Lit Rants: Screen Adaptations


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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!


6 comments:

  1. I'm going to be starting the sequel for the book Shatter Me soon. And I found out it's been picked up to become a movie. I'm kind of worried how it will turn out and stuff. I kind of hate what fanbases become once things get super popular haha.

    I'm completely appalled by what they're doing with Delirium. I honestly just think it should've stayed just a book series... or if anything, been made into a movie. They're going to ruin it :/

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  2. I'm also kind of annoyed with the Divergent adaptation too. Especially with Shailene Woodley, 'cause she doesn't really fit Tris. And the people they have up for Four are crap too.. Jeremy Irvine would be the best out of the 3 guys though.

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  3. I personally wish all these books weren't being made into movies. I'm looking forward to seeing Beautiful Creatures but honestly my expectations of it aren't extremely high. The previews look nothing like what I think it should.
    It also seems as though there are no more original ideas in the movie industry, everything is taken from a book. I'm all for crossover but it's beginning to be a bit much

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  4. There's two screen adaptions that haven't made me mad: Harry Potter and Hunger Games. Though I was upset that they changed how Katniss got the mockingjay pin. But that's kind of minor. Um, Twilight...I was like you, a big fan in the beginning when they were little unknown books. Now, I'm kind of embarrassed to say to strangers or acquaintances that hey, I read that. LOL. I loved the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. The first book is going to be a movie, I think it releases this summer. I am not excited for it. They picked totally different actors than how I pictured the characters. I have a feeling it will be like Twihard too. Divergent is going to be a film, here's hoping that and The Host don't' get ruined with all the hype.

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  5. I think it's a hit or a miss with book series movie adaptations. There are some good ones; I would argue for Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. Not to mention that Hunger Games was enjoyable enough. But I had an interesting experience with a couple of friends when I asked them whether or not they were looking forward to the Hunger Games movie or if they had read it. I was surprised to hear that they were not even aware that it was a book series -- but I guess in some ways that is who the target audience is. Overall I think I've enjoyed stand alone book to movie adaptations rather than serial adaptations. Life of Pi and the anticipated Great Gatsby, for example.
    nice post! hope you are doing well, Britta!

    ~Aspen

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