A trend that reached its peak in the '90s 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.
Rob Zombie's 31 is the closest we'll likely get to a film adaptation of Rockstar Games' Survival Horror title Manhunt. Both stories revolve around a bunch of wealthy sickos who have people kidnapped and force them to fight for survival in a Deadly Game, sending them into grimy mazes in abandoned buildings where they are hunted down by psychopaths wearing masks, face painting, and strange outfits. The main difference is that in Manhunt, it's part of a Snuff Film operation, while in 31, the villains are just doing it for their own pleasure — though if the comments made by Starkweather throughout Manhunt are any indication, there's definitely an element of that involved there as well.
Arrival, upon The Reveal, can be seen as an adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five. Both stories are about people who are gifted by aliens with the ability to see all the events of their lives, past, present, and future. One key difference, though: while Billy Pilgrim in Slaughterhouse-Fivecan't change the future, Louise Banks' story in Arrival hinges on her being able to choose whether or not to follow the future laid out for her. The film itself is also a direct adaptation of the novella "Story of Your Life" by Ted Chiang.
It has been compared by many, many people to Perfect Blue. Both are about an overworked, up-and-coming actress so stressed that she (and the audience) are unable to tell what's real and what isn't, to disturbing effect. Black Swan's director, Darren Aronofsky, has acknowledged the similarities, and he had previously licensed Perfect Blue so that he could give it a Shout-Out in Requiem for a Dream.
It's also described as the closest viewers will get to a live-action Princess Tutu movie.
The Breakfast Club is a morality play about a group of people stuck in detention (which, for them, is a metaphorical Hell) who spend the movie scrutinizing and deconstructing their respective character archetypes and what they did to get sent to detention. In short, it's a non-supernatural teen comedy version of Jean-Paul Sartre's No Exit. Entertainment Weekly, when namingThe Breakfast Club the greatest teen movie ever made, explicitly used the comparison. This presentation goes into more detail, specifically comparing Andrew to Garcin as the one who is most susceptible to worrying about how others see him, Claire to Estelle as the vain Rich Bitch, and Bender to Inès as the one who is the most honest about being a jerk. The Breakfast Club ends a bit more optimistically, though, the characters' lessons sticking with them a bit better than they did for their counterparts in No Exit.
It makes for a pretty good adaptation of (warning: major spoilers) the SCP Foundation, of all things. The main bad guys are a nebulous organization of questionable morality that possesses an enormous catalog of monsters and other dangerous supernatural items (in this case, horror movie baddies), which it keeps and controls so as to prevent an XK-Class end-of-the-world event. And when the heroes find out about the lengths they're willing to go to, they take one look and say "fuck it, better to let the world end." Furthermore, S. Andrew Swann's proposal for SCP-001 is that it's the people in Real Life who are writing the website — and the main subtextual thrust of The Cabin in the Woods is that the Ancient Ones represent horror fans. It's no surprise that the site's users have declared it to be Containment Breach: The Movie.
It's also a very good Scooby-Doo film, with the young protagonists battling a supernatural mystery that's not what it seems at first glance. The "Scooby-Doo" Hoax, however, turns out to have something far more sinister behind it.
In the updated 2019 edition of Seth Grahame-Smith's book How to Survive a Horror Movie, when adding this film to the list of "additional study materials" (i.e. recommended horror films) at the end, he referred to it as "the reason there will never be a movie adaptation of the book you're currently reading."
Cemetery Man is widely considered a better live-action Dylan Dog than the comic's actual film adaptation, which was a generic monster movie bordering on In Name Only. Moreover, the main character in Cemetery Man is played by Rupert Everett, who was the visual inspiration for Dylan Dog's facial features.
Many point to it as a good Western live-action adaption of AKIRA, in that both are about teenagers who are bestowed with superpowers and proceed to use them in terrifying ways.
While Stephen King's Carrie has had more than one worthy adaptation (the 1976 version in particular being considered an outright horror classic), this film makes for a great gender-flipped, capepunk remake of the story. Andrew Detmer, like Carrie White, is a troubled teen raised in a toxic, abusive environment at home (Carrie by her widowed, religious fanatic mother, Andrew by his alcoholic father while his mother is dying of cancer) and the target of relentless bullying at school, and both of them have telekinetic powers that, towards the end of their respective stories, they use to get revenge on everybody whoever wronged them. Max Landis, the film's writer, even pointed this out when disputing the argument that it was a superhero film, arguing that it drew more from Carrie than anything and that, under any standard by which Chronicle could be considered a superhero story, so could Carrie and another King novel, Firestarter.
J. J. Abrams stated that Cloverfield was his attempt to do an American take on Godzilla. This video by Up From the Depths goes into more detail, specifically calling it an American version of the original 1954 film in how it portrays its monster, using it as a metaphor for contemporary fears (nuclear weapons in Godzilla, terrorism in Cloverfield) and having it be nearly invulnerable to conventional weaponry such that humans are almost powerless against it.
Clueless has been called a better film adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma than any of the official adaptations, taking the plot and characters and relocating them to a Beverly Hills high school.
A Cure for Wellness, in a way, is the Gore Verbinski's closest way to adapting Bioshock like he tried to do all those years ago. To wit: A secluded community of very rich people lead by a megalomaniac guru, an outsider trapped inside said community after an accident, a creepy young girl wearing a blue dress and corrupted by the villain, omnipresence of water, a life-altering substance processed from a water animal, a villain who turn to be a character from the backstory than everyone thought was dead, and great amounts of Squick and Nightmare Fuel.
Batman Begins too. It also works pretty well as an adaptation of The Shadow and Doctor Strange, respectively. In fact, when the trailer for the actual Doctor Strange (2016) movie was released over a decade later, many audiences claimed it was a rip-off of Batman Begins. The fact that Batman Begins writer David Goyer previously wrote an unproduced Doctor Strange screenplay probably has a lot to do with it.
Dave Made a Maze, an indie comedy about a slacker artist who builds a fort/maze out of cardboard in his living room only for it to grow into a Magic Realism monstrosity, has often been described as feeling like a feature film adaptation of Community, particularly in terms of that show's more fantastical episodes.
The action scenes in Man of Steel, in which Superman engages General Zod and his Kryptonian army in no-holds-barred, superpowered brawls in Smallville and Metropolis, have been pointed to as a better Western take on the fight scenes from Dragon Ball Z than the actual, much-maligned Hollywood adaptation of such, Dragonball Evolution. Faora in particular has been called the best live-action Vegeta ever (albeit a female version thereof).
French 1982 comedy Deux heures moins le quart avant Jésus-Christ (literally "Quarter to Two B.C.") is a peplum parody set in the Roman Empire era, full of deliberate anachronism, and with Caesar and Cleopatra as characters. It feels like an unofficial Asterix live-action adaptation (although much coarser) predating the official ones by two decades.
Kevin Smith's religious comedy Dogma, with its satire of the finer points of the Christian faith combined with Black Comedy and very R-rated sensibilities, is the closest we've gotten to a film adaptation of Preacher, albeit with more of a focus on gross-out humor.
It is as close as we get to a Halo film, for now. It was directed by Neill Blomkamp, who originally was slated to direct the canceled Halo movie, and features a ringworld colony that shares its name with Master Chief's birthplace, dropships similar to the Pelicans, and a protagonist wearing Powered Armor, among other similarities.
It has also drawn comparisons to Shadowrun: the class warfare, the Street Samurai who gets his chrome attached by a street doc, runners tracking down a mark, the bad guy calling down a High Threat Response team, in turn, the pimped-out guns, the Black ICE protecting the data... Only the metas were missing.
Ernest P. Worrell is like a live-action version of Goofy, from his nature as a Kindhearted Simpleton, to his distinctive southern drawl, to the amusing, cartoony slapstick brought on by his own obliviousness to every situation.
Likewise, some Doom fans consider it to be a better Doom movie than the one the game actually got. The background of the game was that some scientists in space were experimenting with teleportation and created a portal that, instead of taking them from point A to point B, led straight to Hell. And Hell's army comes out of the portal and threatens to doom our universe. That's the plot of the movie Event Horizon to a tee, made in 1997. And then, eight years later, some people just had to go and make another Resident Evil genetic experiment gone wrong movie and go and entitle the movie Doom.
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 car stunts and chases have also been compared to the Grand Theft Auto series, while the over-the-top action is seen as a throwback to The '80s to the point that some have called them better Expendables movies than the actual Expendables movies...
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.
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 Valérianfor real.
Either John Carpenter's The Fog 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.
Based on the humor in its first trailer, Free Guy has been trumpeted as possibly being the closest possible live-action adaptation of NoPixel.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The movie John Wick has been commonly associated with being an amazing adaptation of Hotline Miami due to its gunfights and plot of a lone hitman against the Russian mob.
It has alsobeencalled 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).
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!;
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.
Erich Segal at first wanted to do a film adaptation of The Blue Lagoon with the setting updated from the early 20th centurySouth Pacific to the then-contemporaryNew York. When an agreement with the estate of Henry De Vere Stacpoole couldnt 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 Lagoonfilm 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 the Digganobz are essentially ork fanboys, pale-skinned humans with an affinity for technology who imitate the greenskins in every way they can (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.
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/Rangersgritty 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 A.I. 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.
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.
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 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 Matrixdid it first.
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.
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.
It also feels like something out of a point-and-click Adventure Game, what with the plot progression, strange puzzling devices, the clues, and the key items.
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'sTomie series, including a gore-filled third act.
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.
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.
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.
The series is sometimes thought of as The Movies Of Monkey Island. If one were to see the trailer for the originalPirates 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 secondPotC 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.
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.
One writer has compared the films to the firstBioShock 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.
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.
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.
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
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 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, the era's direct transplant of Romeo into the world of modern "juvenile delinquency," the film version of which starred the same leading actress as Rebel, no less.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, Ecofascistfeudalism 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 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 sociopathicVillain 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 The original game let players select from eight different player characters, evenly split between men and women, while the online component of Grand Theft Auto V let players create their own avatar. None of them have any voice acting, however, and in the original game their sprites were largely indistinguishable outside of their hair and the fact that the females wore red pants instead of blue.
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.
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 The Exile is canonically female. Both the film and the game follow installments that played franchise-wide tropes relatively straight and hit familiar story beats.
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."
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'sThriller 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.
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.
Being a cyberpunk story about a formerly disabled man who, upon being given an almost omnipotent technological replacement, uses it to seek revenge against the ones who caused his disability, the film is probably the nearest to a movie adaptation of Goku: Midnight Eye we will ever get.
Willy's Wonderland is blatantly a Five Nights at Freddy's movie all but in name with the exact same premise of a silent, average protagonist that has to deal with demonic animatronics out to kill him at a decrepit family restaurant that has a dark past. The only differences are that the protagonist is a janitor who only agreed to take up the job to fix his car instead of a security guard who willingly signs up for the occupation and rather than being alone, he has help from a group of teens to fight off the animatronics. And compared to The Banana Splits Movie, Willy's Wonderland is even more similar to FNAF. The movie even shares the same plot twist of demonic animatronics possessed by serial killers just like William Afton/Springtrap in the game.
It could be considered a good Left 4 Dead movie. Wichita even looks a bit like Zoe. And in turn, the Dark Carnival campaign in Left 4 Dead 2 could be considered a good adaptation of the ending of Zombieland.
It could also be viewed as an adaptation of Dead Rising, particularly with regards to how players approach that game looking for the coolest ways to kill zombies.
Zoolander, about a vapid male model who gets caught up in a conspiracy by international terrorists, can easily be seen as a stealth adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis' Glamorama, except Played for Laughs. Apparently, Ellis agreed and considered suing Ben Stiller over it, eventually reaching an out-of-court settlement on the matter.