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Adaptational Location Change

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Sometimes, when writers and producers adapt a novel, comic book, or video game into a TV show or film, or remake an old TV series or movie, they decide to change the adaptation's setting. This is to reflect the location that it's being filmed in, often due to weather or political reasons.

Depending on the work, it can change the feel quite a bit and is often influenced by California Doubling and related tropes.

A Super-Trope to Foreign Remake (when the setting change is the whole point of the adaptation), Setting Update (when the setting and/or time period is changed in the adaptation) and Thinly-Veiled Dub Country Change (where the changes in the setting are entirely through dialogue). A subtrope of Adaptation Deviation.


Examples:

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    Fan Works 
  • In Harry Potter, Hogwarts, the magical school, is in Scotland. In its fanfiction My Immortal, it's in England.
  • In Prehistoric Park, the titular park is implied to have been set up somewhere in Africa. In Prehistoric Park Reimagined, it is instead on mainland Florida not too far away from the city of Sarasota.
  • The events of Half-Life fanfic Quarter-Life: Halfway To Destruction are set in Dallas instead of Black Mesa or City 17 because the author's friend lives there.
  • Friday Night Funkin': Corruption: Week 4 in the original Friday Night Funkin' took place on a highway at sunset, while Week 4 in the mod takes place in an unknown, foggy area. Justified, as Corruption Week 4 takes place after the canon Week 4.
  • Infinity Train: Wake Me Up: In the Blossomverse, Chloe's first location upon arriving at the Train was the kingdom of Corginia. Here, she only reaches that location a few chapters down the line, and the first car she's seen is a Snow White-themed one. This actually becomes important later on, as The Vermillion Citadel operated under the idea this Chloe had the same start in Corginia as the rest of them, throwing them for a loop.
  • The fic Spider-Ninja takes place in an AU where the TMNT exist in the same universe as a gender-swapped Peter Parker and the Avengers (from the MCU). Here, instead of New York (where the main characters live), the battle with Loki and the Chitauri took place in Los Angeles.

    Film — Animated 
  • The Disney movie Aladdin changes the location from China to the Middle East, in the fictional country of Agrabah. This also leads to Race Lift.
  • Because the titular character was changed from a roe deer to a white-tailed deer in Walt Disney's Bambi, the setting was also changed from somewhere in Europe (presumably Austria) to Maine.
  • The movie version of Coraline takes place in the United States instead of England.
  • The Princess and the Frog is set in New Orleans. The book it was inspired by, The Frog Princess, was set in a fairy-tale kingdom called Greensward.
  • In The Rescuers and The Rescuers Down Under, the Rescue Aid Society is headquartered in New York City. In the original Rescuers books the Prisoner's Aid Society is headquartered in Paris.
  • In the Korean dub of Toy Story 2, the toy museum where Al plans to sell his Roundup Gang toys is located in Seoul, South Korea. Averted in the subtitled version, however, where the museum is still in Tokyo, Japan.
  • When Marnie Was There: In the original novel, the story was set in Norfolk, England. In the movie, the setting is changed to a rural seaside town in Japan's Hokkaido prefecture.

    Film — Live Action 
  • The live action Assassination Classroom duology does this in spades.
    • As adapting the Assassination Island Arc in full would have been prohibitively expensive for Japanese cinema, the events of the arc end up occurring right outside the Class E building. In addition, Itona ends up losing his tentacles and joining the class at the conclusion of the live action version of the arc, when in the manga not only did he join them in a later arc, but said arc occurred in a different part of the city.
    • Red Eye attempts to assassinate Koro-sensei during the Kunigaoka School Festival rather than during the school trip to Tokyo.
    • The fight between Koro-sensei and Akari Yukimura also occurs around the Class E building rather than in a nearby field as it did in the manga. As such, the Big Damn Kiss between Nagisa and Kaede/Akari occurs on top of the building rather than on the ground.
    • Class E ultimately kills Koro-sensei inside their school building, when in the original material they did it outside the building.
    • In the final chapter, Nagisa ends up teaching a class full of delinquents in a deadbeat school in an unspecified city. In the film version, the scenario occurs in the decrepit Class E building, as due to Class E's academic efforts being downplayed in the films Principal Asano isn't fired from his position and the Absurdly Divided School system he instituted is still in place.
  • The Ax by Donald Westlake is set in the US. Its film adaptation by Costa-Gavras, The Axe, is set in France, with short scenes in Belgium and Germany where the protagonist ventures to kill some rivals for a coveted job.
  • The 1978 film adaptation of The Big Sleep changed the setting from 1940s Los Angeles to 1970s London, mainly for budget reasons.
  • Black Butler: The live-action film changes both the location and the time period from the original manga; the location is changed from England to an unnamed Asian country, and the time period is changed from the Victorian Era to 2020.
  • Blade Runner and its sequel take place primarily in Los Angeles, but the book they're based on, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is set in San Francisco.
  • Blood And Chocolate shifts the setting from small-town United States, as it was in the novel, to Bucharest, Romania.
  • Carrie (1976): The novel is set in Castle Rock, Maine. The 1976 adaptation was filmed in Los Angeles, but it's implied to be somewhere in the South if Carrie and Margaret White's accents are any indication.
  • The book Christine was set in Pennsylvania, while its 1983 film adaptation was set in California.
  • Cracks is based on a book that was originally set in South Africa. The film changes the setting to Great Britain.
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button changed the original story's Baltimore to New Orleans.
  • Death Note (2017) takes place in Seattle, Washington rather than in Japan. This also led to the cast's Race Lifts to accommodate.
  • Eyes Wide Shut was set in contemporary New York City, while the book it was based on (Traumnovelle) was set in turn-of-the-century Vienna.
  • Extraction: The graphic novel that it is based on, Ciudad, is set in Paraguay. The film changes it to Bangladesh.
  • The Girl on the Train: The novel is set in England, specifically the London suburbs. While Rachel is English, the movie is set in the suburbs of New York City.
  • The play Glengarry Glen Ross was set in Chicago, but the film was filmed in New York and the final location was ambiguous; while visually there was a strong New York look to the scenes, dialogue mentioned things like Chicago locations and implied that Wisconsin was in driving distance.
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II
    • "The Sacking of Severus Snape" takes place in the Great Hall as opposed to a hallway in the castle.
    • Voldemort murdering Snape is changed from the Shrieking Shack to the boathouse to give the latter a more picturesque location for their demise. The director also noted it would be the first - and consequently, only - time the boathouse was used in the films.
    • Harry and Voldemortís final battle takes place in the courtyard outside the Great Hall, whereas it took place inside the Great Hall in the book.
    • Harry, Ron, and Hermione's last conversation before the epilogue also takes place on the bridge to the castle instead of the Headmaster's office.
  • High Fidelity:
    • The film changes the setting from London to Chicago. The writers did this because they were more familiar with the city and its alternative music scene.
    • The series meanwhile is set in Crown, Heights, Brooklyn, New York City.
  • Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey is an adaptation of the novel The Incredible Journey. The book takes place in Northwest Ontario; the movie is in California's Sierra Nevada mountains.
  • Inspector Gadget (1999): In the Inspector Gadget cartoon, Gadget lives in the fictional Metro City. The film, as well as its sequel, is set in the equally fictional Riverton, Ohio.
  • James Bond:
    • From Russia with Love: In the novel, Bond's encounter with Col. Klebb takes place in Paris. In the film, it's in Venice.
    • On Her Majesty's Secret Service: In the book, Piz Gloria is established to be set above St. Moritz in the Engadine region of Switzerland. In the film, Blofeld's letters to Gumbold and Sir Hilary Bray confirm that this iteration of Piz Gloria is instead set in the Bernese Oberland, which is in the same country.
    • Diamonds Are Forever visits all the locations of the book, with the exception of New York.
    • Live and Let Die: In the book, Mr. Big's lair is in Jamaica. In the film, he resides on the fictional island of San Monique, which was portrayed by - Jamaica. Also, the film never goes to Florida, unlike the book.
    • The Man with the Golden Gun: The book largely took place in Jamaica. The movie sees Bond visit Beirut, Thailand and Hong Kong.
    • The Spy Who Loved Me: The book took place exclusively in the Adirondacks, in upstate New York. The film visits the Austrian Alps, London, Egypt and Italy, but never New York State.
    • Moonraker: The book never actually left England, with the climax taking place in Kent. The movie is a globe-trotting adventure that sees Bond visit California, Venice, Rio de Janeiro and outer space.
    • For Your Eyes Only:
      • In "For Your Eyes Only", Bond was sent to Vermont to find the killers of M's friends. In the film, the relevant scene takes place in Madrid.
      • "Ricisco" takes place in Italy. Like much of the latter half of the film, this part takes place in Greece.
    • The Living Daylights: The original short story took place in Berlin. In the film, the relevant scene takes place in Bratislava.
    • Casino Royale's ending took place in France. The film's climax takes place in Venice.
  • Jaws is set in Long Island, but the movie changes it to a New England island.
  • In Journey to the Center of the Earth, the expeditionary team is from Hamburg, Germany but in the 1959 film adaptation, they're from Edinburgh, Scotland.
  • The book Lottie and Lisa was originally set in Austria and Germany but the film adaptations, The Parent Trap (1961) and The Parent Trap (1998), were both set in America, with the latter also featuring Britain. This trope applies to the 1998 version compared to the 1961 version too: the mother and the Girly Girl twin live in Boston in the 1961 film, but London in the 1998 film, and while the father and the Tomboy twin live in Northern California in both versions, they live in Monterey in the 1961 film, but Napa in the 1998 film.
  • The Shaw Brothers wuxia film, The Magnificent Trio is pretty much a Shot for Shot Remake of Hideo Gosha's Three Outlaw Samurai, but with the movie being made in another country, the setting was relocated from Feudal Japan to Ming Dynasty China.
  • The 2004 adaptation of Man on Fire shifts the plot from 1980s Italy to present-day Mexico complete with a Race Lift for almost all of the main cast.
  • Seemingly to avoid the comicsí habit of having most of the main characters live in New York, the Marvel Cinematic Universe tries to spread the characters out a bit more.
  • The 1996 film adaptation of Matilda changes the setting from Dahl's Britain to an unidentified town in America (likely located in New Jersey given that Danny DeVito and Jersey Films made the movie).
  • The McKenzie Break: The book is set in the real-life Bowmanville POW camp in Canada. The film follows a fictional POW camp in Scotland.
  • Minority Report is set in Washington, D.C. and its surrounding area, while the original short story was in New York City.
  • The original Oldboy manga was set in Japan. The 2003 film adaptation moves the setting to South Korea, the home country of director Park Chan-wook.
  • In Our Ladies (2019), while the choir still makes the trip to Edinburgh as in the soure novel The Sopranos (Warner), the location of the school is changed from Oban to Fort William.
  • The 1961 and 1998 versions of The Parent Trap are set in the United States, as opposed to Germany and Austria from Lottie and Lisa, the novel that inspired the films.
  • Planet of the Apes (1968) is set on Earth while the original novel actually takes place on another planet. The novel's protagonist does return to Earth eventually, resulting in an ending similar to the 2001 movie where it's revealed that apes also took over the planet, the scene takes place in Paris, however, instead of New York City.
  • The Princess Diaries is set in San Francisco and included quite a bit of on-location footage, while the original book series was set in New York City.
  • The Punisher is famously a New York-based character. Budget constraints meant that the 2004 movie's setting was changed to Florida.
  • In the comics, Shazam!'s traditional hometown is Fawcett City, located in the Midwestern United States. The DCEU film of the same name instead has Philadelphia as the stomping grounds for the Red Cyclone. (although The New 52 made Fawcett a Philadelphia suburb, so there was some backing)
  • In the Suicide Squad comics, Jotunheim was located in the fictional Middle Eastern nation of Qurac. In the 2021 film adaptation, Jotunheim is instead in the (also fictional) Banana Republic of Corto Maltese.
  • The Thing from Another World — an adaptation of the novella Who Goes There? — switches the setting from a base in Antarctica (the South Pole) to a base in the North Pole. The 1982 remake switched it back to Antarctica, demonstrating that the story is probably one of the very few that could take place in the direct opposite sides of the Earth and have it make little to no difference.
  • Both H. G. Wells' 1895 novel The Time Machine and its 1960 film adaptation were set in London. The 2002 version, however, is set in New York City instead.
  • Throne of Blood is basically Macbeth in feudal Japan instead of medieval Scotland.
  • The play 12 Angry Men was set in Chicago, but the 1957 and 1997 film adaptations took place in New York.
  • Most film adaptations of War of the Worlds take place in the United States in a contemporary setting, rather than Victorian Era Britain.
  • You've Got Mail is set in modern-day New York City. The play it is adapted from, Parfumerie, was set in 1930's Budapest.

    Literature 
  • The Enchanted Files: In "Clean as a Whistle", Jamie and her family live in Minnesota. In Diary of a Mad Brownie / Cursed, they live in Connecticut instead.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The short-lived series Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands changed the setting from Sixth Century Northern Europe to a fictional land called The Shieldlands. This is only the first of many major deviations from the original tale.
  • In the comics, Black Lightning operates in the Suicide Slum section of Metropolis. Black Lightning (2018) places Black Lightning in the fictional city of Freeland, a location completely unconnected to Metropolis.
  • Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency takes place in America (Seattle in season 1, Montana in season 2), while the book it's based on takes place in England.
  • The original Dynasty was set in Denver, Colorado (but filmed in Los Angeles), whilst the 2017 reboot is set and filmed in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Elementary, the American modern-day adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes detective stories, is set in New York City instead of London. Sherlock and Joan do eventually move to the iconic 221b Baker Street home in London at the end of Season 6, only to return to New York at the start of Season 7 after the show's surprise renewal.
  • The End of the F***ing World takes place in the UK, despite the original comic series being in America.
  • Haven is an Adaptation Expansion of Stephen King's novella The Colorado Kid. The novella takes place in Moose-Lookit, Maine. The show instead sets it in the town from The Langoliers, either for the sake of recognition or as a Mythology Gag. Given that both these towns are fictional and set in Maine, it doesn't do anything to change the story...which makes it a rather baffling production choice to begin with.
  • Heartland transplants the story from the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia (where the novels are set) to Alberta, Canada (where the show is produced).
  • Interview with the Vampire (2022):
    • "In Throes of Increasing Wonder...": In the Interview with the Vampire novel, Lestat de Lioncourt transforms Louis de Pointe du Lac into a vampire at the latter's indigo plantation outside of New Orleans, but in the TV series, this event takes place in the city proper at St. Augustine Church.
    • "The Thing Lay Still": The book version has Louis and Claudia dump Lestat's body into a swamp at the bayou, whereas on the show, the latter ends up in a landfill outside of New Orleans where he eats rats instead of alligators to survive.
  • iZombie moves the action from the comic book's setting of Eugene, OR to Seattle, WA.
  • Legion:
    • In the comics, the psychiatric hospital where Charles Xavier first meets Gabrielle is in Israel, but in the show, it's located in England.
    • The Battle in the Center of the Mind between Charles and Farouk originally took place in Cairo, Egypt, whereas in the series, the psychic duel happened at Farouk's Moroccan palace.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power:
    • During her initial voiceover, Galadriel gives a very stripped-down explanation of how and why the Elves found themselves taking ships from Valinor back to Middle-earth for their war against Morgoth. However, the map shown onscreen depicts them leaving the Valinor of the First Age and arriving in the Middle-earth of the Second Age, with no sign of Beleriand, where the War of the Jewels actually took place. A scene of land sunken beneath the waves implies a reference to Beleriand but makes no reference to its location. Beleriand is directly mentioned for the first time in the fourth episode.
    • When Galadriel and Halbrand arrive in Numenor the magnificent city they disembark at would seem to be Romenna, the great east-coast port that housed Numenorís fleets. But from the presence of the royal palace it would seem they have merged Romenna with Armenelos, the Numenorean capital that is supposed to be 50 miles inland at the feet of the great mountain Meneltarma, which can actually be seen in the distance.
  • Nancy Drew (2019) is set in the fictional seaside town of Horseshoe Bay, Maine, whereas the character is normally depicted as living in the fictional Midwestern city of River Heights, Illinois.
  • The original Party of Five was set in San Francisco. The reboot was set in Los Angeles.
  • Les Petits Meurtres d'Agatha Christie is setting Agatha Christie's stories in the Northern France.
  • The Power (2023):
    • Margot's hometown in the book was never specified, but it was implied to be Boston, or at least somewhere in New England. In the series, meanwhile, she's the mayor of Seattle.
    • The convent which takes in Allie was originally within New York City. Here, it's in rural Ohio.
    • In both the book and the show, Tatiana comes from a poor, Romanian-speaking Eastern European republic that's depicted as a hub of sex trafficking. In the book, it was the real-world nation of Moldova. The show changes it to a fictional one, Carpathia.
  • Resident Alien is set in the fictional town of Patience, Colorado. The comics on which it was based are set in Patience, Washington.
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch is set in the fictional Boston suburb of Westbridge, but the comic book it was based on was set in Greendale, a neighboring town of Riverdale.
  • The Sandman (2022): The park scenes in the first half of episode 6 take place on Richmond Green in London instead of in Washington Square Park in Manhattan as was the case in the original comic book issue that is being adapted.
  • Station Eleven: Though characters in both book and show move around the Great Lakes region, most of the pre-apocalyptic action in the book is set in Toronto, while the show sets these scenes in Chicago.
  • In Supergirl, Supergirl operates out of National City, a new location that was created for the series. In the comics, her base of operations has been Depending on the Writer.
  • Titans Season 3 sees the team relocate to Gotham City and begin operating out of the Batcave after Batman unexpectedly retires. While the various incarnations of the Teen Titans have been set in a few different cities, Gotham isnít one of them.
  • The American adaptation of Ultraman, titled Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero, rehashes much of the plot of the original series, but switches locations all the way from Japan to the States. For instance, the original series' two-part episode featuring the kaiju Gomora which is set mostly in Osaka (prominently featuring Osaka's Himeji Castle) is now set in Los Angeles instead.
  • What We Do in the Shadows (2019) is a Spin-Off of What We Do in the Shadows that takes the same Vampire mockumentary concept of the original film and applies it to a new cast of characters in Staten Island, New York rather than Wellington, New Zealand.

    Music 
  • The Longest Johns' cover of "The Last Saskatchewan Pirate" by The Arrogant Worms is retitled "The Last Bristolian Pirate," and transports the action from the Saskatchewan River in Canada to the River Severn in England.

    Radio 

    Theatre 
  • The Matchmaker by Thornton Wilder, set in the United States, is inspired by Einen Jux will er sich machen by Johann Nestroy, set in Austria, which in turn is inspired by A Day Well Spent by John Oxenford, set in England.
  • The Caucasian Chalk Circle by Bertolt Brecht is inspired by an old Chinese tale called "The Chalk Circle", but moves the setting from China to The Caucasus.
  • Some Like It Hot: The original film has Sweet Sue and her band travel from Chicago to Miami, and Joe and Jerry come along for the ride to escape the mob. In this version, Sue and Sugar being black (along with Jerry and possibly other members, depending on the female ensemble) means they're not heading to Jim Crow-era Florida, but instead to the more liberal San Diego, California. Instead of hiding out in Miami, Joe and Jerry now plan to cross the border into Mexico.

    Web Animation 
  • McBusters: While the Ghostbusters films famously took place in New York City, Mac Tonight's final line in the series indicates that the videos' events instead take place in Fresno, California.

    Western Animation 
  • In Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, the main characters live in a town called Coolsville, but in the reboot Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, they live in a different town called Crystal Cove.
  • Thomas & Friends:
    • The show and The Railway Series both take place on the fictional Island Of Sodor. However, while in the books and the early episodes of the show Sodor is located off Britain (in the Irish Sea between Cumbria and the Isle of Man), the show did away with that for a while, setting Sodor in some unspecified ocean (with Misty Island nearby). Later episodes did show it in its original location, however.
    • The stations and settings changed between books and show. For example, in the books Tidmouth is the "big station" and Knapford is the junction for Thomas' branch line; in the show these are Knapford and Elsbridge respectively.

 
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He-Man Honest Trailer

The Honest Trailer for Masters of the Universe complains all the changes made from the original cartoon.

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