This entry is trivia, which is cool and all, but not a trope. On a work, it goes on the Trivia tab.

No Adaptations Allowed

Most of the time adaptations are seen as a positive thing and many works are made with adaptations or merchandise in mind. These are the exception. They cannot have adaptations due to various reasons. They're considered impossible to adapt, difficult to get rights to, or the creators/publishers simply don't want adaptations.

Compare to Fanwork Ban. Contrast to Self-Adaptation, where the creator only permits adaptations that they are personally responsible for. See also Disowned Adaptation (which may cause this in future works by the creator), when adaptations have been made but the creator presumably wishes there weren't.


Anime & Manga
  • Kiyohiko Azama has not allowed Yotsuba&! to be adapted into an anime, citing a belief that it's not well-suited to an animated format. However, there have been audio adaptations.

Comic Books
  • Art Spiegelman has turned down all offers to adapt Maus into a film, viewing it as commercialization of a very personal story he never expected would explode into such popularity. According to him, his wife even joked that his greatest accomplishment has been not adapting it.

Comic Strips
  • Unusually for such a popular comic strip, Calvin and Hobbes has never had an Animated Adaptation. Official merchandise is also exceedingly rare (though bootleg material is common, such as the infamous "Peeing Calvin" decals). Bill Watterson won't allow adaptations for various reasons, including fear of loss of control over his work and a dislike for other comic strips getting adapted and marketed to the point of growing stale, such as Garfield and Peanuts.

Film - Live Action
  • The creators of Bob Roberts refused to have an official soundtrack released, despite the film having several original songs, because the song were all deliberately intended to be catchy far-right-wing anthems, and they feared that the soundtrack might attract a huge Misaimed Fandom.
  • The poor handling of Destination Moon led to Robert A. Heinlein flatly refusing for any of his books to be adapted into films ever again. This ban extended well past his death, though we eventually got the likes of The Puppet Master and Starship Troopers. Yay.
  • Dune: Owing to how the deal for the movie rights came about, no one else can ever make a Dune movie, ever. The Sci-Fi Channel (now Syfy) found a loophole and made a miniseries, though the lackluster performance of both miniseries (based on the first three books in the series) torpedoed any plans to keep going. It's only in 2017 when Legendary Pictures hired Denis Villeneuve to be the director for the new adaptation of the book. Time will tell if it will a success.


Pinball Machines
  • There are several hard to license tables that are impossible to port to home computers. Not only are the rights for the table itself needed, but music in the game, any movie license and actor likenesses can be involved too. But at least any patents are either expired or included.


  • Variant: LEGO shot down all pitches for a theatrical film involving the BIONICLE universe. This is due to these pitches involving human kids, which is contrary to the world building of the series, which states humans don't exist or will ever be a part of the universe. However, BIONICLE still got four direct to video movies.

Video Games
  • Nintendo was initially lenient with allowing their properties to get adaptations, such as the Donkey Kong segments of Saturday Supercade, elements of their works in Captain N: The Game Master, and the Super Mario Bros. and Zelda cartoon and the obscure Mario OVAs. This all came crashing down when the live-action Super Mario Bros. movie came about, played fast and loose with the source material, and critically and commercially flopped as a result. Because of its failure, Nintendo instated a mandate that their properties could no longer be adapted into feature films, and they have gotten much, much more strict with how licenses can use their characters (for example, when Bowser made a cameo appearance in Wreck-It Ralph, Nintendo gave very specific instructions for how Bowser would do things, even something as mundane as picking up and holding a cup) so far fewer animated adaptations have come about in the last few decades, save ones based on Pokémon, Kirby, and Animal Crossing. The only exceptions they've made for their feature ban is with the Pokémon anime movies. It was rumored that they were willing to allow a live-action Metroid movie to be made, but that never got off the ground. However, Nintendo seems to be lightening up on their mandate due to their announcement of an animated Mario movie made by Illumination. Nintendo's discomfort with adaptations also applies to western comics. A few 80s and early 90s comics aside, they don't allow western comics. Archie Comics once pitched a group of Nintendo comics, similar to their Mega Man and Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog comics, but were declined permission. Manga on the other hand have no issue being made, though almost none make it outside of Japan. Mario, Splatoon, Kirby, Pokémon, Metroid, and plenty of their other franchises have had manga adaptations.
  • ZUN has turned away multiple investors seeking to make an official Anime adaptation of Touhou or translate it into other languages, largely because he would lack control over such a project, and doesn't like retreading old ground in general. He is, however, very supportive of Fanime and Fan Translations as long as their unofficial nature is obvious. Due to Touhou's nature as a niche format within a niche medium, it gets a lot of its fame from Pop-Cultural Osmosis; something as mainstream as an anime would run a real risk of displacing the original in the public consciousness.