With so many books being made into movies, I thought this would be a fun topic. No matter how hot this new trend is, it’s not a new idea. Books have been made into movies since the big screen was invented, and before that, books were made into plays. But why is it so popular? Are screenwriters running out of ideas? Are more and more people reading, making it more lucrative? Are there screenwriters who are just aching to adapt their favorite books? I don’t know, but I like it.
Every writer sees their book as a movie in their head, so it’s no surprise that most writers would love to see their work being played by A-list actors with a huge Hollywood budget. Don’t hold your breath. Most of these films start off as low-budget and they pick fairly unknown talent. Also, your book needs to be a sensation or bestseller in order to be recognized by producers. Even if it were noticed, there are many who would say that novel adaptations are not able to capture the book entirely and are therefore, no good. Hmmmm. I don’t fully agree. Movies that follow that book’s story, are good. The ones that deviate from the book’s plot, ending, or moral, don’t succeed at the box office.
Some people may disagree with me, but I think that a movie doesn’t have to follow the book exactly in order to be a good adaption. The Ender’s Game movie changed several things for theatrical purposes, timing, and cohesion. Yes, they are changes, but the ‘feel’ of the Ender’s Game book shines through. Eragon on the other hand changed so many things that many viewers found it almost unrecognizable.
When Twlight was originally picked up, there was talk of adding FBI or CIA agents watching the Cullen vampires. The whole story would have been changed to be more action driven instead of romance driven. No matter what you think of the book series or it’s on screen adaptation, it wouldn’t have become the sensation it became if they had altered the original story.
The Harry Potter series was another blockbuster winner. Most of the movies stayed very true to the books and only made changes that were for the better. For me, Prisoner of Azkaban and Goblet of Fire were not my favorite of the movies. They had been my favorite books and I was disappointed with the feel that the movies had. Funnily enough, my least favorite book was The Order of the Phoenix and ended up being my favorite adaption. I felt that it was very true to the book and made me like the book even better.
So, why are there some people who read books and despise the movies? Sometimes the re-creations are just plain bad, but I think most times, people have a hard time viewing the two, books and their films, as separate entities. Of coarse the movie will never be as good as the book. How can you take a book that has ten hours worth of reading time and put it into a two hour film? Filmmakers do a pretty good job most of the time, but there’s no comparison. How will your exceptions be met if you can’t respect the films for what they are? The movies are meant to capture the essence of the book and help you see it with you eyes instead of your imagination. If you aren’t willing to let the little things go, you’re better off at home.
The Hollywood trend to make books into movies is explosive right now, and although I don’t want it to, eventually it may dissipate. I hope not. Even if my book is never made into a movie, I want to keep seeing my favorite books in theaters. I like seeing the director’s vision of the book. I love to see how screenwriters get creative with the time restraints. To get swept into the score, the costume designers concepts, the CGI that brings the imaginary to life, and the actors who give voice to my favorite characters. And all with popcorn!