Spiritual Adaptation
aka: Spiritual Licensee

It's a shame that there was never a good Alien game on the NES... Oh wait, actually I take it back! There were some good Alien games on the NES! They're called Contra and Metroid! Yeah.

While a Spiritual Successor is for any plot that is reused without the same setting/characters, a Spiritual Adaptation is when the plot is used in a different medium. This often occurs because the creators in the new medium are not the same creators/producers of the original medium, which means they don't have access to the intellectual property rights of the original storyline.

It's particularly evident with video games; most people have certain movie characters with tons of potential they dream of playing as in an amazing game, yet as most movie licensed games are terrible, there's almost no chance of that happening. The storyline may deal with the same themes or problems faced by a very similar cast of characters, but without getting the licence, the creators have put together an original work instead. Fans check out the new work, and recognize story elements from a work in a different medium.

Sub-Trope to Spiritual Successor, where any work that shares the same themes/creators is written in a new setting.


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    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Galaxy Quest is sometimes called "the best Star Trek movie ever made".
  • With Christian Bale starring, Terminator Salvation is the closest thing to a Batman vs. Terminator film we will ever see.
  • Dark Prince: The True Story of Dracula is closer to Doctor Doom's origin story than the one in the actual Fantastic Four film.
  • Béla Tarr's The Turin Horse is the best adaptation of The Gay Science ever made.
  • Charade was famously called the "Best Hitchcock movie that Alfred Hitchcock never made".
  • The Masters of the Universe film is described on That Other Wiki as being the best Jack Kirby's Fourth World movie ever attempted. Though Word Of God from the director indicates he meant to do an homage to the work of Kirby in a general sense, not the Fourth World in particular.
    • Inverted in the case of Abraxas, Guardian of the Universe which blatantly uses plot devices like "Answer Box", "Anti-Life Equation" and something like a Boom Tube. It is not in any way a good movie, Fourth World or otherwise.
  • When Harry Met Sally... is the best Woody Allen film never made.
  • Martin & Porter's DVD & Video Guide calls A Few Good Men "the best Perry Mason movie ever made."
  • Snow Day was originally written as a film adaptation of The Adventures of Pete & Pete, and it shows.
  • Aliens is often referred to as a stealth adaptation of Robert A. Heinlein's Starship Troopers — and a far superior adaptation to the later officially-licensed film. And even though it was just one suit, Aliens even had more Powered Armor than the actual Starship Troopers film franchise (at least until the third, straight-to-DVD film).
  • Double Impact, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, is considered a better adaptation of the Double Dragon video game than the official Double Dragon movie starring Scott Wolf and Mark Dacascos. It even had Bolo Yeung playing an Abobo-like henchman who throws oil drums at his enemies.note 
    • Savages also has the basic plotline of the first Double Dragon game. Criminals have kidnapped the girl-friend of two guys who now have to battle their way to get her back.
  • Many Warhammer 40,000 fans like to consider Event Horizon canonical.
    • Likewise, some Doom fans consider it to be a better Doom movie than the one the game actually got. After all, the background of the game was, some scientists in space were experimenting with teleportation, and they created a portal, but instead of taking them from point A to point B, it led straight to hell. And hell's army comes out of the portal and threatens to doom our universe. That's the plot of the movie Event Horizon to a tee, made in 1997. And then 8 years later some people just had to go and make another Resident Evil genetic experiment gone wrong movie and go and entitle the movie Doom.
    • Some combine all three.
    • The dark Space Opera setting, combined with a baroque aesthetic, make The Chronicles of Riddick another excellent addition. Vin Diesel, an avid tabletop gamer, even said as much in an interview for the third film.
    • What with the lunatics shooting guns and driving cars held together by duct tape who consider death to be just another part of life before coming back for another go, Mad Max: Fury Road is either the best adaptation of Gorkamorka note , or the closest we'll ever see to a live-action Waaaagh!.
  • Michael Clayton has been called "the best John Grisham movie ever made".
  • Zombieland could be considered a good Left 4 Dead movie. Wichita even looks a bit like Zoe. It could also be viewed as an adaptation of Dead Rising, particularly with regards to how players approach that game looking for the coolest ways to kill zombies.
  • A review of Jumanji was impressed on how much it looks like Steven Spielberg directed or produced the movie.
  • Uwe Boll's Rampage is a better adaptation of Postal (at least the first one, perhaps) than his own movie adaptation (likely of the second in the series).
  • The screenwriter for The Book of Eli is a self-proclaimed fan of Fallout 3. It's pretty much the movie of the game with no ghouls and the search for clean water replaced with The Bible.
    • It's also arguably the best Fist of the North Star movie ever made by a Western studio. Minus the exploding heads and with a blind Badass Denzel Washington.
  • Continuing the not-video-game-movies series, Street Kings feels a lot like Max Payne, only set on a hot night in Los Angeles rather than a cold night in New York. If they'd included Bullet Time it would be perfect, but that would run into some different issues.
  • Despite being an adaptation of a comic that came out years before, Scott Pilgrim Vs The World has been said to be the closest thing to a movie adaption of No More Heroes.
  • Where the Wild Things Are, in addition to its own source material, could be said to be the best adaptation of Calvin And Hobbes we're likely to ever see, given Bill Watterson's attitude toward licensing.
  • Inception:
    • It's arguably the only Paprika live action film you'll ever see, which also happens to have a surreal homage to On Her Majestys Secret Service (though calling it an adaptation makes Constantine look like a word-for-word lift of Hellblazer).
    • As this mashup proves, calling Inception a Darker and Edgier Psychonauts reboot is surprisingly fitting.
    • The dream Technology fits that introduced in the series Stargate SG-1 that some feel it's the closest we'll ever get to a big-budget film set in that universe.
    • It may also be the best (or only) Neuromancer movie that we ever see. It's about a thief who specializes in covertly stealing data with the aid of a machine that puts him in lifelike VR simulations, and it involves said thief taking a job from a mysterious businessman who agrees to help him reverse the effects of a major screw-up from his past. Over the course of the movie, he assembles a team of allies who eventually help him perform an elaborate heist in an ornately designed building with strange architecture and gravity—all while coping with regular visits from the hallucinatory ghost of a dead woman from his past. Both works even include a scene where the protagonist gets trapped in a VR construct of a surreal seaside locale, where time moves at a fraction of its normal speed.
  • The Spirit may not have captured the spirit of the comics it came from very well, but it's a much better adaptation of an entirely different superhero; namely, The Tick. Just compare how often they run across rooftops while monologuing about "MY CITY!" and invoking tortured metaphors.
  • Dead Snow might as well be a Norwegian adaptation of Call of Duty's Nazi Zombies mod. All that's missing are the hellhounds and rayguns.
  • Black Swan has been compared by many, many people to Perfect Blue. Both are about an overworked, up-and-coming actress so stressed she (and the audience) are unable to tell what's real and what isn't, to disturbing effect. Black Swan's director, Darren Aronofsky, has acknowledged the similarities, and he had previously licensed Perfect Blue so that he could give it a Shout-Out in Requiem for a Dream.
    • It's also described as the closest viewers will get to a live action Princess Tutu movie.
  • Idiocracy's plot, which depicts a society that has been dumbed down by a combination of mind-rotting pop culture and the stupid outbreeding the smart, comes off like an unauthorized adaptation of both Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 and CM Kornbluth's short story "The Marching Morons", only Played for Laughs. And Wall E is pretty much the Lighter and Softer sequel to Idiocracy.
  • Beowulf is probably the best movie version of God of War that we're ever likely to see.
  • Orson Scott Card, author of Enders Game, the adaptation of which took decades to premiere, considers Rise of the Planet of the Apes to be "the first truly successful adaptation of my novel... to appear on the screen". In the past he's made similar statements about Serenity.
  • Forbidden Zone is probably the best live-action Betty Boop adaptation we're ever gonna get, which makes sense given that one of the film's big influences was old Fleischer cartoons.
  • Did you know they made a Castlevania movie? It was called Van Helsing.
  • The movie Real Steel had been called Rock'em Sock'em Robots: The Movie. It's actually an adaptation of the 1956 story and 1963 Twilight Zone episode "Steel", which in turn is said to have been the inspiration for Rock'em Sock'em Robots.
  • Ninja Assassin is pretty much the best and closest one could get to a Ninja Gaiden movie.
  • Showdown in Little Tokyo and Black Rain is as close one can get to a movie version of SNK's Burning Fight.
  • Death Race (2008 version) may not have been particularly faithful to the original Death Race 2000, but it was a very close adaptation of Twisted Metal. Frankenstein's in-universe "mascot" mystique is akin to Sweet Tooth's, and it even has the cars' weapons activated by driving over icons on the track, a feature pulled out of many a Vehicular Combat game.
  • The Underworld series is a better adaptation of the Old World of Darkness than the official adaptation, the TV show Kindred: The Embraced. It was so close, in fact, that White Wolf and Nancy A. Collins sued the films' producers, claiming copyright infringement.
  • With its combination of action and slapstick, the main character being a Gentleman Thief, and the overall feel of the film, some people have called Hudson Hawk a better live-action Lupin III movie than the actual live-action Lupin III movie. This may explain why it was so popular in Japan despite having flopped in the US.
  • Immortals is said by some to be a better remake of the Clash of the Titans than the actual 2010 one. It helps that there are actual titans in the movie, but keep in mind the original 1981 classic did not have titans at all either. Though the sequel to the remake called Wrath of the Titans is fixing that problem.
  • Given the revelation via All There in the Manual that the titular monsters are actually an alien bioweapon, think it's safe to call The Deadly Spawn the best Tyranid movie without any Tyranids in it.
  • The Cabin in the Woods makes for a pretty good adaptation of (warning: major spoilers) the SCP Foundation, of all things. The main bad guys are a nebulous organization of questionable morality which possesses an enormous catalog of monsters and other dangerous supernatural items (in this case, horror movie baddies), which it keeps and controls so as to prevent an XK-Class end-of-the-world event. And when the heroes find out about the lengths they're willing to go to, they take one look and say "fuck it, better to let the world end."
    • It's also a very good Franchise/Scooby-Doo film.
  • Guillermo del Toro has remarked that Prometheus is a close enough adaptation of HP Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness that his own planned adaptation of ATMOM will have an uphill battle entering production — at this point, it would likely come off looking like a ripoff of Prometheus. Later on, though, he went back on his decision to give up on his adaptation of ATMOM, saying "screw it, Lovecraft was there first."
    • While it's quite far from the spirit of Magic The Gathering, the black goo is generally considered the only movie depiction of the most iconic villain faction, Phyrexia.
  • The Raid unintentionally becomes a movie adaption of the Dynamite Deka series, aka Die Hard Arcade and Dynamite Cop, by Indonesia (with a Welsh director). The movie has it all: a swat team infiltrating the building, a bad guy barking orders on the top floor, and waves upon waves of mooks on each floor. Even some movie critics said the movie feels like an adaption of arcade beat'em ups from the' 90s.
  • Ray Liotta's Narc has quite a bit in common with Max Payne, moreso than the actual Max Payne film did.
  • The Jet Li film Kiss of the Dragon does a rather nice job of being an adaptation of Fist of the Blue Sky.
  • In his review of Hot Tub Time Machine, Moviebob called it a better remake of Back to the Future than any actual remake of Back to the Future could possibly be.
  • Something Awful's review of Beasts Of The Southern Wild called it "the closest you can get to capturing the feeling of a Miyazaki film in live action."
  • Casa De Mi Padre is probably the closest we will see to a feature-length version of the Conando sketches from Late Night With Conan O'Brien and The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien, as both feature the concept of an obviously white actor appearing in an Affectionate Parody of telenovelas in which Rule of Funny appears heavily.
  • Gerry Anderson has actually said that Team America: World Police is a better adaptation of his Thunderbirds than the actual live-action Thunderbirds film, though he also felt that Team America's raunchiness hurt it (since it meant his kids couldn't watch).
  • The Pirates of the Caribbean series is sometimes thought of as The Movies Of Monkey Island.
    • Well, both ARE inspired by the same theme park ride (after which the movie is named).
    • The Pirates of the Caribbean films also bear a strong resemblance to the marine horror stories of William Hope Hodgson, especially The Ghost Pirates and "The Derelict".
  • Office Space is most likely the closest thing to a live-action Dilbert movie ever made.
  • Either John Carpenter's The Fog was a damn good adaptation of Stephen King's short story The Mist, or vice versa; they both came out the same year (1980). Less debatable is that the 2007 film adaptation of The Mist was a much better remake of The Fog than the latter film's own remake in 2005.
  • Movie 43, between its Vulgar Humor, its laundry list of celebrity guest stars, and it being an Anthology Film, is pretty much a live-action Robot Chicken.
  • Rurouni Kenshin would make for a good live-action epilogue for Total War: Shogun 2: Fall of the Samurai.
  • At times, Spring Breakers feels like either the best Grand Theft Auto: Vice City adaptation ever made, or a deconstruction of such. It's got the setting, the style, the sociopathic Villain Protagonists running headfirst across the Moral Event Horizon because "spring break, bitches!", and the winking self-awareness of its own "gangsta" attitude.
  • The Crank duology is also this to the Grand Theft Auto series as a whole.
  • The Jack Slater movies in Last Action Hero are the nearest we'll ever be to having a film adaptation of McBain.
  • Side Effects is the closest you'll ever get to seeing the Half-Life mod Afraid Of Monsters in film.
  • Several YouTube commenters have made the connections between the Classic Walt Disney cartoon short Lonesome Ghosts and Ghostbusters. Even one of the lines Goofy utters in the cartoon is directly lifted and placed into the main theme of the film.
    Goofy (Chuckles nervously): I ain't 'fraid of no ghosts!
    I ain't 'fraid of no ghosts!
  • Indiana Jones got one port movie to game (The Last Crusade) and one port game to movie (The Fate of Atlantis). Many people don't know about the latter movie. This may be because it was filmed with MacGyver.
  • The REC movies have been compared to what the Resident Evil and Doom movies should have been.
  • Many point to Chronicle as a good adaption of AKIRA.
  • Pacific Rim : Humanity building giant robots to combat an alien threat. While this may be a common plot in the mecha genre of anime, one show probably comes to mind for many, at least younger, anime fans...
    • To specify: Twenty Minutes into the Future (as opposed to the more common "far into the future"- and "another world entirely" settings) aliens, that are specifically interested in human extinction, comes, not from space, but from the depths of the earth itself. These aliens are giant monsters who fight humanity directly, instead of using robots themselves. To combat these humanity creates equally gigantic robots that requires the pilot to mentally synch not only with the robot, but also with a co-pilot (while this is only done literally in Evangelion 3.0, in the original series the "robots" had to have a human soul implanted in them to function and both this soul and the actual pilot had to synch with each-other and the "robot"). The monsters also appear one-by-one instead of organizing in an army. Oh, and let's not forget the yellow fluid and the journeys into characters' minds.
    • Alternatively, it's a better American Godzilla film than the 1998 Godzilla film.
    • Alternately alternately, it's the best Getter Robo movie we're ever gonna get.
    • Go back a bit more, to the beginning. Rocket Punch. Breast Fire. Pilots in the head docking with the body. Hell, the whole drivable robot concept. It's Mazinger Z, all the way. By extension to almost all the spiritual licensee above makes this the closest to a live-action Super Robot Wars film ever.
    • The movie has several (coincidental) similarities to the X-Com franchise as well. Alien threat that forces the nations of the world to band together and form an organisation dedicated to fighting them? Check. Council of nations that threatens to pull their funding because they're not getting results? Check. The alien-fighting organization forced to sell alien components on the black market to make ends meet? Check. Researchers vivisecting alien corpses in order to better understand what they're fighting against? Check. A final assault on the aliens' homeworld? Check.
    • "Mysterious giant monsters are rising from the sea, and the nations of the world combat them by fielding stylish, two-pilot giant robots whose pilot teams all have a close relationship. On a tragic mission several years ago, our hero lost his trusted partner, and with a renewed crisis, he has to get back in his revived mecha with a new rookie girl who also serves as a love interest." Why, that sounds rather like Godannar.
    • Not mention it has been referred once or twice as an "adult" Power Rangers.
  • RoboCop (1987) is basically an adaptation of Judge Dredd, being the story of a visor-wearing supercop hunting criminals in the dystopian metropolis of the future, complete with political satire and Black Comedy. In fact, there were plans for a film adaptation long before the Stallone version, but the release of RoboCop scuppered it.
  • The later Stallone vehicle Demolition Man is said to have captured the humor of the Judge Dredd comics better than the actual Judge Dredd movie!
  • 28 Days Later is basically The Day of the Triffids but with Zombies.
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: Being based on an Ian Fleming novel, and made by Albert Broccoli and many of the same people involved in the James Bond series at that time, some view it as an honorary Bond film.
  • Prisoners is likely the closest (and best) we'll get to a live action Heavy Rain, as its own film adaptation is seemingly locked in Development Hell.
  • By Steven E DeSouza's admission, the Street Fighter movie was more of a G.I. Joe movie than a Street Fighter one, due to Hasbro's involvement with the merchandising.
    Capcom had forged a partnership with Hasbro long before production began to warp the G.I. Joe toy line into Street Fighter: The Movie licensed dolls, just in time for Black Friday. "You can look at this movie as the first G.I. Joe movie," says De Souza, "Because G.I. Joe was in a swamp at this time. It was not selling. So Hasbro wanted to reboot the G.I. Joe line by thinly disguising it as Street Fighter."
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier may be the best movie adaptation of Metal Gear Solid that we ever get to see. It's about a long-time veteran soldier, who's the sole survivor of a government program to create genetically-enhanced soldiers, coming out of retirement to fight a terrorist leader with ties to his past, having a rivalry with someone with a fake left arm, and working to uncover a conspiracy in the ranks of the government while they prepare to devastate the world with a powerful superweapon. The movie even has its own tanker level, and a scene where we find out that the government conspiracy is led by a sentient A.I. that took over for the long-deceased human villains. Also, the eponymous Winter Soldier is revealed to be an old friend of the veteran soldier, presumed dead but taken from the battlefield and transformed against his will into a cyborg assassin.
  • In Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit Kevin Coaster plays an mid-aged, experienced, CIA Agent who brings Jack Ryan unwittingly into the service. Kevin Coaster also plays an mid-aged, experienced, CIA Agent in 3 Days To Kill, in which he stars as a dying man, trying to juggle his personal life and One Last Job. Needless to say, 3 Days To Kill could be seen as the movie spin off of Coaster's character in Shadow Recruit, especially since both films were released within months of each other.
  • Life is Beautiful is considered to be the closest we'll ever get to seeing The Day the Clown Cried.
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past:
    • Guy gets sent to the past to save someone whose death is a crucial factor in the current Robot War. sounds familiar... However, the film is based on a comic book that pre-dated Terminator.
    • Ever wondered what a big-budget Portal movie adaptation would look like? Blink's fight scenes give you a pretty damn good idea.
  • Event Horizon and In the Mouth of Madness have both been seen as this for H.P. Lovecraft's work in general, even though they can't be said to be even loose adaptations of one story in particular.
  • Cracked's David Wong once expressed this opinion about Shaun of the Dead, opining that it was one of the first movies ever to successfully bring Douglas Adams' unique brand of humor to the big screen, even if Adams didn't actually have anything to do with it. Adding to the irony, he argued that the movie captured Adams' style far better than the actual film adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which was released exactly one year after it.
  • A number of fans have pointed out the similarity of the central characters of Guardians of the Galaxy to the original regular characters of Farscape. (Peter=John, Gamora=Aeryn, Drax=D'Argo, Groot=Zhaan, and Rocket=Rygel.) Some of the changes made to the film characters compared to the original comic versions make them closer to the Farscape characters.
  • Some critics who saw The Purge consider it to be The Hunger Games but with adults.
    • The sequel, Anarchy, is this to Manhunt minus the snuff film elements. A person (a group of 5 in this case) trying survive the night against various gangs of masked psychopaths in a lawless city. Including gas mask mooks that look nearly like the Cerberus. There is even a plot line of the wealthy capturing victims to hunt for sport.
  • The movie John Wick has been commonly associated with being an amazing adaptation of Hotline Miami due to its gunfights and plot of a lone hitman against the Russian mob.
  • Elysium
    • is as close as we get to a Halo film, for now. It was directed by Neil Blomkamp, who originally was slated to direct the cancelled Halo movie, takes place on a ringworld colony that shares its name with Master Chief's birthplace, features dropships similar to the Pelicans, and a protagonist wearing Powered Armor, among other similarities.
    • It has also drawn comparisons to Shadowrun: the class warfare, the street samurai who gets his chrome attached by a street doc, runners tracking down a mark, the bad guy calling down a High Threat Response team in turn, the pimped-out guns, the Black ICE protecting the data... Only the metas were missing.
    • Shadowrun is based on the works of William Gibson. So Elysium is more of a remake of Johnny Mnemonic or an adaptation of the short story with the same name.
  • Dracula Untold:
    • The closest we'll get to a Castlevania: Lords of Shadow movie. The fact that Dracula's vampire mode here is portrayed very similarly to his portrayal in those games helps.
    • The closest we'd ever get to a live action Hellsing prequel.
    • This also feels like a loose prequel to Bram Stokers Dracula, stretching that movie's prologue to an entire movie by itself.
    • The story(historic prince gains magical powers from ancient being which he uses to defeat his enemies) bears some similarities to the origin of Black Adam.
  • A trend that reached its peak in the '90s was to take works of classic literature and make teen movies out of them. As this article explains, high school is pretty much the last place in modern society where many of the Early Modern and Victorian social mores that figured into many such works still exist in some form, making it easy to map the characters' machinations and class divides onto a high school's Popularity Food Chain. It also helps that most teenagers and young adults, the target audience for such films, are familiar with the books through high school/college English classes. Some of these films even go out of their way to give Shout Outs and homages to the books they were based on. Some examples:
  • FOX's upcoming Fantastic Four (2015) film is, from what little has been released about it, being described by many as basically being Chronicle 2. It's even being done by the same director (Josh Trank) and features one of the actors from that film. Unlike other examples however, this is generally considered a bad thing as there's a general opinion that Trank is merely exploiting the film to continue his personal pet project rather than making a good adaptation, with the result that the movie barely resembles the comic it's based on.
  • The Avengers (2012) could be argued as a great movie adaptation of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, since it has a group of superheroes with attitude being recruited by a bald man with a presence to fight an alien with a fancy staff who wants to conquer Earth. To top it off, the Sixth Ranger was brainwashed into serving the villain before being knocked back into consciousness, and has the closest relationship with The Chick (or in this film's case, the only girl) in the team. Together, they fight endless waves of mooks and giant monsters, though sadly they don't have a megazord.
    • In the wake of Joseph Kahn's Power/Rangers gritty fan film, those who didn't like it pointed out that this film is a better alternative, since while it's certainly darker than your average Power Rangers season, it still has the defining elements that made the show, most prominently teamwork and the sense of victory, as well as some lighthearted moments to balance out the darkness.
  • Many pointed out Dwayne Johnson channeled out more Roadblock in Furious 7 than he did in Gi Joe Retaliation.
  • James Rolfe, in his review of Godzilla (1998), argued that the finale of The Lost World: Jurassic Park, in which a T. rex rampages through the streets of San Diego, was a far better take on an American Godzilla film than the one that actually came out in 1998. That film, by contrast, seemed to owe far more to Jurassic Park than anything else.
    • Many Godzilla fans that decide to be kind to the film consider Godzilla 98 to be more of a remake of The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, itself one of Godzilla's inspirations. Reasons includes the New York setting, the design itself sharing some similarities to the Rhedosaurus, and the creature being killed after entangling itself in a city landmark (The rollercoaster at Coney Island in Beast, the Brooklyn Bridge in Godzilla).
  • There's a reason that Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood is affectionately called "Jason vs. Carrie" by many fans of the franchise. Both The New Blood and Carrie feature traumatized teenage girls with telekinetic powers, the former having her as the Final Girl and the latter as the Anti-Villain Protagonist. If you ignore the little detail that the name of the female lead in The New Blood is "Tina Shepard", the movie is the world's first, best, and only horror crossover starring Carrie White.
  • The Errol Flynn film The Adventures of Robin Hood and the Patrick Bergin film Robin Hood (1991) are two of the best adaptations of the Walter Scott novel "Ivanhoe" you will ever see. They just pale in comparison to some of the actual adaptations of the novel.
  • Gene Roddenberry openly admitted that Forbidden Planet was the primary inspiration for Star Trek: The Original Series, and its influence can be seen in everything from its premise, to its special effects, to its characters, to its dramatic cues. Depending on how you see it: either Forbidden Planet is an unofficial feature-length Star Trek episode, or the original Star Trek is an unofficial television spin-off of Forbidden Planet.
  • Several critics and moviegoers apparently felt that National Treasure made a better movie of The Da Vinci Code than its actual film adaptation, which made it to theaters two years after National Treasure did. note  It might have helped that National Treasure doesn't pretend to be historically accurate, it wasn't dogged by religious controversy, and it overall doesn't take itself nearly as seriously as The Da Vinci Code did.
    • It also feels like something out of a point-and-click Adventure Game, what with the plot progression, strange puzzling devices, the clues, and the key items.
  • Want to know how a Pikmin movie would feel like? Just look at Ant-Man's heist at Pym Tech.
  • It has been argued that Jupiter Ascending is a film adaptation of Mass Effectnote , Dune, and Tenchi Muyo!.
  • "The Scorpion King" is considered to be a better adaptation of Conan the Barbarian due to costuming, style and story than the first Arnold Schwarzenegger film. Considering John Milieus was interested in making a Viking movie instead of a Conan movie, it's not that hard.
  • Equilibrium may be the closest thing to a mainstream internationally recognized adaptation that We will ever see, as straight adaptations are very few, far between, and obscure.


    Live Action TV 



    Stand-Up Comedy 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Heavy Gear is essentially a Armored Trooper VOTOMS game with the setting of Fang of the Sun Dougram.
  • If there was ever a tabletop game version of Watership Down, it would be called Bunnies & Burrows.
  • The Space Marines in Warhammer 40,000 come almost prepackaged from Robert A. Heinlein.
  • Mutants & Masterminds is naturally the tabletop game roleplaying game equivalent of the Marvel and DC universes so much so that fans had every character from both publishers statted out in the forums. Furthermore, while both companies tended to develop their own RPGs in the past, DC Comics released its most recent tabletop game under third edition Mutants & Masterminds rules.
  • Pathfinder is considered by many Dungeons & Dragons players to be D&D 3.75 (halfway between 3.5 and 4th Edition). It helps that it is heavily based on D&D's rule set.
    • Pathfinder is more like "the successor to D&D 3.5 in all but name" and 4 is "the successor to D&D 3.5 in name only". 4th edition is really an entirely different game that happens to share the same name (and a lot of flavor text). It's almost trivial to convert a D&D 3.5 adventure to Pathfinder rules, something that's not true of 4th Edition.
  • FATAL is... well, let's be fair. FATAL is probably the worst Berserk RPG ever made, but it's still the closest we'll ever come to a Berserk RPG.

    Video Games 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 

  • The MagiQuest simulated-adventure franchise, although much lower-tech and modest in scale, is currently the closest that fans of Niven & Barnes Dream Park can come to savoring the fictional mega-theme park's attractions.
  • Monster High has been described as the closest fans will ever get to a Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School franchise.

Alternative Title(s): Spiritual Licensee