Why book-to-movie adaptations are a target for fanbases

Why book-to-movie adaptations are a target for fanbases

Gabriella Mbaoua, Reporter

Book-to-movie adaptations are one of the most common properties that Hollywood seems to constantly produce because there are so many great stories that exist in books that could work well on screen. This year, audiences are anticipating the release of movies such as “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes”, “Dune: Part 2”, “Oppenheimer”, and “Salem’s Lot”, and those are just a few of the many properties that are being developed. 

The downside of these books being bought and reconstructed into films or TV shows is that many of the fanbases behind these books hold a huge bias against the movie adaptations.

This truly begs the question: Why are fans so upset about their favorite books being turned into a movie?

Movies tend to gather more attention from the general public than the books that they use as source material. If you look at a book like The Devil Wears Prada or The Perks of Being a Wallflower, you could argue that more people have watched the movies that they’re based on and have never even thought about actually reading them. Now, this isn’t to say that the movies are better or even more appealing, but it does show a huge issue that books fans hate about movie adaptations.

You know when there is a movie that you want to watch which happens to be based on a book, but your friend who’s a fan of that book tells you to “read the book first”? It’s because they know that you wouldn’t have likely considered reading the book. 

“I think I would be more worried about it just because books can create a whole other world themselves, and you create that world in your mind. And a lot of time it’s really hard to create that on screen because physical limits are a lot more than imaginative limits,” Maggie Meredith (12).

For them, these movies can ruin the images that readers have created and take away the imagination and personal interpretation of what they’re reading. That being said, if an adaptation is good enough, it might not ruin anything.

Think about it. If there is a movie adaptation that is loose enough that you can’t draw too many comparisons between the two, it wouldn’t matter which one you read first. For example, books such as Taming of the Shrew or Romeo and Juliet have been adapted into the movies “10 Things I Hate About You” and “West Side Story” which are completely different from the source material and instead play as a reimagining. 

The thing is books have always been adapted into movies, and as long as there are books and movies around, they will continue to be made. The issue is whether directors, screenwriters, or producers care enough to recreate something that brings accuracy to a book’s characters, story, and intent because that’s what fans love the most about them. It’s impossible to satisfy every person in every fandom, but they should at least satisfy the story.