So, I'm reading a new novel (hypothetical), the beginning of a brand new series. After I finish, I brimming because I couldn't put it down. I log into GoodReads, and notice the acclaim it's getting. I'm so excited...but then I flinch. Popularity in Young Adult, usually means a series will be optioned for some kind of screen adaptation, and oh, is this bittersweet.
Don't get me wrong, I'm always excited for the author when their work gets optioned. This door opens a new level of acclaim for them. It's every writers dream, even my own. But the business has this way of turning something beautiful and exciting, into something overextended and sickening. Lets look at Twilight. I started reading this series in 2007, right before the madness hit. I remember being highly against turning it into a film, but willing to go along for the ride. Years pass, and not only has the market been steeped in sparkly vampires, and overheated werewolves, we also have Twilight stickers, t-shirts (which I love), toothbrushes, notebooks, and comparisons to other things that it has no business being compared to. I am a rabid Twilight fan, and have been first on line to see every film. I'm even looking forward to picking up my box set. But, the market doesn't seem to know that less is more. A series doesn't have to be plastered along every medium possible to get someone's attention.
The relationship between a series and its fandom (prior to the film) is alluring because you can connect with people who all love the same novel; But you, as an individual can maintain your own unique visioning of it in your imagination. It's commonly said that reading is a personal act, and I can't help but feeling like adapting it to screen causes some of its imaginative magic to fizzle. At once, the fandom stops talking about how awesome the books are. We're now concerned with how attractive the actors are, and the personal lives of said actors begin to intersect with a literary fantasy. Directors/Screenwriters say they want to adapt said novel, but then decide to change the story-line entirely (cue this proposed television adaption of Delirium by Lauren Oliver... appalled, Ladies and Gentlemen). And now arguments ensue between those who read the books, and those who've only watched the film, about things that did or did not occur in said medium. What???
I'm not so much against the adapting of books. There are some series' that are so epic that they, depending on the directors vision, could translate beautifully to film. I am against the commercialized gimmick it causes a book/series to become. I know I'm not alone in saying that I have an even better experience reading something that has not been widespread, nitpicked, and forced down everyone's throat because of a money hungry production company. I wonder if it is possible to turn a highly anticipated book series into a film, without diluting its awesomeness.
What do you guys think of screen adaptions?
P.S. I've just started the Legend series, and I'm thrilled. There's a film coming for this one as well. I think it could be awesome! Review to come....
Have a lovely weekend!