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    General trends 
  • A trend that reached its peak in the '90s and early 2000's was to take works of classic literature and make teen movies out of them. As this article by Meredith Borders for Birth.Movies.Death. explains, high school is among the last places in modern society where many of the Early Modern and Victorian social mores that figured into many such works still exist in some form, making it easy to map the characters' machinations and class divides onto a high school's Popularity Food Chain. It also helps that most teenagers and young adults, the target audience for such films, are familiar with the books through high school/college English classes. Some of these films even go out of their way to give Shout Outs and homages to the books they were based on. Examples are listed throughout this page.

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    F-J 
  • Though the tropes in The Faculty are obviously Older Than They Think and chiefly inspired by Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Puppet Masters (which are together described below, and which the film even lampshades), to its late '90s teen audience it could also be seen as Animorphs: The Movie, albeit without the super-powered heroes. The aliens in the film are even shown to be slug-like creatures that live in water, and possess their hosts by entering through the ear.
  • While the official adaptation of The Killing Joke was polarizing, Falling Down still makes for a remarkably good live-action film version, albeit set in the "real world" without superheroes. The comparisons between the Villain Protagonist Bill Foster and the Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist Martin Prendergast — two men confronted by tragedy who responded in very different ways, the former turning to crime and nihilism and the latter committing himself to justice, with the film ultimately siding with the latter's perspective — are uncannily similar to those between The Joker and Batman in that story. And in turn, the 2019 film Joker was noted as having drawn heavily from this film, among others, in how it portrayed Arthur Fleck's downward spiral amidst a Crapsack World that abused people like him.
  • The Fast and the Furious:
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is the first of a new series of Harry Potter prequel films. While it looks, feels, and reads very much as a Harry Potter film, it wouldn't be out of place in the Doctor Who universe if you just replaced some of the names and treated the titular fantastic beasts as aliens. The main character New Scamander is a lot like The Doctor himself, with many of the same quirks and mannerisms as everyone's favorite Time Lord (being played by a British actor is a plus), and the suitcase he carries around with him is bigger on the inside just like the TARDIS. Jacob Kowalski could easily be one of The Doctor's companions, an ordinary human being suddenly thrust into the fantastical world of Newt/The Doctor. Tina and Queenie fit in as allies of The Doctor who are already in-the-know and understand what he's talking about for the most part. The Magical Congress of the United States (or MACUSA) can be taken as any of the Obstructive Bureaucrats that hinder The Doctor and his companions. Finally, Grindelwald is a shoo-in for The Master, a background antagonist of similar origins who ultimately does come into conflict with the heroes.
  • Fantastic Four (2015) has been described by many as basically being Chronicle 2. It was even made by the same director (Josh Trank) and features one of the actors from that film. The general opinion is that this resulted in the movie barely resembling the comic it was based on.
  • Martin & Porter's DVD & Video Guide calls A Few Good Men "the best Perry Mason movie ever made."
  • Luc Besson's The Fifth Element was, for a long time, the best adaptation of the Franco-Belgian sci-fi comic Valérian ever made, with Jean-Claude Mézières himself, one of the co-creators of Valérian, even working on the production design... that is, until twenty years later, when Besson finally got the opportunity to adapt Valérian for real.
  • Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within has much less to do with Final Fantasy and more to do with Contra. A futuristic war with aliens, with commandos, that die in one touch? Definitely.
  • Either John Carpenter's The Fog (1980) was a damn good adaptation of Stephen King's short story The Mist, or vice versa; they both came out the same year (1980). Less debatable is that the 2007 film adaptation of The Mist was a much better remake of The Fog than the latter film's own remake in 2005.
  • Gene Roddenberry openly admitted that Forbidden Planet was the primary inspiration for Star Trek: The Original Series, and its influence can be seen in everything from its premise, to its special effects, to its characters, to its dramatic cues. Depending on how you see it: either Forbidden Planet is an unofficial feature-length Star Trek episode or the original Star Trek is an unofficial television spin-off of Forbidden Planet.
  • Forbidden Zone is probably the best live-action Betty Boop adaptation we're ever gonna get, which makes sense given that one of the film's big influences was old Fleischer cartoons.
  • Free Guy:
    • Based on the humor in the trailers, it has been trumpeted as possibly being the closest possible live-action adaptation of NoPixel.
    • Being about a man who finds out he's an NPC in an MMORPG, it could also be inspired by the Yahtzee Croshaw novel, Mogworld, which itself is a Spiritual Adaptation of Star Ocean: Till the End of Time.
    • The popular visual novel Doki Doki Literature Club! also focuses on the concept of a videogame NPC becoming aware that they're in a game, although Monika doesn't take this revelation as well as Guy does.
    • The anarchic game world that the film takes place in, a modern-day city where players are encouraged to carry out bank robberies and other criminal activities with an arsenal of weapons and vehicles ranging from mundane to exotic to flat-out sci-fi, has also been compared to the excess of Grand Theft Auto Online.
  • There's a reason that Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood is affectionately called "Jason vs. Carrie" by many fans of the franchise. Both The New Blood and Carrie feature traumatized teenage girls with telekinetic powers and Abusive Parents who they kill with their powers, the former having her as the Final Girl with an alcoholic father and the latter as the Anti-Villain Protagonist with a fundamentalist mother. If you ignore the little detail that the name of the female lead in The New Blood is "Tina Shepard", the movie is the world's first, best, and only horror crossover starring Carrie White.
  • The Full Monty is a British remake of Flashdance only with six steelworkers instead of one young woman. It's even invoked by the film itself when the protagonists are watching Flashdance so they can strip.
  • Gangster Squad is essentially a modern remake of Brian De Palma's The Untouchables focusing on a group of police officers sent to take down a real-life mob boss only with a Setting Update to 1940s Los Angeles instead of Great Depression era Chicago, an All-Star Cast and even more Artistic License.
  • Galaxy Quest
    • It is sometimes called the best Star Trek movie ever made. George Takei called it "a chillingly realistic documentary". Interestingly, counting it as an "actual" Star Trek movie (it would be #10, having come out between Insurrection and Nemesis) would "correct" the famous Star Trek Movie Curse, which had been knocked out of whack by Nemesis getting awful reviews and the subsequent reboot getting great reviews.
    • Scott Murphy and Mark Crowe, the "Two Guys from Andromeda", have also called it the best adaptation of their game Space Quest out there.
  • Get Over It is a high school version of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, a performance of which figures heavily in the plot.
  • The Disney Channel Original Movie Girl vs. Monster is about a blonde-haired teenage girl who finds out that she comes from a lineage of monster hunters, and suddenly has to put her teenage life on hold in order to fulfill the "save the world" part of Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World. In other words, it's the closest thing to a DCOM version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer that we're likely to ever see.
  • The Godzilla franchise:
    • Shin Godzilla is the best big-budget crossover between Godzilla and The West Wing never made. If you've ever wanted to see how President Bartlet and his band of True Companions might deal with an attack by a city-destroying monster (and you don't mind them speaking in Japanese), this movie gives you a pretty damn good idea.
  • Good Boy is essentially the film adaptation of The Starlight Barking, the sci-fi sequel to The Hundred and One Dalmatians, that Disney will never make, where alien dogs come to take Earth dogs back to the dog star Sirius after deeming humanity unworthy of them.
  • Good Boys, an R-rated comedy about a group of adolescent boys who go on a lewd, raunchy adventure across town in which their cluelessness about "adult" ideas is Played for Laughs, is the closest thing to a live-action South Park movie that's ever been made, albeit without the political humor or Cartman.
    • With the leads being a 12 year old kid that gets into insane situations trying to fix a problem only making things worse with every shortsighted decision they accidentally make, a snarky Nice Guy black best friend whose color scheme involves orange, and a wannabe tough ladies man that thinks they're super popular when its the opposite this could be considered/joked about as Seth Rogen's Hard R The Amazing World of Gumball.
  • The Great Wall can be considered a Hollywood-Chinese Live-Action Adaptation of Attack on Titan, minus the shape-shifting abilities and Ancient Conspiracy and with the smiling naked giants replaced with green alien lizards.
  • The Guest shares a lot more of its plot and structure with David Morrell's novel First Blood than the actual film adaptation of that book does. Both are about a Sociopathic Soldier who was abused and then abandoned by the government who terrorizes a small town and kills several people, and his former commanding officer/handler is one of the people trying to stop him, with The Guest giving the story a Setting Update to The War on Terror. The film of First Blood famously altered the story to portray John Rambo in a more sympathetic light, from having him kill only one person to letting him survive and surrender to Trautman at the end, making him more of an Anti-Villain with the local police coming off worse than him.
  • Harbinger Down: Between its ship-based setting and the aquatic nature of its monsters, it can be seen as a stealth adaptation of Resident Evil: Revelations, the tardigrade creatures being a more crab-like version of the Ooze from that game. The character of Svet in Harbinger Down also lines up with Rachel Foley in Revelations, both being female spies who get infected and turned into grotesque Body Horror monsters whose heads open up into jaws.
  • As Hardcore Henry is heavily inspired by First-Person Shooter video games, there are arguments that it's one for several examples:
  • The French horror film High Tension has been noted as having drawn many comparisons to the Dean Koontz novel Intensity, with writer/director Alexandre Aja admitting to having read the book and being aware of the two works' similarities when asked about it at Sundance. Strangely, it's also a Disowned Spiritual Adaptation, as Koontz himself also noticed the similarities and considered suing for plagiarism, but decided not to because he hated High Tension so much that he didn't want it associated with his book.
  • The Hitman's Bodyguard is a good preview of what a team-up movie between Deadpool, Nick Fury and Elektra could look like in the Marvel Cinematic Universe especially with their respective actors and actresses playing key characters in the film.
  • With its combination of action and slapstick, the main character being a Gentleman Thief, and the overall feel of the film, some people have called Hudson Hawk a better live-action Lupin III movie than the actual live-action Lupin III movie. This may explain why it was so popular in Japan despite having flopped in the US.
  • Hotel Colonial is a very loose adaptation of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, with Marco as a stand-in for Marlow and his brother Roberto as a stand-in Kurtz. Robert Duvall is cast as Roberto, an Actor Allusion to his role in Apocalypse Now, another loose adaptation of Conrad's novella.
  • Hugo is by far, the best Live-Action Adaptation of StudioGhibli's works in terms of tone and themes.
  • The 1983 vampire film The Hunger, as noted by Maven of the Eventide, effectively translated Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles and its portrayal of vampires to the big screen eleven years before the official film adaptation of Interview with the Vampire came out. While The Hunger was adapted from a different novel, director Tony Scott was a huge fan of Anne Rice, and his interest in directing an adaptation of Interview led Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to hire him for this film.
  • The plot of Idiocracy, which depicts a society that has been dumbed down by a combination of mind-rotting pop culture and the stupid outbreeding the smart, comes off like an unauthorized adaptation of both Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 and CM Kornbluth's short story "The Marching Morons", only Played for Laughs. And WALL•E is pretty much the Lighter and Softer sequel to Idiocracy.
  • Igby Goes Down may be the closest we'll ever have to a film about Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye, though there aren't many similarities other than the main character.
  • In the Mouth of Madness, like Event Horizon above, has also been compared to the work of H. P. Lovecraft, in spirit if not in terms of a specific story.
  • Inception:
    • It's the only Paprika live-action film you'll ever see, which also happens to have a surreal homage to On Her Majesty's Secret Service (though calling it an adaptation makes Constantine look like a word-for-word lift of Hellblazer).
    • As this mashup proves, calling Inception a Darker and Edgier Psychonauts reboot is surprisingly fitting.
    • The dream technology is so similar to that introduced in the series Stargate SG-1 that some feel it's the closest we'll ever get to a big-budget film set in that universe.
    • It may also be the best (or only) Neuromancer movie that we ever see. It's about a thief who specializes in covertly stealing data with the aid of a machine that puts him in lifelike VR simulations, and it involves said thief taking a job from a mysterious businessman who agrees to help him reverse the effects of a major screw-up from his past. Over the course of the movie, he assembles a team of allies who eventually help him perform an elaborate heist in an ornately designed building with strange architecture and gravity—all while coping with regular visits from the hallucinatory ghost of a dead woman from his past. Both works even include a scene where the protagonist gets trapped in a VR construct of a surreal seaside locale, where time moves at a fraction of its normal speed.
  • Independence Day:
    • Lindsay Ellis has described the film as being closer to the spirit of H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds than any of the official adaptations of that book, using the 2005 film as a counterpoint (and even describing that film as something of a Spiritual Antithesis). Both are about the preeminent world power in a time of global peace and prosperity — The British Empire in the 1890s and The United States in the 1990s, respectively — being invaded and almost destroyed by Scary Dogmatic Aliens who represented the dark side of that world power's attitude on the world stage. In The War of the Worlds, the aliens are explicitly described as imperialists who inflict upon Britain the same abuses that the European imperial powers inflicted upon many of their subject peoples, and while Independence Day isn't as overt, the aliens there are likewise depicted as Planet Looters, reflecting a common criticism of American consumerism. It should also be noted that both alien invasions were devastated by viruses — the War of the Worlds aliens devastated by a biological virus, and the Independence Day aliens devastated by a computer virus.
    • Its sequel, Independence Day: Resurgence, was being called "XCOM: Enemy Unknown: The Movie" even before it came out.
  • Indiana Jones got one port movie to game (The Last Crusade) and one port game to movie (The Fate of Atlantis). Many people don't know about the latter movie. This may be because it was filmed with MacGyver.
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) is a remarkably close film adaptation of Robert A. Heinlein's The Puppet Masters, right down to the alien pod people being a thinly-veiled allusion to communism (a comparison that was made explicit in Heinlein's book), though others have also read into it an anti-McCarthyism message.
  • Jaws is about a shark rather than a whale, but the scenes where the protagonists are hunting the shark make for the best adaptation of Moby-Dick ever filmed, with Quint especially making for a great translation of Captain Ahab in his obsession with catching his prey.
    • The first half of the film, focusing on Brody's efforts to close the beaches in the name of public safety, recalls aspects of Henrik Ibsen's play An Enemy of the People, where a well-meaning doctor becomes a pariah for trying to close down contaminated hot spring baths.
  • John Wick:
    • It has often been called an amazing adaptation of Hotline Miami due to its gunfights and plot of a lone hitman against the Russian mob.
    • It has also been called a Vampire: The Masquerade film sans vampires. The third installment in particular starkly captures the feel of a Kindred being on the wrong end of a Blood Hunt even as an Archon or Justicar (the Adjudicator) shakes things up with their presence on behalf of the Camarilla inner circle (the High Table), using as their services a local coterie (Zero and the Shinobi).
    • The series is also much closer to Wanted than the actual movie adaptation. There exists a secret society of criminals in both works that is outright ignored by both the police and the general populace. The main character in both works is an expert marksman who is eventually betrayed and forced to fight society. The main difference is that the Fraternity in Wanted is literally made out of supervillains with powers, while the Continental is just an organization of assassins and crimelords.
  • Joker (2019) is pretty much the only modern remake of The King of Comedy right down to the similar characters, crime-infested setting, and time period as well as the casting of Robert De Niro as Murray Franklin in a double Actor Allusion of sorts for his role as Rupert Pupkin and his idol Jerry Lewis which serves as the basis for his relationship with Arthur Fleck. In fact, this was very much intentional since the film's director Todd Philips cited the movie and Taxi Driver as its inspirations.
  • Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, can easily be seen as a Pitfall! movie, albeit a highly self-referential one. The fake video game that sucks in the teenage protagonists is even played on a cartridge on what looks like an old-school 1980's game console, a la the Atari 2600 (albeit with far better graphics).
  • The Jungle Book (2016) was billed and marketed as a live-action remake of one of Disney's most popular animated movies. And it is — it's the best Live-Action Adaptation of The Lion King ever made. A Coming-of-Age Story set in the untamed jungle? Check. A Kid Hero who's forced to hastily grow to maturity after going into exile in the wake of his father figure's death? Check. A gluttonous, lazy, self-centered Non-Human Sidekick? Check. A climactic Battle Amongst the Flames with an interloping villain who takes over the hero's family clan by force? Oh, yeah.
  • It has been argued that Jupiter Ascending is a film adaptation of Mass Effectnote , Dune, and Tenchi Muyo!.
  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, likewise, does a much better job of being an adaptation of John Brosnan's novel Carnosaur than the 1993 film of the same name, which was meant to cash in on Jurassic Park, does.
  • Just One of the Guys and She's the Man were both based on Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.

    K-O 
  • From the moment the first trailer premiered, the Netflix action film Kate, starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead as an assassin on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the mob, was immediately called the Huntress standalone film we never got, given Winstead's Ensemble Dark Horse performance as that character in Birds of Prey (2020).
  • The Jet Li film Kiss of the Dragon does a rather nice job of being an adaptation of Fist of the Blue Sky.
  • The conflict between Captain Miller and Dr. Caspary in The Lightship is quite similar to that of Axel Heyst and Mr. Jones in Joseph Conrad's novel Victory. The characters are quite close to their counterparts as well, particularly Caspary to Jones.
  • The Jack Slater movies in Last Action Hero are the nearest we'll ever be to having a film adaptation of McBain.
  • Several YouTube commenters have made the connections between the Classic Walt Disney cartoon short Lonesome Ghosts and Ghostbusters (1984). Even one of the lines Goofy utters in the cartoon is directly lifted and placed into the main theme of the film.
    Goofy (Chuckles nervously): I ain't 'fraid of no ghosts!
    I ain't 'fraid of no ghosts!;
  • Richard Matheson's I Am Legend has been adapted multiple times to film, but the best adaptation is probably an unofficial one: George A. Romero's Living Dead Series. Heavily inspired by I Am Legend to the point where Romero himself outright called it a ripoff of Matheson's novel, it removed the vampire-like characteristics and intelligence of its ghouls but otherwise adapted its story of civilization being destroyed by a disease that turns humans into monsters quite faithfully, pioneering an entire genre of horror fiction in the process. Night of the Living Dead (1968) and Dawn of the Dead (1978) can be seen as unofficial prequels, while Day of the Dead (1985) can be seen as a spinoff story set in Florida. Matheson noticed the inspiration and said that, while he harbored no ill will towards Romero, he thought Night was "kind of cornball".
  • Le Samouraï has influenced numerous filmmakers over the years so naturally there have been some movies that serve as unofficial remakes:
    • The Driver is an Americanized version of the movie but with a getaway driver.
    • John Woo cited the film as a major inspiration for The Killer in terms of plot and characters. He even admitted in an interview that "Melville is god to me" and it's no surprise that he's been attempting to remake Le Samourai for years but his efforts never came to fruition so in the meantime fans of the film can look to The Killer as the closest that they'll get to the director's vision of a modern, setting-shifted reboot
    • The Professional is a 90s themed version of the film set in New York City. Not only is the protagonist a very skilled hitman who's always dressed well for his assassination missions but he adheres to a rigid Code of Honor and lives as an outsider who has no other friends or companions other than a thing that he keeps at his apartment. He also has to protect a young girl and eventually sacrifices himself to save her from death. And much like that movie, the director Luc Besson is French.
    • Similar to The Killer example above, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai is a deliberate homage to the movie complete with an Anti-Hero contract killer as the main lead who follows the Japanese code of Bushido and uses a special key to steal other cars. He even dies at the end to project a young woman much like Jef Costello.
    • As the film's own page on TV Tropes points out, The American is Le Samourai in Italy.
  • Logan:
  • Erich Segal at first wanted to do a film adaptation of The Blue Lagoon with the setting updated from the early 20th century South Pacific to the then-contemporary New York. When an agreement with the estate of Henry De Vere Stacpoole couldn’t be reached, he instead wrote his original tragic love story, still influenced by The Blue Lagoon. After the script was turned down by several studios, his agent pressed him to rework his rejected screenplay into a novel. When the rights to his story were purchased by Paramount, it became the project that saved the studio from being closed by its new parent company, Gulf and Western, Love Story. Ironically, the success of Love Story revived interest on The Blue Lagoon, but due to a lengthy and complicated Development Hell and Troubled Production, a proper Blue Lagoon film adaptation was only released in 1980, at a time movie audiences were tired of tragic love stories.
  • What with the lunatics shooting guns and driving cars held together by duct tape who consider death to be just another part of life before coming back for another go, Mad Max: Fury Road is either the best adaptation of the Warhammer 40,000 spinoff Gorkamorkanote  (which is itself heavily inspired by the original Mad Max), or the closest we'll ever see to a live-action Waaaagh!.
  • Maleficent: Similar to Frozen (2013) (see the Animated Film page), the film serves as a live-action adaptation of Wicked with both works reimagining a traditionally villainous character in a heroic light by crafting a sympathetic backstory for how they became evil.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • The Avengers (2012) could be argued as a great movie adaptation of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, with both stories featuring a group of superheroes with attitude being recruited by a bald man with a presence to fight an alien with a fancy staff who wants to conquer Earth. To top it off, the Sixth Ranger was brainwashed into serving the villain before being knocked back into consciousness and has the closest relationship with The Chick (or in this film's case, the only woman) on the team. Together, they fight endless waves of mooks and giant monsters, and while they don't have a Megazord, they do have a helicarrier. In fact, in the wake of Joseph Kahn's Power/Rangers gritty fan film, those who didn't like it pointed to this film as a better alternative since while it's certainly darker than your average Power Rangers season, it still has the defining elements that made the show, most prominently teamwork and the sense of victory, as well as some lighthearted moments to balance out the darkness.
    • Captain America: The Winter Soldier may be the best movie adaptation of Metal Gear Solid that we ever get to see, in particular Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. It's about a long-time veteran soldier, who's the sole survivor of a government program to create genetically-enhanced soldiers, coming out of retirement to fight a terrorist leader with ties to his past, having a rivalry with someone with a fake left arm, and working to uncover a conspiracy in the ranks of the government while they prepare to devastate the world with a powerful superweapon, usually within the very organization they work for. The movie even has its own tanker level, and a scene where we find out that the government conspiracy is led by a sentient Artificial Intelligence that took over for the long-deceased human villains. Also, the eponymous Winter Soldier is revealed to be an old friend of the veteran soldier, presumed dead but taken from the battlefield and transformed against his will into a cyborg assassin.
    • Guardians of the Galaxy:
      • A number of fans have pointed out the similarity of the film's central characters to the original regular characters of Farscape. (Peter = John, Gamora = Aeryn, Drax = D'Argo, Groot = Zhaan, and Rocket = Rygel.) Some of the changes made to the film characters compared to the original comic versions make them closer to the Farscape characters (in particular Peter being abducted by aliens and Trapped in Another World instead of voluntarily exploring space, and Drax being an alien rather than an augmented human). Notably, James Gunn is a fan of the show, and cast Ben Browder (who played John Crichton) in a small part in Vol. 2.
    • Just take a look at Ant-Man's heist at Pym Tech if you want to know what a live-action Pikmin movie would look like.
    • Doctor Strange (2016) is a better Green Lantern film then the actual Green Lantern (2011) movie, as pointed out here and here by Jeremy Jahns and Couch Tomato respectively.
    • The Nostalgia Critic, at the end of his video on The Lion King (1994), called Black Panther (2018) the "real" live-action remake of that film. Specifically, both are epic stories set in Africa about an heir to the throne who is usurped by a tyrant who kills his father and leaves him for dead, and undertakes a long quest to return to his rightful place as king. Both have scenes where the hero and villain duke it out on a cliff's edge, and the heroes of both contact the spirits of their dead fathers, though T'Challa's reunion with his father is a bit more heated than Simba's. And both stories are themselves heavily inspired by Hamlet. The heroes even both evoke big cats, though Simba from The Lion King is a literal lion while T'Challa in Black Panther is a human who uses the imagery of a panther.
    • Many critics and fans have called Thor: Ragnarok the best He-Man movie ever made. This is thanks to its mixture of sci-fi and Swords and Sorcery, retro '80s score and aesthetic, colorful cast of heroes and villains, and the fact that it stars a muscular hero who wields swords and lightning.
    • Captain Marvel has also been called pretty good adaptation of the Green Lantern mythos. It's an epic Space Opera centered on the origin of a superhero with energy manipulation powers, the main character is part of an elite intergalactic military force, and the story begins with a lost alien crashing to Earth. Even if the main character's name is "Carol Danvers" instead of "Hal Jordan", the story manages to hit all the beats that Green Lantern fans love: the colorful space battles, the exotic aliens, the lovably cocky hero who flies fighter jets... It's all here.
      • A lot of viewers have noted that this movie makes for a surprisingly good live-action Dragon Ball Z film. Some even consider it to be a more faithful adaptation than the much reviled Dragon Ball Evolution. Like Goku, Carol is an immensely powerful warrior with the ability to fly and shoot energy from her hands, with no understanding of her past, and learns she was part of a legacy of genocidal alien conquerors (the Saiyans/the Kree) who are the sworn enemies of a race of pointy-eared green aliens that later turn out to not all that bad. The movie even climaxes with the main character unlocking her hidden power and entering a glowing Golden Super Mode to defeat the villains.
      • It could also be seen as one to She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. Both female leads gain superpowers and defect from an Evil Empire after belatedly learning that it's, well, evil and that her enemies were Good All Along. Carol's relationship with the Supreme Intelligence also calls to mind Shadow Weaver's manipulative raising of Adora.
    • Many consider Spider-Man: No Way Home to be one to, of all things, One More Day, including such elements from story as Peter's secret identity being revealed and the consequences thereof, the involvement of Doctor Strange, Aunt May being fatally wounded by one of Spider-Man's enemies and ending with everyone's memory of Peter's identity being erased, and Peter and MJ's relationship being erased with it. Unusually, the movie is considered a far superior story, utilizing elements of the plot, but in a way that's more consistent with the characterization and themes of Spider-Man.
  • The Masters of the Universe film is described on That Other Wiki as being the best Jack Kirby's Fourth World movie ever attempted. Though Word of God from the director indicates he meant to do an homage to the work of Kirby in a general sense, not the Fourth World in particular.
  • The Matrix:
    • It can be called a sci-fi version of Mage: The Ascension, as it's about a group of people who discover that their world is an illusion, unlocking great powers in the process, and are then pursued by just-as-powerful beings who are tasked with keeping the illusion alive.
    • It was also very heavily influenced by Ghost in the Shell with its mix of cyberpunk action and philosophical musings about the nature of humanity and consciousness. The Wachowskis were huge fans of its anime adaptation, which they have cited as one of their favorite films and which they screened for producer Joel Silver in order to show him what they wanted to accomplish with their film, and many scenes are lifted more or less directly from it as shout-outs. In fact, the success and influence of The Matrix was a big part of why the 2017 Hollywood adaptation of Ghost in the Shell met a lukewarm reception — as far as most Americans were concerned, The Matrix did it first.
  • Mean Girls draws direct comparisons between its plot and that of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, another story about a group of people who plot to overthrow a tyrannical dictator (and things quickly turning rotten afterwards), albeit on a much smaller scale. One famous scene has Gretchen rewriting a piece of dialogue from Shakespeare's play in which Cassius tells Brutus why he doesn't think Caesar deserves to rule, clearly seeing herself as Brutus and Regina as Caesar.
  • Michael Clayton has been called "the best John Grisham movie ever made".
  • While the Conan O'Brian and Adam West comedy series Lookwell never made it past the pilot, Mindhorn serves as a good movie adaptation, albeit a British version.
  • When the first trailer for Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children came out, many called it Tim Burton's X-Men.
  • Midnight Cowboy is often described as being like an urban 1960s Of Mice & Men, albeit one where the "George" character (Ratso Rizzo) dies and the "Lennie" character (Joe Buck) survives instead of vice-versa.
  • In his video on The Monster Squad, Minty Comedic Arts called it the first unofficial movie adaptation of Stephen King's It, with a similar premise of a group of kids going up against monsters (in this case, the Universal monsters instead of a Monster Clown Eldritch Abomination).
  • Mortal Engines owes a lot to the Final Fantasy franchise's Sword and Gun Steampunk Zeppelins from Another World mishmash. There's even "extradimensional energies" that act as Magic by Any Other Name.
  • The final act of mother! (2017) is basically a bigger-budget studio remake of Begotten.
  • Moulin Rouge!, although officially a loose retelling of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, is basically a composite adaptation of the operas La Traviata and La Bohème.
  • Movie 43, between its Vulgar Humor, its laundry list of celebrity guest stars, and it being an Anthology Film, is pretty much a live-action Robot Chicken.
  • The Mummy (2017):
    • It's an Urban Fantasy horror story about a secret London-based organization devoted to fighting supernatural evil, making it probably the closest we'll get to a film adaptation of the Templars from The Secret World.
    • The plot also shares more than a few elements lifted from Hellsing, including Dr. Jekyll's role being virtually identical to Integra's, and his office in fact looking quite like her office. At the end of the film, Tom Cruise is essentially a male Seras Victoria.
  • My Girl can be viewed as a stealth adaptation of Bridge to Terabithia with the genders reversed. This has lead some fans to view the Terabithia film version as a stealth gender-bent remake of My Girl.
  • Some fans of "Weird Al" Yankovic are convinced that Napoleon Dynamite is an Adaptation Expansion of the song "That Boy Could Dance" (from "Weird Al" Yankovic in 3-D). After all, both involve a clumsy, geekish outcast who dazzles everyone at school with his amazing dance skills. Watch the video and decide for yourself.
  • Ray Liotta's Narc has quite a bit in common with Max Payne, moreso than the actual Max Payne film did.
  • National Treasure:
  • The Neon Demon, about a young model who becomes target of beauty-obsessed stylists, jealous competitors, a creepy boyfriend and unpredictable criminals, plays like a westernized take on Junji Ito's Tomie series, including a gore-filled third act.
  • Ninja Assassin is pretty much the best and closest one could get to a Ninja Gaiden movie.
  • The 1922 film Nosferatu is an unofficial German adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula. It was originally going to be an official one, except Stoker's widow Florence Balcombe wouldn't sell the filmmakers the rights, causing them to change all the character's names (Dracula became Orlok, Jonathan and Mina Harker became Thomas and Ellen Hutter, Abraham Van Helsing became Professor Bulwer) and made a few alterations to the plot to distance itself from the source material. It didn't work, and Balcombe successfully sued to have the film banned for copyright infringement, though by that point prints had already been distributed worldwide and Keep Circulating the Tapes took effect.
  • "O" is a high school version of Shakespeare's Othello.
  • Office Space, Mike Judge's satire of office jobs and the culture therein, is most likely the closest thing to a live-action Dilbert movie ever made.
  • The indie horror film Offseason, about a woman trapped in a resort town with a dark secret who had been drawn there by personal family business, has been compared to the Silent Hill games, albeit set in Florida with a Southern Gothic tone rather than New England. Many elements of both the aesthetic and the story, from the Ominous Fog to the seemingly abandoned setting to the crackling radios to the shifting landscape to the townsfolk worshiping a malevolent (and implicitly demonic) supernatural entity... they're all here.
  • Ever wondered what if Grand Theft Auto was set during the twilight of Hollywood's Golden Age, with the player getting to drive in 1969 Hollywood with the radio blaring period music, with a mission of getting to fight the members of the Manson Family? Look no further to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, specifically the day-to-day life of Cliff Booth.
  • Overlord (2018):
    • It's an action-horror movie about a team of four paratroopers in Normandy (plus a photojournalist and a female French villager) the night before D-Day who discover Nazi mad science experiments to create undead Super Soldiers. In other words, it's Call of Duty: Zombies: The Movie.
    • The film's pulp sci-fi take on World War II can also make it seem like a film adaptation of Wolfenstein that they couldn't get the rights to. Tiago Svn and Ed Stevens of Cracked made note of it in this article, pointing out everything from the castle setting to the protagonist having a very similar facial scar to BJ's to specific plot and aesthetic elements right down to the fact that the title font is almost identical to that of Wolfenstein.
    • If anyone remembers the Xbox 360 game Operation Darkness, which had Those Wacky Nazis involved with the supernatural, then this is the closest to a movie adaptation of that game.
  • Oz the Great and Powerful is pretty much a non-musical movie adaptation of Wicked since it serves as an origin story to a prominent character in the Oz mythos (specifically Oscar Diggs) and the Wicked Witch of the West plays a big role throughout the story even going so far as to show her backstory of how she became evil just like the novel.

    P-T 
  • Pacific Rim, being Guillermo del Toro's love letter to classic Humongous Mecha anime, has been compared to many works in that genre.
    • Humanity building giant robots to combat an alien threat. While this may be a common plot in the mecha genre of anime, Neon Genesis Evangelion is probably the first show to come to mind for many, at least younger, anime fans. To specify: 20 Minutes into the Future (as opposed to the more common "far into the future" and "another world entirely" settings), aliens that are specifically interested in human extinction arrive, not from space, but from the depths of the Earth itself. These aliens are giant monsters who fight humanity directly, instead of using robots themselves. To combat these, humanity creates equally gigantic robots that requires the pilot to mentally synch not only with the robot, but also with a co-pilot. (While this is only done literally in Evangelion 3.0, in the original series the "robots" had to have a human soul implanted in them to function and both this soul and the actual pilot had to synch with each-other and the "robot".) The monsters also appear one-by-one instead of organizing in an army. Oh, and let's not forget the yellow fluid and the journeys into characters' minds. The sequel Pacific Rim: Uprising takes the similarities even further, introducing a counterpart to Shinji Ikari in the form of Jake Pentecost, the son of a war hero who was neglected growing up and is now in charge of piloting the mechas needed to save humanity, as well as sending the teenage rookies out in the mechas during the climax (albeit in this case after the adult pilots are killed or incapacitated).
    • Alternately alternately, it's the best Getter Robo movie we're ever gonna get.
    • Go back a bit more, to the beginning. Rocket Punch. Breast Fire. Pilots in the head docking with the body. Hell, the whole drivable robot concept. It's Mazinger Z, all the way. By extension to almost all the above, this makes Pacific Rim the closest to a live-action Super Robot Wars film ever.
    • The movie has several (coincidental) similarities to the X-COM franchise as well. Alien threat that forces the nations of the world to band together and form an organisation dedicated to fighting them? Check. Council of nations that threatens to pull their funding because they're not getting results? Check. The alien-fighting organization forced to sell alien components on the black market to make ends meet? Check. Researchers vivisecting alien corpses in order to better understand what they're fighting against? Check. A final assault on the aliens' homeworld? Check.
    • "Mysterious giant monsters are rising from the sea, and the nations of the world combat them by fielding stylish, two-pilot giant robots whose pilot teams all have a close relationship. On a tragic mission several years ago, our hero lost his trusted partner, and with a renewed crisis, he has to get back in his revived mecha with a new rookie girl who also serves as a love interest." Why, that sounds rather like Godannar.
    • Not mention it has been referred once or twice as an "adult" Power Rangers.
    • It's also the best screen-adaptation of Muv-Luv Alternative we could ever get.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean:
    • The series is sometimes thought of as The Movies Of Monkey Island. If one were to see the trailer for the original Pirates of the Caribbean while being unaware of what it was actually based on, it wouldn't be a huge leap to expect it to be a straight-up Monkey Island movie. This isn't surprising, as both were inspired by the same theme park ride (after which the movie is named). The second PotC especially features a few uncanny similarities to the Monkey Island games, such as Jack using a casket as a rowboat and a voodoo priestess hiding in a swamp. (Both borrow the casket thing from Moby-Dick, though.)
    • The films also bear a strong resemblance to the marine horror stories of William Hope Hodgson, especially The Ghost Pirates and "The Derelict".
  • Polaroid is the closest thing to a film adaptation of the Goosebumps book Say Cheese and Die! we're going to get — both center around a cursed camera that does horrible things to anyone it takes a picture of, and both have major characters named Bird.
  • Power Rangers (2017):
    • While the movie is an adaptation of the original Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers season, its plot beats and casting choices have also been compared to Power Rangers Dino Thunder, another Power Rangers season:
      • Both stories star a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits who become Fire-Forged Friends while fighting against evil with dinosaur-themed powers and weapons.
      • The Rangers in the 2017 movie have powers in human form just like the Dino Thunder team.
      • In the original show, the Mighty Morphin team were recruited by Zordon because of their fighting skills and moral fiber. In the movie, they discover Zordon's base and the Power Coins completely by accident and Zordon has to make do with them despite them being far from his first choice as heroes. This makes the movie Mighty Morphin team much more similar to the Dino Thunder Rangers who became heroes the same way.
      • The Power Coins look more like crystals than coins making them more similar to the Dino Gems from Dino Thunder.
      • The villain has a personal connection to the Big Good and mentor.
      • The Big Good/mentor is a former Ranger himself.
    • Jason is reinterpreted as a Jerk Jock who is revealed to have a Hidden Heart of Gold just like Conner, the Red Ranger from Dino Thunder.
      • The movie Race Lifts Billy from white teenager to a black teenager while retaining his role as The Smart Guy. As a result, 2017 Billy is Black and Nerdy just like Ethan, the Dino Thunder Blue Ranger.
    • The film arguably works much better as an adaptation of Animorphs than Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. It's about five mismatched teenagers (a quietly competent leader, his wisecracking friend, an empathic nature-loving tomboy, a girly-girl with an edgy streak, and an outcast loner from a broken home) developing superpowers and fighting an alien invasion following a fateful encounter in a construction site, the characters get their powers from an alien mentor who suffers Death by Origin Story, the Big Bad has the same superpowers as the heroes, and the climax features an important location hidden under a Real Life fast food restaurant (Krispy Kreme instead of McDonalds). The film was criticized by many Power Rangers fans for being considerably Darker and Edgier than the original show, but it has many of the elements that made Animorphs stand out: the characters have believably clashing personalities, it offers a (mostly) realistic portrayal of teenage issues, and it's ultimately a fairly grim and somber story about teenagers forced to become soldiers against their will. It even features a scene set on prehistoric Earth, where it's revealed that the dinosaurs were wiped out by aliens—which was a major plot point in one of the Animorphs books.
  • Predator is Beowulf, adapted to the 1980s and with an alien as Grendel. A group of elite warriors are called into a foreign land, where a mysterious creature is killing the locals. They manage to wound it once, but are slowly killed off until the leader sheds his armor and weapons to hunt down the beast.
  • Prisoners is likely the closest (and best) we'll get to a live action Heavy Rain, as its own film adaptation is seemingly locked in Development Hell.
  • Years before Lois Duncan's novel I Know What You Did Last Summer got an official adaptation, Prom Night (1980) could be said to have been the best film version of it out there. (Duncan would probably say it's a better film, in fact, as she hated the I Know movie.) Both stories deal with a group of teenagers who had previously covered up an Accidental Murder, and are now being harassed and attacked over it by somebody who knows their secret.
  • Prometheus:
  • The Purge:
    • Some critics consider it to be The Hunger Games but with adults.
    • The sequels, The Purge: Anarchy and The Purge: Election Year, are this to Manhunt minus the Snuff Film elements. A person (or a group of people in this case) try to survive the night against various gangs of masked psychopaths in a lawless city, including Gas Mask Mooks that look nearly like the Cerberus. Anarchy even has a plot line of the wealthy capturing victims to hunt for sport.
    • The character of Leo from Anarchy and Election Year, a Vigilante Man played by Frank Grillo who serves as a protagonist in both films, has been called a better translation of The Punisher to the big screen than many of that character's actual film adaptations. Both films as a whole have also been seen as Genre Throwbacks to '80s dystopian action films like Escape from New York and RoboCop (1987).
    • One writer has compared the films to the first BioShock game. To wit, while the films don't have that game's underwater city or genetic splicing, they do take place in a similar dystopian world where ultra-libertarian social Darwinism has caused society to degenerate into violent chaos for its own sake, justified by a Might Makes Right attitude. The masked psychos roaming the streets also resemble and behave like some of the more eccentric Splicers.
    • On a similar level, the series can also be seen as Dead Rising minus the zombies, such that Daniel Dockery of Cracked has suggested (at #1 on the list) that the films would work a lot better as video games drawing influence from Dead Rising. Both works take place against the backdrop of a breakdown of law and order that causes people to let their primal urges run wild, as seen with Dead Rising's psychopaths and The Purge's more colorful participants, many of whom see the collapse of society as an opportunity to throw off its shackles and fully embrace who they "really are". The action operates on a Cosmic Deadline; in the Dead Rising games (until the fourth one got rid of the timer), you only have a certain amount of time to complete the story before the military destroys the city, while participants in the Purge have only twelve hours to let loose and/or survive before the final siren. They also serve up highly cynical satire of American society, portraying it as a land where people are obsessed with guns and violence and can't be bothered to care about the dispossessed. The only difference is in how it happens: Dead Rising uses a Zombie Apocalypse as the catalyst, while the titular event in The Purge is an annual, government-sanctioned holiday.
    • James DeMonaco, the creator of the series, has cited as inspiration the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Return of the Archons", in which the Enterprise visits a planet holding a "Festival" where the Hive Mind temporarily relaxes its control over the populace and allows them to act out their most violent urges.
  • The Raid unintentionally becomes a movie adaption of the Dynamite Deka series, aka Die Hard Arcade and Dynamite Cop, by Indonesia (with a Welsh director). The movie has it all: a SWAT team infiltrating the building, a bad guy barking orders on the top floor, and waves upon waves of mooks on each floor. Even some movie critics said the movie feels like an adaption of arcade beat'em ups from the '90s.
  • Uwe Boll's Rampage is a better adaptation of Postal (particularly the first game in the series) than his own movie adaptation (which was based more on the second game).
  • The live-action adaption of Rampage (2018) was for a while the closest the a King Kong vs Godzilla movie for the 21st century until the MonsterVerse reached that point.
  • Ready Player One (2018) is known right now to be an adaption of several works:
    • It is not hard to imagine this as a film version of Garry's Mod. The premise, of being able to play and mess around in player-constructed environments and use iconic fictional characters as well as real historical people, is very similar to the game, just without the mechanics.
    • Others have compared it to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. This is helped by the usage of a Suspiciously Similar Song of "Pure Imagination" in the trailers (later confirmed to be an outright cover) and the fact that Gene Wilder himself was approached with the role of Halliday.
    • Some people, especially anime fans, also compared it a bit with resident MMO-gone-serious series Sword Art Online due to its premise, an opinion that seems to be shared by its own creator. Curiously enough and for enforcing this, Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, who voiced the main hero Kazuto Kirigaya/Kirito, works in the Japanese dub of the film.
    • The battle portion could be compared to South Park's Imaginationland trilogy/compilation movie, which culminates in a gigantic battle between good and evil armies consisting of hundreds of characters from pop culture and beyond.
    • The film can also be considered this to VRChat to some extent when it comes to modified avatars.
    • It could be also the closest thing to a Neptunia movie, but minus the sexual content.
  • The movie Real Steel had been called Rock'em Sock'em Robots: The Movie. It's actually an adaptation of the 1956 story and 1963 Twilight Zone episode "Steel", which in turn is said to have been the inspiration for Rock'em Sock'em Robots.
  • Some critics have described Rebel Without a Cause as a 1950s Romeo and Juliet of sorts. Both deal with teenagers grappling with romance, violence, and alienation from the older generation and from society in general; James Dean's character Jim can be seen as the Romeo character, his love interest Judy as the Juliet, doomed friend/semi-love interest Plato as the Mercutio, and Judy's equally doomed original boyfriend Buzz as both Tybalt and Paris. Nicholas Ray actually cited Romeo as a strong influence on Rebel, calling it "the best play written about juvenile delinquents." These parallels may have helped pave the way for West Side Story, a more direct transplant of Romeo into the world of 1950s "juvenile delinquency," the film version of which starred the same leading actress as Rebel, no less.
  • The [REC] movies have been compared to what the Resident Evil (2002) and Doom movies should have been.
  • When it was announced, Red Sparrow was frequently described as "the unofficial Black Widow movie", albeit with Jennifer Lawrence instead of Scarlett Johansson and a general lack of superheroes. The film's director Francis Lawrence even commented on the comparisons.
  • Discussed in Reservoir Dogs, where the guys have a Seinfeldian Conversation about the 1970s cult TV show Get Christie Love!. Nice Guy Eddie incorrectly recalls that Pam Grier played Christie Love, and Mr. Pink clarifies that Pam Grier was exclusively a film actress, while Get Christie Love! was meant to be "the Pam Grier TV show without Pam Grier".
  • Due to copious amounts of Gorn, grim tone, and similar time period, some have felt that The Revenant is about the closest we have gotten to a film version of Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian.
  • The 2015 zombie film The Rezort is about an island resort complex built after a Zombie Apocalypse where tourists can come to hunt zombies for sport. While the Jurassic Park-with-zombies inspirations are obvious, it can also be seen as a film version of Dead Island, although in this case, the zombies are supposed to be there.
  • Orson Scott Card, author of Ender's Game, the adaptation of which took decades to premiere, considers Rise of the Planet of the Apes to be "the first truly successful adaptation of my novel... to appear on the screen." In the past, he'd made similar statements about Serenity.
  • Graham Dury of Viz considers the 1987 British comedy Rita and Sue and Bob, Too to be a better film adaptation of Fat Slags than the eponymous film.
  • Many, many film adaptations of the Robin Hood story add elements of the Walter Scott novel Ivanhoe to the mix, such as a knight returning from the Crusades, Saxon fighting against Norman tyranny, and him rescuing his ladylove from a castle. The Errol Flynn film The Adventures of Robin Hood and the Patrick Bergin film Robin Hood (1991) are two of the most notable examples.
  • RoboCop (1987) is basically an adaptation of Judge Dredd, being the story of a visor-wearing supercop hunting criminals in the dystopian metropolis of the future, complete with political satire and Black Comedy. In fact, there were plans for a film adaptation long before the 1995 Stallone version, but the release of RoboCop scuppered it.
  • The Rocketeer is for all intents and purposes the Art Deco Batman or Superman movie people have been crying for.
  • Run Hide Fight is about as close as anybody is ever going to get to making a film adaptation of the Newgrounds game Pico's School, albeit with a gender-flipped protagonist. Both are unabashedly pulpy "Die Hard" on an X stories about school shootings, in which the protagonist is a student who fights back against a gang of four nihilistic, antisocial classmates who represent contemporary teen delinquent stereotypes (goths in Pico's School, social media addicts in Run Hide Fight), all while the police outside do nothing to stop them.
  • Rurouni Kenshin would make for a good live-action epilogue for Total War: Shogun 2: Fall of the Samurai.
  • Savages, like Double Impact listed above, also has the basic plotline of the first Double Dragon game. Criminals have kidnapped the girlfriend of two guys who now have to battle their way to get her back.
  • The eighth Saw film, Jigsaw, has been seen as a surprisingly close adaptation of Jean-Paul Sartre's No Exit, which it gives a highly prominent Shout-Out to. While it's not actually set in Hell, the story, like that of No Exit, revolves around a group of horrible people who can be redeemed from their suffering (in this case, their impending brutal deaths) by simply confessing their sins to Jigsaw in front of the people around them — yet all of them are too proud to do, afraid of the shame that this would cause them and the judgment that they would receive from those around them, resulting in them paying the price. There are even very close parallels between the crimes committed by Estelle in No Exit and Anna in Jigsaw, the two of them having both killed their infant sons in such a manner that drove their lovers to suicide.
  • Scooby-Doo: Monsters Unleashed is considered by many as a film adaptation of Scooby-Doo! Night of 100 Frights due to how similar the plot is and how faithful they are to the cartoons.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) is regarded by fans as a Live-Action Adaptation of Sonic X. Both are about Sonic getting put into the human world and ends up befriending some humans in order to hide from the government.
  • The Scorpion King is considered to be a better adaptation of Conan the Barbarian due to costuming, style, and story than the first Arnold Schwarzenegger film. Considering that John Milius was interested in making a Viking movie instead of a Conan movie, it's not that hard.
  • Despite being an adaptation of a comic that came out years before, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World has been said to be the closest thing to a movie adaption of No More Heroes.
    • Some fans would argue that this is the closest thing they could have a live-action adaptation of Revolutionary Girl Utena. While the original comic book also made a reference to the anime, the franchise share the similar theme with it as well.
  • Cracked's David Wong once expressed this opinion about Shaun of the Dead, opining that it was one of the first movies ever to successfully bring Douglas Adams' unique brand of humor to the big screen, even if Adams didn't actually have anything to do with it. Adding to the irony, he argued that the movie captured Adams' style far better than the actual film adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which was released exactly one year after it.
  • She's All That is a high school version of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion.
  • Showdown in Little Tokyo and Black Rain is as close one can get to a movie version of SNK's Burning Fight.
  • Side Effects is the closest you'll ever get to seeing the Half-Life mod Afraid of Monsters in film.
  • Snow Day was originally written as a film adaptation of The Adventures of Pete & Pete, and it shows.
  • Snowpiercer
    • This video by CrayTrey argues that it is the best BioShock film adaptation ever made, specifically the kind of BioShock movie that Terry Gilliam would make. (It even has a character named Gilliam as a possible Shout-Out.) Even discounting the fact that the protagonists' journey to the front of the train is structured like a video game, both are set in hermetically sealed environments filled with claustrophobic corridors where escape is made impossible by hostile conditions outside, with stratified societies overseen by the eccentric billionaires who created these places in line with their flawed personal ideologies (Objectivism in the case of BioShock's Andrew Ryan, Ecofascist feudalism in the case of Snowpiercer's Wilford). Curtis Everett, the protagonist of Snowpiercer, can also be seen as a more heroic version of Frank Fontaine from BioShock in his rebellion against Wilford. It even has a climatic scene very similar to Andrew Ryan's big speech to Jack in BioShock, a Fantastic Drug that has driven many people insane, the exploitation of children being a key component of the systems that keep things running, and society going down in flames by the end. Furthermore, while BioShock sought to deconstruct the Objectivist themes of Rand's Atlas Shrugged, one could see the villains here as the kind of bad guys that Rand herself could have written. Wilford is a fascist tyrant who preaches that salvation comes from serving him, Gilliam is a socialist tyrant who preaches that salvation comes from serving each other (at his command, of course), and the two of them are working together to maintain the train and its oppressive system.
    • Similarly, this video by Rhino Stew calls it a Darker and Edgier sequel to Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Specifically, he pegs Wilford as a grown-up Charlie Bucket who took Willy Wonka's (or rather, Wilford Wonka's) name after he inherited the factory, along with numerous shout-outs and similarities in the supporting cast and in various plot details. This video by Nomadic Kong builds on the theory, arguing that the plot of Snowpiercer draws direct parallels and homages to Charlie's 1971 film adaptation, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, right down to specific scenes that are nearly identical and even the use of "Pure Imagination" in the score.
      "They're both two movies about groups of people that work their way through a large, fantastic structure. One by one, a person from the group is removed in each room, until one person makes it to the very end, who then found out that the entire thing was a test because a wealthy industrialist needed to find a new successor."
  • The Speed Racer film is just as viable an adaptation of F-Zero as it is of the Speed Racer anime.
  • The Spirit may not have captured the, uh, spirit of the comics it came from very well, but it's a much better adaptation of an entirely different superhero: The Tick. Just compare how often they run across rooftops while monologuing about "MY CITY!" and invoking tortured metaphors.
  • At times, Spring Breakers feels like either the best Grand Theft Auto: Vice City adaptation ever made, or a deconstruction of such. It's got the Florida setting (albeit set in St. Petersburg instead of a pastiche of Miami), the neon-drenched style that heavily evokes The '80s (despite being set in the present day), the sociopathic Villain Protagonists running headfirst across the Moral Event Horizon because "spring break, bitches!", and a winking self-awareness of its own "gangsta" attitude that's used to satirize pop culture's obsession with cool criminals. By extension, it also has some of the GTA series' few female protagonists, and the only ones with any defined personality.note 
  • Star Wars:
    • George Lucas originally wanted to do an adaptation of Flash Gordon, but couldn't afford the rights. Instead, he decided to make his own original story, influenced by Flash Gordon and the stories that influenced such in turn, particularly Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter of Mars. Interestingly, the success of A New Hope led directly to a proper Flash Gordon adaptation three years later.
    • Hari Kunzru, writing for The Guardian, called it the best Dune adaptation ever made, between its New Age-inflected Science Fantasy setting, the similarities between the Jedi and the Bene Gesserit, and Tattooine, the desert planet full of hooded tribesmen where The Chosen One emerges from, being remarkably similar to Arrakis. Frank Herbert himself noticed the similarities and had mixed feelings. His son Brian said that, after watching Star Wars, his father "picked out sixteen points of what he called 'absolute identity' between his book and the movie" and, together with other writers who saw similar inspiration from their own stories in Star Wars, formed a joke organization called the "We're Too Big to Sue George Lucas Society".
    • Rogue One is effectively what Dark Forces would be like if it had been a movie. An unusual example of this trope in that both works are part of the same franchise, albeit Alternate Continuities. It also draws elements from the Han Solo trilogy of novels, given that Jyn Erso has parallels to Han Solo's former flame Bria Tharen, who became a significant Rebel officer who died stealing the Death Star plans. Likewise, the second part of the movie could be a live-action adaptation of X-Wing, since the game also depicts space battles in which parts of the Death Star plans were stolen even if the participants are different.
    • The Last Jedi:
      • To FTL: Faster Than Light. Both have the protagonists get tracked and chased by the antagonists even as they perform Faster-Than-Light Travel, with the latter being a galactic supremacist group whose fleet vastly outnumbers the former's.
      • It can also be considered a film version of Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, as a Deconstruction of Star Wars, particularly the Jedi-Sith conflict, that stars a female main characternote . Both the film and the game follow installments that played franchise-wide tropes relatively straight and hit familiar story beats.
  • By Steven E DeSouza's admission, the Street Fighter movie was more of a G.I. Joe movie than a Street Fighter one, due to to the heavy military elements (which are not nearly as prevalent in the games), as well as Hasbro's involvement with the merchandising.
    Capcom had forged a partnership with Hasbro long before production began to warp the G.I. Joe toy line into Street Fighter: The Movie licensed dolls, just in time for Black Friday. "You can look at this movie as the first G.I. Joe movie," says De Souza, "Because G.I. Joe was in a swamp at this time. It was not selling. So Hasbro wanted to reboot the G.I. Joe line by thinly disguising it as Street Fighter."
  • Continuing the not-video-game-movies series, Street Kings feels a lot like Max Payne, only set on a hot night in Los Angeles rather than a cold night in New York. If they'd included Bullet Time it would be perfect, but that would run into some different issues.
  • Sunset Boulevard grew out of Billy Wilder's attempt to do a film adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's The Loved One. Wilder couldn't secure the rights for the novella, so he concocted a different Horrible Hollywood tale with a similar tone and a few of the same motifs. The Loved One finally got a film adaptation 15 years later.
  • A lot of viewers have noted that the first Taken movie as the closest thing there is to big screen adaptation of 24, minus the more political aspects. Similar to the show, it involves an ex-government agent having to jump back into action to save his daughter (who coincidentally is also named Kim) within a time limit, and said protagonist has a thing for employing methods of Pay Evil unto Evil into the crooks who come his way, especially the poor misguided idiots who dared to harm his loved ones. A few actors who appeared in the show even have roles in the film. Bonus points for the fact that the time limit of hours the protagonist of is given, 96, is a multiple of the number 24.
  • Blumhouse's Thriller has virtually the exact same story as Prom Night. It's so close, beat-for-beat, that it could easily be called a more faithful adaptation than the film's own remake. The only big difference is swapping the senior prom for the homecoming dance.
  • Gerry Anderson has actually said that Team America: World Police is a better adaptation of his Thunderbirds than the actual live-action Thunderbirds film, though he also felt that Team America's raunchiness hurt it, since it meant his kids couldn't watch.
  • With Christian Bale starring, Terminator Salvation is the closest thing to a Batman vs. Terminator film we will ever see.
  • This Is the End, a Hollywood satire about a bunch of rich, pampered, obnoxious celebrities (failing to) survive the apocalypse in their fortified mansion, is the best adaptation of the Long Island chapter of World War Z ever made, albeit with the apocalypse in question being Biblical rather than undead.
  • THX 1138 is what would've happen if Jean-Luc Godard made a film adaptation of 1984 or Brave New World.
  • Tomb Raider (2018) is obviously based on the video game franchise of the same name (specifically its 2013 reboot), but with the changes made to the story in the translation to the big screen, it also works as a solid adaptation of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. Whereas Lara Croft's goal in the 2013 game was to rescue her friend Sam and get off the island, with discovering the tomb of Himiko being simply a means to that end, here she's racing a team of men led by Mathias Vogel to find Himiko's tomb, just as Nathan Drake was racing a team of men led by Gabriel Roman to find El Dorado in Uncharted. The twists on the true nature of the treasure they're seeking are also nearly identical. In a case of Doing In the Wizard, it turns out here that Himiko wasn't a supernatural villain like she was in the game, but rather, an immune carrier of a disease that turns people into rampaging psychopaths — not unlike what El Dorado turned out to be in Uncharted.
  • Train to Busan can be the closest thing South Korea can have their own adaptation of Stephen King's stories as both share similar allegory, themes, and tones with his body of works (The Stand, The Mist, Cell, and The Langoliers to name a few).
  • Béla Tarr's The Turin Horse is the best adaptation of The Gay Science ever made.

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Alternative Title(s): Live Action Films

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