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Truer to the Text

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Top: Iron Throne in Game of Thrones, Bottom: More accurate-to-text Marc Simonetti illustration in The World of Ice & Fire commissioned by author

"There is no real Iron Throne. It doesn't was made of words, like all such fictional constructs...but it's real to me...When I write about the Iron Throne, I SEE it in my head...The HBO throne has become iconic. And well it might. It's a terrific design, and it has served the show very well...And yet, and yet... it's still not right...It's not the Iron Throne I want my readers to see."
George R. R. Martin, describing the divergence between description in text, and representation on screen.

If a book or comic becomes sufficiently popular, it will almost definitely get a TV show or a movie. While some fans rejoice upon hearing that their favorite series is getting an adaptation, all too often a contingent of the fanbase will find themselves miffed about changes to the work that the general public might not care too much about, which those who were especially invested in the material will take to heart and consider that a part of what made the original great is missing. The problems are especially likely to surface when the story is ongoing and the staff has to work with incomplete source material. The result of such circumstances tends to be base-breaking.

It's important to admit that changes from the source materials has often been a good thing, and sometimes, necessary thing. Sometimes being more faithful is a technicality rather than anything significant and if done badly, will displease those who wonder why the work adapted from pre-existing material in the first place if the work so wholeheartedly believes that nothing should be changed and added. And likewise, depending on the medium, there will inevitably be stylistic adaptations, quirks, and other versions, which are admittedly going to add to the corpus of adapted material.


Usually the cycle of adaptations from earlier work follows a certain model:

  • A series' first adaptation is geared towards introducing the work to the widest possible audience. It will begin with the same basic plot but will try to adapt and condense it to make the public more involved with a certain character, genre, and setting. A new adaptation seeking to revive the IP now has an additional option the first one didn't: go back to the source material and bring in stuff the first version left off especially since the burden of introducing the IP to a general audience has already been achieved.
  • In many cases, the adaptation of the source material, is far notable and far more memorable than the original source. Not all fans of the movie/show actually read the source material, and are more familiar with the various adaptations. Putting on a play called "Don Juan" but not specifying that you are adapting the original Spanish play by Tirso de Molina, rather than the opera by Mozart (Don Giovanni), or the play by Moliere, or the one by George Bernard Shaw, will confuse audiences, who will mostly not be familiar with how many different versions there are.
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  • Depending on the differences between mediums, such as the inevitable problems that come with adapting a book into a film, "more faithful" does not necessarily equate to "better." Sometimes the original media has had multiple Retools and possibly even a Cosmic Retcon every now and then, making it so that being faithful in one aspect of the original also makes it unfaithful to another aspect of the original. In extreme cases, a more faithful adaptation may only succeed in showing why the first adaptation made changes in the first place; what might work in a novel may not necessarily work in a visual medium, and vice versa.

Sometimes, the IP is so valuable that there are many adaptations and inevitably one or more of them, to distinguish itself from the crop, and better market itself, will try and be more faithful to the original adaptation. This adaptation will go out of its way to cover what they missed out on last time, and fill itself with more Continuity Porn. There will be no annoying additions, no alternate endings, no important details ignored, just the original story, pure and proper. If done well, the fandom will probably be quite pleased. Or, alternatively, it's closer to the original story far more than other adaptations have been. Some IP are truer to the text in relative comparisons to other adaptations of the same material, but even then it will likely choose what to emphasize and highlight, and other takes might well do their own versions.

When using this trope keep in mind that it refers to works that have been adapted multiple times, has to specify what part of the text it is truer to compared to other versions. To qualify, a work need only be truer to the text relative to other adaptations.

This is a list of examples that have already been done or are in the works. Do NOT list a series unless it has been officially announced. Mere rumors are not enough.


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    Adapted from Comics 
  • From Marvel Comics:
    • The Marvel Super Heroes is an extremely faithful adaptation of the original comics in comparison to what came before it, in the case of Captain America. The Hulk, Thor and Iron Man are all inversions as their segments were more faithful than what came between this and a few later portrayals.
    • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! is a more faithful adaptation of the Marvel Comics series as well as The Avengers (along with the members of the group as well as their mythos, costumes, origins, enemies, etc) and the Mainstream Marvel Universe in general than older Marvel adaptations such as the ill-fated The Avengers: United They Stand. Earth's Mightiest Heroes is also notable for providing faithful adaptations of stories such as "The Kang War" and "The Secret Invasion", among others, despite Adaptation Distillation.
    • Fantastic Four:
    • Spider-Man:
      • The Spectacular Spider-Man is the most faithful adaptation of Spider-Man in comparison to most of the Spider-Man adaptations that have been created before. Just like in the comics, Peter is a loner hero who solves his problems on his own without adult mentors or sidekicks, and he balances his school and life himself. It also presents the most comic book accurate takes on the titular character, his supporting casts, and villains (such as Norman Osborn, who is portrayed for the first time as "a bad man made worse" rather than a literal split personality).
      • Barring a set of wings, the Green Goblin from Miles Morales's universe in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon is closer to the Green Goblin of the actual Ultimate Spider-Man comics than the show's main Goblin, who was a composite of his Ultimate incarnation (a hulking monster instead of a man in a costume) and mainline (using a glider and pumpkin bombs, as opposed to leaping around and being pyrokinetic) selves.
      • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is likewise a fair bit more accurate to multiple iterations of Spider-Man than before. Its portrayal of Miles Morales and Spider-Gwen is truer than the animation series, Marvel's Spider-Man where both were teen contemporaries of Peter. Likewise, it is the first version of any cinematic Peter to show him as an adult superhero, which is what the vast majority of comics stories covers, whereas previous adaptations had emphasized Peter as a high school and college student. Both of the film versions of Peter married Mary Jane Watson, who was his wife in the mainline continuity for twenty years (1987-2008) and in a number of long-lived alternate versions (the newspaper strip, Spider-Girl, Renew Your Vows).
    • Venom (2018)'s version of its title character is this compared to the Venom of Spider-Man 3. The Venom of his solo movie refers to himself as "we", is larger and more monstrous, had Venom's trademark long tongue and sharp teeth, is a ruthless Anti-Hero as opposed to being a Card-Carrying Villain, the head of Venom forms at first with the teeth form around Eddie's head, and the symbiote as more like liquid than a sticky spider-like entity. The only things Spider-Man 3 has over it is the destructive, addictive nature of the symbiote (which is glossed over in Venom) and, well, the connection to Spider-Man.
    • X-Men:
      • Wolverine and the X-Men is much more faithful to the source material than one of its predecessors and the live action film series combined mainly through the fact that it faithfully adapted storylines from the comics (such as the The Phoenix Saga, The Days of Future Past, etc. The series would have adapted the Age of Apocalypse storyline if not for its cancellation) and used a premise that was identical to the source material. The series also portrayed the characters who were inaccurate to their comic counterparts in both Evolution and the film series as being much more accurate to their comic book counterparts in the terms of their names, powers, physical appearances (as well their costumes), origins, motivations, alignments, and primarily the groups that they were associated with (for example, the characters, such as Magneto, Scarlet Witch, Gambit, etc, featured in WATXM are much more faithful to their comic book counterparts than they were portrayed in the films and Evolution).
      • Logan portrays X23 as this compared to other adaptations. Laura is prepubescent, unlike her comic version but like her original X-Men: Evolution incarnation. While she uses the Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette comic design, she is Canadian-Mexican. The ethnicity of her character in the cartoon was never stated however she was Ambiguously Brown, making fans pin her as either latina or First Nation. Backstory wise she is a mix of the cartoon and comic version (for example, she Self Harms like the comic version but has no background in prostitution like her).
      • The 2016 Deadpool movie is much more faithful to the eponymous character than his reviled appearance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. For one, he's actually wearing his iconic costume from the comics; two, he doesn't have a sewn mouth, blades that pop out of his forearms, or any of the other changes that pissed off the fans the first time around; and three, he's been restored to his classic Fourth-Wall Observer self.
      • Deadpool 2 sees a a version of the Juggernaut that's much closer to the original than the one from X-Men: The Last Stand, being an unstoppable force who's far bigger than all of the other characters. Also, he's actually Professor X's stepbrother this time around.
    • While the Blade anime takes some cues from the films, it's truer to the comics in many respects, including Blade being African-English (even if Harold Perrineau and several others are Not Even Bothering with the Accent) and Deacon Frost being physically middle-aged with white hair.
    • The Marvel Cinematic Universe movies The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, and Doctor Strange (2016) are significantly more faithful to the source material than those characters' previous Live Action Adaptations were, with the publisher given more direct control than for movies owned by an independent studio.
  • From DC Comics:
    • Superman: The Animated Series is a much more faithful (and influential) adaptation of the DC Comics series as well as Superman (along with his mythos, supporting characters, allies, rogue gallery, etc) in general compared to all of the Superman adaptations that have been created before the show (particularly the live action ones).
    • Justice League (Unlimited) is a more faithful adaptation of The Justice League of America (along with the members of the group as well as their mythos, costumes, origins, enemies, etc) and the Main DC Universe in general in comparison to older DC adaptations such as Superfriends. Many stories were adapted faithfully, despite distillation, with the most notable example being "For the Man Who Has Everything", which not only remains faithful to Alan Moore's original story, but being one of the only adaptations of his work he approves of.
    • Batman
      • Batman: The Animated Series is more faithful (and influential) to the DC Comics series as well as Batman (along with his mythos, supporting cast, allies, and rogue gallery) in general compared to the previous Batman adaptations that came before the show (both animated and live action).
      • Although Tim Burton's films are remembered more fondly, Batman Forever is the most faithful to the source material of the Burton-Schumacher film series. The movie incorporates the campy elements that are just as ingrained into the character as the dark vigilante; it shows Batman taking pains not to kill anyone, using his skills as a great detective, being much more active in running Wayne Enterprises and in the Gotham socialite and charity scene, and depicts him as the kind of one man army who drops in the middle of blackguards and takes them all down — all of which are completely absent or heavily subdued in Batman (1989) and Batman Returns.
    • Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy borrowed heavily from comics and better captured the Film Noir and Crime Drama themes that are common in the original comics. The film series started by Tim Burton captured a lot of the more gothic and campy elements of the comics, which were largely dispensed with in Nolan's series. They also took a lot more things directly from the comics rather than piecing together an approximation of the Batman mythos, such as Batman: Year One, The Long Halloween, The Killing Joke, Knightfall, and Batman: No Man's Land.
      • In terms of costuming, the Batsuit (and Batmobile) from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is much closer to the comics than the Batsuits from any of the prior major Batman movies. Those movies had a molded armor appearance, with thick rubber or PVC layered on top, and mostly evoke a Batman-esque appearance without actually being based on any previous design. The BvS suit looks more like a textured fabric that he can actually put on without the aid of a costuming department. And from a purely visual standpoint, it is taken right out of the look in The Dark Knight Returns.
    • During his appearances in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, Aquaman sported a radically redesigned costume that more closely resembled the garb of an ancient warrior, in fitting with the overall Darker and Edgier tone of Zack Snyder's films. However, in the solo Aquaman movie, director James Wan opted to ditch the undersea barbarian look in favor of a modernized take on the classic orange and green costume the character is known for wearing in the comics.
    • The 2014 television series Constantine is aiming to be a much more faithful adaptation of Hellblazer than the 2005 film version was. The movie had the title character more of an exorcist using traditional religious items and creature weaknesses to defeat them, while the man in the original comics was an outright master of dark magics.
    • The 2003 Teen Titans animated series was much lighter in tone than the 1980s Titans comics, with references to death removed and villains being generally made less grey so as not to be too sympathetic. Most notably, Terra's original characterization as Fille Fatale was changed to a more sympathetic anti-villain remorseful over betraying her teammates. The DCUAOM movies, Justice League vs. Teen Titans and The Judas Contract, were more faithful adaptations, even though the latter was softened a bit due to the obvious squick factor. Ironically enough, despite Teen Titans Go! being an even Denser and Wackier revival of the 2003 cartoon, it's more faithful to comic Terra's role as unrepentant backstabber.
    • The self-titled redo of The Death of Superman and Reign of the Supermen are Truer to the Text in many areas than Superman: Doomsday and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, including more than one battle against Doomsday; the Justice League being present for the battles with Doomsday; and the presence of Steel, Superboy, the Eradicator, and Cyborg-Superman, instead of a clone that's a fusion of the latter three. It also features a version of Mercy Graves truer to the DCAU version as a white brunette human who acts as Luthor's bodyguard, as opposed to making her an Amazon, blonde, a cyborg, Asian, or a personal assistant. Granted, there's still some changes, like Lex Luthor and Martian Manhunter plainly as themselves instead of the former posing as his own son and the latter as Bloodwynn, Supergirl being Adapted Out, and Darkseid taking over Bertron and Mongul's respective roles as Doomsday's creator and the power backing Cyborg-Superman.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) was a closer approximation of the style and tone of the original comics than the 1987 series. Whereas the show was very playful and aimed more towards big sci-fi adventures, the comics and movie had a more gritty, urban vigilante take on the Turtles. In an interesting play on the trope, both were quite successful (the show was a Pragmatic Adaptation in every respect) and both ends of the spectrum are wildly accepted as part of the TMNT lore.
  • Zig-Zagged in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003). Much of the series' first season episodes are adaptations of the comic books, and often faithfully (albeit often with some liberties taken, such as new characters like Hun, and other changes to keep the Shredder relevant). Mid-Season 1, and especially after Season 2, the series started greatly diverging from the comics, eventually telling a new story by Seasons 3 and 4.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) had an interesting deal with this behind-the-scenes. The original script had the Shredder be the alter-ego of an American businessman named Eric Sachs, who adopted it from the stories of an ancient Japanese warlord. This is actually in line with the comics mythology as many different characters have taken on the name of the Shredder (replicated in the 2003 series), but was not present in the 1987 series or the 1990 film series. Fan backlash to the idea of a "Whitewashed Shredder" led reshoots to have a more traditional Japanese Shredder included in Sachs's Evil Plan. The sequel, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, incorporates more elements of both the 1990 film series (Casey Jones) and the 1987 series (Bebop and Rocksteady), along with the now younger Japanese Shredder with no trace of Sachs.
  • The 1990s films based on The Addams Family took on the much darker humor and more genuinely malicious and occasionally murderous characterisation of the protagonists from the original newspaper cartoons, compared to the significantly fluffier TV series (in which the family are essentially just Dark Is Not Evil bohemian proto-Goths in a stereotypical white-picket-fence American suburb). Some fans of the TV show found them quite unpleasant.
  • DuckTales (1987) was loosely inspired by the original American comics written by Carl Barks. While it did adapt a small number of stories from the comics, it lacked a number of elements from said comics: most glaringly, Donald Duck, who played a large role in many of the original stories but was barred from appearing the show due to Executive Meddling. DuckTales (2017) is not only more faithful to the works of both Carl Barks and Don Rosa in terms of characterization and tone, but also combines aspects from all other areas of the Disney Ducks Comic Universe, the video games, and even a number of The Disney Afternoon shows into an Ultimate Universe.
  • Dredd is considered much closer in tone to the titular judge's characterisation in the original comics than Sylvester Stallone's version. It helps that Karl Urban's Dredd kept his helmet on for the entire film.
  • 1987's The New Archies and 1999's Archie's Weird Mysteries fixed Veronica's Unexplained Accent from previous adaptations. In Archie Comics, Veronica is a New Yorker, yet The Adventures Of Archie Andrews radio show and cartoons influenced by it portray her with a Southern accent.
  • Hellboy (2019) generally demonstrates more closeness to the source material than Guillermo del Toro's films. Del Toro's were more specifically based off of the first volume, Seed of Destruction, which itself was rife with a few Early Installment Weirdnesses while this film brings to focus the expanded lore in later volumes such as Hellboy's ancestral connections to King Arthur and Nimue being the Big Bad after Rasputin was quietly defeated and done away with. There's also the B.P.R.D.'s expansion from mostly consisting of generic men in black Red Shirts to including weird and colorful characters like were-jaguar Ben Daimio.

    Adapted from Film 

    Adapted from Literature 
  • Bram Stoker's Dracula and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein were intended as faithful adaptations of two books that had been quite heavily changed in previous film adaptations. They had their own changes and quirks, though.
    • The 1977 BBC series of Dracula is a closer adaptation than the above, barely deviating from the novel at all.
  • The 2000 Dune miniseries took some liberties with Frank Herbert's book, but compared to the 1984 David Lynch movie, its fidelity is nigh-slavish.
  • The 1997 miniseries of The Shining was far closer to Stephen King's book than the 1980 film, apart from the miniseries' Bowdlerised ending. This is a strong example of "more faithful" not equaling "better."
  • Tim Burton plays this straight with his adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, following the book closer than Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (for example, in the Tim Burton movie the lyrics of the Oompa-Loompas' songs are shortened versions of the songs in the book, whereas the songs in Willy Wonka have completely different lyrics).
    • The 2013 West End stage musical is a Pragmatic Adaptation that's more faithful than either film version despite a Setting Update and more emphasis on the story's Black Comedy. There's far less Adaptation Expansion than in either film — no Slugworth subplot or backstory for Willy Wonka — and what expansion there is exists mostly to make Charlie a less passive protagonist (he's a budding inventor, etc.), meaning that it also focuses more on Charlie himself than the films do, or to make the Bratty Kids more obnoxiously deserving of their fates. Averted by the 2017 Broadway Retool, which follows the lead of the film adaptations by greatly expanding Mr. Wonka's role and diminishing those of Charlie and his family.
  • The Coen Brothers said this was their intention when they made their film adaptation of True Grit.
  • Carson McCullers adapted her novel The Member of the Wedding for the stage herself, despite never having written a play before, to preempt the production of a more conventionally theatrical adaptation by another writer.
  • John Carpenter's The Thing (1982) compared to The Thing from Another World. The older film used the book's beginning with the researchers finding a UFO in the ice containing an alien, but from there diverged quite a bit. Carpenter's version had the alien keep its assimilation powers and overall stayed much closer to the plot of the book.
  • Conan the Barbarian (2011), according to Word of God, was intended to be closer to the original Robert E. Howard novels than the 1982 film was. True, Conan isn't Made a Slave and forced to fight in Gladiator Games for years, but the plot is still original.
  • The American film of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is often mistaken for a simple remake, when in fact it's an example of this trope: the Swedish film suffered from some really bizarre adaptational choices, whereas the American version was an almost 1:1 adaptation of the original book with some very minor cuts to make the story flow better.
  • Peter Pan:
    • Hook arguably captured the spirit of the Peter Pan original stageplay and book better than the Disney film, despite being more of a sequel.
    • The 2003 live-action Peter Pan is a straighter example.
  • Land of Oz:
    • The 1939 movie of The Wizard of Oz makes fewer changes to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz than some silent movie adaptations did.
    • The 1985 Return to Oz comes even closer to the style and tone of the original Land of Oz books. It features a more age appropriate actress for Dorothy, keeps the dark undertones of the source, references the Deadly Desert (which separates Oz from the rest of the world), and features numerous book characters. Return to Oz is based heavily on The Marvelous Land of Oz and Ozma of Oz. However, it was advertised as a sequel to the MGM film, confusing people who didn't know of the books.
    • A 1984 Text Adventure from Windham Classics (an offshoot of educational software company Spinnaker) was a shockingly faithful adaptation, almost going scene by scene, save for splitting off at the point where the party hunts for the Wicked Witch of the West by incorporating a huge chunk of The Marvelous Land of Oz by finding Tip, Jack, and Sawhorse and quelling Jinjur's revolt. They did have to cut the Gender Bender aspect of Tip, though.
  • The 1982 film adaptation of Ivanhoe is significantly closer to the source material than both the condensed 1952 film adaptation and the expanded 1997 miniseries adaptation.
  • The Made-for-TV Movie version of Carrie (2002) is much closer to the book than the original film. Like the book, the story is told in flashbacks via the interviews that the few survivors give to the police (the book did this through memoirs, investigative reports, and news articles), Carrie destroys the entire town as opposed to just the school and her house, and she kills her mother with a heart attack rather than stabbing. The only major difference is that she survives the ordeal and goes into hiding, which was meant to lead into a TV series (which never came about).
  • The 1971 BBC eight part mini-series adaptation of The Last of the Mohicans is the most faithful adaptation of the second part of The Leatherstocking Tales to date.
  • The two-part Richard Lester film adaptation of The Three Musketeers is extremely close to the novel despite combining, cutting, and killing off some characters.
    • However, they do what most adaptations do and turn a minor character into The Dragon in order to have a dramatic final sword fight since the real villain of the book is a woman who's more of a schemer and manipulator.
  • Jew Suss, a 1925 novel by Lion Feuchtwanger, is most widely known for its infamous 1940 Nazi adaptation, which is widely considered one of the most anti-Semitic films of the Nazi era. But what many people don't know is that the novel received a far more faithful 1934 film adaptation in Britain that actually condemned anti-Semitism.
  • In Justified, Raylan Givens is well known for his Nice Hat. However, the character's creator, Elmore Leonard, was never quite satisfied with the look of the hat. In the final episode Raylan's hat is destroyed in a duel with the wannabe duelist Boone. For the rest of the episode, Raylan wears Boone's hat, which is far closer to the hat Leonard imagined for the character.
  • The candidates for the most faithful adaptation of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are the 1959 film The Doctors Horrible Experiment, 1971's I, Monster and the 1980's Burbank Films adaptation. Later Broadway revivals of Jekyll & Hyde hew closer to the show's original vision, which was darker and edgier than the 1997 version and closer to the book, having Jekyll revel in the freedom Hyde gave him and paraphrasing directly from the book as he contemplated his dual natures. Some play versions also keep the twist a surprise and have Utterson keep his investigatory role. However, it must be noted that no matter how faithful the adaptation is a lot of the story will be changed in some way or another and new characters may be inserted.
  • The most faithful adaptation of The Iliad is The Fury of Achilles, a little known Sword & Sandal film from 1962.
  • The 2017 Netflix TV adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Eventsis much closer to the book series than the 2004 film. It helps that the TV series dedicates two episodes to each book, as opposed to three stories in one film.
  • The 1972 Italian animated adaptation of The Adventures of Pinocchio called Un Burattino Di Nome Pinocchio is by far the most faithful adaptation of Pinocchio, having dialogue taken from the book and respecting its topics and times. It shows the Busy Bee Island, for example, which is taken out of many adaptations.
  • Tarzan:
  • The 2002 film version of The Quiet American was much more faithful to the novel than the 1958 film, which was a product of the Cold War years and was criticised by author Graham Greene for being too propagandistic. The biggest change made in the 2002 film was the addition of an epilogue showing newspaper stories by Fowler about the events after the novel was first published.
  • Martin Scorsese's 2016 adaptation of Silence by Shusaku Endo was far more faithful to the text than the 1971 adaptation by Masahiro Shinoda which took massive liberties with the novel's final section and deleted many important elements from the book. Scorsese's adaptation includes virtually the entire novel, including the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue.
  • The graphic novel of The Book of the Named is this to the 1980s animated special. It keeps the character designs more intact and is significantly less toned down than the cartoon version.
  • It (2017) and its sequel have the advantage of a bigger budget and an R rating, making it both closer to the book than the 1990 two-part miniseries and a lot scarier.
  • The Chuck Jones Jungle Book specials and Adventures of Mowgli have proven to be the most faithful adaptations to date of Rudyard Kipling's famous tales. The former for the most part are the stories themselves with some minor changes, the latter covers Mowgli's life from childhood to adulthood and keeps the tone of the stories.
  • The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad is one of the most faithful adaptations of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, oddly enough. It's one of the rare versions that leaves the Horseman open to possibly just being a prank, keeps the Ambiguous Ending, and leaves Ichabod as more of an Anti-Hero to Brom's Anti-Villain. The same movie includes an adaptation of The Wind in the Willows that's much looser, however.
  • The Lightning Thief musical is a much more faithful adaptation compared to the 2010 movie adaptation.
  • The second Kino's Journey anime uses Kino's design from the light novels. The first anime featured a slightly different design with Anime Hair.
  • Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a lot closer to the Chris Van Allsburg book than the original movie. The tone is Lighter and Softer, like in the book, and Van Pelt is a jungle explorer like in the book.
  • A Christmas Carol
    • In A Christmas Carol (1997), Scrooge remembering the storybook characters he loved in the Past sequence is usually left out for brevity's sake, with this version being one of the few that keeps it.
    • A Christmas Carol (1999) is one of the closest adaptations of A Christmas Carol filmed, retaining three scenes almost always omitted from other adaptations — the lighthouse workers, coal miners, and sailors on a ship at sea celebrating Christmas. Ignorance and Want are also included, as are the young debtors relieved at Scrooge's death and the other chained spirits Marley shows Scrooge.
  • Out of the four adaptations of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. note  Only two adapted the original 1939 story/poem by Robert May. The 1948 cartoon by Max Fleischer and the obscure 1996 direct-to-video adaptation Rudolph's Lessons for Life by Montgomery Ward are the only versions of Rudolph that actually adapted the original story. Rudolph's Lessons For Life even keeps the rhyming scheme found in the original story. The Max Fleischer cartoon and the 1996 adaptation both show Rudolph not living at the North Pole, Rudolph properly meeting Santa in his bedroom where he finds Rudolph sleeping, and Rudolph's red nose glowing all the time, unlike the 1964 and 1998 adaptations where his nose works like a light bulb. The Rankin-Bass Special and the 1998 movie by Golden Films also adapted the song, while the 1998 movie uses small bits from the 1939 story/poem.
  • The 1978 film The Thirty-Nine Steps is a fairly close adaptation of John Buchan's novel, apart from the addition of an action climax. Explicitly intended to be a more faithful adaptation than Hitchcock's version, which the producer described as "about 20 percent Buchan and 80 percent Hitchcock".
  • The Day of the Triffids has been adapted for the screen three times. The most faithful was the 1980s BBC adaptation, which pruned a few subplots and overhauled a couple of character backstories to fit with a downplayed Setting Updatenote  but otherwise stayed very faithful to the text. The 2009 reboot was much looser, with several Composite Characters and others having their backstories changed heavily, not to mention some major alterations to the titular triffids. The 1960s movie adaptation was so different one wonders why they even bought the rights.
  • Once Upon a Time does this with a lot of the stories it adapts (which were adapted into popular films).
    • When Oz appears, there are four witches to represent the four points on a compass. The witches are given magical items to focus their powers. The shoes are also silver like they are in the book (the MGM film famously made them ruby).
    • Mulan is closer to her counterpart in Chinese mythology - a proud young woman who wished to become a warrior and prove herself.
    • Cruella de Vil is attractive like her book counterpart, and there's a reference to her being married (she had a husband in the book).
    • Ursula appears this time as a benevolent sea goddess, referencing that the sea witch was a neutral entity in the original story. When another take on Ursula appears (this one said to be named after the goddess) she too is an Anti-Villain who gets redeemed.
    • Pinocchio is shown to be very flawed like his book counterpart. While Disney made him a naive child who got talked into bad things because of his innocence - the book version knew right from wrong but still chose wrong more often.
    • When the Frozen characters appear, the show ties them into The Snow Queen tale. The actual Snow Queen appears as a separate character from Elsa (who was inspired by her in the film) and her plot involving a mirror making everyone see the awfulness in humanity comes from the devil's mirror in the story. Anna and Elsa's mother is renamed Gerda after the heroine of the tale (and Fanon has the father named Kai to follow suit).
    • Peter Pan is portrayed as a villain, which isn't too far off his book counterpart - where he was a morally ambiguous Anti-Hero who would frequently switch sides during fights with the Lost Boys and the pirates.
  • Hallmark did a miniseries Jason and the Argonauts, which more accurately depicted the adventures of the Argonauts more than the Ray Harryhaussen film. It also more accurately represented Greek culture and architecture.

    Adapted from Manga 
  • The 2003 anime adaptation of Fullmetal Alchemist was made when the manga was very early in the author's planned storyline (four volumes into what eventually became a twenty-seven volume series). Consequently, its first half adapts then then-existing manga chapters with some liberties, and its second half is wholly original. By the time the manga was reaching its final year, it had remained popular enough to receive a direct adaptation called Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.
  • Hellsing, in a rather similar vein, got a more faithful adaptation in the form of an OVA series, titled Hellsing Ultimate. The fact that creator Kouta Hirano hated the 2001 TV anime is probably a big reason for that.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima! is an interesting case. The OVA releases have been faithful to the manga, but they're so deep into a story that none of its multiple previous adaptations properly covered, that they won't make much sense to anyone who hasn't read the manga.
  • Dragon Ball Kai serves as a remastered Adaptation Distillation of the first Dragon Ball Z anime, with most of the filler removed (not to mention greatly reducing the original show's infamous abuse of Talking Is a Free Action).
  • Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine is the most faithful adaptation to the original manga in spirit, tone, and content — even more than "Green Jacket." The series having a wholly original storyline, and its first female director and head writer, may have contributed to that effort.
  • The TV anime of Part One of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is much more faithful to the manga than the unreleased film from 2007. The TV series' art style is much more in-line with Araki's original artwork and only a few plot-irrelevant scenes are cut. By contrast, the movie had a rather different art style and went so far as to remove characters, most notably JoJo's faithful sidekick Speedwagon. No wonder Araki was dissatisfied, leading to rumors that he blocked its release because of this. Part 3 is also this, in comparison to the OVA series from years before.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • Sailor Moon Crystal is a more direct Animated Adaptation of the original manga, specifically the first three acts, than the 90's anime or live-action show, albeit with a Setting Update from 1992 to 2014. To this end, character designs have been Art Shifted closer to Naoko Takeuchi's Noodle People aesthetic, and the plotting and pacing follow the manga's structure closely, recreating some panels scene for scene. As with the manga's chapters, episodes are called "acts," and each episode takes its title from the chapter it adapts. In fact, it's so faithful that it's pretty much a Shot-for-Shot Remake. In fact, some fans argue that it's too similar to the original manga.
    • The Viz redub of the original anime is much more faithful to the original Japanese script. Among other things, Zoicite is a man again and he and Kunzite are stated as lovers.
  • Gunslinger Girl Teatrino is this to the manga. The art style resembles the manga more closely, it's more of an action/thriller like the manga, and it diverges less from the manga's plot. Henrietta also smiles a lot more in comparison to her perpetually stoic looking original anime version. Note it being Truer to the Text is seen as a bad thing by many fans, as the changes are widely scorned, and there are manga fans who are dissatisfied with the adaptation nonetheless.
  • The 2011 Hunter × Hunter anime is a straight forward adaptation while the 1999 adaptation included many original ideas and scenes. This does not apply in every facet however. The 2011 adaptation contains notable moments of censorship, and missing scenes such as cutting a character who would later prove to be very important from the first episode.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Capsule Monsters and Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light are closer to the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga than the second-series anime, with Joey's fighting skills coming into play and the dub having Yugi and Yami call each other "partner."
  • The first anime of Fruits Basket only adapted a few volumes, made many changes, including unintentionally changing Akito's gender, and would have Overtook the Manga entirely had it gone on any longer. The 2019 anime of the same manga, however, adapts the entire manga and sticks much truer to the story than the first adaptation did. The fact that Natsuki Takaya hated the first adaptation even while it was being made undoubtebly has something to do with it.

    Adapted from Religion and Mythology 
  • The 1995 made-for-television film Moses is the most faithful screen adaptation of the Book of Exodus to date, making some consider it superior to The Ten Commandments, The Prince of Egypt, and that other film. For instance, the parting of the Red Sea is not immediate but takes time as it did in the scriptures. However, instead of the Pharaoh of the Exodus being Horemheb, Thutmose I or Thutmose II as Rabbinical Judaism, Jerome or Ussher's date for Moses' birth lined up with Egyptian history would indicate but rather Merneptah, the thirteenth son and successor of Ramesses II.
  • The Gospel According to St. Matthew by the Italian film-maker Pier Paolo Pasolini (ironically enough a homosexual Marxist atheist) created the most faithful version of the Life of Christ, as acknowledged by the Catholic Church and several protestant denominations in America and the world. It's truer than any other movie by Hollywood. How true is it? Well it uses and adapts the entirety of the Gospel of Mathew, leaving out nothing from the book (narration, scenes, parables, dialogues). It is a word-for-word literal adaptation from text to screen to the point that during the set, the director used his copy of the bible as a script rather than a separate screenplay adaptation.
  • Norse Mythology and Classical Mythology:
    • Marvel Comics and DC Comics are an interesting case. Marvel focuses mainly on Norse Mythology, with which they take many liberties with (albeit they played a major part in popularizing the myths to a popular audience). By contrast, its forays into Classical Mythology (mainly with Hercules) are relatively more accurate. Meanwhile, DC focuses almost completely on Classical mythology, again with a lot of liberties, but is more accurate in its rare takes on Norse myths. For instance, Neil Gaiman's use of the Norse Myths in the Vertigo series The Sandman features a red-haired Thor (who is a dimwit), a crafty and very sinister Odin, and a Loki who's Odin's blood-brother rather than Thor's. Gaiman pointed this out when he got complaints from fans who felt it was a Take That! to Marvel where the author had to remind them that in the myths, Thor is really dumb and gullible, was often outsmarted by simple schemes and as per the Lokasenna, his own wife, Lady Sif, cheated on him with Loki. Gaiman pointed out that his stories were well received by Scandinavian readers for this reason.
    • Disney High School mostly follows the Disney Animated Canon, but Hercules is the son of Zeus and Alcmene, as in the legend, with Hera and Amphitryon being stepparents. To keep it family friendly, however, this is depicted as a divorce/remarriage situation rather than an affair. (And of course, it's a High School A.U. where everybody's human, and where Hades isn't Zeus' brother.)
    • God of War (PS4) and the God of War Series in general offer a more mythologically accurate portrayal of classical and norse myths than Disney, DC, or Marvel. The gods are shown as Jerkass Gods, being Above Good and Evil, the games emphasize the alien moral values of these mythological times without the Bowdlerization of more child-friendly and Christianized takes on the myths.
    • DuckTales (2017) in Season 1 episode, "The Spear of Selene" offered a truer portrayal of Zeus, as a capricious, arrogant, petty deity and abusive father, than the one in Hercules.

    Adapted from Theatre 
  • The Children's Hour is a more accurate adaptation of the original play than the 1930s adaptation These Three. They were directed by the same individual, but the original film was heavily censored due to The Hays Code to the point where they had to rename it, as the original play was well-known for being about LGBT matters.

    Adapted from Toys 
  • Bumblebee got a lot of attention for being much more faithful to the original Transformers toy-line and cartoons than Michael Bay's Transformers Film Series, even though it's ostensibly a prequel to Bay's movies (so much so that its lead to speculation about the film potentially launching a Soft Reboot). This is evident in some relatively minor details (like Bumblebee being a Volkswagen Beetle instead of a Chevrolet Camaro), but it's also an overriding feature of the visual style and art direction. The characters' designs prominently feature bold primary colors and simple geometric shapes, and they're considerably cleaner and less visually busy—making them look like actual transforming action figures brought to life.

    Likewise, the story, tone, and characterization feel much closer to the cartoon. The film completely eschews the previous films' crude humor and sexualization in favor of a light-hearted and wholesome feel more typical of the Transformers brand. Rather than being a high-stakes Disaster Movie, it's about a kid bonding with a robot, and the focus is largely on their platonic bond, with nary a hint of adolescent romance anywhere. The action sequences are mainly clashes between robots, with minimal focus on human military personnel, avoiding the previous movies' slide towards Military Fiction. The plot is also far simpler, feeling more like an episode of one of the cartoons, with most of the movie just being Charlie and Bumblebee dealing with everyday problems.

    Adapted from Video Games 
  • Pokémon:
    • The OVA special Pokémon Origins is a much closer, if abbreviated, adaptation of a Pokémon game than the TV anime, following the storyline of Pokémon Red and Blue very closely. In fact, even taking the pick-and-choose nature into account, it's even more faithful than the previous title holder, the Pokémon Zensho manganote .
    • Pokémon Generations does the same with later games in the series, of which the TV anime was infamous for sometimes outright ignoring the plots of. It even features game accurate character designs—Pikachu's oval-shaped head from the games is almost never seen outside of official game artwork.
    • As noted before, Pokémon Zensho was an almost scene-by-scene adaptation of RGB, and was considered the truest adaptation until Origins.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Sonic X is much more faithful to the source material than previous animated adaptations of the character, most notably the various American cartoons. Yes, even with the Spotlight-Stealing Squad. Older fans who grew up with the now-jettisoned American continuity tend to be far less accepting of Sonic X as a result.
    • The 2013 Cosmic Retcon of Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog was meant to this for a comic series that started out as being an adaptation of Sonic Sat AM instead of the original games, before even deviating from that as time went on. Though some characters and aspects from Sonic SatAM were retained, most non-game elements were discarded.
      • Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) is intended to be this to an even greater degree, removing all elements and characters that originated in the previous comic series and Sonic SatAM.
  • The 2011 Mega Man comic book by Archie Comics followed the themes and aesthetic of the Mega Man (Classic) series more closely than the Dreamwave adaptation, and adapted storylines from the games (albeit with new touches and connecting unrelated elements for flavor).

    Adapted from Visual Novels 
  • The anime version of Tsukihime left many fans quite bitter over how much it deviated from the source material, to the point of often being declared nonexistent. There was, however, a manga that retold the original story quite faithfully.
  • The anime adaptation of Fate/stay night, while focused on the Fate route, also includes elements of both the "Unlimited Blade Works" route and the "Heaven's Feel" route. However, Ufotable's Fate/stay night [Unlimited Blade Works] is a version more focused on the titular route. In addition, the "Heaven's Feel" movie trilogy will also be more focused on the titular route.


Example of: