When a work becomes popular, it is likely to get adapted to another medium, often by people of a completely different mind than the original author. Sometimes the adaptation stays true to the source, at least enough to please the author. Sometimes, however, the adaptation makes the author cry, and cry very vocally against it.
A few authors will have enough pull to limit the distribution of the adaptation, or disallow further derivative works based on it. But in most cases, the creator signed away the rights long ago
, and can do little more about it other than write strongly worded letters
and perhaps strive for more creative control in the future.
This is limited to works that were adapted while the creator of the original was still alive. We would like to think that some posthumous adaptations has the author(s) rolling in their graves, but we'll never know. It's also worth nothing that several examples here, while disliked by the creator, were very well received by critics and fans so this does not automatically mean the result of the adaptation was terrible
A variant of Creator Backlash
. See also Canon Discontinuity
. Contrast Creator-Preferred Adaptation
, Spiritual Licensee
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Anime and Manga
- Similarly to the Live Action listing below, Ursula K. Le Guin also disowned Tales from Earthsea, a Studio Ghibli adaptation of some of the Earthsea books. Her initial response can be read here. But she did stress she liked many things about it. "It is not my book. It is your movie. It is a good movie."
- The animated movie version of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood was supposedly so poorly received by the creator, Hirohiko Araki, that he has refused to release it on home video ever since its 2007 theatrical release.
- Hayao Miyazaki would like to stress that the Macekre version of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, titled Warriors of the Wind, is much better off forgotten. So much so that for years he refused to allow any of his other works to be dubbed. It took Disney itself agreeing to not changing a single scene before he would release the rest. Miyazaki was so serious that he mailed a katana to Disney, along with a note reading "NO CUTS" upon agreement.
- Yoshihiro Yamada for unstated reasons demanded his credit for Hyouge Mono be changed from "original work" (原作) to "original concept" (原案).
- Of Powerpuff Girls Z, Craig McKraken said "I'm sure it'll do well in it's home country." Which sounds like a polite condemnation of the show.
- Tove Jansson did not approve of the changes made to the first anime adaptation of The Moomins (1969), feeling that it strongly misinterpreted her work and intentions for the characters. The series was soon discontinued, and Jansson refused for it to be licensed overseas. This adaptation has also never made it to DVD, due to the fact that two different studios worked on it, as well as not being able to obtain permission from Jansson's estate.
- Riyoko Ikeda disowned the ending of the animated adaptation of Rose of Versailles for having Alain leave the army to become a farmer. To drive home the point, the sequel Eroica starts with Alain having been discharged for political reasons but still in Paris, and he rejoins the army early in the story after impressing Napoleon Bonaparte himself.
- Masami Tsuda despised what Gainax did to the animated version of Kare Kano so much that she had it cancelled after one season. She wanted a more character and plot-driven story (and in fact, the manga becomes very dark as it goes by), but Gainax had inserted lots of screwball comedy to try for some balance. Tsuda then got so upset that she demanded for Hideaki Anno to be fired from the adaptation.
- Yoshihiro Togashi was allegedly so upset with all the changes that Noriyuki Abe did to the anime of YuYu Hakusho, that this trope is rumored to be one of the reasons why Togashi cancelled the YYH manga as a whole.
- Any adaptation of anything ever written by Alan Moore, ever — with the exception of For the Man Who Has Everything on Justice League Unlimited and Saturday Morning Watchmen.
- V for Vendetta: Moore specifically requested that his name be removed from the production after Joel Silver (the film's producer) lied about Moore's enthusiasm for the shooting script. This, and the rather poor quality of previous adaptations of From Hell and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, prompted his (in retrospect, possibly hasty) decision to have his name removed from any and all adaptations of works he has no ownership of, and his pseudo-royalties distributed amongst the relevant artists. Hence, he has received no money from the filmmakers behind V for Vendetta, Constantine, or the Watchmen movie.
- Zack Snyder, director of Watchmen once said that the best-case scenario of ever getting Moore to watch his movie was that there might come one odd day where Moore accidentally puts the DVD into his player and turns it off after a second. Moore replied to this by saying Snyder was giving the movie too much credit; "I'm never going to watch this fucking thing".
- Daphne du Maurier disliked Alfred Hitchcock's adaptation of her short story The Birds (articularly for changing the setting to America).
- Michael Ende requested that the movie adaptation of The Neverending Story be killed before release or, failing that, not be associated with his name in any way. They did neither.
- Given that adaptations of Stephen King's novels tend to be hit-or-miss, it's no surprise that there are a few that he isn't proud of. Some of the ones he did dislike, however, may be surprising.
- He didn't hate the movie The Lawnmower Man, but sued to get his name off of it because it was largely an In Name Only adaptation.
- He quite famously had a lot of problems with Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of The Shining, to the point where he's said it's the only adaptation of his work that he remembers outright hating. He felt that, while the film has a lot of memorable imagery, it was far too emotionally cold and distant for his liking, and diverged too greatly from the novel (for example, ignoring the themes of the family's disintegration and the dangers of alcoholism). He was also opposed to the casting of Jack Nicholson, feeling that his performance made it too obvious from the start that Jack Torrance was unhinged, and felt that the film's version of Wendy was "one of the most misogynistic characters ever put on film." Lastly, he disagreed with the decision not to film at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, the inspiration for the book's settingnote . The changes irritated him enough that, in 1997, he produced and wrote a made-for-TV miniseries adaptation of the book.
- He has also dissociated himself from both remakes of Carrie, as well as The Rage: Carrie 2. Unlike The Shining, though, this isn't so much because he thinks they're a disgrace to his original novel (he considers it one of his lesser works), but rather, because he thinks they're a disgrace to Brian De Palma's 1976 film adaptation, which he finds to be a better work than his book.
- Roald Dahl allegedly hated the film version of The Witches so much that he stood outside cinemas with a megaphone telling people not to watch. The only thing he was pleased with was the casting of Angelica Huston as the head witch.
- Elizabeth Knox cried for days after watching the film adaptation of The Vintners Luck. In a bad way.
- P. L. Travers hated the Disney film adaptation of her Mary Poppins books. When a stage musical was made in the '90s, Travers made the condition that no one from the film production were to be involved with the making of the musical.
- J. D. Salinger's short story Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut was adapted to a film called My Foolish Heart in 1949. The film had little resemblance to the original, and Salinger hated it so much, that he never again allowed his work to be filmed.
- Clive Barker has made this Twitter post regarding Hellraiser Revelations:
Clive Barker: Hello,my friends. I want to put on record that the flic out there using the word Hellraiser IS NO FUCKINí CHILD OF MINE! I have NOTHING to do with the fuckiní thing. If they claim its from the mind of Clive Barker, itís a lie. Itís not even from my butt-hole.
- Graham Dury underwent a full-fledged Creator Breakdown after the release of the widely loathed Fat Slags movie, which he called "crap from start to end."
- The people at The Topps Company (who own the Garbage Pail Kids franchise) were so embarrassed by The Garbage Pail Kids Movie that immediately after it was released they refused to talk about it.
- Stanislaw Lem disliked both film versions of his science fiction novel Solaris, stating that they focus on the human characters too much, and miss the actual theme of his novel, which is the impossibility of comprehending a truly alien intelligence.
- Ayn Rand hated the 1949 movie version of The Fountainhead, even though the screenplay was written by her and barely altered. She refused to let any of her other novels be filmed unless they let her pick the director and edit the film herself.
- One of the most extreme examples of this trope is Ralph Bakshi's Fritz the Cat, based on Robert Crumb's work. Crumb hated the film so much he killed the character off and refused to reuse him ever again. He also wasn't too fond of the documentary Crumb.
- Jerry Lewis was supportive of Eddie Murphy's 1996 remake of The Nutty Professor until he saw how much Toilet Humor there was. However, he would change his mind about it by 2009.
- Peter Chung, the creator of ∆on Flux, has spoken at length about his extreme unhappiness with the live action film version.
- Alan Martin, the original writer of the Tank Girl comics, was so unhappy with the film version that he wrote "Tank Girl is dead" in the introduction to the Tank Girl 3 trade paperback, and didn't write the character again for around ten years. He was quoted as saying, "Most adaptations are like breaking into a bank vault from a sewer. This was like doing it the other way around."
- Gerry Anderson, the creator of Thunderbirds, has gone on record as saying that Team America: World Police was closer to the spirit of the show than the 2004 film adaptation. Given that he's not particularly fond of Team America (mainly due to its raunchy humor, which meant that he couldn't watch it with his kids), that's saying something.
- Joss Whedon and the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie. He only considers the script to be canon as far as the TV show's continuity is concerned.
- Cast members of the original Mission: Impossible television series disliked the Mission: Impossible movie starring Tom Cruise, especially for how it turned Jim Phelps into a treacherous villain.
- Robert Conrad, who played Jim West on the television series The Wild Wild West, was very vocal in his disdain of its 1999 film adaptation Wild Wild West, personally accepting the Razzies it "won".
- Despite being credited for coming up with the original story, Quentin Tarantino claims that the finalized script used for Natural Born Killers is such a huge departure from his original version, that the only thing in common between them are the names of the main characters (Mickey and Mallory).
- Anne Rice can't seem to decide whether she likes the film adaptations of her The Vampire Chronicles books or not. At first, she was very much against the choice of Tom Cruise for the role of Lestat in Interview with the Vampire, but later changed her mind and endorsed the film. The much looser adaptation of Queen of the Damned resulted in Rice, at first, being against it. Then, after meeting the star Stuart Townsend, she mellowed down and gave her support. Two years later, she would change her mind again. On her Facebook page, Rice now claims that the film is a "mutilation" of her work. Of course, she now regrets even writing the books in the first place, having found religion since then.
- When Paddy Chayefsky adapted his novel Altered States for the screen, he got into disputes with directors Arthur Penn (who eventually quit) and Ken Russell, and threatened to sue if one word of his script was changed. Even that clause didn't stop him from being disappointed in the final product.
- Akira Toriyama was not pleased with Dragonball Evolution, as it was bordering on an In Name Only adaptation and he went online to voice his disgust after its release and subsequent critical and commercial failure. Dragon Ball voice actors Sean Schemmel, Sonny Strait, and Christopher Sabat have also spoken at conventions saying they hate the movie.
- Creator Gene Roddenberry was not a fan of many of the Star Trek films which followed The Motion Picture, after which the franchise was taken away from him and put in the hands of Harve Bennett (even going as far as publicly disowning The Final Frontier). Also an example of the above point, as many people believe that the films seen a marked improvement beginning with the first non-Roddenberry film, The Wrath of Khan.
- Nigel Kneale was very unhappy with the Hammer Horror film adaptations of his first two Quatermass serials, in particular due to the casting of the American Brian Donleavy as Quatermass and to the replacement of the "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight climax of the first serial with the military just blowing the monster up. He was much happier with the film version of Quatermass and the Pit, which recast Quatermass, was a very intelligent Compressed Adaptation of the series, and came up with the brilliant idea of having the "Pit" be a London Underground station instead of an ordinary building site.
- Michael Oher, the subject of the Michael Lewis book The Blind Side, is not a fan of the film adaptation due to the large number of inaccuracies and because of the attention he received when the film was released (he even asked reporters not to ask questions about the film during Super Bowl XLVII's media day).
- Ira Gershwin and his wife Leonore disliked the 1959 film version of Porgy and Bess, to the point that it has been out of circulation because of this.
Michael Strunsky: trustee of Ira Gershwin's estate:
"[Leonore] didn't want it distributed. She and [Ira] felt it was a Hollywoodization of the piece. We [the estate] now acquire any prints we find and destroy them. We are often approached for permission to show the film, which we consistently deny."
- Dr. Seuss' widow Audrey Geisel was so disgusted by the 2003 film adaptation of Cat in the Hat starring Mike Myers that she has since forbidden any more live action adaptations of her husband's works.
- Max Brooks disowned the film adaptation of World War Z as it was about to be released, not happy with the changes made to his book.
- Lois Duncan, in an interview included with reprints of her novel I Know What You Did Last Summer, stated that she felt the film adaptation to be a mockery of the book, though she did admittedly appreciate how it produced more interest in her work.
- Julie Maroh, writer-artist of the graphic novel Blue Is the Warmest Colour, disassociated herself from the film version even though it won the Palme d'Or at Cannes, stating that she felt that the film's lesbian sex scenes were unrealistic and shot to titillate male viewers, and that she was uncomfortable that the two main actresses were both straight.
- While Stephenie Meyer generally gave approval of the film adaptation of her series, she expressed disapproval at quite a few changes in Eclipse, most notably the scene where Edward yells at Jacob for forcibly kissing Bella (she initially said it made Edward not be the bigger man, then later said it was because Edward angrily grabbing Jacob's arm should have ripped it off, if it were canon). This possibly explains why she was given much more creative control over the final two movies.
- Author of the manga Hagane no Onna was very displeased by the live action adaptation of her manga. Specifically the depiction of teachers, handicapped children, and the children's guardians in the second episode of the live action series. She asked for her name to be taken off the credits as a result.
- Ursula K. Le Guin loathed the Sci-Fi Channel's Earthsea mini-series.
- A Newsweek interviewer asked Madeleine L'Engle about the ABC made-for-TV adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time and got the following response:
L'Engle: I've glimpsed it.
Newsweek: And did it meet expectations?
L'Engle: Oh, yes. I expected it to be bad, and it is.
- James Gurney disavowed any connection to the Dinotopia miniseries and TV series because they were so far from the vision of his books.
- Len Deighton disliked the ITV adaptation of his Game, Set and Match trilogy of spy novels so much that he continues to contractually veto any home video release of it, forcing anyone who actually liked it to Keep Circulating the Tapes.
- The British crime novelist Liza Cody absolutely hated the ITV adaptation of her private eye novels featuring Anna Lee. To the point that she gave up writing books with Anna as protagonist in favour of a new central character, Eva Wylie, who seemed consciously designed to appall TV executives.
- Dennis Lyxzen of Refused wasn't happy when he heard rap-rock band Crazytown cover "New Noise". He said of it "History [will not] be kind on Crazytown and that feels good."
- Python Anghelo co-designed Pin*Bot and The Machine: Bride of Pin*Bot. To say that he was displeased with the sequel, Jack*Bot, would be a massive understatement.
Python Anghelo: "...itís like saying, listen to this analogy, 'your biggest successes on our menu were pea soup, the shrimp pizza, and apple strudel with vanilla ice cream. Now you take those motherf***ers and put them all in a bowl and theyíll taste great.'"
- George Bernard Shaw hated The Chocolate Soldier, adapted from his play Arms and the Man, so much that no other musical adaptations of his plays appeared in his lifetime. The film version of The Chocolate Soldier, an adaptation In Name Only, was barred from using anything from Shaw's play.
- Tim Rice was not fond of the Broadway version of his musical Chess (which, despite being in the same medium as its first adaptation, was very different from its London counterpart). The production brought in a new book writer to overhaul the story, which presumably contributes to Rice's opinion of it seeing as the original book was written by him. In the souvenir program for an Australian production that opened a couple years later, he refers to the show's time on Broadway as "traumatic."
- Mitsuo Fukuda, in a series of Twitter posts, wasn't happy over how Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny was adapted in the Super Robot Wars games (specifically, Super Robot Wars Z), presumably due to the Fix Fic nature of the games:
To be honest, I'm not very happy. The original story is complete as it is, so it's outrageous to add or modify the images and script. However, games are a different media so I think it's fine. The thing I hate most about the games are that even though they use the name (Gundam SEED Destiny), the contents are totally no good... There are many people who think that way, and there are many staff members who work really hard on making (these games), so I don't object. However, spare me from the people who come and go "Director, you're happy too aren't you?" — Mitsuo Fukuda
- Meanwhile, Kenichi Suzumura, Shinn Asuka's VA, calls the SRWZ version of Shinn "the true Shinn in his heart", making it an aversion.
- Hideo Kojima, who was not involved in the NES version of the original Metal Gear, doesn't like it due to the many changes that were made from the redesigned stages (such as the addition of a jungle area at the beginning) to the omission of the actual Metal Gear mecha.
I really donít like saying this, but (the NES version of Metal Gear) really wasnít up to my standards. The care that I put in the original (MSX2 version) wasnít there. The NES version was a more difficult game. In the very beginning, when you go from the entrance into the fortress, for example, there are dogs there. In the NES version, the dogs just come after you and you get killed. It was too difficult to get into the fortress. The fun stealth element was not there, and the actual Metal Gear, the robot, doesnít appear in the game.
— Hideo Kojima
- Kojima's opinion about Snake's Revenge has changed over the years. It has ranged anywhere from liking it, hating it, or finding it to be average.
- Henk Rogers, co-founder of The Tetris Company, regrets lending the Tetris name to Tetris Attack, which was actually a modified U.S. version of the Super Famicom puzzle game Panel de Pon. He doesn't disapprove of the game itself so much as he felt that publishing it under the Tetris name didn't allow it to stand under its own merits. Localizations of later versions dropped the "Tetris" name completely and were released under the title of Puzzle League instead.
Tetris Attack was a good game! But the game should have had its own life, its own name.
- Tomonobu Itagaki, the outspoken director of the 2004 Xbox reboot of Ninja Gaiden, disowns the PS3 version (Ninja Gaiden Sigma) that Team Ninja later produced without his involvement. He has vocally disapproved of the port, even while he was still employed by Tecmo, and has reportedly refused to autograph any copy of the game. Specifically, he criticized Sigma for being more or less a straight port of his original Xbox version and not taking advantage of the superior hardware specs of the PS3.
- Castlevania producer Koji Igarashi wasn't very fond of the Sega Saturn port of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, which was developed by a different team (Konami Computer Entertainment Nagoya), as noted in the June 2007 issue of Play Magazine:
"I understand why fans who've never played the Saturn version would be interested in those features, but I really, really don't feel good about them. I couldn't put my name on that stuff and present it to Castlevania fans." — Koji Igarashi
- Shinji Mikami intended Resident Evil 4 to be a GameCube-exclusive and said he would commit harakiri if the game was ever ported to another platform. He ended up leaving Capcom after learning that the company was going to port the game to the PlayStation 2 without his approval.
- South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker have admitted that part of the reason why they're overseeing the development of the upcoming RPG based on the series, South Park: The Stick of Truth, is because they disliked the Acclaim-published games released during the show's early years.
- Masahiro Ito, who worked as a graphic designer in Silent Hill 2 and Silent Hill 3, disapproved many of the changes made to his work in the Silent Hill: HD Collection, adding more fuel to the backlash it received (and for good reasons). They have, however, patched a lot of the problems on the PS3 version since.
- Running With Scissors, makers of the Postal games, farmed out Postal III to Russian studio Akella, and after seeing the "finished" product, regret having ever done so. They pulled the game from their store and refuse to acknowledge it as part of the series, referring to it as "Russian Postal" and "Akella's Postal Spin-Off".
- Eric Chahi publicly disowned Heart of the Alien, Interplay's Sega CD sequel to Another World, years after it was released. Chahi acted as a creative consultant during the sequel's early planning stages, but was not involved in the actual development and most of his ideas were ignored as a result.
- Kenji Inafune, the creator of the Mega Man series, utterly hated Super Adventure Rockman, a Japan-only FMV title that was mostly handled by others, only dropped into his lap for touch ups where he wasn't allowed any big changes. His main beef was that it included death in the Classic series, which he felt he owed to the fans to keep light hearted and friendly. He went as far as to apologize for it in the Official Complete Works.
- He also apologized for the Game Boy Mega Man II, feeling the company that made it didn't "get" Mega Man.
- Yoshihisa Kishimoto, creator of the Double Dragon series, disliked the Master System port of the first game produced by Sega, claiming that Sega focused too much on trying to faithfully reproduce the arcade version's level designs, moves and enemy characters on a less capable hardware at the expense of the game's playability and visuals. He said that Sega should've instead remade the game completely around the Master System's hardware specs, much like his own team did when they were working on the NES version.
- Nintendo has done everything in their power to forget the three CD-i Legend of Zelda games, Faces Of Evil, Wand Of Gamelon, and Zelda's Adventure, ever existed. The games weren't even made by the creators of the series, and have been excommunicated entirely from the official timelines.
- The same goes for the other Nintendo-licensed CD-i game, Hotel Mario.
- Bob Gale hated many adaptations of the Back to the Future franchise, especially the first one by LJN Toys. According to him, they didn't want any input from the filmmakers, and when he finally saw the game, he wanted a lot changed, but was told it was too late for any changes to be made. He advised fans not to buy the game, and felt that Telltale Games handled it much better with their own game.
- The Animated Adaptation of Charlotte's Web made by Hanna-Barbera was despised by E.B. White, the author of the original book, because he said that "the story is interrupted every few minutes so that somebody can sing a jolly song. I don't care much for jolly songs. The Blue Hill Fair, which I tried to report faithfully in the book, has become a Disney World, with 76 trombones. But that's what you get for getting embroiled in Hollywood." White's wife wrote a letter to Gene Deitch (who, ironically, is friends with White) in 1977 saying: "We have never ceased to regret that your version of Charlotte's Web never got made. The Hanna-Barbera version has never pleased either of us... a travesty..."
- Pogo creator Walt Kelly despised Chuck Jones' The Special Pogo Birthday Special, mainly for mucking about with what Kelly wanted, and how "he took all the sharpness out of it and put in that sweet, saccharine stuff that Chuck Jones always THINKS is Disney, but isn't." Considering Kelly was a former Disney animator and a good friend of Walt Disney, he wasn't saying that lightly. He and his wife, Selby, worked on their own animated Pogo short (We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us) that would've been more political and closer to the strip, but Walt's failing health prevented it from being completed.
- Bloom County creator Berkeley Breathed is disappointed by the 1991 animated special based on one of his books, A Wish for Wings That Work (which itself is based on Bloom County), because of the overall results, despite being credited as writer and executive producer.
- When asked about a copy of the special on VHS or DVD in a 2003 interview, Breathed replied that "Hopefully in the rubbish pail. We can do better than that and we will with an eventual Opus film.. but I'm glad you enjoyed it. I presume your family was on speed when they watched it. I would imagine it helps."
- In a 2007 interview, Breathed claims that the reason he dislikes the special was simply "unspectacular ratings" and his humor "wasn't meant for television, even if it was done right." Another reason was his "lack of writing experience" and the director was way over his head. He also would have preferred Sterling Holloway to provide the voice for Opus.
- Little Lulu creator Marjorie Henderson Buell hated the cartoons made by Famous Studios in the 1940s, which she didn't feel were true to the original comics, and got involved with the making of those two Lulu shorts in the '60s to make sure that they were faithful to her work.
- It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown upset Charles Schulz by showing the Little Red-Haired Girl and giving her a name (Heather) as he had wanted her to remain The Ghost. He subsequently declared that the TV specials weren't canon and only the comic strip counted (not that that stopped him from continuing to help write the TV specials).
- Around the time of Star Trek: The Next Generation, series creator Gene Roddenberry admitted that he no longer considered Star Trek: The Animated Series to be canon, believing aspects of it to be "apocryphal".
- Just averted with Yellow Submarine. At first, the Beatles wanted to disassociate themselves from the project based on the poor reviews of their TV special Magical Mystery Tour. But after seeing the finished project, the group got excited and chose to do the live ending. To this day, Paul and Ringo still embrace the film.