When creating a movie from a story already well-known in another medium, those making it are often faced with a crippling dilemma. How true can we stay to the source material without risking a failure at the box office? It can be a very hard call for a director. On the one hand, FanDumb will cry "DarthWiki/RuinedFOREVER" should he change one iota of the source material, and he may find himself a victim of [[NeverLiveItDown the fandom's ire from then on]]. On the other hand, ''not'' changing a thing can result in either a very poorly-made movie or one that relies so heavily on the source material that people unfamiliar with the work will be completely lost.

The scale runs something like this:
* 5. Identical Adaptation: A movie in which next to nothing is changed. These rarely fare well outside the established {{Fandom}}.
* 4. Near-Identical Adaptation: A movie that changes the material just enough to gain a specific rating or be of reasonable length. Usually rereleased with a DirectorsCut.
* 3. PragmaticAdaptation: Probably the ideal rating. A movie that manages to capture the spirit of the original work, while at the same time, embracing the new medium. These are generally big hits.
* 2. Recognizable Adaptation: Still bears enough resemblance to its source material that it can be realized as an adaptation. May involve a SettingUpdate.
* 1. InNameOnly: Shares only the name and possibly the main characters. It likely could have stood on its own as an original work otherwise.

The scale, however, is not set in stone, and often times, there is overlap. Also, TropesAreNotBad as any movie in any of these categories can become a great success. However, the further a movie falls from the center, the less likely that is.

This trope is usually applied to movie adaptations -- TheFilmOfTheBook especially -- although it can be applied to adaptations ''from'' movies as well, since other formats (books, comics, television series) have room for more material. See also TheProblemWithLicensedGames for the video game equivalent.

!Examples:

!! Type 5:
* ''SinCity''
* ''Manga/BlackLagoon'' anime
* ''MahouSenseiNegima'' {{OAV}}
* ''TheMaxx'' animated series
* ''Film/RosemarysBaby''
* [[Recap/DoctorWhoTVMTheTVMovie The 1996]] ''Series/DoctorWho'' TVMovie, when it's considered an adaptation
* Many film adaptations of stage musicals; excellent examples include:
** ''Theatre/MyFairLady''
** ''Theatre/FiddlerOnTheRoof''
** ''ThePhantomOfTheOpera''
** ''Film/TheProducers'' (2005 version)

!! Type 4:
* ''{{Literature/Holes}}''
* ''Film/ThePrincessBride''
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLordOfTheRings'' (Creator/RalphBakshi's adaptation)
* Some of the ''Film/HarryPotter'' films
* ''{{Film/Watchmen}}''
* ''BrokebackMountain''
* ''Film/{{Kick Ass}} ''
* ''Film/FightClub''
* ''[[Manga/FullmetalAlchemist Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood]]''
* ''Film/TheGodfather''
* The animated version of ''WesternAnimation/TheHobbit''
* ''Film/ScottPilgrim''
* ''Literature/TheLittlePrince'' (1974 film musical)
* ''TheBlueBird'' (1976 film)
* ''Literature/ToKillAMockingbird''
* ''Discworld/{{Hogfather}}''
* ''Film/NationalLampoonsVacation'' -- Many of the characters' names were changed (only the father's name -- Clark W. Griswold, Jr. -- was retained), the number of kids was dropped from four (Missy, Patty, Mark, and an unnamed narrator) to two (Rusty and Audrey), and the film ends on a happier note (in the original short story, Clark travels to Hollywood, shoots Creator/WaltDisney in the leg, and was forced to go to jail while the rest of the family went home, while in the movie, he causes a ruckus at Walley World and gives a speech to [[MrAltDisney Roy Walley]], who lets him and his family have their day at the park).
* ''Literature/LifeOfPi''
* ''Film/TheHungerGamesCatchingFire''
* ''[[Film/EndersGame Ender's Game]]''
* ''Film/TheSilenceOfTheLambs''
* ''Film/VampireAcademy'' is mostly loyal to the first novel of the ''Literature/VampireAcademy'' series. The differences are generally minor. Three characters receive name changes, one character is younger and more attractive than her book counterpart, three characters are of different age than their book counterparts, two characters who survive the original novel are killed in the film, [[spoiler:Natalie Dashkov kills a different person than the one she killed in the novel (Ray instead of Mr. Nagy)]], Lissa does not practice SelfHarm, and some minor book characters do not appear at all in the films. The most obvious change comes from the style of clothes the characters wear. In the books, the students of the Academy wear regular street clothes. It is a sore spot for Rose that she can't afford decent clothing, at one point wearing clothes she received from the Salvation Army. In the films, both Moroi and dhampir students wear school uniforms. Rose wears a relatively stylish uniform.

!! Type 3: PragmaticAdaptation
* Manga/{{Akira}}
* Studio Ghibli's Anime/{{Arrietty}}, to the [[Literature/TheBorrowers original novel by Mary Norton]], making it the most faithful film or TV adaptation of the original books to date.
* {{Marvel}}'s many movie franchises
* ''Film/{{Batman}}'', ''Film/BatmanForever'' and ''Film/BatmanAndRobin'' (They don't ignore the Fantastical touches and the latter two make stabs at Batman training kid sidekicks that fail more due to greater than PowerRangers level DawsonCasting and [[HurricaneOfPuns lamer than the source material dialogue.]])
* Some of the ''Film/HarryPotter'' films
* ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' (Peter Jackson's adaptations)
* Subverted with ''[[Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey 2001]]'', as both the book [[TheFilmOfTheBook and its film version]] were written in tandem by their respective authors.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLastUnicorn''
* The {{Novelization}} of ''RevengeOfTheSith''
* ''Series/TheWalkingDead''
* ''Manga/TheWorldGodOnlyKnows'' anime
* The first ''[[Film/TheNeverendingStory Neverending Story]]'' film
* The first ''Franchise/JurassicPark'' movie
* ''[[Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross Macross: Do You Remember Love?]]''
* ''Film/SweeneyToddTheDemonBarberOfFleetStreet''
* ''Film/BeingThere''
* ''Literature/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory'' has had three major adaptations that qualify: a [[Film/WillyWonkaAndTheChocolateFactory 1971 film]], [[Film/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory a 2005 film]], and a [[Theatre/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory 2013 stage musical]]. All of them put their own spin on the material, most obvious in how each finds a different way for the PinballProtagonist to "earn" their HappilyEverAfter beyond simply being the last kid standing in the tour group, as it is in the book. The 2005 and '13 versions also update the characters of Violet Beauregarde and Mike Teavee to keep in step with modern kiddie culture and technology. The 2005 film verges on Type 4 -- owing to having a bigger budget than the '71 film and not being limited by its medium the way the stage musical is -- but due to AdaptationExpansion involving a {{Backstory}} for {{Deuteragonist}} Willy Wonka that also leaves him with a significant AdaptationPersonalityChange, the ending is signifcantly more complicated than the novel's.
* ''Annie'' (both the [[{{Film/Annie1982}} 1982]] and [[{{Film/Annie1999}} 1999]] versions)
* ''Film/SpaceBattleshipYamato'' (chiefly adapts the general story of the first season while adding characters and paying homage to later sequels. Many of the designs have been updated to be more believable for a civilization on the brink of extinction, and a few characters are [[GenderSwap gender swaps]] or [[CompositeCharacter composited from two separate characters in the source]].)
* ''SonicX'' (Though the SonicAdventureSeries based arcs could go up to a 4)
* ''Film/TheColourOfMagic''
* ''Discworld/GoingPostal'' is debatable somewhere between 3 and 2.
* ''TheChroniclesOfNarnia'' is somewhere between 3 and 4. The first film is probably a 4 while the other 2 films are closer to 3.
* ''{{WesternAnimation/Coraline}}'' and wanted by the author of the book. If people wanted his story, they can read his book. The movie should have its own flavor.
* the ''Hangman's Curse'' movie. Its basic storyline is almost exactly the same, but the back story and characterization can differ wildly from the source material.
* The first ''Film/TheHungerGames'' movie
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'' TV series
* The first two episodes of the live-action drama of ''Manga/YamadaKunAndTheSevenWitches'' which are relatively similar to the first 25 manga chapters, but leave out some scenes and change the sequence of events somewhat. The other six episodes belong to Recognizable Adaptation.

!! Type 2:
* Much of the Franchise/DisneyAnimatedCanon (''Disney/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame'' and ''Disney/TheJungleBook'' especially)
* ''Film/{{Seventh Son|2015}}'', the movie adaptation of ''Literature/TheWardstoneChronicles''. It takes plot points from multiple books in the series and melds them together into an essentially original story, making many changes to existing characters along the way.
* ''WesternAnimation/HowToTrainYourDragon''
* ''Film/DragonballEvolution''
* ''Series/DresdenFiles'' TV Series
* ''Series/{{Elementary}}'' TV Series
* ''Anime/HowlsMovingCastle''
* ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}'' remake
* ''Cirque Du Freak'' based on the ''Literature/SagaOfDarrenShan'' books
* ''Series/LegendOfTheSeeker'', based of the ''Literature/SwordOfTruth'' series.
* Creator/StanleyKubrick's film of ''Film/TheShining'' is interesting in that it starts out as a Type 4, but it gradually deviates further and further from the book until it becomes a Type 2.
* Disney/Pinocchio (just barely above In Name Only).
* ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemist'', the 2003 anime adaptation of [[Manga/FullmetalAlchemist the manga by the same name]].
* Abridged version of ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofKsgMCyIXc Pinocchio]]'' by Phoenix Games
* ''Film/TheLastAirbender''
* ''Film/BatmanReturns''
* ''Film/TheDarkKnightSaga'' (It was previously listed under "Pragmatic Adaptation", but between the total dissolution of any genuinely fantastical elements (Joker has smudging make-up and Bane's mask is an anaesthetic dispenser) AND the absolute refusal to ever broach the concept of this being a person who raises and trains kid sidekicks, the changes veer slightly past the pragmatic into being just as much of an artistic rebuild as Batman Returns.)
* ''WesternAnimation/LegendOfTheGuardiansTheOwlsOfGaHoole'' directed by Zack Snyder
* ''{{WesternAnimation/Wayside}}''
* ''Film/{{Eragon}}''
* ''Film/TheNeverendingStory 2: The Next Chapter''
* ''Film/{{Thunderbirds}}'' (2004 movie directed by Johnathan Frakes. It visually looks like a live-action adaption of the television series, shares the same character names and usually their personalities. The movie however, changes the main disaster/rescue premise of the show to a LighterAndFluffier, ''Film/SpyKids''-esque romp. In order to support this genre change, [[AdultsAreUseless a number of main characters from the series are also given significantly less screentime]].)
* ''Manga/{{Trigun}}'' (anime), though it occasionally goes up to three.
* First reports from translators claim that the 2011 LiveActionAdaptation of ''RanmaOneHalf'' starts here and may dip lower.
* ''Film/TheManWhoFellToEarth''
* ''TenchiUniverse'', as an adaptation of the first OVA arc, although it still has the spirit of the show. TenchiInTokyo isn't an adaptation, but if it was, it would be somewhere between Type 1 and Type 2.
* ''Film/ThePowerOfOne'' movie
* ''Franchise/{{Bionicle}}'' [[TheProblemWithLicensedGames the game]] and ''Bionicle Heroes''.
* ''Anime/SonicTheHedgehogTheMovie'' (Although it is usually considered to be a fairly good adaptation of the spirit of the games)
* ''WesternAnimation/TheKingAndI'' (1999 animated adaptation -- {{Disneyfication}} completely warps the storyline, but the familiar songs are still there)
* ''Film/TheWizardOfOz'' (1939)
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSecretOfNIMH''
* The animated version of ''WesternAnimation/TheReturnOfTheKing''
* ''Fanfic/TheCalvinverse''
* ''[[Film/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians The Lightning Thief]]''
* ''Series/{{Sherlock}}''
* ''Series/{{Hannibal}}''
* All episodes of the live-action drama of ''Manga/YamadaKunAndTheSevenWitches'' except for the first two. While they star the same characters (except for some, like Tsubaki, who are AdaptedOut) and abilities as the manga, many weird changes are made, such as Otsuka being from a wealthy family of doctors, and Noa being a former child actress. Especially the ending is vastly different from the manga since the drama OvertookTheManga.
* ''Film/TheCatInTheHat''
* ''The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3'' and ''Super Mario World''
* ''[[Film/HoratioHornblower Captain Horatio Hornblower, R. N.]]''
* ''Series/HoratioHornblower''
* ''Series/MastersOfSex'', based on a biography about the real life Masters and Johnson research team.

!! Type 1:
* Film/AlteredStates
* ''CheaperByTheDozen''
* Studio Ghibli's ''Anime/TalesFromEarthsea''
* ''Film/{{Catwoman}}''
* ''{{Shrek}}''
* ''Film/TheRunningMan''
* ''Film/EllaEnchanted''
* ''Film/TheLeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen''
* ''Film/{{Jumper}}''
* ''Film/PeterBenchleysCreature''
* ''Film/StuartLittle''
* ''Film/TheNeverendingStory 3: Escape From Fantasia''
* ''Film/TheLostWorldJurassicPark'' (Ironically the third movie uses more scenes from the books, despite not being based on one)
* ''Film/TheNutcrackerIn3D'' (To both the book and ballet)
* The ''Film/SuperMarioBros'' movie and ''TheSuperMarioBrosSuperShow''
* ''Film/StarshipTroopers''
* ''Anime/BubblegumCrisis Tokyo 2040''
* ''WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfSonicTheHedgehog'', ''WesternAnimation/SonicSatam'', and ''SonicUnderground''
* The {{Universal|Horror}} and Film/HammerHorror takes on ''{{Dracula}}'' and ''{{Frankenstein}}'' (shading a bit into Type 2 for the Universal version of ''Dracula'').
* Most of the ''Film/ResidentEvil'' films. Interestingly enough, George A. Romero wrote a script that probably would have been a Type 3 of the first game, but his script was passed on by Paul W.S. Anderson. And the rest is history.
* ''Film/TheLawnmowerMan'', so much that StephenKing even took legal action to remove all of his associations with this film.
* ''Film/{{Carnosaur}}''. The plot has almost nothing to do with the book, and none of the same characters.
* ''Film/{{Wanted}}''
* ''{{Disney/Frozen}},'' supposedly based on ''Literature/TheSnowQueen,'' but mostly just based on the title (which it then changed).

!! Special Cases:
* ''Simon Birch'', the film adaptation of ''Literature/APrayerForOwenMeany'', goes from Type 1 to Type 5 '' as the story progresses'', passing through almost every type along the way.
* {{Power Rangers}} has varied in faithfulness to {{Super Sentai}} from season to season. They range from being as similar as a 4 (''[[Series/PowerRangersWildForce Wild Force]]'', ''[[Series/PowerRangersSamurai Samurai]]'') to as different as a 1 (''[[Series/PowerRangersInSpace In Space]]'', ''[[Series/PowerRangersRPM RPM]]'').
----