Let's face it: Most of the time, a work is at its best in its original form
. However, sometimes there are exceptions to this, and be it by Adaptation Distillation
, Adaptation Expansion
, or Superlative Dubbing
, the new version of a story comes out so much better than the old that even the original creator admits the superiority of the new one.
Compare Approval of God
, which refers to fanworks that the creator has a positive opinion on, even if they don't Ascend
into canon. Contrast Disowned Adaptation
. See also Superlative Dubbing
Anime and Manga
- The English dub of Cowboy Bebop is considered superior to the Japanese version by some of the original crew.
- The staff at 4Kids Entertainment apparently loves Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, although Konami and Upper Deck do not.
- This may be due to the fact that much of the humor is derived from changes made to the show when it was dubbed into English - changes that obviously wouldn't be present in the Japanese version.
- Also, much the cast and crew at FUNimation, such as Christopher Sabat, enjoy Team Four Star's Dragon Ball Z: The Abridged Series. A couple cast members have even gotten work there. Scott Frerichs (AKA Kaiser Neko) was even an extra in the official dub for Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’.
- Hayao Miyazaki reportedly prefers the French dub of Porco Rosso (with Jean Reno in the title role) to the original.
- Yasuhiro Nightow has nothing but praise for the animated version of Trigun. After the anime ended, he started having anime-only characters cameo in the manga, and cribbed the anime's climax to use in his story several years later.
- Satoshi Tajiri, the creator of Pokémon, once stated that the Pokémon Special manga most resembles the world that he was trying to convey. It's a long outdated quote though, and very likely does not hold true post Generation II (because Tajiri isn't even in charge of the franchise past then, Junichi Masuda is).
- Ironically, while there were many fans who hated the ending to the 2003 anime adaptation of Fullmetal Alchemist, Arakawa not only enjoyed the changes and approved them, but had requested that the anime come up with a different ending to begin with, not wanting to just tell the same exact story in both media.
- Despite the fandom's reaction to the event, Hajime Isayama of Attack on Titan has gone on the record to say that he preferred how the anime handled Annie's Villainous Breakdown to the way it ended up in the manga, since it more closely matched his original plan for how he wanted that scene to go and he regrets not using it. In fact, he outright pushed for many of the changes himself in order to 'improve' on the manga.
- Masashi Kishimoto, creator of Naruto, considers the best adaptation to be... the Ultimate Ninja Storm video game series!
- James M. Cain noted he preferred the movie Double Indemnity to his original story—specifically the framing story element. He also thought it ended better.
- Chuck Palahniuk prefers the ending of the film version of Fight Club to his own, feeling that David Fincher emphasizing the narrator's romance with Marla was more in keeping with the message he was going for, and that the point of the story was to show the narrator "reaching the point where he can commit to a woman." He's even said that he's a little embarrassed by the novel nowadays.
- The author of The Prestige had this reaction to seeing the movie: "'Well, holy shit.' I was thinking, 'God, I like that,' and 'Oh, I wish I'd thought of that.'"
- Stephen King:
- In an interview on the DVD of The Mist, he said that he liked the movie's bleaker ending better than that of the original story, and wished he'd thought of it himself. In fact, when he first saw the new ending that Frank Darabont came up with, he personally intervened to get the studio to approve it; they wanted to remain faithful to the more hopeful ending of King's original story.
- He feels the same way about the original 1976 adaptation of Carrie, to the point where it's the chief reason why he doesn't like the sequel or either of the remakes — he feels that they do a disservice not to his book, but to Brian De Palma's film.
- He also prefers the happier ending of the film adaptation of Cujo to the grimmer ending of the book, which he views as something of an embarrassment in hindsight, having written it when he was at a very dark point in his life due to cocaine addiction (such that he can barely remember writing half of it).
- Mark Millar has said that the Kick-Ass movie is superior to the comic book. He had originally devised the comic story as a movie pitch.
- Gary Wolf preferred the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit to the novel he wrote, Who Censored Roger Rabbit?, upon which it was based. He loved it so much that when he wrote a sequel to the film, he retconned the first story as a dream.
- J. K. Rowling has said that there are some things in the Harry Potter movies which she wished she had made up when she wrote the books. The only such thing she has named specifically is the talking Shrunken Head from the third film. Ironically, the fandom tends to regard the shrunken head as The Scrappy.
- David Morrell, the writer of First Blood preferred the ending of its film adaptation as Rambo doesn't die... thus allowing for sequels that ended up making him millions.
- In the book Fahrenheit 451, Clarisse is abruptly revealed to have been killed by a speeding car. The film changed this so that she lived and escaped with the exiles. The author Ray Bradbury preferred her survival, and included it in the stage adaptation and semi-official video game sequel.
- Philip K. Dick felt that Blade Runner (at least, the director's cut, not the butchered theatrical version) was superior to its source material, his novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and was amazed at how the book was "escalated into such stunning dimensions."
- Maybe not preferred, but Ridley Scott has said that while it plays fast and loose with the original vision he had for the creatures, he likes Aliens enough to consider it canon, whereas everything else besides the original Alien and the prequel Prometheus are considered Canon Discontinuity.
- Jaws: Not necessarily as a whole, but Peter Benchley wished he had the classic "You're gonna need a bigger boat" in his novel. Benchley also admitted the movie had much better character development. And while he likes the way he wrote the shark's death (finally dying of its wounds), he admitted after watching it that Spielberg's worked for the big screen in a way that wouldn't have.
- P.D. James was reportedly quite happy with how the film version of Children of Men came out and admitted that certain details from the movie (such as the Sterility Plague afflicting women instead of men) made more sense than in the novel.
- On the author's commentary for The Princess Bride film, William Goldman mentions wishing certain lines were in the book. Although he wrote the script, certain lines ("Dream of large women") were added to the film.
- The 2014 adaptation of Left Behind was highly praised by the books' authors, Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, who had hated the Cloud Ten films.
- Peter Jackson and the cast and crew for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit say they prefer the extended versions of the films, especially the extended cut for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.
- Despite he and the rest of his The Death of Superman cohorts having done material built off it, Dan Jurgens had taken issue with how John Byrne ended his Superman run—or more specifically, the fact that it ended with Superman executing General Zod. Jurgens has said that he prefers how Man of Steel handled its version of Superman killing General Zod, done as a heat-of-the-moment decision made to protect an innocent family over the cold execution Byrne went for.
- Janet Evanovich feels One For The Money was an improvement over her novel, even though the film is disliked by much of the fan base.
- Nick Hornby, the writer of About a Boy, prefers the ending of the 2002 movie to that of the original book.
- Umberto Eco thinks that William Weaver's English translations of his novels are better than the originals.
- George R.R. Martin doesn't prefer Game of Thrones to his series of books that they are based off of, but he has gone on record that there are slight differences he wished he had thought of. In addition, he's apparently said that he might move some of the TV-only characters over to later books, citing Natalie Tena's performance of Osha as being more interesting than how he had written it.
- Robert Kirkman, creator of The Walking Dead, prefers the TV series over the original comic on a number of points. In particular, he's a huge fan of Daryl, a character created for the show, to the point where he feels that bringing him into the comic would do a disservice to the show. He also feels that Shane and Carol's arcs were handled better on the show.
- Trent Reznor, describing hearing Johnny Cash's cover of "Hurt", stated that "that song isn't mine anymore."
- Apparently, Dolly Parton said the same thing about Whitney Houston's cover of "I Will Always Love You."
- After Jimi Hendrix released his cover of "All Along the Watchtower" on Electric Ladyland, Bob Dylan publicly stated that he was going to start playing the Hendrix version instead of his own in the future.
- Small example, but after Joe Cocker 's version of "With a Little Help from My Friends" changed the line "what would you think if I sang out of tune" to "what would you do if I sang out of tune", even Ringo Starr started using the modified lyrics.
- Billy Bragg liked Kirsty Mac Coll's cover of "A New England", and added her additional lyrics to his live versions after her death.
- Tears for Fears love Gary Jules and Michael Andrews' stripped down cover of "Mad World" (which renewed the popularity of the original), and it was one of the reasons they got back into the music industry. They have commented that the original new wave mood of the song was of its time and not necessarily fitting to the lyrics. Since the cover came out, they play a sort of hybrid version of theirs and the Jules/Andrews version when playing it live.
- When Frank Sinatra covered the Beatles song "Something", he made a minor lyrical change, changing the line "you stick around now, it may show" to "You stick around, Jack, she might show". George Harrison would use the new lyric in life performances since then, up until his death. Harrison has also been quoted as saying "My personal favourite is the version by James Brown. It was one of his B-sides. I have it on my jukebox at home. It's absolutely brilliant."
- After "Weird Al" Yankovic released "Gump", The Presidents of the United States of America later performances of "Lump" added the Forrest Gump quote that finishes the parody ("And that's all I have to say about that").
- Though he hasn't gone so far as to call it superior to the original, Robert Smith loved Dinosaur Jr.'s version of "Just Like Heaven", and has said it influenced the way The Cure play it live. The original studio recording had a clean guitar lead, whereas in live performances they tend to emulate J. Mascis' distorted guitar tone, making the song sort of sound like a hybrid of the original version and the Dinosaur Jr. cover.
- Arthur Miller thought Dustin Hoffman's performance as Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman was the definitive portrayal of the character, surpassing even Miller's original Willy, Lee J. Cobb.
- Vincenzo Bellini's preferred Maria Malibran as Amina in his opera La Sonnambula even though the character was first portrayed by Giuditta Pasta.
- The creators, and many Japanese fans, of Kingdom Hearts apparently liked the dub voice actors so much that whenever special-edition re-releases of the games come out of Japan, they use the English vocal track exclusively. It helps that many of the English voices are the original voice actors from the original English releases of the Disney movies.
- Even though it's a Massively Multiplayer Crossover, the writers behind Super Robot Wars generally churns out favorable results from Humongous Mecha series that wind up not being well received in their original animated form (various Gundam and Neon Genesis Evangelion being a few prime examples). Kenichi Suzumura, the voice actor for Shinn Asuka in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, stated he preferred how the events of Super Robot Wars Z handled his character.
- Tom Itagaki considers the Sega Saturn version of the original Dead or Alive to be the definite version, moreso than the Model 2 arcade original or the later PS port that added Ayane and Bass to the roster, to the point that it's the version of the game included in DOA Hardcore
- Covered in some detail in this Cracked article. In addition to the Stephen King, Chuck Palahniuk, Anne Rice, and Philip K. Dick examples above, it also mentions how Agatha Christie frequently rewrote the endings to her stories when adapting them into plays.
- And followed up in another article on the same website, "6 Adaptations That Fixed The Book (According To The Author)", which mentions the Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Cujo, About a Boy, Attack on Titan, and Fahrenheit 451 examples listed above.