad at adaptations that don't work I just think of the movie or television series as something entirely apart from the book. I don't dislike a movie because they didn't fit in my favorite parts from the book, but I try to judge it on its own merit. And sometimes it doesn't work, but it's not because they changed details from the book but because it's just a poor job.
I watched the new The Haunting of Hill House tv series before reading the book, so when I read the book I was so suprised at how different it was! Both were good but they really played fast and lose with claiming it was based on it :lol:

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Post by SherHus » 29 Jun 2019, 16:13

I am almost always disappointed if I read the book first then watch the movie adaptation. as someone said earlier you always yell at the screen, "that's not how it was in the book."

For me if some plot points are left out because it is too intricate for the movie I can understand a little. What I don't understand is why the actors can't match the description in the books.

For one of my favourite series - the Pendergast series by Preston & Child - a movie was made. But they said the main character Pendergast was too complex for the screen and they left the character out of the movie altogether. I would not watch that movie. Makes no sense.

Sometimes the idea of what you imagine coming to the big screen seems like a good idea, but it is almost always ruined. In my opinion.

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Post by Mrs-a-ellsworth » 14 Aug 2019, 00:27

I would have to agree with many on here already saying that it depends on the approach. One example for me is The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy, and the movie that came out in 2005. The author was involved in the writing of the screenplay, so not only was the movie true to the book (as much as a 90 minute film can be) but he was able to add a scene. He added the scene with the spade that jumped out of the ground anytime someone thought something. Adams is quoted as saying that he always liked that bit, but could never get it to fit in his books. He jumped at the chance to include it in the movie. I thought it was a great example of how different mediums of storytelling can allow authors a variety of opportunities.

My least favorite adaptation was of one my childhood favorites, The City of Ember. Just. So wrong.

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Post by NetMassimo » 15 Aug 2019, 06:51

The Dune movie by David Lynch was controversial from the beginning and Lynch withdrew his name so now a lot of fans are cheering for the new adaptations assuming that it's much better before having a chance to watch it. :mrgreen:

A TV adaptation I found really bad is Childhood's End: it has its moments such as Karellen revealing his look but the protagonist totally made up for the mini-series with his personal back story bore me to tears. I mean, love the novels for its science fiction contents, I don't want soap opera stuff in it! :evil:
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Post by corinaelena » 20 Aug 2019, 05:47

Usually, when I watch a movie based on the book, I rarely expect a perfect adaptation, and I see it more like the producer's personal perspective on the story.
That being said, here are some movies I HATED because I thought they stripped all the essence from the book and turned it into a joke.
- Bram Stocker's Dracula- it turned all the noblesse and strong female characters into jokes. The women became really easy and helpless and the men, I am sorry to say, lost all charm.
- Anna Karenina, starring Keira Knightley, made me get up and leave the cinema in the middle of the movie. Besides the incredibly poor cast, they turned Levin, my favorite character, a man of great moral value, into a pathetic drunk.

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Post by Nimisha_91 » 24 Aug 2019, 10:56

I think some changes are necessary to make the book more cinematic. A narrative that's exactly like a book may get boring sometimes!

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Post by Reviews by A » 24 Aug 2019, 13:07

I personally become very frustrated when a movie differs too greatly from the book. I am a huge fan of Maeve Binchy and I finished Circle of Friends before I watched the movie. I was furious that the movie did not align with the book; the beginning and the ending were different from the book but the middle was essentially the same. I learned a difficult lesson at that point: if I truly love the book, do not watch the movie. I am likely to be disappointed. I have since learned that the movie should say "based on the book by..." or "inspired by author's book".

I think it is a huge honor to an author to have their book made into a movie and I do not hold the author responsible for the changes. Authors are rarely consulted on movie production.

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Post by Felicity Granger » 10 Sep 2019, 23:30

A prime example of this is The Vampire Diaries. The TV show was such a big switch up to the books, in my opinion, except for the fact that they didn't include half of the mythological creatures in the book but went the way of drama and pandered a whole lot to the audience. The books were kind of run-of-the-mill and the show was a little step up.

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Post by Nym182 » 11 Sep 2019, 08:21

It depends on the change.

Keep in mind, movies and tv shows have much bigger limitations than books do. Sometimes something an author imagines just can translate to screen due to money, time or ability. And sometimes it's to spice it up and give book readers the same sense of unpredictability.

For example, Game of Thrones. The writers stated that they wanted to change things so the readers would be in the dark as well. They killed smaller characters that are still alive in the books (Like Grenn... RIP)

Another example of changes I didn't mind was Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Now 99% of the book was spot on. The only changed they made that I can think of is they changed Emma's power and the ending. I didn't mind that they added a fight scene at the end because it is a movie and the book end isn't as exciting. I concede that it is a movie and for that medium they ending they gave it made sense.

Now there are movies like the Gunslinger that have barely any resemblance to the book it is based off of. That movie was one of the biggest dissapointments ever. I was so looking forward to a Dark Tower adaptation.

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Post by SmrutiS » 11 Sep 2019, 09:41

What if we 'evaluated' both separately as if they are not related? What if we didn't know a certain movie is a 'remake' of a book?
With the few adaptations that I have seen, I have led myself to think of both as different entities, as different works of art. However, I don't deny intertextuality. As disclaimers of movies often say, all resemblances are coincidental!!

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Post by djr6090 » 11 Sep 2019, 09:55

Good example of good vs bad movie adapts are any of Charles Dickens' books. The stories have been done over and over with actors interpreting the characters in exaggerated ways that begin to look ridiculous. Dickens is lengthy and involved reading. I seldom rate the screen edition to be as entertaining as the book.

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