Playing With / Adaptational Villainy

Basic Trope: A character is much more villainous in an adaptation than they originally were.
  • Straight: Bob, originally a heroic character, becomes an outright villain in The Film of the Book.
  • Exaggerated: Bob was practically a saint in the original, but the adaptation makes him an evil psycho.
  • Downplayed:
  • Justified:
    • The adapters have to simplify, expand on, or change the story to make it into a movie, and Bob's motives and sympathetic qualities are too complex to be filmed.
    • Bob is combined with the much nastier Carl. The resulting Composite Character has Bob's name, appearance, and mannerisms, but the nastier aspects of Carl's personality.
    • Bob is split into multiple characters, with the new character Carl taking up his more sympathetic aspects.
    • The book had a good idea but was poorly written, making Bob look ineffectual, boring and unrealistic. The movie polishes up the book's rough edges, including Bob's role as the villain.
    • Bob performed a Face–Heel Turn in the original, so he was rewritten into a more credible and evil villain.
  • Inverted: Adaptational Heroism.
  • Subverted: While it looks like Bob is the villain, it later turns out that he isn't, and he takes on his original role in the story...
  • Double Subverted: ... until it turns out that Bob really is the villain.
  • Parodied: Bob is a failed Plucky Comic Relief character who decides to get revenge on his fellow cast members because he didn't get any respect as a hero.
  • Zig-Zagged: Bob's actions are much more heinous than his original counterpart's, but he also has a more sympathetic backstory to explain his behavior where he didn't before.
  • Averted: Bob's personality and role in the story are the same in the movie as they are in the original.
  • Enforced: The original source had no clear villain, or the villains are more comical than truly evil. The adaptation is trying to be Darker and Edgier, making it more clear who the villain is by making the antagonistic character really evil instead of misguided, sympathetic, or likable.
  • Lampshaded: "Why are you evil, Bob? I thought you were supposed to be nicer than this!"
  • Invoked: "Bob looks like a nasty piece of work. Let's make him the villain - he's scarier-looking than the one in the original."
  • Exploited: The Big Bad chooses Bob as a henchman because no one will suspect him of being a villain.
  • Defied: Bob refuses to do anything truly evil in the adaptation, keeping his Jerk with a Heart of Gold personality intact.
  • Discussed: "I bet the villain in the movie will be that creepy-looking guy, even though he isn't bad in the book."
  • Conversed: "Why did they make Bob a bad guy? Wasn't he an OK guy in the original?"
  • Deconstructed: Bob, while he sticks to his original, more benevolent personality at first, becomes steadily more villainous due to differences in the plot that exploit his darker side. However, he never does anything to make him an outright villain.
  • Reconstructed: Bob is a clear villain from the start, instead of simply being neutral or ambiguous, even though the plot is otherwise the same.

Go back to Adaptational Villainy.