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No Adaptations Allowed

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Most of the time adaptations are seen as a positive thing and many works are made with adaptations or merchandise in mind. These are the exception. They cannot have adaptations due to various reasons. They're considered impossible to adapt, difficult to get rights to, or the creators/publishers simply don't want adaptations.

Compare to Fanwork Ban. Contrast to Self-Adaptation, where the creator only permits adaptations that they are personally responsible for. See also Disowned Adaptation (which may cause this in future works by the creator), when adaptations have been made but the creator presumably wishes there weren't.



Anime & Manga

  • Kiyohiko Azama has not allowed Yotsuba&! to be adapted into an anime, citing a belief that it's not well-suited to an animated format. However, there have been audio adaptations and an anime spin-off.
  • Despite running for more than three decades and being quite popular, From Eroica with Love has never been adapted to anime, product of Yasuko Aoike not being a fan of animation.

Comic Books

  • Art Spiegelman has turned down all offers to adapt Maus into a film, viewing it as commercialization of a very personal story he never expected would explode into such popularity. According to him, his wife even joked that his greatest accomplishment has been not adapting it.

Comic Strips

  • Unusually for such a popular comic strip, Calvin and Hobbes has never had an Animated Adaptation. Official merchandise is also exceedingly rare (though bootleg material is common, such as the infamous "Peeing Calvin" decals). Bill Watterson won't allow adaptations for various reasons, including fear of loss of control over his work and a dislike for other comic strips getting adapted and marketed to the point of growing stale, such as Garfield and Peanuts.

Film - Live Action

  • The creators of Bob Roberts refused to have an official soundtrack released, despite the film having several original songs, because the song were all deliberately intended to be catchy far-right-wing anthems, and they feared that the soundtrack might attract a huge Misaimed Fandom.
  • The poor handling of Destination Moon led to Robert A. Heinlein flatly refusing for any of his books to be adapted into films ever again. This ban extended well past his death, though we eventually got the likes of The Puppet Master and Starship Troopers. Yay.
  • Dune: Owing to how the deal for the movie rights came about, no one else can ever make a Dune movie, ever. The Sci-Fi Channel (now Sy Fy) found a loophole and made a miniseries, though the lackluster performance of both miniseries (based on the first three books in the series) torpedoed any plans to keep going. It's only in 2017 when Legendary Pictures hired Denis Villeneuve to be the director for the new adaptation of the book. Time will tell if it will a success.


Pinball Machines

  • There are several hard to license tables that are impossible to port to home computers. Not only are the rights for the table itself needed, but music in the game, any movie license and actor likenesses can be involved too. But at least any patents are either expired or included.



  • Variant: LEGO shot down all pitches for a theatrical film involving the BIONICLE universe. This is due to these pitches involving human kids, which is contrary to the world building of the series, which states humans don't exist or will ever be a part of the universe. However, BIONICLE still got four direct to video movies.

Video Games