Thursday, July 26, 2012

Book-to-Movie Adaptations.

It’s every book lover’s worst nightmare. Their favorite novel is turned into a movie, and the screenwriters/director/producers/actors just don’t get it right. They add unnecessary scenes, cut characters, or cast actors that look nothing like the characters you pictured in your mind. You leave the theater distraught, complaining loudly in the theater bathroom to whoever will listen about how the book is a thousand times better.

We’ve all done it. So many of my friends complained about the Harry Potter movies, swearing they ruined the books. And yet, they still headed to the theater when the next installment was released. Because like it or not, we’re devoted. We are so dedicated to our books that we follow everything related to it: blogs, TV specials, companion guides. And movies.

When casting news surrounding my favorite books is released, I'm often surprised by the choices. I did not all expect Jennifer Lawrence to play Katniss in The Hunger Games (Peeta and Gale were equally as surprising). I'd pictured someone completely different in my head. But I gave the casting choices a chance, and once I saw the movie, I completely understood. Jennifer was FANTASTIC (I'm going to stop before I start gushing about how awesome she is, because I can get a bit ridiculous), and my view of Katniss has adapted to include her.

When I go to see a movie adaptation, I try to separate it from the book. When I treat it as its own entity, I tend to be less disappointed when something is left out. Although I’ll be the first to admit, I struggled with Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. There is no way J.K. Rowling approved the random burning of the Weasleys’ house. Unnecessary and ridiculous. But I digress.

I’m always more confident going into a book-to-movie adaptation when the author has been heavily consulted on the project. Some authors even write/co-write their own screenplays. Suzanne Collins wrote the script for The Hunger Games with director Gary Ross, and that movie wound up being one of my favorite book adaptations I’ve seen. But it’s understandable that not every author can work hand in hand with the production team. They may not have time, or they may be too emotionally attached to their story and can’t make unnecessary cuts for the sake of the script.

Thoughts? Do you see the movie adaptations of your favorite books? What are the best/worst you’ve seen?


  1. You know we both have the same opinion on Book to Movie adapatations. The burning of the Weasley's house is still something I cannot get over. The Hunger Games is definitely one of my favorite book turned to a movie adaptation. I felt they included all of the important parts unlike some of the Harry Potter movies. Books are always closer to my heart and have all of the emotional aspects I look for :)

    1. We definitely have the exact same opinions about adaptations! I remember sitting in DD after seeing Hunger Games and just going on and on about how good it was. :)

      And I agree, books can get to a deeper emotional place than a lot of movies can. That's why we love them so much!

  2. We've talked about this so many times ... I absolutely could not agree with you more. The Hunger Games was probably the most true-to-story adaptation I've ever seen, with The Help as a close second. It's amazing how poignant a movie can be when it does the book justice ... and amazing how frustrating it can be when it does the opposite!

    1. I agree, it's so frustrating when a movie either wrecks the book or is so different, it can barely claim to be based on the book. I remember when I first read the Princess Diaries, I was stunned by how different it was from the movie (I'd seen the movie first). I keep them separate in my head because they're just so different!

      Oh, and The Help was an amazing movie! I haven't read the book yet, but I've heard fans of the book were happy with the movie. Hopefully I'll get around to reading it at some point!


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