When your favorite book becomes a movie, needless to say you get super excited about it, and count down the days until the big premier. When you finally get to go to the theater and see your beloved characters on the big screen, it is the best (or the worst, depending on the adaptation) moment of your life (or week, also depending). But after that, there are unforeseen consequences, some of which are listed below:
First and foremost, the people who have only watched the movie enter the fandom world, and you suddenly have a bunch of uninformed “readers” of the novel. This means that there are GIFs on the movie, people talking about how exciting the movie was even though it was completely inaccurate to the book, and a total divide in the once close-knit group of book lovers. Although this can normally blow over and amount to nothing (think: Hunger Games, Divergent, and most book-to-movie adaptations that stay fairly accurate) there can be problems when the movie differs considerably or, in the case of Game of Thrones, gets ahead of the books. Now that the Game of Thrones TV show is ahead of the book, the TV series viewers have information that the readers to not, and due to its prevalence in social media, it is difficult to avoid. I absolutely hate how George RR Martin allowed the series to get ahead of the books, especially since he told the directors information about the books, so that they could stay accurate even when ahead. Another crucial example of this is the Percy Jackson movie. I think it can be nearly universally agreed upon that the first movie was a horrid representation of the book, and even included information from other books. For those who had not completed the series but still watched the movie, there were SPOILERS. That is terribly wrong and I feel as though it should have been advertised differently. I am fairly sure a similar thing happened in City of Bones, but as I’d read the books so closely together they all blended in and I can’t actually remember, lol. Regardless, however, that was a bad adaption that should be fixed.
The movie book cover. That crazy change once the movie comes out that causes the book to go from artistic masterpiece, to photograph of the actor. In my opinion, the book cover is infinitely better before the movie comes out, and my fellow readers agree. In a Twitter pole including Duffy, author of The Divine and Hannah, author of the blog Plottinger Twist, among others, regular book cover was voted unanimously as the winner. After all, that’s the original that all book lovers come to know. Who cares about the zoomed in face of the actor? Not me. What I don’t understand is why they bother to switch to the movie cover. True fans of the book will begin reading before the movie comes out (or at least before they have watched the movie) so it doesn’t appeal to them. By using this cover, the publishers are attempting to appeal to “Hollywood fans” which, although it may get them more purchases, will never give them fans which promote their content and fall in love with it. I think honestly this is the biggest problem I have with making a movie, because it is so avoidable, and yet everyone does it and ruins the book completely.
Despite these problems, I can’t help but love when the movie comes out, and I watch every single movie a few times. So I guess I don’t necessarily have a problem with movies that stay true to the book, I just hate it when they move so far away from the book plot that it becomes a totally different entity, causing ignorant Hollywood fans to assume that they know what they are talking about. As long as it stays true to the book, does not spoil future books, and manages to avoid the trappings of a Hollywood cover, the movie is something to get excited about. If it falls into these traps, however, the fandom becomes a mutant, and I feel the burning need to get out of it.
What are your opinions on book-to-movie adaptations? On book covers? Let me know, comment below!