Let's say you write a book. The readers love it, the critics love it, and everyone wants to see a movie of it. But when [[TheFilmOfTheBook the movie]] finally comes out, it's a major letdown. Or perhaps it works out fine, but a few years later, people still love the book yet [[FleetingDemographicRule don't seem to remember]] that the movie ever happened.

Not wanting to waste a good story, the studio makes up its mind to try again.

And again, and again, and again.

Anyway, this is all about stuff that doesn't merely get multiple or long-running adaptations, but actually has a whole bunch of [[AlternateContinuity Alternate Continuities]] (preferably at least three within the same medium) as a result. Perhaps in some cases, the audience will "win" and one adaptation will [[InkStainAdaptation cement itself in the public memory for all time]].... Perhaps the studios will keep playing anyway. In most cases, it seems they just can't seem to get it right, but that's always a matter of opinion.

This is ''[[IThoughtItMeant not]]'' about works that simply have [[LongRunners lots of sequels]] or vast {{expanded universe}}s within the same continuity; in other words, ''Franchise/StarWars'' and ''Franchise/StarTrek'' are not examples. ''Star Wars'' almost could count as an example for the sheer number of times the individual storyline of each film has been adapted. ''Film/ANewHope'', for example, has two {{novelization}}s, three comic strip versions, a {{manga}} version, a RadioDrama version, some journals written from the POV of the characters, is retold in part of the ''[[VideoGame/LegoAdaptationGame LEGO Star Wars]]'' video games, and a version written InTheStyleOf Creator/WilliamShakespeare. However, all but the Lego and Shakespeare versions [[RetCon supposedly]] take place in the same continuity.

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!!Examples (listed by the original work):

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' probably gets the award for the most thorough invocation of this trope in the shortest amount of time. At present, there has been the original manga, two broadcast {{Animated Adaptation}}s, a LiveActionAdaptation, a few {{OVA}}s, ''a second manga released parallel to the first'', a SpinoffBabies series, and a movie covering an alternate end to the manga. Only the {{OVA}}s and the first manga seem to occupy the same continuity. At this rate, by the year 2020 there'll be eight or nine movies, a couple of [[FilmNoir noir]] or [[TheWestern western]]-themed animes, ''and an opera''.
* ''{{Manga/Appleseed}}'' (manga, 1980s anime OVA, recent CGI movies, and now a new CGI series)
* ''Franchise/GhostInTheShell'' ([[Manga/GhostInTheShell manga]], [[Anime/GhostInTheShell movies]], ''[[Anime/GhostInTheShellStandAloneComplex Stand-Alone Complex]]'' anime TV series, ''[[Anime/GhostInTheShellArise Arise]]'' OVA series).
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' is famous for this. The original anime and manga series are set in similar, but distinct continuities. Then after that you get into the ''Raising Project'' games, the ''[[ShinjiIkariRaisingProject Raising Project]]'' [[ShinjiIkariRaisingProject manga]], ''Girlfriend of Steel''/''Iron Maiden'', ''RebuildOfEvangelion'', ''AngelicDays'', ''GakuenDatenroku'', [[SuperDeformed Eva Pucchi]], the reportedly-still-under-development live-action movie... oh, and of course the End of Evangelion as possibly alternative ending.
* ''Manga/HanaYoriDango'' has no less than three official live action series adaptations (one in China, one in Tokyo, and one in Korea), plus a second, unofficial Chinese adaption, an anime, and the original manga.
* ''Anime/{{Robotech}}'' spun off of ''Macross'' above, merging it with two other anime series. Then there were novelizations and RPG and comic adaptations, none of which quite perfectly matched with the others. There were spin-off novels and comics, as well. Then there was an abortive 3-episode sequel series, which was again adapted and continued three different ways in comics, novels, and game. Then there was the sequel ''The Shadow Chronicles''.
* The ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'' franchise. 11 main series and loads of OVA, films, manga, novels, games and plastic modeling kits, spread over [[AlternateUniverse 7 different continuities]]. There are also spin-offs like ''Super Deformed Gundam''.
* The Saiyan, Namek, and, to a lesser extent, Androids/Cell arcs in ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' might count, as almost every game released ever since they started back in ''1988'' covers one or several of them and quite a few cover those and ''just'' those. The only exceptions are either sequels to them or the ones that cover Kid Goku stories (either ''Manga/DragonBall'' or ''Anime/DragonBallGT''), which are very few. They're also the only arcs to be adapted on ''Anime/DragonBallKai''.
* ''Anime/CuteyHoney'' has four animated incarnations, two live action incarnations, and five manga incarnations. Try asking a fan of the show where Honey's powers come from. Heck, try asking them whether or not she's human; the answer changes in just about every version. You'd think they'd run out of answers to a yes/no question eventually, but no...
* ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica''. The original TV anime, a manga (plus two SpinOff manga), a novelization, a PSP game, and now a pair of {{Compilation Movie}}s. And all of this was announced in less than a year after it started, so there's still the possibility of more still being created.
* ''Anime/CodeGeass'' has only one full-length anime, but there are ''four'' separate and [[AlternateContinuity completely different]] manga adaptations as well as three games based on it. As of early 2012, two spinoff [=OVAs=], a film version of the original series, and yet another alternate-viewpoint manga are planned (the original anime came out in 2006).
* ''HimitsuNoAkkoChan'' has three animes and a LiveActionAdaptation.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* ''Franchise/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles''. Starting as a comic book series it has expanded to three cartoon series ([[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantninjaTurtles1987 one only loosely based on the original comics]]; [[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003 another that started out a direct adaptation but later diverged]]; [[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2012 the third somewhere in between]]), two anime [[OriginalVideoAnimation OVA's]], two live-action specials (song themed), [[Series/NinjaTurtlesTheNextMutation a live-action series]], three other comic book series, a daily strip, [[Film/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles three live-action films]] (number four on the way), a CGI film, several kids' books, novels, magazines, games and crossovers, and heaven know how many toys and merchandise (including a set of "automutating" TMNT ''transformers'' of all things).
* Franchise/{{Batman}}, Franchise/{{Superman}}, the {{Comicbook/X-Men}}, Franchise/{{Spider-Man}}, and indeed any comic character/organization/series with enough fans and pages to their name have accumulated a massive number of adaptations with multiples in every medium possible, each [[MythologyGag referencing each other]] but clearly in their own separate continuities. It would be far easier to go to their respective pages and look at the lists there than mentioning them all here.
* ''Franchise/{{Hellboy}}'', despite being a relatively young property owned by one guy, has at least three continuities, including the comics, the animated series, and the live-action series. There are also at least two "little Hellboy" spinoffs.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature]]
* A lot of literature that is no longer copyrighted (particularly fairy tales and children's novels) gets this treatment. For example, the works of Creator/WilliamShakespeare, as well as most of the older stuff in the DisneyAnimatedCanon (''Disney/PeterPan'', ''Disney/{{Pinocchio}}'', etc.). In fact, there's enough stuff in this category to deserve its own trope.
* Literature/SherlockHolmes definitely deserves to be mentioned separately, having been played by [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adaptations_of_Sherlock_Holmes over 75 different actors in 211 films]].
* ''Literature/AChristmasCarol'': Has been made into no less then 40 films, including animated versions, made-for-tv movies, musicals, silent films, and a [[Series/TheMuppetShow Muppet]] [[Film/TheMuppetChristmasCarol version]]. There are also many stage adaptations, and at least one ballet version! And that's not even getting into the YetAnotherChristmasCarol trope...
* ''Literature/IAmLegend'' has had three movies since it was written in the 1950s, and all of them take the plot and characters in different directions.
* ''Franchise/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'' was originally a [[Radio/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy 6-expanded-to-12-episode radio comedy]], then a series of [[Literature/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy novels]] based on it, an [[VideoGame/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy adventure game]], a [[Series/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy TV series]], a sequel radio comedy series, and [[Film/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy a movie]]. Each one of them considerably different from the others. Unusually, this was intentional on the part of Creator/DouglasAdams (who was the primary or sole writer of the radio, TV and novel versions).
* ''Literature/TheWonderfulWizardOfOz'' has [[Literature/LandOfOz 39 books]], a series of silent short films, the [[Film/TheWizardOfOz classic musical adaptation]] which itself has [[Film/ReturnToOz a sequel]], [[Film/OzTheGreatAndPowerful a prequel]] and an AndrewLloydWebber-helmed stage version, a [[TheMuppetShow Muppet]] version, an anime series, stage plays including [[Theatre/TheWiz a pop music-driven reimagining with an all-black cast]] which itself got a film adaptation helmed by [[Creator/SidneyLumet the unlikeliest of directors]], [[Series/TinMan a modernized TV series]], an [[Literature/{{Wicked}} alternate interpretation of Oz and the villain]] (which in itself has [[Theatre/{{Wicked}} a musical]] and an upcoming film), cartoons, anime, and [[TalesOfTheMagicLand a Russian translation that diverges considerably as it goes on]].
* ''Literature/AlicesAdventuresInWonderland'' has 16 different film adaptations, including two by [[Disney/AliceInWonderland Disney]], a DarkerAndEdgier [[VideoGame/AmericanMcGeesAlice video game]], a [[Series/{{Alice|2009}} TV miniseries]], an anime remembered in many places that aren't the States, a re-imagining book series, Sci Fi,...
* ''Literature/MutinyOnTheBounty'': At least three film versions, a few novels, probably a play or two.
* ''Literature/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory'' was published in 1964, and by its 50th anniversary in 2014 had already yielded [[Literature/CharlieAndTheGreatGlassElevator one sequel]], several audiobook versions and a pop-up book abridgement, and the following adaptations, all of which are distinct takes on the story:
** Two movie versions ([[Film/WillyWonkaAndTheChocolateFactory 1971]] and [[Film/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory 2005]])
** A stage play in TheSeventies
** A touring stage musical in TheEighties
** A VideoGame/ZXSpectrum video game
** A BBC radio play
** A ride at England's Alton Towers
** [[Theatre/TheGoldenTicket An opera]]
** An island in the online game ''VideoGame/{{Poptropica}}''
** A 2013 [[Theatre/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory West End stage musical]] (which includes {{Internal Homage}}s to and one song from the film adaptations but is '''not''' a ScreenToStageAdaptation at all)
** The two film adaptations have each been incorporated into other media: The 1971 film was greenlit to launch a still-extant [[{{Defictionalization}} defictionalized]] candy brand, its songs appeared in a 2005 stage musical (''Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka'') that otherwise stuck closer to the novel, and in 2013 it was the basis for licensed casino slot machines. The 2005 film was the basis for several tie-in video games.
* Every decade or two, Creator/TheBBC goes on a Creator/JaneAusten kick and remakes most of her most famous works (usually ''Literature/PrideAndPrejudice'', ''Literature/SenseAndSensibility'', ''{{Literature/Persuasion}}'', and ''{{Literature/Emma}}'') as miniseries. Each of those four novels has three or four BBC adaptations as well as several movie adaptations. Her works also frequently receive the SettingUpdate treatment (''Literature/BridgetJones'' books and movies, ''Film/{{Clueless}}'' or ''WebVideo/TheLizzieBennetDiaries'').
* ''And Then There Were None'' by Creator/AgathaChristie has had multiple film adaptations.
* There have been several adaptations of most of Creator/HGWells' books, especially ''Literature/TheWarOfTheWorlds'' and ''Literature/TheTimeMachine''. The former is especially prone to getting a SettingUpdate about once a generation.
* ''Literature/LastOfTheMohicans'' by James Fenimore Cooper, in addition to being part of a 5-book series, has itself been adapted to film at least five times, with the last (most famous) one being a remake of a previous screenplay; a graphic adaptation by Marvel, and inspired a series of classical oil paintings when it first came out in 1827, along with having some local landmarks named after the characters.
* ''Franchise/{{Zorro}}'' has been adapted many times.
* ''Literature/ThePhantomOfTheOpera'' [[OlderThanTheyThink began as a novel by Gaston Leroux]]. Has since been adapted into goodness knows how many movies, at least six stage musicals (seven if you count ''Theatre/LoveNeverDies'', which is a sequel to [[Theatre/ThePhantomOfTheOpera the most famous musical version]]), quite a few additional novels and numerous spoofs/reworkings on TV. Not to mention [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome a song]] about it by Music/IronMaiden.
** ''WebVideo/ThePhantomReviewer'' owes its whole existence thanks to this trope.
* ''Literature/LittleWomen'' has been made into several stage plays, movies, TV miniseries, anime, an opera and a Broadway musical.
* ''[[TheKingAndI Anna And The King Of Siam]]'' has given us one Broadway musical, four movies (two of which are based on the musical), and a short-lived sitcom.
* ''Literature/TheJungleBook'' has had so many film and TV adaptations, both live action and animated, that Creator/RudyardKipling's version is probably the ''least'' well-known.
* ''TheRing'' has been made into a film four times - twice in Japan (once as a semi-pornographic TV movie!), once in Korea (as ''The Ring Virus''), and once in America. There have also been two Japanese TV series, three Japanese sequels, and one American sequel (directed, oddly enough, by the same guy that directed the original Japanese film). It was also adapted into a manga.
* ''Literature/TheThreeMusketeers''. A quick search on Website/IMDb returned 48 results.
* ''Literature/{{Dracula}}''. The fact he has his own page on this very website should be proof enough of how much often he tends to appear in mediums of every shape and form. Most tend to adapt more from [[Film/{{Dracula 1931}} the famous 1931 Universal film]] then the original novel.
** ''Franchise/{{Frankenstein}}'' as well. Thomas Edison produced the first one, in 1910! Not to mention many a SpiritualLicensee using its ArtificialHuman story.
* ''TheGirlWhoLeaptThroughTime'' one novel that received: three televisions series, four live-action films, one animation film, and two manga adaptations.
* ''Literature/LesMiserables'': ''So'' much Les Miz. Over 60 adaptations for radio, anime, theatre, TV, film (the latest being a big-screen adaptation of the stage musical) and [[TheLastOfTheseIsNotLikeTheOthers at least one fighting game]]. [[http://tig.wikia.com/wiki/Arm_Joe Yep.]]
* ''Literature/TheBible'' has been adapted literally hundreds of times, covering just about every medium there is, which can be expected, since it's the religious text for the world's largest religion. Among the most commonly adapted Bible stories are the stories of Noah, Moses and Jesus.
* ''Literature/TreasureIsland'' has many film adaptations, including an {{Anime}}, a [[Series/TheMuppetShow Muppet]] [[Film/MuppetTreasureIsland version]] and a couple of versions [[RecycledInSpace set in space]]. There are also a number of television series, as well as theater, radio, video games and music.
* ''Literature/JaneEyre'' by Creator/CharlotteBronte gets adapted in film or miniseries or on stage a lot, and not only in English-speaking countries. Check the work's [[Film/JaneEyre film page]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Myth and Legend ]]

* The KingArthur mythos, of course. Every few generations needs a new adaptation of the old stories, starting with ''Literature/LeMorteDarthur'' by Malory and moving on to Tennyson, T.H. White, PeterDavid...
* RobinHood also has a ridiculous amount of adaptations, including TV shows, movies, books, video games, and that's not even getting into "[[RecycledInSpace Modern Robin Hood]]" territory.
* Myths in general have a LOT of adaptations, especially as different forms of the same legend. Even a myth dating from the Middle Ages will have a lot of different versions floating around.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Theatre ]]
* ''Theatre/{{Carmen}}'' is known for its frequent adaptations. Although most of them are derived from one particular adaptation, Bizet's opera, with the original novella falling victim to {{Adaptation Displacement}}.
* Any play by Creator/WilliamShakespeare can be found as a hundred stage adaptations (''Hamlet'' is almost never performed whole), straight up stage-to-screen adaptions, and the inspiration for new scripts.
** The BBC appears to feel a need to produce a definitive TV version of the compleat Shakespeare folio, approximately once every fifteen years or so.
* ''Theatre/{{Chess}}'' started out as a ConceptAlbum in 1984. It was adapted into a stage musical for the first time in 1986, but a mixture of ExecutiveMeddling and attempts to cope with TheGreatPoliticsMessUp meant that for some time, every time the show popped up in a new location it was practically a new musical, [[AdaptationDecay sometimes venturing pretty far from the album's storyline]]. Even a couple decades later [[BrokenBase there's no consensus on which staged version did it right]] if any did at all, so new variations of the story continue to pop up.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Toys ]]

* ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'' has to take some kind of a record. It has--let's see now--several lines of toys, [[WesternAnimation/TheTransformers the original American cartoon]], [[Anime/TransformersHeadmasters several]] successive [[Anime/TransformersSuperGodMasterforce anime]] that [[Anime/TransformersVictory continued from]] where [[Manga/TransformersZone the American one left off]], [[TransformersAllHailMegatron five or six]] different [[ComicBook/TheTransformersIDW comic book series]] spanning [[ComicBook/TransformersGenerationOne all the different TV show]] and [[ComicBook/TransformersLastStandOfTheWreckers toy eras]] ([[Comicbook/TheTransformers American and British]]), ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'', the [[Anime/BeastWarsII Japanese Beast Wars]] [[Anime/BeastWarsNeo spinoffs]], ''WesternAnimation/BeastMachines'', [[UnicronTrilogy several more Transformers anime]] set in {{Alternate Universe}}s that were dubbed for American consumption after Hasbro succumbed to fan backlash over ''Beast Machines'' (they originally intended a sequel to that named ''TransformersTransTech''), [[Film/{{Transformers}} the live-action films]] which occupy their own AU and possess their own novel and comic adaptations, [[WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated two more]] [[WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime American cartoons]] which are also their own universes, and a Japanese toy and manga series called ''Kiss Players'' which involved InterspeciesRomance on the Autobot side and ''[[AlienLunch vorarephilia]]'' on the Decepticon side.\\\
In short: Look at [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Series this full listing of everything]] and try to not go too cross-eyed. And that's not even counting the ''{{Diaclone}}'' and ''MicroMan'' Japanese lines whose overstocks and remainders were sold to Hasbro to become the original Transformers toys.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* The ''VideoGame/{{Lunar}}'' series began on the Sega CD, was reworked for the Saturn and PlayStation, had an updated version of the PS reworking, another GBA remake, and is now being remade a fifth time. The [=PlayStation=] version is generally best-known (and sadly rather thicker in clichés than the Sega CD original).
* ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros''. Less so now, but as well as the games there are the spinoff games in about ten series, three cartoon shows, about four anime films, the live action film, various manga series, three series of American comic books, German comics in Club Nintendo, the Ice Capades, books, and random series that have very little to do with anything (''Mario All Stars'' cartoon series consisting of recycled stuff from the first three, King Koopa's Kool Kartoons).
* ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' has an [[Anime/SonicX anime]], [[ComicBook/SonicX an adaptation of that anime]], an [[Anime/SonicTheHedgehogTheMovie OVA]], [[WesternAnimation/SonicSatAM two American animated series]] [[WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfSonicTheHedgehog that were launched simultaneously]], a [[WesternAnimation/SonicUnderground later American animated series]], [[WesternAnimation/SonicBoom another American animated series over a decade after those three]], a [[ComicBook/ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog U.S. comic]], a [[ComicBook/SonicTheComic UK comic]], several {{manga}}, and numerous '90s book adaptations not based off any comic. And we haven't even mentioned the spinoff games.
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'': There's the original games, the spinoff titles, the [[VideoGameRemake remakes]] of the older games (which both [[AdaptationExpansion expand upon]] the originals and [[CanonDiscontinuity retcon certain aspects of them]]), the [[Anime/{{Pokemon}} anime]], at least three manga adaptations of the anime and several movie-specific ones, various adaptations of the games, over 30 other manga which seem to do their own thing separate of other continuities. And that's just the beginning.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''Franchise/ScoobyDoo'' spawned numerous {{animated series}}, including a SpinoffBabies series, as well as many animated movies (''Reluctant Werewolf'' and ''The Ghoul School''), several live action movies, more animated movies (''Zombie Island'', ''The Alien Invaders'', etc.), another animated series with a modern update, and many more animated movies based off of that series.

[[/folder]]

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