Book-to-Film Adaptations; Five Rules to Placate Book Fans

Soon, we will be swamped by book adaptations in cinema, and for book fans, this could well be their worst nightmare. Imagine your favourite book being turned into a film, and now imagine the worst actor/ actress you can think of. Now place that actor/ actress into a protagonist role and watch them as they obliterate your perfect book. This happens to someone every day, and there should be a stop to it, so in a bid to show the directors and actors how it should be done, here is a short list of how not to ruin a film for the original fans.


Rule Number 1: Get good actors.

This rule really does speak for its-self. Twilight would have been much better without Kirsten Stewart’s grunting and bland expressions littered throughout. Enough said.


Rule Number 2: At least attempt to stay with the original story

The Golden Compass is a prime example of this, because had it gone in the right order (and had people with better acting ability) Philip Pullman’s legions of fans may have kept the film franchise going. As it was, the way the story was played with would have made for a clunky (and wrong) beginning to the second installment.


Rule Number 3: Only add stuff that will make it better for everyone.

The best thing about The Hobbit films so far is the fact that everything put in has either added to the richness of the story or did actually happen but we never got in on the action in the book. The action scenes with dragons make it an entertaining film, and to be honest, it was nice to see more sides to the dwarves as well.


Rule number 4: If you’re going to keep an aspect that the fans adore, you need to do it well.

The Book Thief was a truly excellent film, but what let it down was that the voice of Death was boring and didn’t add much to the film. In the book, Death has a larger part to play even though he is still an onlooker. He found Liesel’s diary and was so entranced by what he read there that he was forever haunted by it. Also, the way the ends were tied up by Death at the end of the film could bore you to tears.


Rule Number 5: Read the books first (or chat with the authors if they’re not finished yet).

Remember Eragon? Well, a character was actually cut out of the film that would be needed during the second, third and fourth. It was a pretty bad film anyway, but if they had made the second one, they would have had to do a fair bit of backtracking in order for it to make sense again.


Let’s hope the film industry has learnt from its past mistakes to make the next few films to the standard of The Hunger Games, instead of the next The Time Machine (circa 2002).

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