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9 Films That Completely Ignored Their Source (And Sucked Because Of It)

You don't have to be utterly faithful in an adaptation, but that doesn't mean you tear the guts out the source material.

We€™re all massive hypocrites when it comes to big screen adaptation of a beloved story. If you€™re in love with the material even a slight change is absolute heresy, destroying what made the original so great, but if you€™ve never read the book, see the TV show etc., then it€™s fair game to switch everything around to improve the final product. This isn't resigned to just fans. Stephen King loathed Stanley Kubrick€™s The Shining as it mined in a different direction to the book, to the extent where the belated sequel, Doctor Sleep, had a rather pointed jab at the film. So what€™s a filmmaker to do? To please both takes real effort to show understanding of the material without getting too fanboyish over it, while opting for just one will put you in the purgatory of mixed reviews. So some, naturally, forsake the source altogether, which as you can guess is never a good move. The following nine films all dropped a key part of the source they were adapting to their fault. Some worked serviciably on their own, but were really just a shadow of the brilliance their source suggested.

Honourable Mention: The Hobbit Is Actually Faithful In A Strange Way

The Lord Of The Rings, as discussed last week, completely diverged from the book when necessary, leading to three films that worked equally well with lifelong Hobbits and Tolkien greenhorns. King Kong and The Lovely Bones likewise took massive detours from their source, only this time the replacement elements felt more like expansion for the sake of it than justified retooling. And so comes The Hobbit. As three films it€™d be easy to place it on the list proper and be done with it; while it certainly brings all the elements of the book to life it also drags with it made-for-screen Tauriel, a Dwarf vs. Dragon fight and even brings Azog back from the dead. The thing is Tolkien himself wasn€™t above messing with his own mythology. After The Lord Of The Rings, he went back to The Hobbit and changed much of the backdrop to better fit the darker Middle Earth. So really, while Jackson is taking many liberties, it€™s all in the spirit of the original story. Sort of.
Contributor
Contributor

Film Editor (2014-2016). Loves The Usual Suspects. Hates Transformers 2. Everything else lies somewhere in the middle. Once met the Chuckle Brothers.