Book-to-Movie adaptations are nothing new in Hollywood. In the midst of the rise of streaming services, companies have been fighting over which service gets the rights to a variety of novels and series, so they can bring them to life. Most recently, Amazon Prime’s The Summer I Turned Pretty was a major success. But that’s not all—the service also acquired rights to Red, White, and Royal Bluethe famous queer love story about the First Son of the United States and a Prince of England, and is now filming.
While many book-to-screen adaptations are very successful and well-loved, there also tend to be a handful of them that gave the production too much creative control, resulting in major plot changes that fans of the original book reject completely.
‘Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief’
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief is the first in Rick Riordan‘s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. While the book series was a complete hit and gained a large following worldwide, the attempted movie series was not nearly as successful. The film drove Logan Lerman’s popularity as an actor, but the script had a large change, upsetting many fans and even creator Riordan himself.
Without spoilers, the entire resolution was changed, which threw off the rest of the plot in turn. Instead of the movie being a direct adaptation of the book series, the books served rather as a basis for which the movies could take off. However, Disney+ is developing a new and hopefully more accurate series called Percy Jackson and the Olympians alongside Riordan, who is writing and producing. Fans should have faith that Percy Jackson will be just as the creator imagined.
The Giver is a fan-favorite dystopian novel about a boy named Jonas who lives in a society without crime or sadness. When children turn 12, their jobs are chosen (as is the rest of their life). Jonas is chosen to be the “Memory Keeper,” the one who knows all the histories of their society (including the sad and not-so-wonderful moments, because someone has to know).
The movie had many differences that were criticized, including an entire love plot with the main character. There were also minor details about other characters that were changed, but the main differences included the ages of the characters and the villain’s role in the book versus the film.
‘The Dark Tower’
The Dark Tower is a book by the legendary author Stephen King that tells the story of Roland Deschain, Mid-World’s last gunslinger, who travels the post-apocalyptic world in search of an artifact known as The Dark Tower. The movie was released in 2017 with many differences, most importantly that the movie is more of an expansion rather than a retelling. So, naturally, fans of the book were extremely confused when new plot lines and characters were introduced to a story they know and love.
Another reason why people believe the movie series failed was due to the runtime. While The Dark Tower was one of King’s longest and more dense book series, the films were far more condensed and only told in two parts when they should have matched the pace of the original text.
‘The Time-Traveler’s Wife’
The Time-Traveler’s Wife is about a man named Henry, who has a genetic disorder that forces him to time travel randomly, and his wife Clare who must then deal with his frequent absences. The show had a few key differences that upset fans.
In the book, his time jumps were caused by him feeling joy, whereas in the movie they were triggered by trauma. There were also changes in the way the plot was narrated and how the characters were presented physically, which upset viewers.
Eragon is a fantasy series about a young farm boy named Eragon who finds a mysterious stone in the mountains nearby. The stone is eventually revealed to be a dragon egg, and a dragon later hatches from it, throwing his life into chaos (and excitement) as he forms an unlikely friendship. Fans of the book were extremely disappointed after the movie was released in 2006 due to numerous changes, from minute details to main plot points.
Some of the most notable changes were how characters acted and appeared, why Eragon fights the villas, and Eragon and Brom’s journey mostly does not occur. There was more material changed than kept.