Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Maso Tey: Somebody put up an article at Film of the Book; I made a redirect and am pasting the other article here. The stricken text I incorporated into The Film of the Book:

Describe Film of the Book here. CAN DO!!!

The Film of the Book is a movie featuring the same story as the book... sort of.

I mean, it's nowhere near as fleshed out, 'cause of time and budget constraints. Often a victim of Dissonance of all sorts. Sometimes entire characters may be changed, have their screen time lengthened/shortened (if not cut altogether), or important book-related plot points may be whizzed by, creating a moment of Fridge Logic.

Expect a lot of "It wasn't as good as the book" when you talk about it with people big into reading. Especially if they read it "before it was cool". Several films fall into this category, largely because of the ease of making a popular (or even semi-popular) piece of literature into a summer blockbuster on sheer name alone.
Seth: Was the postman really so badly received, i loved that film.

Robert: The critics didn't like it, and it apparently didn't sell well enough for the studio.

TheEditor: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory changed too much from the book for some.

Lale: There were two of those... but they were both drastically different from the original anyway.

Ununnilium: The new one was weird. It was almost exactly like the book, except for Wonka's character, which was totally different.

Tulling: Just what does "epileptic cinematography" mean?

"Starship Troopers: Massive Adaptation Decay, though some argue it counts as parody — see the Adaptation Decay examples."
This would be much better if there was actually and example about Starship Troopers in Adatation Decay...

Sockatume: If anyone's curious, Eragon (the movie) didn't make a bunch of money "overseas". Like most blockbusters about a third of its gross was from the US, and the remainder international. Although bizarrely it did really well in France, which was behind almost a tenth of the gross. What's the appeal there?

Seanette: Remember, in France they consider Jerry Lewis a comedic deity. Most U Sians cannot account for their taste.

  • In print, special effects are easy; in film, they are expensive. In print, describing a character's thoughts is normal; in film, a voiceover is seldom acceptable. In print, a story can take days to read; in film, audiences won't sit still for more than a few hours. In print, the writer goes for theme and depth as well as plot; in film, the writer goes for fast-paced action and Fanservice.
Caswin: Emphasis mine. That last statement doesn't seem fair, thinking of removing it, unless there are any objections.
Vampire Buddha: This page had so much natter it wasn't even funny.

  • The movies cut so much that they don't really stand on their own in terms of plot. They are essentially moving illustrations to supplement the book.
    • This troper saw all five movies without having read the books (although I read the first book after doing so) and was never confused in terms of plot. It's quite likely that those who've read the books are more keenly aware when something's missing, whereas someone watching the movies just as stand-alone films are able to patch together whatever gaps are left open in the adaptation process.
    • This troper knows several people who never read the books and gave up on the movies when they couldn't understand them anymore. This troper also knows someone who loves the movies but only because everyone around him reads the books and he doesn't mind asking them to fill in the plot holes.
    • This troper only watches the films now because they have Emma Watson and Evanna Lynch in them.
    • This troper finds it easiest to accept the books and movies using a sort of Alternate Universe theory to explain the differences.

  • No matter how you think it came out, it's unarguable that this is one of those "they kept the title of the book, the names of the characters, and nothing else" adaptations.
  • Honest to god, this troper thought that Starship Troopers was meant to be a comedy for years, and was often included on my "cleverest comedies" lists because of how it deconstructs mindless stupid action films. No wonder I got so many funny looks.

    • This troper has gone through every trope he could get his hands on and this is the best he could come up with to explain it.
    • AHA! Found it!

  • The Running Man takes Adaptation Decay to a whole new level — on a conceptual level, both the book and the film seem similar (convict gets a chance at freedom if he can survive a televised manhunt), but the two implementations of it have nothing else in common.
    • I've not seen the film, but I remember him not being a convict in the book.
    • He wasn't. He was unemployed and desperate to find a way to bring in money to get his baby daughter needed medical attention.
  • Similarly, the short story The Lawnmower Man was mostly about a satyr disguised as a gardener eating grass. No, not Torgo. The film The Lawnmower Man was about a retarded gardener being made super-intelligent through virtual reality and trying to take over the world. So much was changed in this one, King successfully sued to get his name removed from the credits and advertising.
    • This one wasn't changed. It was a studio trying to pass a mediocre work off as being based on an obscure King story.
    • However Kubrick was known to often adapt things his way. Also he didn't chose to do the The Shining, but it was the only fim the movie company presented to him.
    • This editor will include the miniseries based on The Stand. Most of the "changes" in that one are actually from the original version of the novel, as opposed to the Doorstop edition published later.
    • Which, technically, didn't exist- the 1958 Plymouth Fury was a special one-color-only model. This page explains it if you're car geek enough...
    • IIRC, Christine had in fact been given a custom paint job by her original owne

  • They still manage to be pretty good. This editor adds points to his "go see it meter" for any flick based on his work.
    • Actually, A Scanner Darkly is extremely faithful to the book, and is notably one of the few that actually keeps Dick's original title as well.r.

  • This troper leans towards Adaptation Distillation, as the removal of Tom Bombadil and the Scouring subplots prevented the film from getting too cluttered with side-stories.
    • This troper is under the opinion that Arwen's increased role was added specifically so the audience wouldn't question why Aragorn was marrying "that elf chick" instead of Eowyn.
    • Also because Tolkien had a very bad habit of throwing in random elves all over the place who would pop up out of nowhere, do something extremely crucial to the plot, and then never be seen again. Giving their jobs to Arwen just makes good narrative sense.
    • Not to mention that Arwen had a very significant role in Aragorn's backstory, explained in the books' appendix, since Tolkien didn't manage to fit it in the story proper.
  • One scene in The Two Towers has Sam subtly apologizing about a plot deviation to the fans: "By rights, we shouldn't even be here."
    • It's been a few years since this troper read the book, but he's still pretty sure that line was in the original story, as well.

  • And, oh God, the golf. You remember the golf scene in the movie, I'm sure? The tense, witty scene where we see both characters backbiting in a preview of things to come? Well, in the book it's two chapters — two chapters! — full of loving descriptions of each and every hole the two play. There are eighteen holes on a golf course. For all I know, the same cool things happened (not really), but all the talk of chipping, birdies, and things threw the idiot ball at me for a few minutes.
  • If you've ever attempted to read any of the James Bond novels, you will find that Ian Fleming is a horrible author who took an otherwise interesting storyline and inserted multiple-page descriptions of irrelevant pieces of scenery. Every book feels three times as long as it ever should have been.

  • This troper was especially dismayed about Arya's lack of elven ears, Durza's entire design and random aging for no reason other than that it looked cool and was meant to be symbolic of Durza's impending defeat, and Saphira having feathery wings that looked like they had been dislocated. The video game did a lot better, but was just as decayed as the movie in some ways.
  • What movie are we talking about? It never happened.

  • And to like neither.

  • You mean it never happened ?

  • Although the film I, Robot contains many themes explored by Asimov in his Robots books, it has absolutely nothing to do with either the short story or the book of short stories by the same name. Apparently the screenplay was originally intended to be titled "Hardwired", but the name was changed for various reasons.
    • Asimov never wrote a short story entitled "I, Robot". His title for that famous collection was Mind and Iron, but the publisher changed it over his objections. "I, Robot" is a 1939 short story by "Eando" (Earl and Otto) Binder, about a robot falsely accused of killing its creator — though it's doubtful that the Meddling Executives knew that when they turned Hardwired into an "adaptation".

I, Robot doesn't count because Asimov never wrote a story by that name.time=1227357644

Kendra Kirai: Is there a version of this for when the original author of the book isn't even mentioned in the ads? The trailers for the movie of Coraline didn't mention Neil Gaiman at all, only talking about how it was from one of the guys who did Nightmare Before Christmas. I didn't manage to see the flick, but that seems to be a big ol' warning sign for possible oncoming Adaptation Decay to me...when the movie barely acknowledges that it's from a book in the first place.

Noneofyourbusiness: Has there ever been a film based on a book that changed nothing?