Whatever Wednesday: Book to Film Adaptations

Happy Wednesday, everybody! Hope your week is going well!

 

Or perhaps your Wednesday is looking a little more like this:

Regardless, I’m glad you’re here!

Today, I’m rambling about something I’ve been meaning to post for a while now. And it’s a bit of a touchy subject. I also would LOVE to hear your opinion on this, since these posts are meant specifically to stir up conversation, so please, leave a comment if you like what you’re reading, or if you think I have terrible opinions!

Book to movie adaptations. I think book bloggers specifically have a love/hate relationship with them. They (usually) have one of two reactions to finding out their favorite book is becoming a movie

First: ALL OF MY WILDEST DREAMS ARE COMING TRUE. I WILL NEVER WATCH ANOTHER MOVIE EVER AGAIN. IT WILL BE THE MOVIE TO END ALL MOVIES. I DON’T EVEN CARE WHO THEY CAST. THIS WILL BE THE BEST MOVIE EVER.

Second: NOOOOOOOOOO. They are going to ruin this masterpiece of fiction. I don’t even care if they cast amazing actors. It’s going to be horrendous….but it’s my favorite book, so I have to go at least once to see it. Then I’ll blast my hateful opinion across the internet so that there’s no chance of the production company ever making a sequel and ruining the rest of the series.

There’s one basic problem with the expectations readers have when their fave series is brought the the big screen. They are expecting the book, word for word, with the exact picture of the characters in their head. But that’s silly. They didn’t write the script (and a movie word for word from a book is impossible; even if it were, it would be 20 hours long). They didn’t cast the movie. As an actor, I know how complicated casting is. It’s about SO much more than just how someone looks. And honestly, I would rather have someone who’s a great actor in a role rather than someone who looks like the picture in my head of a character.

I’m not saying that not liking a movie because it’s just basically a bad movie is wrong. If it’s just a bad movie, then yeah, the production company screwed up. I guess what I’m saying is, I would love to see readers going in with more positive expectations. You are going to see it to be entertained. Allow yourself to be entertained, even if the screenwriter cut your favorite scene from the book.

The Hobbit is one of my all time favorite books. It has been since I was extremely young (like, kindergarten young). The Lord of the Rings Trilogy is one of my very favorite movies. So I was insanely thrilled when they announced The Hobbit was being made into a movie. When Desolation of Smaug rolled around, I could tell by the previews that it was veering way off the plot from the book.

SURPRISE: I still LOVED the movie. Probably 85% of it wasn’t even from the book. But it was incredibly well done, well acted, the special effects were amazing, etc.

Now, I’m not saying this to be like, look at me and my awesome opinions or whatever. I just think that if we do indeed want production companies to keep making books (especially YA ones) into movies, we have to stop being so harsh with them. We (bloggers) are sometimes the only people championing these movies. Heck, I signed a petition for them to make the second Vampire Academy movie because there wasn’t much support for it.

So the next time you see a book to film adaptation, try to see it as its own medium. Film is very different from a book. It’s not going to be the same. Maybe try to see what makes the movie different and instead of automatically hating it because it’s not the same as the book, try to understand why the director or screenwriter made that decision. Sometimes, they’re just a bad director. But if they’re any good, they don’t do things to make people unhappy. They’re trying to make a good product, because they have to make money. They want you to like the movie. They want you to come back and see it a second or third time, and buy the DVD. They are hoping you will leave the theater excited to tell your friends that they have to see the movie.

How do you feel about book to film adaptations?  Are you usually pleased, or do you hate them with a fiery passion?

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