It happens a lot, right? Books being adapted for cinema. And even those that don’t quite make it to the big screen are still in with a shot for the smaller screens in our home (often thanks to HBO).
Some are done well (I’ve yet to see one done excellently), and some not so well.
On my list of not-so-well would be (imo) Kiss the Girls. I’d read nearly all of the Alex Cross novels at that point. Said Alex Cross had always appeared in my mind as someone a little ‘down with the coolness’ despite his age and his being a family man, someone who still had a slight hawtness factor about him, a man in his prime with a body that reflected that. And they went and cast … Morgan Freeman. Though, even if I could have gotten over that, the film was just too far from the novel for me to buy it as being a halfway decent adaptation.
But then there are some on my list of ‘done well’.
Like Harry Potter, for instance. Yes, a lot of the story was left out, which included a whole lot of the in depth explanations for what was going on, but there is no denying that the films were a big hit—and they would not have been as successful had they deviated too far from the stories readers had grown to love.
Or The Bone Collector. Yes, there was some alterations to the storyline on the screen. But, I can honestly say that The Bone Collector is one of my favourite adult adaptations from novel to film to date. The fact that Denzel Washington portrayed who I’d always imagined as a white man didn’t bother me either—but then he did play the part really well. Angelina Jolie also made a great Sachs. So that one deffo goes on my ‘success’ list.
What about film rights that are already bought (or rumoured to be)? Like Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series. Fans of Mac and Barrons globewide must be either as excited as all get out because they’ll get to see some of their favourite characters brought to life, or they’ll be pretty nervous because nobody wants to be left wanting by the choice of cast or the producers failure to do the story the justice it deserves.
And let’s not forget the TV adaptations like: True Blood (from the Sookie Stackhouse series)—even though the storyline of the programme now only vaguely resembles that of the books, the show is still a big hit; or Dexter—another massive hit, which I think has to do with the actors ability to convince the watcher to connect with and like a serial killer, just as the author pulled off in the books; or The Wire in the Blood (based on Val McDermid’s crime thrillers that began with The Mermaids Singing)—which I LOVED because of how well suited Robson Green seemed for the role of Tony Hill; The Vampire Diaries; The Walking Dead; Bones (from the Kathy Reichs novels)….
So … how do you feel about films/TV series that are based on books you’ve read? Have any impressed you? Or do they too often leave you wanting?
Which of your favourite books would you love to see hit the screen?