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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.

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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 largely cosmetic). A subtrope of Adaptation Deviation.


Examples:

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     Fan Works 

     Film — Animated 
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     Film — Live Action 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 comics’ 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).
  • 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 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.

     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.
  • Legion: In the comics, the psychiatric hospital where Charles first meets Gabrielle is in Israel, but in the show, it's located in England.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 isn’t 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 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.

     Theatre 

     Western Animation 
  • Polly Pocket: The unnamed community from the 2000s specials was named Pollyville for the 2010s web series. Then when the brand was rebooted for 2018, the town's name was changed to Littleton.
  • 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.
  • The Smurfs (2021): Though it is not explicitly stated, it can be presumed that Smurfy Grove is no longer inhabited by the Smurfettes as of the conclusion of The Lost Village, as it would not make much sense for the Smurfettes to remain in the grove after it's location was made known to Gargamel. As a result, they would presumably have either relocated to Smurf Village or else established a new village for themselves elsewhere. It was later confirmed in the episode "Smurfs In Disguise" that the Smurfettes now live in a new village, probably not so far from Smurfs Village since Smurfwillow, Smurflily, Smurfblossom and Smurfstorm often visit it.
  • Thomas & Friends and The Railway Series both take place on the fictional Island Of Sodor. However, while in the books Sodor is located off Britain near the Island of Man, the show does away with that, setting Sodor in some unspecified ocean (with Misty Island nearby).
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