Adaptation Decay
When differences between parts that remain faithful to source source and changes in adaption cause figurative cracks in the overall story structure.
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(permanent link) added: 2012-06-19 01:20:38 sponsor: truepurple edited by: Arivne (last reply: 2012-11-20 20:37:47)

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This trope is a important reminder that when you make a change to a story, you have to consider the whole story. And that some changes require a rewrite from the ground up, and frequent enough to deserve its own page.

There isn't many examples where I have experienced multiple adaption versions of one story line, and of them, a good number were done well, like Lord of the rings. But many examples of movies I have watched that I know come from books, where impressions of this trope have come to me, where movies not from another source that I know of, tend to not have this issue.

Movie "Ant bully". I have never read the book it is based on (and it has been a long time since I have seen this movie) There is a ant character who randomly hates humans, watching the movie that bugged me how there is no motivation for this. Having seen a deleted scene of his past where many of his fellow ants and his hive were killed my pesticide by the exterminator villain, him barely surviving, which I am sure was in the book, the character was fleshed out for me alot more.

But I know I have seen more extreme examples of this, where the reason for someones future actions were omitted or changed, but the actions were not. To give a fictional (as in, this is no movie or book I know of, and admittedly extreme) example to show what I mean since I struggle to find a good real example to show what I mean.- In original source, Joe was attacked and abandoned by his mom who use to be very loving, but who was actually possessed by a demon. He survives, in part thanks to the church that adopts him, growing up to be a exorcist looking to find his mom and save her from her demonic possession. In the adaption, Joe never leaves the custody of his mom and she isn't possessed, instead she is rich, and travels the world alot, leaving him home alone with paid servants. Joe still grows up to to be a exorcist searching for his mom, who just happens to get possessed eventually.

So this fictional extreme example, the background story is radically changed, but many other things in the future from source are left the same, which can lead to many of said actions and outcomes suddenly not making nearly as much sense. Then a sequel 2 adaption comes out based on further story from source, yet it wants to be consistent with sequal 1 too. These inconsistency between changes and source grow as things go on, becoming ever larger cracks in the storyline with further adaptions or sequels. Which is one of the bigger differences between this and http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AdaptationInducedPlotHole or http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AdaptationExplanationExtrication. This also can be much more subtle then a plothole, which can allow it to be more destructive too.

  • spoiler alert*

A wrinkle in time, the book was great, but clearly the director behind the movie did not get the book at all.(Its been ages since I have read/seen either, so please forgive for not using all the names)

In the book, they meet this seer person who appears to be neither male nor female, yet both. Turns out ze used to be a sun/star, and was reborn in this form. Ze laughs at joyful things she sees around the universe in her crystal ball.(what she is laughing at is undescribed in the book in specific detail, but the impression is that of joyful things)

In the movie, the seer is more like a transvestite, and while the book does not describe what ze sees, the movie shows scenes from like Americas funniest home videos or something, people falling on their asses or otherwise getting mildly hurt. he genderless-ness indicated the lack of being human and previous nature as a star, her laughter was suppose to be that of heavenly joy and love, not watching people getting hurt. I find it hard to put into words, but these premises are important in the book, and bases for other things to follow that also get screwed up.

Much content was omitted like Adaptation Explanation Extrication, yet the tesseracting scenes were much longer then they needed to be/should have been. Some of which was omitted was important to establishing the story and making everything work. Which makes it belong to this trope, rather then AEE.

In the book, IT, was was a giant pulsating brain controlling Charles mind since he let it in. Meg enters in close to IT to try to save her brother (Charles). It tries to get into her mind, and she is struggling to fight it off, and she can not reach her brother at all, (mentally, not physically) who is zoning off with IT controlling him. But she realizes the one thing that IT doesn't understand is love, she can't get herself to love IT, but she can love her brother, that love frees both her and her brother to escape via tesseract.

In the movie, IT was a guy in a suit (man with red eyes found earlier in the book and not like this) with long scenes where she struggles with various illusions and stuff (I really didn't watch this part of the movie all that closely as it was clear how sucky it was) This near end, ending, misses the point once again, and because these points keep the story together, to me, it falls apart even further. And if there was ever a sequel movie based on the first, these cracks would just grow.

Code geass: The first part/season of the anime suffered from this in many small quantities, events shuffled around and changed and the story fell apart a bit. It wasn't till R2 where they broke cleanly from the manga, and simply hand waved the previous stuff, that the series found its legs.
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