Whew! To say people feel strongly about book-to-screen adaptations is to grossly understate circumstances. Some people are so enraged, they’ve taken to the internet to bash everyone associated with an adaptation they feel woefully missed the mark.
The most notable offenders were films with altered endings, changed character traits, and skewed plots. Why stray so far from the book, especially when readers eagerly await their favorite story being filmed? Do directors really think we won’t notice?
We scoured sources in both the U.S. and U.K. and found consensus across the pond. Here are the top ten worst book-to-screen adaptations.
(Also, a quick spoiler warning: if you haven't seen these movies or read these books, turn back now!)
One person on BuzzFeed commented, "A godd*mn travesty, especially compared to the source material." The filmmakers changed instrumental elements like the characters’ ages to make them older. Why? We wish we knew.
Voldemort’s death made so many movie-goers angry. In the book, he dies a human death, meant to show that in the end he was mortal. But not in the movie. He dramatically crumbles and explodes, ruining the entire point.
The book’s ending is key. And they changed it in the movie. They had the wrong sister die, and the movie completely lost the impact and meaning Jodi Picoult had so heartbreakingly created.
Why did the filmmakers decide Peeta shouldn’t lose his leg in the movie? It’s essential to understand why Katniss and Peeta are going their separate ways. There was no attempt to provide an alternative motive, which detracts from their relationship.
Good grief! They made the movie into a murder mystery rather than the poignant look at a family that pulls apart and comes back together as they mourn Susie’s death. The film focuses too much on the search for the killer, taking the focus in a different direction.
Instead of in London where the train commute makes sense, the filmmakers set the movie in New York City. It completely undermines how the main character sees into the back garden of a house. It’s not something you’d see in New York but definitely do in London.
Particularly after the success of The Lord of the Rings, people had high expectations for this adaptation. Not only were they not faithful to the book, but they ineptly split it into three movies and added unnecessary characters. Again, why?
This lamentable adaptation crammed three books into a single movie and changed the ending of the first book. Interestingly enough, several people commented on how disappointed they were with the film and they’re glad no further adaptations of the series were released.
Another film with an altered ending, The Golden Compass completely destroyed the order of the books. The filmmakers ended on a note that doesn’t set up the next story, taking away the dramatic ending and leaving the audience frustrated.
Because the filmmakers had to fit a 500+ page book into an hour and a half film, they dropped certain plot points and omitted some characters. Most viewers felt the movie didn’t have the wonder and emotional connection they got from the book.
Perhaps this is proof that the movie can never recreate the bond we get with a book. There’s only so much you can do on film while, on the page, readers get inside characters’ heads and become emotionally invested. What we envision in our minds as we read can never be translated faithfully to celluloid. And trying to jam a complex, character-driven book into a 90-minute film will always result in disappointment, right?
So tell us, what movie adaptations did you absolutely hate?