I have mostly talked about unsuccessful, at least to readers and movie critics, but what about the successful ones.
There have been many successful adaptations of books including The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones etc. These tv shows and films transfer the best parts of the base text onto the screen.
So how can it done?
First the cast: The characters are the centre of the story and if you fuck them up you might as well stop before you get into production.
Second know when to makes changes and when to leave well enough alone: in Harry Potter and Game of Thrones changes have taken place but they are never without reason, characters killed off (because Game of Thrones has a thousand bloody characters) or parts of the stories being left out in order to shorten viewing time and because it’s not necessary to the overall plot. The bigger thing you never change is the end. Just don’t fucking do it.
Next always include the author: now I’m not saying let them run while because honestly not every novelist can transfer their work into a different medium, but it is still their story and they will know more about the world and the audience then a director or producer can.
Also, pick the right story! Not every story is going to translate to screen, big or small, and that’s okay it’s why there’s a novel. The scope that a writer can take things within their world is endless and even with the technological advances of the present day sometimes it just can’t be done. Also, it helps if the book is at least good in the first place *cough* Twilight *cough*.
Finally, don’t do it for the money: I love money, but art cannot be art if it is only for profit. Yes, the book was a best-seller and people are crying out for a movie but fans are not always the best decision makers. Don’t listen to us all the time.
Thanks for keeping up with my Book Adaptations Series. I hope to do more themed posts/series in the future.
Thanks for reading,