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Movie Adaptations That Were Nothing Like The Book

Clint Davis

Book lovers could be the harshest film critics. Even when a movie sticks very near the e-book it’s based mostly on, individuals who beloved the textual content will little question select any tiny modifications that have been made, or casting selections that don’t match their very own imaginative and prescient of the characters, and discover themselves dissatisfied by what’s on display. In fact, there are additionally these film variations that share the ebook’s title … and that’s about it!

We’ve rounded up a number of the most egregious situations of flicks that claimed to be based mostly on a guide, solely to share nearly nothing in widespread with it. In some instances the authors have been followers of the brand new interpretations of their books, however in lots of instances they hated them as a lot because the devoted readers who confirmed up on the theater.

‘The Shining’ (1980)

Based mostly On: “The Shining” by Stephen King (1977)

Director Stanley Kubrick was infamous for having authors despise his unfastened variations of their works, and his model of Stephen King’s “The Shining” is an ideal instance.

The filmmaker modified a lot concerning the e-book, most manifestly the dynamics of the Torrance household. Whereas King’s Jack Torrance was principally a great father and husband, and his spouse was an unbiased lady, Kubrick turned Jack into an abusive man and his spouse right into a meek enabler of his conduct. Many different essential elements have been modified as properly, together with character deaths.

King has been open about his disdain for the film, saying he didn’t like Jack Nicholson’s efficiency and felt the entire thing was “so misogynistic.”

Warner Bros.

‘Adaptation’ (2002)

Based mostly On: “The Orchid Thief” by Susan Orlean (1998)

There’s in all probability no higher instance of a movie being utterly totally different from its supply ebook than 2002’s “Adaptation.”

Susan Orlean’s guide was a nonfiction investigation into a person who poached uncommon flowers from a state park in Florida, whereas the film was a weird story a few author and his twin, every performed by Nicolas Cage, as he tries to adapt “The Orchid Thief” into a movie. The film does maintain Orlean’s titular orchid thief as a personality and minor subplot, and has Orlean herself being performed by Meryl Streep, however these two don’t have anything in widespread from a stylistic standpoint.

Columbia Footage

‘Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory’ (1971)

Based mostly On: “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl (1964)

This can be a uncommon instance of the e-book and film each being wonderful for their very own causes regardless of having little in widespread. Beloved writer Roald Dahl famously hated the 1971 film adaptation a lot that he by no means allowed one other of his books to be made into a movie throughout his lifetime, however he was undoubtedly within the minority in not liking it.

The film turned his darkish cautionary story of naughty youngsters, a demented sweet maker and his Oompa Loompas (who have been principally African slaves) right into a whimsical musical that was enjoyable and innocent. Among the many film’s largest modifications have been increasing Slugworth’s character right into a supposed villain and the notorious scene the place Charlie and his grandfather sneak the fizzy-lifting drinks and should belch their approach right down to the bottom.

Warner House Video

‘Forrest Gump’ (1994)

Based mostly On: “Forrest Gump” by Winston Groom (1986)

In case you thought the film “Forrest Gump” was a bit of too wacky and far-fetched, you’d higher avoid the guide.

The 1994 Oscar-winning movie model of writer Winston Groom’s novel made main modifications to the primary characters and eradicated a couple of of his wilder adventures. The ebook’s model of the character is a hulking man who curses lots and has freakish mathematical expertise, whereas his girlfriend Jenny is a traditional woman with a cheerful childhood who turns into a hippie. The e-book additionally sees Forrest turn out to be an astronaut, a Hollywood stuntman and knowledgeable wrestler, and he survives being stranded in a jungle with cannibals.

Paramount Footage

‘I Am Legend’ (2007)

Based mostly On: “I Am Legend” by Richard Matheson (1954)

For some cause, writer Richard Matheson’s basic sci-fi/horror novel “I Am Legend” is a magnet for unfastened variations. The ebook has been made into three movies since 1964, with every being wildly totally different from the novel — maybe none extra so than Will Smith’s 2007 model.

Within the ebook, the primary character is a ruthless killer of the vampires who now inhabit Earth and is made to pay for his crimes towards them. Within the film, the primary character is painted as a hero who saves the world by sacrificing himself. The important character’s backstory, the creatures, the character of the apocalypse and the setting have been all modified as nicely.

Warner Bros. Footage

‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ (1975)

Based mostly On: “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Ken Kesey (1962)

The beloved film model of Ken Kesey’s anti-establishment novel, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” retains a lot of the supply materials intact however makes some drastic modifications when it comes to characterization and elegance.

Whereas the e-book was narrated by the character generally known as Chief Bromden, who provides the reader fixed perception into his ideas and his background, the film places the Chief principally within the background as a mysterious determine. Kesey has stated that he by no means noticed the film after listening to concerning the modifications that have been to be made, evaluating Hollywood’s model to a comedic journey fairly than a critical take a look at life in an asylum.

United Artists

‘Noah’ (2014)

Based mostly On: The Book of Genesis, the Bible

Filmmakers deviating from their supply materials doesn’t get rather more controversial than when they’re adapting a spiritual textual content.

Director Darren Aronofsky’s 2014 movie model of the Biblical story of Noah’s Ark was extensively protested and banned in some nations as a result of perceived variations between it and the written model, although some Biblical students have stated the film is true to the textual content. Some variations embrace the addition of a human rival of Noah’s who acts as a villain, the ages of the primary characters being reduce by lots of of years, the time it takes Noah to construct his vessel and particulars about his youngsters.

Paramount Footage

‘The Golden Compass’ (2007)

Based mostly On: “The Golden Compass” by Philip Pullman (1995)

When followers of Philip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” trilogy heard it might be made into movies, they have been excited … till they noticed the primary entry. It’s been described because the prototypical instance of a Hollywood studio making a sensible, edgy e-book softer and stupider for movie audiences, all with the aim of creating tons of money. The film additionally leaves out a number of materials, together with the final three chapters, which have been moved to a possible sequel that by no means occurred.

In a comparability of the 2 variations of “The Golden Compass,” An A.V. Membership author wrote, “There are so many alterations between the book and the film that I could go on about them all day.”

Warner Bros. Footage

‘Blade Runner’ (1982)

Based mostly On: “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” by Philip Okay. Dick (1968)

Whenever you consider director Ridley Scott’s legendary 1982 sci-fi masterpiece, you’ll be able to’t assist however consider phrases like “replicants” and “blade runners.” However within the e-book, these phrases by no means seem. The ebook follows the identical fundamental character, a man named Rick Deckard who hunts escaped androids, however there are numerous variations between the 2 variations. Within the ebook, Deckard is a married man and the androids he hunts are usually not introduced as deserving of a lot sympathy — each large variations from the movie. The guide’s Roy Baty additionally doesn’t give his epic “tears in rain” monologue, which is likely one of the film’s signature moments.

Warner Bros.

‘The Lost World: Jurassic Park’ (1997)

Based mostly On: “The Lost World” by Michael Crichton (1995)

After writer Michael Crichton’s “Jurassic Park” turned one of many largest film blockbusters ever, he wrote a sequel referred to as “The Lost World,” which was additionally tailored, albeit very loosely.

Spielberg’s model of “The Lost World” opts to go away out a number of characters utterly and wildly modifications the story’s climax and ending. Keep in mind the large set piece within the movie the place the T. rex will get shipped to San Diego and runs wild within the metropolis? That by no means occurred within the ebook however was probably the most important plot factors within the movie.

Common Footage

‘World War Z’ (2013)

Based mostly On: “World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War” by Max Brooks (2006)

Followers of writer Max Brooks’ 2006 hit “World War Z” have been in for a shock once they went to see Brad Pitt’s 2013 film adaptation.

The e-book, advised by way of interviews with survivors of the Zombie Conflict, might be learn as a meditation on human nature and a criticism of paperwork. The place the guide targeted on the human worth and fallout of the Zombie Warfare, the movie was an enormous, loud motion film that follows a hero who tries to save lots of the world from a zombie outbreak. Brooks, the son of Hollywood legend Mel Brooks, stated the movie and his ebook share solely the title “and that’s it.”

Paramount Footage

‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ (1988)

Based mostly On: “Who Censored Roger Rabbit?” by Gary Okay. Wolf (1981)

Right here’s one other instance of a film adaptation that absolutely deviated from its supply materials and truly eclipsed it within the course of.

The cutting-edge 1988 Disney movie “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” is a beloved basic, whereas the guide it was based mostly on is fairly onerous to seek out today. Writer Gary Okay. Wolf’s 1981 novel “Who Censored Roger Rabbit?” adopted detective Eddie Valiant fixing a thriller involving Roger Rabbit, Jessica Rabbit and Child Herman — however the similarities just about cease there. Wolf’s model had Roger as a a lot much less sympathetic character and shares nearly no scenes with the film, save for a pair strains of dialogue.

Buena Vista Distribution

‘Animal Farm’ (1954)

Based mostly On: “Animal Farm” by George Orwell (1945)

George Orwell’s beloved basic “Animal Farm” makes use of speaking livestock to inform the story of the Russian Revolution as a gripping allegory, whereas the 1954 animated film informed the identical story in a safer, extra sanitized model.

There are various notable variations in plot moments and characters, however probably the most obtrusive distinction is the ending, which utterly negates the ebook’s foresight concerning the rise of the Soviet Union. In Orwell’s guide, the farm continues to be dominated by the evil pig Napoleon and his military, whereas the film sees the animals stand up and topple the pig’s oppressive regime. If he hadn’t died in 1950, the writer probably wouldn’t have permitted.

Distributors Company of America

‘The Handmaid’s Story’ (1990)

Based mostly On: “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood (1985)

Lengthy earlier than Hulu’s award-winning collection, a 1990 movie model of Margaret Atwood’s basic feminist dystopian novel “The Handmaid’s Tale” hit theaters.

The film stored the setting, characters and plot principally the identical however had some obtrusive variations that possible made lovers of the ebook roll their eyes. Every part within the film is far more apparent and really Hollywood. For instance, Offred will get some lethal revenge and escapes Gilead with a child in her womb — issues that both don’t occur or aren’t clear within the ebook.

The film additionally skips the long-lasting winged white headpieces for plain pink veils, they usually give Offred’s actual identify as Kate. Plus, the film’s poster makes the movie seem like a steamy romance, which is creepy on all types of ranges.

Cinecom Footage

‘The Jungle Book’ (1967)

Based mostly On: “The Jungle Book” by Rudyard Kipling (1894)

Rudyard Kipling purists who went to see Walt Disney’s animated model of “The Jungle Book” in 1967 needed to be aghast once they noticed Mowgli dancing and singing with the animals he befriends whereas being raised within the wilderness.

Whereas Kipling’s assortment of brief tales was filled with scary imagery — as one would anticipate of tales about just a little boy being raised amongst wild animals — Disney reportedly advised his animators to disregard the guide’s tone as a lot as attainable and make Mowgli’s journey far more enjoyable. A few main modifications to the characters included Baloo being a humorous slacker as an alternative of a sensible, previous chief, and Kaa being introduced as a goofy villain quite than a pal of the boy.

Buena Vista Distribution

‘Fever Pitch’ (2005)

Based mostly On: “Fever Pitch” by Nick Hornby (1992)

When British writer Nick Hornby wrote his autobiographical account of his lifelong love of soccer, and particularly the Arsenal Soccer Membership, he might’ve by no means predicted that it will be made right into a rom-com a few couple who falls in love whereas watching Boston Pink Sox baseball.

Hornby’s 1992 guide follows his personal life because it has associated to vital soccer video games he remembers watching. In the meantime, the film — which Hornby government produced — follows Jimmy Fallon as a man from Boston who worships the Purple Sox and falls in love with a lady who has little interest in baseball. The variations don’t have anything in widespread aside from the titles and a musing on the connection between sports activities and life’s essential moments.

20th Century Fox

‘All the King’s Males’ (1949)

Based mostly On: “All the King’s Men” by Robert Penn Warren (1946)

The e-book model of “All the King’s Men” gained a Pulitzer Prize, whereas the 1949 movie adaptation gained greatest image on the Oscars. Clearly, each are nice, however they differ wildly from each other. Each inform the story of Willie Stark, a Southern politician who turns into corrupt as he positive factors energy, however the movie completely focuses on him, whereas the ebook makes Stark a secondary character. The e-book is far more targeted on Jack Burden, the journalist who follows Stark and narrates the story. The film additionally made main modifications to the story of Stark’s household, most notably, his son.

Columbia Footage

‘War of the Worlds’ (2005)

Based mostly On: “The War of the Worlds” by H.G. Wells (1898)

Perhaps it’s not truthful to say Steven Spielberg’s 2005 replace of H.G. Wells’ sci-fi landmark is nothing like the unique, however it does make vital modifications.

The primary story of an Earth taken over by aliens who underestimate our environment is identical, however the movie strikes the motion from England to America and follows a divorced father together with his youngsters, whereas the ebook is a few lone man who’s simply making an attempt to make it house to his spouse. The movie additionally modifications the time interval from the 19th century to the 2000s, peppering in some American paranoia that solely is sensible in a post-9/11 setting.

Paramount Footage / Dreamworks Footage

‘The Scarlet Letter’ (1995)

Based mostly On: “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1850)

Youngsters who tried to outsmart their English academics by watching the film model of this American basic as an alternative of studying it probably failed their exams. Whereas the ebook is all concerning the spiritual guilt that racked early America, the film is a steamy, rah-rah assertion on standing as much as bullies. The film clearly looks like one thing written within the ‘90s versus a story from the mid-1800s. All you have to do is compare the endings of the two and you’ll see how obvious the variations are.

Buena Vista Footage

‘The Bourne Supremacy’ (2004)

Based mostly On: “The Bourne Supremacy” by Robert Ludlum (1986)

Apart from having the identical title and following a person named Jason Bourne, the guide and film variations of “The Bourne Supremacy” have virtually nothing in widespread. The plots are utterly totally different, and the pacing is about one million occasions quicker within the movie than the e-book, which is extra of a sluggish burn. Among the many drastic modifications are complete plotlines, settings, Bourne’s grasp on his true id and the destiny of his spouse, Marie.

Common Footage

‘The Lawnmower Man’ (1992)

Based mostly On: “The Lawnmower Man” by Stephen King (1975)

Anybody who learn Stephen King’s weird brief story “The Lawnmower Man” and went to see the 1992 movie of the identical title needed to be scratching their heads by means of the entire thing. The tales have completely nothing in widespread, aside from the fascinating title and the truth that there’s a personality in every who cuts grass for a dwelling.

King’s model made the title character the villain, a wicked landscaper who sacrifices dwelling issues to his magical lawnmower, whereas the film makes the title character the sufferer, a person with a psychological incapacity who’s experimented on by a scientist. King sued the movie’s manufacturing studio and obtained his identify faraway from the credit as a result of he didn’t need to be linked to it.

New Line Cinema

‘The Hobbit’ Trilogy (2012-2014)

Based mostly On: “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien (1937)

Stretching a single, 310-page ebook into three movies that span almost 9 hours complete is the definition of making an attempt to make a greenback out of 15 cents. The proven fact that director Peter Jackson’s display model of “The Hobbit” stretches a lot signifies that not solely was nearly each element from the e-book coated, however he had so as to add some issues from “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, too. That quantity of bloating meant that a single sentence from the ebook equated to greater than two minutes of display time, in line with FiveThirtyEight.

Warner Bros. Footage

‘Dune’ (1984)

Based mostly On: “Dune” by Frank Herbert (1965)

Not in contrast to Stanley Kubrick, director David Lynch might be the final filmmaker you’d need to adapt your novel to the display in the event you’re on the lookout for a trustworthy retelling. Lynch’s film model of the sci-fi landmark “Dune” sees the famously offbeat director operating with the weirdest parts of the guide and milking them for all they’re value, whereas complicated the hell out of anybody who isn’t already conversant in the written model. Whereas Frank Herbert’s guide is considered a vital, extensively beloved basic, the film solely appeals to a small group of individuals and has largely been forgotten.

Common Footage

‘First Blood’ (1982)

Based mostly On: “First Blood” by David Morrell (1972)

The first movie of Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo collection was based mostly on a e-book, however the film drastically modified its tone, characterization and ending.

David Morrell’s guide, “First Blood,” follows an unlikable Vietnam Warfare veteran named Rambo who kills many cops and nationwide guardsmen whereas hiding out within the American wilderness earlier than being killed himself. Stallone’s film retains Rambo as a Vietnam vet on the run from villainous cops however makes him a hero who doesn’t kill any cops and makes it out alive for a number of sequels.

Artisan Leisure

‘Minority Report’ (2002)

Based mostly On: “The Minority Report” by Philip Okay. Dick (1956)

Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi thriller “Minority Report” had a nifty premise that got here straight from Philip Okay. Dick’s brief story of the identical identify, however the movie made loads of massive modifications to the story.

In Dick’s model, the primary character is a middle-aged, out-of-shape cop who created a police division that may see crimes earlier than they occur, whereas within the movie, the half is performed by a 30-something, good-looking Tom Cruise and he merely works in that division. The movie’s largest departures come within the story’s ending, which made Cruise’s character extra sympathetic than he was in the long run of the e-book and provides him a way more feel-good destiny.

20th Century Fox

‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ (1961)

Based mostly On: “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” by Truman Capote (1958)

After my spouse learn Truman Capote’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” we picked up the film and she or he was surprised by how totally different the 2 variations have been. The writer’s imaginative and prescient of Holly Golightly, his enigmatic breakout character, was Marilyn Monroe or Shirley MacLaine, however she was, in fact, performed by Audrey Hepburn — displaying simply how totally different the visions for the film and ebook have been. The fashion of the story was additionally made to be extra mild and romantic for the movie, and the ending was drastically altered, utterly altering the best way one views Holly’s character after it’s over. Capote stated the movie “was thin and pretty, whereas it should have been rich and ugly.”

Paramount Footage

‘Simon Birch’ (1998)

Based mostly On: “A Prayer for Owen Meany” by John Irving (1989)

Writer John Irving appreciated the 1998 film that was based mostly on his novel, “A Prayer for Owen Meany,” however requested that the filmmakers change the title and the characters’ names as a result of it was such a departure from his story. The film, which was referred to as “Simon Birch,” took solely the preliminary setup and first chapter of Irving’s ebook and went in a wildly totally different path from there.

“I felt it would mislead the novel’s many readers to see a film of that same title which was so different from the book,” Irving stated of the movie.

Buena Vista Footage

‘Mary Poppins’ (1964)

Based mostly On: “Mary Poppins” Collection by P.L. Travers (1934)

Walt Disney had such a tough time getting P.L. Travers to comply with let his studio adapt her tales that there was a whole film made nearly their hate-hate relationship through the movie’s manufacturing. Disney, as he typically did, made Travers’ guide collection rather more cheerful and lightweight. Within the books, Poppins is intimidating, useless and had completely no romantic relationship with Bert. In the meantime, within the film, she’s performed by the infinitely charming Julie Andrews.

Buena Vista Distribution

‘There Will Be Blood’ (2007)

Based mostly On: “Oil!” by Upton Sinclair (1927)

The epic, Oscar-winning film “There Will Be Blood” was technically based mostly on Upton Sinclair’s 1927 novel “Oil!,” however the movie’s director, Paul Thomas Anderson, has referred to as the ebook extra of a “collaborator” than a supply.

Anybody who learn the guide can be shocked to see the movie’s model of its essential character, an oil tycoon, as such a blatantly evil determine. Each variations inform the story of the oil man and his son however hardly mirror each other apart from that. The character of Eli, the preacher, isn’t a lot of a determine within the e-book however is among the central characters of the film.

Paramount Vantage/Miramax Movies

‘I, Robot’ (2004)

Based mostly On: “I, Robot” by Isaac Asimov (1950)

Because the 1950s, sci-fi icon Isaac Asimov’s “I, Robot” tales have been a go-to decide for lovers of tales about machines as beings.

However the 2004 film was far totally different. The place the e-book, a set of related brief tales, advised assorted tales of fascinating robots and gave a fictional historical past of their being, the movie, which starred Will Smith, was a cliche-packed thriller crammed with robotic paranoia. Screenwriter Jeff Vintar wrote the movie initially with out utilizing Asimov because the supply however was later satisfied to include a number of the author’s parts when 20th Century Fox informed him it had the rights to his tales.

20th Century Fox


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