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Adaptation Expansion in movies.


Original Works

  • The two film adaptations of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory are faithful to the novel's central plot but invoke this trope to make Charlie, a Pinball Protagonist who basically gets a happy ending by doing nothing once he gets to the factory (and thus not getting eliminated by a disaster), more deserving of his triumph.
    • In the 1971 version, Charlie and the other Golden Ticket finders are all approached by Willy Wonka's main rival, Mr. Slugworth (an Ascended Extra), with an offer for even greater riches than those promised by the tour if they'll bring him an Everlasting Gobstopper for him to duplicate. During the tour, Charlie and Grandpa Joe also disregard Mr. Wonka's warnings and sample the Fizzy Lifting Drinks, which almost gets them killed — and turns out to negate Charlie getting any prize beyond the tour, a plot thread that ends up dovetailing with Mr. Slugworth's offer...
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    • The 2005 version is Truer to the Text in many details than the 1971 version (largely due to special effects advancements in the interim), but also has the most significant adaptation expansion of any version: A wholecloth Backstory for Willy Wonka, who is merely Inexplicably Awesome in the novel and all other adaptations, about his strained relationship with his dentist father. This results in a Not His Sled climax in which Charlie initially turns down the chance to be Mr. Wonka's heir and, after some time passes, helps to reconcile him with his father, whereupon the happy ending commences.
  • A Christmas Carol has a lot of adaptations with a lot of expansion.
    • One of the best is the famed Alastair Sim version, in which much more is added to Scrooge's past than was in the book, and as a result, a better job is done showing just how Scrooge came to be the miserly Jerkass everyone knows and hates.
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    • Some additional scenes are so common people tend to forget they aren't in the book, such as Tiny Tim and sometimes the other Cratchit children being introduced near the beginning, Bob's shopping for his family, the young Scrooge meeting Belle at Fezziwig's Christmas ball, Scrooge surprising Mrs. Dilber after his journey with the ghosts, and Scrooge going collecting from his overdue accounts.
    • The Reginald Owen version delves a bit more into Scrooge's relationship with Bob Cratchit, as well as with his nephew Fred, although in exchange it omits some of the Darker and Edgier scenes, such as the breakup with Belle in the past and the looting and sale of the deceased Scrooge's possessions in the Bad Future.
    • In the Alistair Sim and George Scott versions, Fan was Scrooge's older sister, and the backstory tells that Scrooge's mother died giving birth to him, and this is why his father sent him off to boarding school. The former also has a scene of Fan's own Death by Childbirth.
      • The Sim Version has twice as many scenes as the standard Christmas past visits. In addition to Fan's death, we also get to see Scrooge and Marley help buy out Fezziwig's company, and then they buy the company themselves. The final visitations surround Marley's death. The Present and future visitations are condensed, however.
      • The Present visit actually does include an additional scene that shows Belle in the present day where she's doing charity work at a poorhouse.
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    • The Scott version is mostly faithful to the original story, including the often-omitted scene of Belle with her present-day family, but has a couple additional scenes, one at the London Exchange, where the charity solicitors meet Scrooge instead of at the counting house, another with Scrooge's father as he is leaving school, and a third where Christmas Present shows him a camp of homeless people, i.e. the "surplus population" mentioned earlier.
    • The Kelsey Grammer musical film featured Scrooge's rejection of a loan for Mr. Fezziwig, and Marley's death on Christmas Eve.
    • Ronald Keame's version includes a scene of Scrooge actually descending into Hell.
  • A Dog's Purpose: The movie shows Bailey's lives as they usually are in the book: Bailey, Ellie, and Buddy (who goes from Labrador retriever to Saint Bernard/Australian shepherd mix), but they also add a new life for him: a Pembroke Welsh corgi named Tino owned by a lonely college student named Maya.
  • Philip K. Dick adaptations are prone to this.
    • Total Recall (1990), which was an adaptation of Philip K. Dick's short story "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale". The original story ended shortly after the hero returned to his apartment after visiting Recall, the film keeps going in a different direction from there on.
    • Minority Report. This one was particularly notable as it retained almost nothing of the original, except for the core premise and most of the characters.
  • Adapted from Disney Theme Parks.
  • Many movies adapted from Stephen King short stories, such the Children of the Corn series, would be good examples.
    • One of the most notorious instances may be the 1992 film The Lawnmower Man. While elements of the short story technically appear in how the title character dispatches one of his victims, the plot itself was so far removed from the source material that Stephen King sued to have his name removed from the title.
    • The Night Flier: The short story was expanded to fill a 90-minute movie, including the whole subplot with Dees' younger rival Katherine Blair, more investigative work on the part of Dees, and a much lengthier final encounter between Dees and Dwight.
  • Every feature film adaptation of the works of Edgar Allan Poe and H. P. Lovecraft.
    • "The Pit and the Pendulum" has been made into a film several times - generally these adaptations use the actual scene where the main character gets trapped under a giant swinging blade slowly moving downwards for a climax, but have completely different plots that ultimately lead to the situation. The Raven (2012) also features an adaptation of "The Pit and the Pendulum" and adds a plot with a killer inspired by the works of Poe.
  • Many Saturday Night Live characters have transitioned from Sketch Comedy to feature films: The Blues Brothers, Wayne's World, It's Pat, Stuart Saves His Family, Coneheads, A Night at the Roxbury, Superstar, Ladies Man, and MacGruber. Some became classics, others...didn't.
  • Any feature-length film based on something that was written by Dr. Seuss.
    • Infamously, Ron Howard's feature film adaptation of How the Grinch Stole Christmas!. The Chuck Jones animated Christmas special, which was 25 minutes long, still had to pad its length with original songs and cute cartoon slapstick to fill the timeslot. The Ron Howard film was four times as long as the special.
    • The Cat in the Hat, which was poorly received and prompted the trope's quote. Interestingly, the film inspired a book adaptation that included some of the new material created for the film. In other words, it's an Adaptation Distillation of an Adaptation Expansion.
    • Blue Sky's computer-animated Horton Hears a Who!, on the other hand, actually doesn't stray too far from the limited source material, although there are still tons of added elements, notably an anime-styled scene in the middle and a sudden Crowd Song at the end.
    • The Lorax adds additional characters and expands beyond the book's original ending as the boy (now named Ted) attempts to carry out the Once-ler's wishes. But in a disturbing twist, the Once-ler is portrayed as human...and here comes the aesop anvil on schedule.

Animated

  • Almost all of the Barbie movies are this, seeing most of them are based off of short tales, such as Barbie in the Nutcracker, Barbie of Swan Lake, Barbie in the Twelve Dancing Princesses, etc. In Barbie as Rapunzel, the original story is a Dream Sequence.
  • Batman: The Killing Joke, based on the comic of the same name, includes a prologue to help expand the runtime of the movie and (ostensibly) set-up the story, including a focus on Barbara Gordon's time as Batgirl. This actually wound up being pretty unpopular, as the opening forty minutes have little connection to the main story and feature some... questionable choices in characterization.
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs expands from original children's book about falling food getting out of proportion, to a movie about a quirky scientist who creates an invention that turns water into food, his troubling relationship with his father after the death of his mother, Chicken Brent!, the evil obese mayor, sparking love interest between inventor and secret geek female weather reporter, MR. T!, Monkey!, Ratbirds!, Sardines!, etc...
  • Coraline, adapted from the original children's book, makes several significant changes. Most notable are the addition of Wybie, a neighbor boy who turns out to be the grandson of the woman who owns the house and a friend of the Black Cat. The bit with the rag doll is also a movie-only inclusion. The movie also expands on the identity of one of the little girls in the Room Behind The Mirror and her connection to movie-only Wybie, it also completely erases the implication that the Other Mother is one of The Fair Folk whose realm is not the only one out there. The biggest discrepancy here is that in the book, that little girl isn't human, she's a pixie, and the Beldam's first victim.

    According to Word of God, director Henry Selick added Wybie in as he thought it would feel odd with just Coraline talking to herself through half of the film, which in fact adds a certain poignancy to the question, "Why were you born?"
  • Tim Burton's Corpse Bride was initially a mere short story that he penned (itself based on a folk tale), then expanded upon.
  • All of Disney's fairy tale-based films fall under this trope by default as the original fairy tales are typically rather short and simplistic, requiring a good amount of character and plot expansion to stretch them out to an hour and half. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs padded out its length with several dwarf-centric scenes, Sleeping Beauty greatly expanded the roles of the fairies and gave the prince something to do other than be lucky enough to be standing in front of the thorns just as the century-long spell expired, etc.
  • Disney's Dumbo was based on a very short (thirty-six pages) children's book. Even with a decent amount of padding, the final film clocks in at only sixty-four minutes. They could've done without "Pink Elephants on Parade", though.
  • Epic is a loose expansion of William Joyce's The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs.
  • Roald Dahl's children's novel Fantastic Mr. Fox was adapted by Wes Anderson. Much of the expansion comes in the form of focusing on the animals' plans to evade the farmers, the relationships and development of characters. It also gave Ms. Fox a name--Felicity. The ending to the movie was found in Dahl's archives.
  • The original Frankenweenie was 30 minutes. When Tim Burton revisited it years later, he turned it into a 87-minute film with a subplot involving other kids using Victor's formula to turn their own dead pets into animal versions of classic movie monsters (and Gamera), culminating with Mr. Whiskers (the vampire cat) being involved in the climatic windmill scene.
  • Meet the Robinsons added a whole time travel plot around the children's story A Day With Wilbur Robinson. The second act, where Lewis meets the Robinson family and looks for Grandpa's teeth, is the only part of the movie that's actually in the book.
  • Mr. Peabody & Sherman is based on the Peabody’s Improbable History segments barely over five minutes lone from Rocky and Bullwinkle.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas likewise started as a poem by Tim Burton.
  • Olive, the Other Reindeer was turned by Matt Groening and Drew Barrymore from a tiny 20-page children's book into a 90-minute cartoon movie. That rocks. They even preserved the drawing style of the book.
  • The Polar Express movie, which some critics and audience members complained felt like a 20-minute short with an hour of filler added onto it. That certainly doesn't stop it from grabbing at your heartstrings, though, and the animation is quite breathtaking, too.
  • Similar to the live-action The Ten Commandments, The Prince of Egypt expanded upon the details in the Book of Exodus to show the relationship between Moses and the Pharaoh. Both films depict it as Sibling Rivalry. Nothing in scripture itself says Moses and the Pharaoh were raised as brothers.
  • Shrek was originally a children's book that contained almost nothing that appears in the film. Somehow, we ended up with four movies (the first two critically-acclaimed) and a Broadway musical. And then Puss in Boots became an Ascended Extra and got his own hilarious spinoff movie.
  • Superman vs. the Elite stretches out a single-issue comic book story into a 76 minute film. The writers compensated for the short length of the original comic by adding in a Troubled Backstory Flashback for Manchester Black, a subplot concerning Atomic Skull and expanding on Black's and Lois Lane's relationships with Superman.
  • Tangled has Rapunzel spend more time outside her tower than inside it for the film's running time, etc.
  • Tubby the Tuba (1975), based on the 1945 song of the same name, adds more scenes such as Tubby joining the circus and then visiting the Singing City.
  • The film adaptation of the Hudson Talbott children's book We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story, transformed a simple Fish out of Water tale about large prehistoric creatures dropped into the strange new setting of modern-day New York into a full-blown Disneyfied epic. The dinosaurs got some new friends in the form of runaway disillusioned children, an evil circus owner and his Cereal That Makes You Evil (seriously). Walter Cronkite also voices a scientist who gives them a mission of "making children's dreams come true". This is meant to save the world. Somehow.

    It is well worth it to hunt around for Talbott's sequel book, Going Hollywood. The story has Rex and pals go to Hollywood to have their life story made into a movie. Much hilarity ensues. One can't help but wonder...
  • Yellow Submarine, which expanded a Beatles song into a movie.

Live-Action

  • 300 is based on a short graphic novel, so it didn't need much expanding. Only Gorgo's plotline in Sparta was added. The graphic novel never returns to Sparta once Leonidas leaves. The relationship between the Captain and his Son is explored a bit more, as is the relationship between the Captain's son and Stellios. The scope of the battles has also been expanded since the movie features creatures and situations that were not present in the graphic novel.
  • "3:10 to Yuma" was originally a short story of about ten pages, set almost entirely in a hotel room and on the walk to the train. The movie adaptations in 1957 and 2007 have both rather broadened the scope.
  • The adaptation of Susan Orlean's narrative nonfiction book (itself expanded from article to book-length) The Orchid Thief, which is Adaptation.! It morphed from the true life tale of an orchid poacher in Florida, to twin brothers, car chases, murder, Executive Meddling, Narration, every trope in the universe, Author Avatar, etc.
  • Spielberg's previous work (inherited after Stanley Kubrick's death) was also a short story adaptation, A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, from Brian Aldiss' "Super-Toys Last All Summer Long".
  • Battleship is an adaptation of the game Battleship, which has no plot. The enemy fleet is aliens (with peglike missiles among their weapons) who disable radar and envelop the fleet in a shield, establishing a game board of sorts.
  • Beauty and the Beast (2017) also expands on the story from the animated version, fleshing out the characters in various fresh ways, explaining Belle's family backstory and how her mother died, giving the Beast a backstory of his own with a Freudian Excuse, adding further scenes in the village to highlight Belle's unconventionality and misfit status, as well as further scenes of her bonding with the Beast at the castle, filling in the Plot Hole of why the villagers don't know that the Beast is their kingdom's enchanted prince, and bringing Gaston's villainy Up to Eleven with an attempt to murder Maurice.
  • Being There is largely faithful to the book, but finds a more natural conclusion by way of Ben's death. In addition to adding little side-plots with minor characters like Louise the maid and the lawyers (making them more intriguing), and exploring the relationship between Chance and Ben more closely, it also adds a character, Dr. Allenby, who gives the story a climax when he discovers Chance's true identity.
  • Steven Spielberg's The BFG lengthens the Roald Dahl by adding several subplots, such as reveals about a boy the BFG had taken in before, Sophie getting returned to the orphanage and calling the BFG to come back, and greater emphasis on the other giants bullying the BFG.
  • Bicentennial Man. Much to everyone's horror, it altered Asimov's reflection on the nature of what it is to be human into a Tastes Like Diabetes love story.
  • The Box was originally a five-page short story called "Button, Button", written by Richard Matheson. It expanded under the hand of Richard Kelly.
  • Brokeback Mountain expands on the short story by going into more detail on the men's lives apart from each other, particularly Jack's relationship with his wife and her family, and Ennis's with his daughters.
  • Carol makes it so that the POV is not just centered on Therese but on Carol as well.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia:
    • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe has some Adaptation Expansion. We get to explore the backstory of the Pevensies, and a battle that took a couple of pages in the book is the main course of the film.
    • Prince Caspian has even more expansion than The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Miraz gets developed into a Borgia/Medici style tyrant. It also adds the rivalry between Peter and Caspian, and Caspian getting Promoted to Love Interest for Susan. And a summoning spell that got interrupted in the book goes further in the movie, bringing back the White Witch for one scene.
  • The basic plot of Cinderella (2015) is the same as the animated film's, but more time is given to fleshing out the characters and the setting. The prologue focuses on Cinderella's childhood, the deaths of her parents, and other events leading up to her current life with the stepfamily. Her relationship with Prince Kit is also much more established here than in the original film. For one, the prince didn't even have a name in the original.
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald's farcical short story The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was adapted to a three-hour long epic romantic film. So much was added that much of the story's final act about Benjamin becoming a teenager and then a preteen was cut out.
  • The Deep Blue Sea opens out a great deal from the source material. Writer-director Terence Davies fills in the main characters' back stories through flashback and dream sequences, and also expands the roles of minor characters like Mrs. Elliot the landlady. Rattigan's play focuses only on the aftermath of Hester's suicide attempt.
  • Thanks to Allegiant being split into two films, its first part, The Divergent Series: Allegiant, allows for many instances of this.
    • An additional subplot concerns the "rescue" (actually more like putting more people into the Bureau) of a village's worth of people. It serves as the first indication to Four that David is not what he seems.
    • A meeting with the council members at the city of Providence finally causes Tris to discover David's true intentions. She does not learn about his alignment until very far into the novel.
    • The whole plot about the memory serum is actually moved to much earlier in the timeline. Because Nita's rebellion is adapted out, Four immediately goes to Chicago following the aforementioned village's rescue, and Tris gets to visit Chicago again (in the novel, she spends her entire time in the Bureau). The battle between the Allegiant and the factionless is thus expanded, not to mention furthering Evelyn's role (she's essentially relegated to the background until Four's visit in the novel, which happens much, much later). David also has a very direct role in the battle. How The Divergent Series: Ascendant is going to fill the rest of the book's events is yet to be seen, seeing that the only event left uncovered is Tris' death.
  • The 1962 film version of The Day of the Triffids adds several scenes showing first-hand the chaos that ensues when a significant proportion of the world's population is suddenly struck blind. More signficantly, it also adds an entire subplot about marine biologist Tom Goodwin and his wife Karen, who are trapped in a lighthouse because the relief ship didn't came as a result of the blindness and are eventually besieged by triffids.
  • Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now follows the plot of the original Daphne DuMaurier short story fairly closely, but greatly expands minor details and subplots, and changing the Back Story.
  • The infamous Doom movie replaces the one-man army with a squad of marines, changes the demons into mutants, renames the BFG the "Bio-Force Gun" and generally tramples all over the intent of the original game's plot.
  • The original stage version of Educating Rita is a two-hander featuring only Rita and Frank and set entirely in Frank's study. The film version, adapted by the original playwright Willy Russell, has a much larger cast and variety of settings, directly depicting many events that are only described in dialogue during the play.
  • The film adaptation of The Giver mentions The Ruin, although that wouldn't be discussed in the books until Gathering Blue. The mechanism on how Jonas' memories are shared with the community when he leaves is handwaved as being a technological force field he has to pass to release the memories, where in the book, it just happens with no real explanation.
  • The original play Glengarry Glen Ross did not feature Blake or his scene at all. Most agree the story works a lot better with the added setup.
  • Rob Zombie's reimagining of John Carpenter's Halloween further explores the troubled childhood and Bloodbath Villain Origin of Michael Myers in the first half-hour or so.
  • The TV-movie of Kurt Vonnegut's short story Harrison Bergeron is a truly extreme case. The story is a single five-page scene; the movie is 99 minutes long and doesn't have that scene in it.
  • Harry Potter: Throughout the film series, multiple scenes were added. Sometimes they were building up on past material, and sometimes they were inventing it on the fly for the film's continuity. One of the most prominent examples of the latter: the wonderfully cute and spontaneous dancing sequence between Harry and Hermione in the seventh film.
    • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets:
      • Harry and Ron traveling to Hogwarts in the flying car. Whilst the journey is smooth save for being spotted in the book, the film features the car nearly getting hit by the train and Harry almost falling out.
      • The Quidditch match. In the book, directly after Harry's arm is broken by the rogue bludger, he spots the Golden Snitch near Malfoy, dives for it and catches it, and that's the end of it. In the film, Harry spots it and chases after it, but Malfoy manages to keep up, turning it into a race - through a tight series of wooden beams at high speeds, at that - before the arm breaking and snitch catching occurs.
      • Similarly, the Chamber of Secrets climax is given a big blockbuster treatment, with Harry dueling and evading the basilisk all over the chamber.
      • The end of the movie has a post-credits scene (the only HP movie to have one), showing Flourish and Blott's bookstore in Diagon Alley promoting Lockhart's last book, a ghostwritten autobiography called Who Am I?.
    • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: In the film, Hermione is shown popping up seemingly out of nowhere during lessons, reflecting how she's using the Time Turner. This doesn't happen in the book, where Ron merely wonders how she is getting to all her classes and it isn't explained until the climax.
    • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: The film includes a new scene taking place after the Goblet ceremony where Dumbledore, McGonagall and Snape discuss the recent events in Dumbledore's office. McGonagall is worried about Harry's safety and wants to do something about it, while Snape thinks that since they have no idea of what's going on, they should stand by until it becomes more clear. Dumbledore agrees with Snape and starts using his Pensieve to investigate.
    • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix:
      • Umbridge's inspection of the teachers is shown in a bit more detail in the film than the book, additionally showing her enforcing various rules around the school.
      • In the book, the Ministry simply passes various decrees. In the film, each decree is nailed to the wall outside the Great Hall as Umbridge gradually seizes control of the school. This is also a set up for her eventual Humiliation Conga - where Fred and George cause them all to fall and come crashing down around her.
      • The breakout of Azkaban happens offscreen in the book, but we get to see it in the film.
      • Characters who weren't shown casting Patronuses do so in the film - such as Ron, Luna and Ginny. Their Patronuses hadn't been revealed in the books yet and Ginny's never was (JK Rowling confirmed it was a horse, as shown in the film).
    • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince:
      • Exclusive to the film is Slughorn's story about Francis, a fish Lily Evans made out of a lily petal as a student which she gave to Slughorn. He lost it 16 years ago, the very day Lily Potter was killed, a fact which makes Slughorn guilty enough to help Lily's son at the expense of his own security.
      • Draco's efforts in the Room of Requirement are shown much earlier in the film for the sake of Dramatic Irony - including using an apple and two birds to test the Vanishing Cabinet.
      • At the midpoint of the film, the Death Eaters attack and burn down the Burrow, in a scene not in the books.
    • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1: The audience is shown Hermione modifying her parents memories' in the film, while in the book Hermione only mentions she wiped her parents' memories. Where Hermione and her family live is never confirmed in the books, just that her parents are rich, moreso than the middle-class Dursley family. Hermione's home in this film is in Hampstead Garden, London. There is a deleted scene where Yaxley arrives at the Grangers' house, only to find it empty due to Hermione's parents' modified memories.
    • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2:
      • The final fight between Harry and Voldemort. In the book, Harry appears from beneath his invisibility cloak in the midst of the battle to deliver a Shut Up, Hannibal! to Voldemort, just before the Dark Lord tosses a killing curse at him, which backfires horribly. Again. In the film, the fight sprawls the entire breadth of the castle, from Voldemort stalking Harry in the hallways, battling in the Astronomy Tower, and pulling a Freefall Fight before landing in the courtyard, where they engage in a Beam-O-War duel which Harry wins when his Expelliarmus reaches Voldy. And yes, it is just as epic as it sounds.
      • To a lesser degree, the fight between Neville and Nagini. In the book, Neville decapitates Nagini without resistance from her in a moment of surprise, albeit whilst on fire. In the film, he decapitates her mid-launch at a helpless Ron and Hermione. Yes, also extremely satisfying.
      • We also get to see Ron and Hermione enter the Chamber of Secrets and destroy the cup horcrux, showing a scene only referred to in the books.
      • Additionally, we see more of the preparations around Hogwarts for the battle, like Kingsley manning people at the towers to fend off the Death Eaters.
    • Crossing between this trope and Compressed Adaptation, many of the "new" scenes are created to convey plot points from the books in a quicker fashion. For example, the fifth movie has a scene in which Luna shows the Thestrals to Harry. This never happened in the book, but the scene covers the exposition of three separate moments from the book: Luna telling Harry that she believes him regarding Voldemort's return, Hagrid showing Harry the Thestrals, and Luna telling Harry what happened to her mother.
    • Fantastic Beasts is a series of five feature films planned, all inspired by one 42-page comic relief tie-in, more pamphlet than novel, and with no plot. The book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them purports to be an in-universe textbook; the films follow the life of its writer, Newt Scamander.
  • The Hobbit trilogy split a fairly short novel into three long feature films. Peter Jackson and team got the majority of the extra material from the appendices of The Lord of the Rings, and other parts explaining what else was happening while Bilbo and the dwarves journeyed to the Lonely Mountain. Tolkien himself actually considered doing a revised and expanded version of the novel along similar lines that would serve as a more overt prequel to The Lord of the Rings, but ultimately decided against it.
    • The first film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey:
      • The film provides an expanded role for Radagast, whose presence in all of Tolkien's writings is very minor and is only mentioned by name in The Hobbit novel.
      • A lot of backstory is depicted, including the splendour of the original Kingdom Under the Mountain, Smaug's attack on it, and the Battle of Azanulbizar, which are only mentioned in the appendices to The Lord of the Rings.
      • Material is added that was inspired by "The Quest of Erebor" in Unfinished Tales, where Gandalf lays out much of the story's behind-the-scenes action to the rest of the Fellowship.
    • The second film, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug:
      • The film adds several original characters, most notably Tauriel, who is put into a romantic subplot with both Legolas (who is not mentioned in the novel) and Kili.
      • Bard gets introduced to the plot much earlier on than he was in the book — where he shows up literally right before Smaug's about to attack Laketown — and his character and motivations are well established in preparation for the third film. Bard the bowman from the novel is also split into two characters here, Bard himself and Braga, the captain of the guard.
      • Laketown and its residents in general are given detail well beyond the descriptions from the book. Laketown is developed into a Commie Land, with several named inhabitants who have bigger parts. The Master of Laketown, and Laketown counselor Alfrid Lickspittle, are both unnamed minor characters in the book, but have several scenes in the film.
      • Thorin's greed and obsession with reclaiming the Arkenstone is played up far more in the film than it was in the book. Naturally this was done to establish Thorin jumping off the slippery slope in the next movie.
      • Bilbo's time with Smaug is greatly expanded upon, including Thorin and company making a valiant effort to take Smaug down while still within Erebor.
    • The final film, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies:
      • The film actually shows the titular battle, whereas in the book most of the battle happens off-screen, as Bilbo gets knocked unconscious in the first few minutes and wakes up three days later after the fighting is done. Original character Tauriel gets a prominent part in the battle, and in the end Bolg is killed by Legolas instead of by Beorn.
      • The fight of the White Council against the Necromancer is depicted, a scene inspired by "The Quest of Erebor" in Unfinished Tales. (Inspired by, not really from, since Jackson and co. didn't have full rights to those and were writing around copyright.)
      • Despite this being the film that expands on the novel's events the most, this trope is also combined with Compressed Adaptation. The final chapter of the novel focuses on Bilbo's peaceful journey back to the Shire, whereas the film omits aspects of the journey and condenses it all into a little over five minutes.
    • By the time of the novel's events, Azog the pale Orc Chieftan was deceased due to being beheaded by Dáin Ironfoot at the Battle of Azanulbizar years earlier. The films change Azog's background and story involvement to make him The Dragon, having survived the battle and losing his arm instead.
    • The films also add Galadriel and Saruman (not present in the books) to the story, and keep Elrond as a presence throughout (in the book, he plays no part after the dwarves depart Rivendell).
  • In The Hunger Games, the transition to film allows a lot more to be shown, as Katniss is no longer the narrator and sole viewpoint.
    • The first film:
      • Since the book is written in first person from Katniss' perspective, the film adds scenes in the control room of the Hunger Games arena and President Snow's garden to give more information about the world where the story takes place.
      • Seneca Crane is not identified at all in the first book, and is only mentioned posthumously in Catching Fire. The film turns him into a prominent character.
      • After Rue dies, the film depicts District 11 going into a riot in reaction to Katniss' impromptu funeral for Rue and salute to them. This is also some Foreshadowing for the revolts which begin in Catching Fire.
      • The film also allows you to see Gale's reaction to Katniss and Peeta in the games.
      • The film also shows the explanation for the rule change to allow two tributes from the same district to win. Haymitch is able to convince Seneca Crane to change the rules to distract people from the District 11 riots.
      • We also get a scene of Haymitch watching Katniss being trapped and wounded, then schmoozing with some Capitol bigwigs to send her the healing cream.
      • We see Seneca being forced to commit suicide, which is actually a reference to an implied event in the second novel, Catching Fire, although the novel suggests he was executed.
      • The District 6 boy that Cato gets into a fight with while training is named Jason.
    • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire:
      • We get a lot more of President Snow, including his plots with Plutarch and having breakfast with his granddaughter.
      • Snow's granddaughter herself. Similar to Seneca Crane in the first film, Snow's granddaughter never appeared in the books and was only mentioned once in Mockingjay, whereas she's featured in a few scenes in the film versions of Catching Fire and Mockingjay.
      • President Snow's reaction to Katniss destroying the Arena is also shown.
      • As in the first movie, we get to see the gamemakers working during the games, and Plutarch advising Snow. Given how he's a Reverse Mole, that may explain a few of his bad ideas.
      • Beetee also gets a surname: Latier. As does Mags, sharing her portrayer's last name of Cohen.
      • A quick shot of the geography of Panem can be seen in the train at the beginning of the movie.
      • To show her PTSD without showing nightmares, in the opening scene Katniss has a flashback of shooting Marvel while shooting a turkey.
      • Unlike the first film, this time we see a hovercraft collecting the bodies of fallen tributes.
      • Johanna has several more lines in this movie, and her hostile relationship with Katniss in the book cools over the course of the movie (foreshadowing their eventual friendship in Mockingjay).
      • One deleted scene confirms a fan theory regarding the Quarter Quell, which the final cut of the film only hints at with Plutarch's mentioning his "wrinkle" idea: He is shown entering a vault containing hundreds of safes marked with Quarter Quell numbers, removes the card with the original rule change for the third Quell, burns it, and replaces it with the "existing pool of victors" rule change.
    • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1:
      • President Snow has a few more scenes of his own, where he is joined by his staff of Canon Foreigners: Antonius, his right hand man, and Egeria, his head of national information.
      • President Coin gets a few more scenes with Plutarch Heavensbee, which help with her characterization. She also receives a backstory: her husband and daughter died in the last epidemic.
      • The raid on the dam in District 5 is turned into an extended scene, from a simple throwaway line in the book.
      • Similarly, we get another new scene of District 7 lumberjacks bombing a team of Peacekeepers with landmines.
      • The rescue of Peeta is expanded upon in the movie, and while Katniss was sedated for most of it during the book, here she's very much following the situation.
      • Effie Trinket didn't show up until near the end of the book version, with the implication that she had been held prisoner and tortured. Here she's defected to 13 (albeit unwillingly) and essentially takes the place of Fulvia, Plutarch's assistant, along with Katniss's prep team.
      • Averted with Johanna, who appeared in promotional videos and material with Peeta and President Snow, and was declared one of the winners of the Quarter Quell. Ultimately she remains an Advertised Extra, kind of like in the first half of the book.
    • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2: Again with President Snow. In the extra scenes he has, it is shown he's becoming more sick. Also, it is implied he orders the attack of the mutts on Star Squad 451 when they are underground.
  • Idiot's Delight has a You All Meet in an Inn beginning in which Harry and Irene meet at a hotel in the Alps. Harry, an old vaudeville performer who is traveling with a troupe of dancing girls, speculates that Irene the supposed Russian countess is actually another vaudeville performer that he had a fling with in Omaha years ago. The 1939 film adaptation adds an entirely new first act that dramatizes that Back Story, including Harry and Irene’s meeting and one-night-stand in Omaha.
  • Into the Woods features scenes that are implied in the musical but not shown, such as Jack cutting down the beanstalk and killing the giant. Word of God confirms at one point there would have been scenes planned with Jack in the Sky Kingdom and Cinderella meeting her prince at the festival early in production.
  • It's a Wonderful Life was adapted from a Christmas card's short story "The Greatest Gift". Three different screenwriters gave up trying to adapt it before Frank Capra got a hold of the rights. You'll notice that the better part of the film isn't even set at Christmas.
  • Several James Bond movies, such as Octopussy and The Living Daylights, are expansions of short stories from Octopussy and The Living Daylights by Ian Fleming. However, those two are somewhat unusual cases. The film of Octopussy is actually designed as a sequel to the short story (which is completely explained by the title character, so viewers wouldn't need to do homework), while The Living Daylights covers the story's material about Bond helping a defector in its first act, then goes on to have the defector captured among several other plot twists.
  • Johnny Mnemonic was adapted from a short story by William Gibson. Some added elements were taken from other Gibson stories set in the Sprawl, such as the "monk" assassin.
  • The Jumanji movie, which had a far more complex plot than the children's book it was based on. The same goes for the film adaptation of Zathura, Jumanji's Spiritual Successor.
  • Ernest Hemingway's short story "The Killers" leaves a lot of questions unanswered. The 1946 Film Noir adaptation sends an unlikely detective—an insurance adjuster—to Nick Adams' bar to find out the answers... so the film writers had to come up with some.
  • Left Behind (2014) focuses on the airplane trip to London when the Rapture takes place which is no more than the first few chapters in the first book of the Left Behind series, but expands upon those chapters by turning it into an airline disaster that Rayford Steele and his crew barely survive. That being said, though, it leaves out any mention of Chaim Rosenzweig or the Russian all-out assault on Israel that was stopped by divine intervention which Buck Williams in the books was a personal witness of.
  • Man of Steel spends more time delving into Kryptonian society, and explaining the sociopolitical and ecological situation before its destruction, than any film adaptation before it. The explanation behind Krypton's destruction is unique to this movie, as is the detail about the abandoned Kryptonian space program.
  • In the Mortadelo y Filemón movies, Filemón is given a mother in the first and Mortadelo a sister in the second and an aunt in the most recent CGI-animated film. The comic books are inconsistent (almost with no continuity) about their families, and only recently were they standardized.
  • The movie adaptations of Mr. Bean showed that the task of writing a plotline for a Sketch Comedy character is not an easy one.
  • Murder at the Baskervilles: The Sherlock Holmes short story "Silver Blaze" is expanded by including the return of Sir Henry Baskerville (from The Hound of the Baskervilles), a romantic subplot involving Sir Henry's daughter Diana, and the involvement of Professor Moriarty in the Silver Blaze scam.
  • Night at the Museum significantly expands on the cute tale from the original children's book, adding into it a complete adventure involving an ancient Egyptian tablet.
  • Paddington:
    • We see a glimpse of Paddington's life in Darkest Peru, and why Aunt Lucy was no longer able to care for him.
    • The Browns are also more fleshed out:
      • Mrs. Brown becomes a children books' illustrator and a Cloud Cuckoo Lander.
      • Mr. Brown becomes an Overprotective Dad (played for laughs) and risk analyst.
      • Judy becomes your typical moody teenage daughter, with a knack with learning foreign languages.
      • Jonathan becomes your typical rambunctious child who likes to make cool models and hopes to become an astronaut.
      • Mrs. Bird becomes Scottish and really likes her whiskey.
  • Half-blind children biting Judas's flesh mentioned by Luke or Mark, but Gibson thought it was important to include in The Passion of the Christ. His other additions are less demonic, especially the flashback showing the Mother of God making fun of God the Son's wonky homemade table and Mary's memory of picking up the infant Jesus as she watches her son fall under the weight of his bloody cross.
  • Perfect Pie: In the movie Francesca comes to sing for a charity event Patsy is holding, and stays for the weekend instead of just the day. This gives the movie time to put in multiple subplots that weren't in the play, including Marie and Patsy having been in church chorus, them having planned on competing in a musical competition, and Francesca meeting and reconciling with the date who abandoned her at the dance.
  • Peter Pan, the 2003 film version put a lot of emphasis on Peter and Wendy's feelings for one another, making a whole side plot that had to be resolved, cuing a Bittersweet Ending.
  • The live-action Pippi Longstocking movies added material to the sequence of stories in the books. The third one, Pippi in the South Seas did indeed have them going to the South Seas—not to visit Pippi's father's island, but to rescue him from pirates.
  • The full-feature film of Pixels expands on things like where the pixels came from (originally a digital "bomb" in a discarded CRT television) and adds motivations for why the pixellated characters are attacking, plus a number of heroes with the skills needed to fight back.
  • Quest for Love, the film adaptation of the short story "Random Quest" by John Wyndham, considerably expands on the divergent backstories of Ottilie Harshom, Colin Trafford's Alternate Universe counterpart, and her counterpart from Colin's universe. In the story story, Colin describes both Ottilie and her counterpart Belinda Gale at some length but the former makes only a very minor appearance in the story while the latter does not appear at all. In the film, Ottilie is a major character who appears in the vast majority of the parallel universe scenes whereas her counterpart, whose name is Tracy Fletcher, makes a significant appearance towards the end of the film. The film's screenwriter Terence Feely also gave Ottilie a previously undiagnosed fatal heart condition which gave Colin's search for her counterpart in his own universe a greater sense of urgency and a greater moral dimension than existed in the short story. It also served to make her even more unattainable and eliminated the problem of her once again being the victim of her husband's emotional abuse once the two Colins switched back, something which undermined the short story's happy ending.
  • Rear Window took a short story titled, "It Had To Be Murder" and added a love interest for Jeffries, plus subplots about the other tenants.
  • The Warren Ellis comic Red was originally a three-issue thriller about a retired CIA agent being lined up for assassination by a new administration that was horrified about what would happen if his track record was made public. The movie adaptation made it a comedy and threw in a bunch of fellow retired agents - all with the blessing of Ellis, who admitted the actual miniseries "would maybe run forty minutes, if there were a musical number."
  • The Scarlet Letter film adaptation adds gore, Indian raids, and a whole first act to detail the sexual affair dealt with in the rest of the film.
  • Hollywood turned The Secret Life of Walter Mitty from a classic short story by James Thurber into an overblown Danny Kaye vehicle.
  • Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is an example of this done well, following the very short story closely, but expanding on it greatly. For example, the story's title, Sobbin Women, becomes the title of one of the songs.
  • Shane is a 2-hour movie adapted from a very short book. Most scenes from the novel got extended in some way and some completely new scenes were added.
  • Russell did the same thing with Shirley Valentine — the original play consists of two monologues by Shirley, one in her kitchen and the other on a Greek beach, while the film fully dramatizes the events the monologues describe.
  • Slingblade was first a short film called "Some Folks Call It A Slingblade". Mm-hmm. The short story was reshot to serve as the first scene in the film.
  • The Sorcerer's Apprentice, a live-action film, based on a short in the animated musical anthology film Fantasia. No Mickey, but the special effects department had a fun time doing their job. Oh and it managed to include a homage to the short. The short itself is based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's poem "Der Zauberlehrling" (= The Sorcerer's Apprentice).
  • Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Adapted from a one-hour pilot that was never made, and it shows. Instead of relying on adding extra scenes and dialogue, they extended the establishing shots and ship movement sequences, possibly hoping that the audience would be too mesmerized by the special effects to get bored.
  • At the time of writing the movie, the Super Mario Bros. series didn't have much story or defined personalities for the characters unless you counted the various cartoon series or somewhat obscure comics. Because of this, the writers of the Super Mario Bros. movie had to write the story from the angle of a prequel, exploring how the Mario Bros. became the Super Mario Bros. In the process Mario and Luigi were given an older brother/younger brother dynamic/conflict and Koopa was provided a motivation for needing the Princess.
  • Talk Radio began life as a monologue-heavy one-act play. The movie used the play as the basis of a Roman à Clef Bio Pic about Alan Berg, the controversial Denver radio talk show host who was murdered by a white supremacist gang in 1984, with the play's protagonist, Barry Champlain, as a stand-in for Berg.
  • The Ten Commandments undeniably has more to do with Moses's love life than the ten commandments — not for a lack of source material (about the commandments, not Moses' love life).
  • Ugetsu is an example of a well-known adaptation that greatly expanded the material of the original Tales of Moonlight and Rain, which was a collection of stories unrelated in all but theme. Two stories were spliced together, with a few references from the others, new content was added and an award winning movie was made.
  • Weird Science was adapted from an issue of the 1950s comic book of the same name, specifically the story "Made of the Future" in issue #5. The adaptation expanded upon and modernised the premise. And given a "Brat Pack" flavor to boot.
  • Where the Wild Things Are is a particularly bizarre example. Practically necessary since the original story was 10 sentences long. The story is still, on the surface, a very simple tale about a child running away and playing with imaginary monster friends. But thanks to some intentionally obvious symbolism, the interactions between the monsters tells the underlying story of Max being dragged through his parents' nasty divorce.
  • The Wolfman (2010):
    • The 2010 version explores a very different side of the relationship between Lawrence and his father as well as the psychological aspects the 1941 version wanted to do intentionally.
    • Gwen and Lawrence's romance gets a little more foundation than in the original, mostly because this time around Gwen doesn't exactly have a living fiancé. This also does away with the creepy stalker undertones that took hold of the beginning of their relationship in the original.
    • The side effects of becoming a werewolf, such as fast healing, more acute hearing, and increased physical strength are shown.
    • Aberline is a new character, added to serve as a sort of an Anti-Villain.
    • Sir John's butler, Singh, is a new character as well.
    • Albeit very briefly, we actually get to see Lawrence's brother and mother, who only received a passing mention in the original.
    • In the extended cut, a good chunk of pre-establishment about Lawrence's father and mother are left out.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: The original comic book is a story of just 2 short issues. There is a Bad Future, Kitty Pryde is sent back in time to warn the X-Men to prevent a political assassination, which is stopped, Kitty returns to the future, the end. In its original form, it would be short even for an episode of an animated series. Everything else in this movie which was not mentioned in that short premise is something new.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: The main storyline of the movie is adapted from Louise Simonson's original Apocalypse arc in X-Factor (Apocalypse's origin and philosophy is explained, he recruits his Horsemen, he fights the X-Men), but it also takes elements from several other comic book stories:
      • Age of Apocalypse: Apocalypse tries to become the God-ruler of Earth.
      • New X-Men: Magneto wants to take over the world, he uses his powers to destroy the bridges around Manhattan.
      • Barry Windsor-Smith's original Weapon X series: Wolverine has been captured by the the authorities, they give him his adamantium claws and skeleton and control him through a psionic helmet, until he breaks free, kills his captors, and escapes.
      • The Dark Phoenix Saga: Jean Grey's massive Phoenix powers concern Xavier and the other X-Men, so Xavier has put those powers under a telepathic lock, but eventually the lock gets opened and the Phoenix is unleashed.
    • Logan: Also mixes this with Pragmatic Adaptation:
      • Old Man Logan: Much of the comic would have been impossible to adapt due to the distribution of film rights. Among the only things taken from the original book is following an aging Logan, who also has an aging companion from the past (Hawkeye in the book, Charles in the film).
      • Innocence Lost: Substantial material is adapted from X-23's origin story, with Transigen serving as an Expy for the Facility, while also introducing Zander Rice, and of course X-23 herself. Elements of her creation and training appear in an in-universe film Logan finds. This material is itself further expanded upon, with X-23 being not just Laura, but an entire group of mutant children with different powers from different donors. Logan's death also nods towards the death of Sarah Kinney in the book, as he ultimately gives his life trying to help her escape her pursuers, and gets to share a final, poignant moment with his daughter, dying in her arms.
      • Death of Wolverine: Logan dies. His thick beard and tuxedo early on is very similar to an outfit he wears in part of the comic miniseries, and like the series a major setting of the film is at the casino. Logan sacrificing his life to save mutants from experimentation also serves as a nod to the books.
  • Z for Zachariah famously added an entirely new character, Caleb, in order to create a Love Triangle.
  • The movie Zoolander was based off of a series of shorts that were shown during the VH-1 Fashion Awards.


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