Books Into Movies?

Looks like the “Harry Potter” director & writer found their next new project. I am happy that they are going to bring Stephen King’s The Stand to the big screen and all, but they would need to cut a lot of stuff from the book, even if it’s going to be a trilogy or something of the sort. I could only get my hand on the uncut version of the novel but I’d say that cut or uncut, this is dense stuff. It has so many details and backstories here and there. To condense a great book like this is what inspired me to make this random ramble. Like seriously, do we really need to make a movie for every book?

Perhaps one of the biggest movies coming up is the adaptation of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Unlike Twilight (sorry Twilight fans! I just can’t get over the fact that Edward goes to school “to blend in” and repeats it year after year after year =/), I actually really like the THG. I am a huge fan of Peeta Mellark and he is the reason why I kept on reading. The boy with the bread is so sweet and selfless, but he is NOT Josh Hutcherson! Do you understand me? He doesn’t have “the Peeta look.” There. My dream image of Peeta is half-ruined already.

I guess the focus on literature today has changed a bit. It’s no longer all about the quality of the writing, it’s also about the franchisability. Money is squeezed out of the book in every way possible, and the easiest way to do so is to make a movie out of it. The problem I find with this is that movies leave very little imagination for the brain. And sometimes, it’s better to leave things to our imagination. I agree with Angela Carter in that, “Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.” Now you can’t really “re-write it for yourself” with a movie, can you?

So do you think translating books into movies is a good idea? Do you prefer books or movies? Have you watched a movie because of the book? Have you read a book because of the movie?

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8 responses to “Books Into Movies?

  1. Maybe these days, authors, especially of YA books, write books hoping that a movie adaptation will soon follow. I don’t think it was necessarily how authors felt in the past. But more disappointing is that I think the movie industry is relying more and more on adaptations from books instead of creating their own original stories. Lately there have been so many movies about book/comic book adaptations and remakes of old movies. I think this form or “recycling” is a cheap shot at earning big money without much effort.

    There are some novels which I would enjoy being turned into a movie, but normally I would prefer novels to stay as they are. Of course when comparing novels or their movie adaptations, I almost always like the original novels better (with a few exceptions). When I watch a movie adaptation of a book, it’s usually after I had read the book, and if a movie based on a book comes out and it interests me, I usually try to read the book first before going to see the movie.

  2. I haven’t read that SK book but I think the HP team did a good job on the films so it should work. I’m looking forward to the Hunger Games film too!

  3. Generally I find that the books are always far superior. A movie is just someone else’s interpretation of a book. I think that more films are relying on books because quite a few of them have solid fan bases.

  4. It is tough to say how they will pull off the movie for The Stand. The mini-series ran just over six hours to get most of the story in. I don’t mind books being made into movies, but often Hollywood mucks it up. Deviating too far from the novel annoys me and the big screen can never get in character’s heads like a good book can!

  5. I do think that translating movies into film is a good idea in most cases but not all. For works by Stephen King, I think it is a great idea; however, I would like to see how much of The Stand will end up on the editing room floor.

    Personally, I truly enjoyed the film for Misery so much that I just HAD to read the book. They were a pretty close match. I thought the same was true for Delores Claiborne as well. The tv series for IT was okay, but the book was much better played out and contained a lot more detail.

    I wish that the next book-to-film selection would be for Duma Key – fantastic read and would make a great movie!

  6. I had no idea that this Stephen King’s “The Stand” book was being shopped around to be made into a movie. And Harry Potter director is supposed to direct? Wow.. we’ll have to see what happens with this.

  7. I love books, and I love movies, but I definitely love them as separate things. I miss the days when the best movies were original works of art. Yes, there have been some excellent adaptations in the past (Such as Thin Man) but look at us nowadays – do we really need ANOTHER Spiderman reboot? Seriously?

    I love the Hunger Games, to the point where yeah, the movies seemed inevitable… but I still LOVE the Harry Potter Books, where I kind of enjoy watching the movies. I really had fun reading the Percy Jackson books, where I had a bit of fun watching the movie. They are separate mediums, so I don’t get upset when they change things… but I do wish moviemakers would just try to be more original on their own.

    Hitch, 500 Days of Summer, and Definitely, Maybe are all favorite movies of mine, and correct me if I’m wrong – but I don’t believe these are adaptations. More, please?

  8. Oh goodness… I could get started on a three-day rant about this subject and not care if I didn’t stop for eating or sleeping. I was the world’s largest movie-out-of-books critic before I realized that the movie-makers can’t really fit a whole book into a movie. Now I’m the second largest. Any producer will seize on any best-selling book, just because of that.

    “Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself…” I’d say the same thing, and also reverse it. Writing a book is like reading it for yourself. I have no idea how many times I’ve gotten lost in the story I’m writing and wanted to just share it with someone, as in “You know the part where…” The only problem is, it isn’t published yet, except on my blog.

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