Book Blogger Hop: May 18th | Adaptation Regrets

What were your worst movies based off of books?

‘Book Blogger Hop’ is hosted by CoffeeAddictedWriter.

Ah, my time to shine. The bibliophile who’s a graduated film student.

Now, as an avid reader with an extended diploma in Creative Media Production, you would think I’d have a variety of good answers to this question. However, I do not. I also think that may be due to the fact that this day has somewhat got away from me and so I am rushing this answer, so I may just not be able to pinpoint any examples. That being said, I do have a few feelings about certain film adaptations and, in general, I am hesitant to approach book-to-film adaptations with high expectations.

One of the things that I learnt through my oh-so-extensive media production course is that the film industry loves to change things to make money. This is one of the reasons why so many book-to-film adaptions turn out worse than they could’ve been. Everything – especially in the Hollywood film industry – is done with the thought of revenue in mind. Who they cast depends on who will bring in the most audience attention – who has the biggest fanbase already established that will go and see the film. They write the film with the tropes that they know appeals to the specific target audience. A lot of the time, films don’t stay true to the books they’re based on because the writers and directors don’t think the book’s story alone is enough to bring in enough money that will make the film worth it. They want to turn a profit, so they loosely base the premise of the film off the plot of a book, call it an adaptation, but then change it in every way that they can to make the most money from it once it’s released.

I’m a big fan of ‘The Mortal Instruments’ series by Cassandra Clare. Whilst I know that she as an individual is rather problematic, I like the series and the characters that are portrayed. I don’t like the way that some elements of the storyline focus on certain ‘sibling relationships’ but, overall, I think it’s a great series and it’s one that captivated me from the start. So, once I knew that there was going to be a film adaptation, I was somewhat excited but also hesitant to get my hopes up.

I was right to be hesitant, in my opinion. Whilst I completely understand that some people will love the film and think it summarises the series perfectly, I had quite a lot of issues with it. Not only did the casting seem completely botched, but the entire production of the film seemed to be all over the place. That being said, I absolutely adore Robert Sheehan and I believe he made the perfect Simon and I still love him with all my heart. Apart from that, I don’t think any of the cast members really did a good job of portraying their characters in a way that rang true to the books. I think it generally also received such a negative response that it ruined the chance of the continuation of the book series being made into more films too. That being said, I do like the ‘Shadowhunters’ series that’s been created and seems to be doing fairly well. Whilst the actors are somewhat new to the scene and sometimes the acting seems off, I enjoy it more than I enjoyed the film. I generally think that the book series makes a better television series too, rather than a film, because there’s so much to be covered. So, yeah, I really like the series, I think the casting is so much better, and I think it gives the chance for new actors to break out and showcase their talent. The character portrayals seem to be much truer to that of the book series and, of course, there are still issues with the plot-line and some of the elements of the narrative being thrown in for no reason, the film was not good at all. The construction of the narrative and the run-up to the major plot points of the book series weren’t handled in the right manner and, in that sense, the writers kind of shot themselves in the foot regarding the production of future films.

Likewise, whilst I haven’t read the book and can’t speak much for the adaptation, I did watch ‘The Girl On The Train’ in the cinema and I felt like I was sitting there for about 5 hours. Like I said, I haven’t read the book, but the film has rather also worked to put me off considering reading the book in the future due to how boring and drawn-out they made it seem. I know that the film received a largely negative response from the fans of the book and, honestly, I’m not surprised. The narrative was constructed oddly and it just worked to be immensely confusing and I grew bored with it.

Now, I’m not claiming to be the person who has any right to judge book to film adaptations and I’m sure that I would completely botch an adaptation as well, but I have had quite a vast range of experience in analysing a range of films in lengthy 30,000-word essays. Again, if you love one of the films that I mentioned, that’s completely great! Everybody has different opinions and different thoughts and preferences, and this is my own specific answer to the question. Again, I’m not an expert, I just have industry knowledge due to lengthy education of it, haha.

That being said, there have been a lot of recent book-to-film adaptions that I have not yet seen (shocking, for a person with a media production diploma, I know) due to the fact that I have just got back to the UK after living in South Africa for 5 months. The family members of mine who I was staying with for, some reason, don’t see the joy of television or films, and everybody refused to take me to the mall for the cinema. Plus, the internet connection in South Africa is terrible, so streaming is out of the question. In short: I have a lot of films and adaptations to catch up on, so this answer is not that relevant to films that may be out right now. Plus, I don’t really want to watch book to film adaptions of books I want to read because I feel like the film could potentially spoil the book, if you know what I mean.

What about you? Do you have any book-to-film adaptations that you can’t stand? Or have any films ruined the book for you? Let me know your own answer and you might remind me of another film I didn’t particularly like. Or maybe you loved one of the aforementioned films – please feel free to share your opinion and tell me why! if you posted your own response to this week’s question, feel free to leave a link and I’ll check it out.

Thanks for reading my answer to this week’s ‘Book Blogger Hop‘ and I’ll write you later.

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20 thoughts on “Book Blogger Hop: May 18th | Adaptation Regrets”

    • Thank you! I definitely enjoy the show more than I did with the film, though I see how the film can be enjoyed separately.

      Thank you for checking out my own answer and letting me know what you thought! 😊

  • Great answer and all great points I have read all of TMI books and I love that series so much, but I haven’t seen the Shadowhunter tv show yet which I have heard a lot of amazing things about it hopefully I can catch up on the tv show soon. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog hop last week.

    • Thank you so much!

      Yeah, I’m very fond of the TMI book series 😊There are some odd elements of the show Shadowhunters which throw the storyline for a loop at some points, but I still enjoy it.

      I hope you’re able to catch up on it soon! I also have to do a rewatch of it.

      Not a problem at all! Thank you for stopping by! 😊

  • It’s always interesting when they buy rights to a book to make a film or show then change everything and sometimes so much so there’s no resemblance. I always wonder why they put out such funds to buy the rights to begin with if they more or less only want the name of it.

  • The Girl on The Train was a good book, even though I can understand how the movie might make you reluctant to read it. It really didn’t do the book justice.

    By the way, I love how you gave such a well thought-out, in-depth response! I feel like my Book Blogger Hop responses are always rushed and short. I need to work on that…

    Happy reading! 🙂

    • I have heard a lot of good things about the book, yeah, so I think I’m going to have to give it a shot sometime. The film just felt confusing to me, and I think there was a lot of hype created around it due to the hopes that it would live up to the book, but then it didn’t.

      Thank you so much! I always feel like my answers are too long and ramble-y, so I feel as if people don’t want to read them! Your responses are great! I think we all just need to remember we have different styles of answering questions, there’s no right or wrong way.

      Thank you for stopping by and letting me know what you thought! 😊

    • I can enjoy the film if I separate it from the book – and I definitely enjoy watching it for Robert Sheehan as I think they cast Simon perfectly. I would like to read ‘The Girl On The Train’ but the film has somewhat distanced me from doing so.
      Thanks for checking out my answer and letting me know your own thoughts. 😊

  • I also really enjoy the shadowhunters series!! I only read the first three mortal instrument books but I think the show is entertaining. I can see if someone has read all the books and are really attached to the series that they’d be disappointed, but I am distanced enough that I am not too bothered by anything they’ve changed. Awesome answer! I hope you enjoy being able to catch up on all the adaptations you want to see that you haven’t had the chance to watch yet!! 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by my page! <3

    • Yeah, the series is actually really enjoyable! Because of the film, I was somewhat hesitant about there being a show based on the books, but I’m definitely glad that I didn’t write it off right away. I think the first season was somewhat touch-and-go because it was getting its footing and the actors were all very new, so at times it felt awkward. I like how it’s evolved, though, and I think the cast is better at representing the characters of the books themselves. There were certain elements to the series (like Alec’s ‘wedding’) that somewhat threw me off because it was so different than the books, but I don’t think it negatively impacted the show at all.

      Thank you!! Not a problem at all, thank you for checking out my own answer! 😊

  • I’ve watched The Mortal Instruments film with Lily Collins on it. I liked it but I haven’t read the book series, so.

    I’ve read and watched The Girl on the Train. I liked the book. The film was flat for me. The suspense on page was not translated well on screen.

    • I don’t think the film is bad, and I actually have enjoyed it when I’ve rewatched it and separated it from the book, but I just don’t think it was all that good of an adaptation.

      I know what you mean. Personally, I found the film boring and completely lacking in depth. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the book but the film has somewhat put me off of reading it. Hopefully, I will get around to it one day though! Thank you for checking out my answer and letting me know what you thought 😊

  • I watched a part of Girl on the Train and ended up being done after about 20 minutes which felt like an hour. Luckily I was at home so I hadn’t bought a ticket and could easily change channels. I haven’t read the book but it definitely killed any desire to do so which really isn’t quite fair. I actually tend to avoid them if I really loved the book because I spend the bulk of my time watching the movie pointing out the differences and whether the changes bother me or not. And that’s for a good adaptation!

    • Because I was a media student (I’ve graduated now), I actually had a free cinema pass so I didn’t have to pay to watch the film, but it was definitely a huge struggle to sit through. I found myself wanting to walk out because it was just so bad at maintaining my interest. I know that I should still give the book a go because of the positive attention that it’s received, but the film really has made me hesitant about it. I also know what you mean about staying away from books adaptations of books you really like in the fear of the movie having botched the story. Thank you for checking out my answer 😊

  • I haven’t watched any of the ones you’ve mentioned but I HATED the movie adaption of the Vampire Academy books. It had so much potential and it was just a modernized flop and I was sorely disappointed because it definitely did not do the series any sort of justice. 🙁

    • I haven’t actually read the Vampire Academy books due to the fact that I was somewhat put off by the film! I wasn’t able to get through the film and I can hardly remember it at all, but I do know that it sort of steered me away from reading the books themselves. I want to give them a shot, though, because I’ve heard a lot of good things about them! Thank you for checking out my answer and sharing your own 😊

    • I agree. I think there are always elements of the film that differ from the book and when you’re a book lover, it’s hard to see the story portrayed as well on the big screen. Whilst there are good adaptations out there, I don’t think I’ve ever seen one that I have thought is completely perfect. Thank you for stopping by and checking out my answer 😊

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