Taking someone else’s work from a rather personal medium and making it work on the big screen is a hard task and when done right, should be indiscernible from films with original concepts. Adaptations of novels, no matter how derided the source material, are always treated with an impressed air and while blockbuster film now takes its inspiration from cinema’s own history, literary adaptations remain still present in their droves.
Sometimes, however, a book will be turned into a film when it really shouldn’t have been. How many times have you watched a film based on a great novel and left perplexed at how it went so wrong. The term unfilmable has become increasingly prominent as more and more unsuitable novels are being mooted for the movie treatment. In reality, no book is unfilmable. There’s sometimes just no way to film some well.
Literary fans can be as discerning as their comic book inspired counterparts and have been wronged many more times. In tribute to some big disappointments, we present you with ten novels that should never in a million years have made it to the silver screen.
Honourable Mention – The Hobbit
No list involving questionable adaptations of novels would be complete without mention of the still in progress Hobbit films. Extended to three movies by Peter Jackson, allegedly for creative reasons (an excuse believable if the reasons were to remind everyone just how awesome The Lord Of The Rings were), there’s been a considerable backlash from fans of the original trilogy (sound familiar).
The complaints, however, has nothing to do with The Hobbit’s unsuitability to be a film. On the contrary, the novel has the potential to be a brilliant movie; it’s been adapted before and there’s more than enough content to make for an entertaining two hours. The problem is this particular adaptation – most criticisms with An Unexpected Journey came from the controversial decision to split the films.
Click next to see our top ten films that should have remained unfilmed…
This article was first posted on June 21, 2013