How exciting is it when you find out your favourite book is being made into a movie? Pretty great until the worrying sinks in over the fact that Hollywood could utterly ruin the original source material. From cutting out fantastic and crucial scenes for the plot or character development, or to changing the personality or lore of a magical world, these changes are often made to help with the translation from page to screen. Obviously they have to work from anywhere to 90 minutes to over two hours and can’t have it word for word, but it does become disappointing when we lose parts of the books we love.
However, there are some films out there that have done justice to their original source material and attempt to please a majority of the fans of the novel.
Read on to discover seven great book-to-film adaptation and tell us in the comments below what your favourite adaptation is!
Book (1993) / Movie (2014)
This dystopian novel by Lois Lowry made for a great film, although like any adaptation, some would disagree. The novel quickly hooks you in and so does the book, which is why the book was so successful when it was released and still is to this day. Sometimes it can be hard to portray a dystopian novel (read Allegiant by Veronica Roth and then watch it to see why), but they certainly did a great job. From the characters, setting, and the cast, including the talented Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges.
The Great Gatsby
Book (1925) / Movie (2013)
The talented and iconic F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby in 1925 with the first adaptation tackled by the equally talented Australian director Baz Luhrmann. Leonardo DiCaprio was an excellent choice for the role of Gatsby (although, he still didn’t get an Oscar), along with Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, and Tobey Maguire. The success of the film was not only due to the fantastic source material, director and cast, but also the rich visual style and direction the film took on along with the modern soundtrack filled with popular artists.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Book (1998) / Movie (2001)
Harry Potter is now one of the biggest franchises out there with endless amounts of books, films, collectables, and everything else you could imagine. Out of all of the Harry Potter films, Philosopher’s Stone is by far the best and perhaps this is because it’s the shortest book in the series making it easier to keep as many of the scenes as possible. It also did a great job portraying the characters and introducing them to us along with the Wizarding World.
Book (2016) / Movie (2017)
Based on a true story, Margot Lee Shetterly’s novel had an extremely short adaptation period, which tells us that the book was very good. The non-fiction novel explores how African-American women in the 1960’s worked as computers to solve problems for engineers at NASA and how they gradually came to the forefront of the organisation as both African-American’s and women. The film has a real sense of empowerment and really touches your heart.
The Hobbit Trilogy
Book (1937) / Movie (2012)
Following the popularity and success of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, almost ten years later The Hobbit films became equally as popular in theatres. The films are filled with talented actors who portrayed these well-known characters incredibly well, along with magical sets and creatures that really transported you to the world JRR Tolkien created decades ago.
Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief
Book (2005) / Movie (2010)
The movie lived up to most expectations and it was quite good to watch, especially since many people enjoy Greek mythology and this book helped us get our fix. The movie followed the storyline pretty well for a book to movie adaptation, which is exactly what we wanted.
Perks of Being a Wallflower
Book (1999) / Movie (2012)
This is a book and movie that really hits home for a lot of people. They both talk about something that is very serious in many people’s lives, which helped the film and the book succeed, along with its talented cast. It also helped that Stephen Chbosky, the author of the novel, both directed and wrote the screenplay for the film. The message wasn’t as obvious as its book counterpart, but we still got the gist of it and the message still tugged at our heartstrings.