Bad Book to Film Adaptations - or I expected nothing and I’m still let down

Jessica Campbell
Any other movies that were ruined or had their ending ruined because of test audiences?
I don't think that we would ever know if it was ruined because of the test audiences, but Suicide Squad had massive changes due to test audiences and we all know what a piece of shit that movie was. I wouldn't be surprised if the original version of the movie was even worse though considering the director doesn't have a good track record.


Vincent Dawn
True & Honest Fan
I go back and fourth on Pasolini's Salo: the 120 Days of Sodom. I think it's a great film but it's only a fraction of just how bad Sade's unfinished novel truly is. Sade's work is like an anti-bible. The Mariana Trench of literature. Sade's philosophy (which is, oddly, the most shocking part of his work rather than graphic depictions of violence and rape) isn't represented at all.

On that note: Jess Franco's adaptation of Justine is a decent attempt. Coming out at the wrong time of 1969. A ton of the more disturbing aspects are omitted and the philosophy is gone. It was a genius move to cast Klaus Kinski as Marquis De Sade but he literally does nothing the whole movie except pose.

Less Than Zero is legitimately the worst

The book is all about the culture of nihilism and decadence in LA. It ends on a snuff film and the lead losing his friend to prostitution

The movie decides the entire thing was a cheesy anti drug message (despite everyone in the book continuing to snort cocaine and pop xanx)

To this day that movie has destroyed the reputation of the book. It turned a scathing critique of hedonistic excess into drugs are bad m'kay
I don't think Less Than Zero is a masterpiece but it's an interesting book and a correct adaption by someone like Gaspar Noe would be fucking amazing. The movie has NOTHING to do with the book aside from the setting and character names. That's it.

Some stuff just works better in a book.
There's a reactor meltdown in Hunt for Red October. It's described step by step and it's one of the most frightening things I've ever read. It's not in the movie. How could you even film it?
Same thing with The Martian. I do like the film, but the book is so much more engrossing.
Lord Of The Flies.

The 1963 adaptation has more fidelity with the source material and it was written and directed by Peter Brooks, but suffered from production issues and was part of the British studio output in the 60's where budgets restrictions and also censorship also effected the quality. I'd be interested in seeing what could be done with Brook's script now, but there seems to be only minute interest in a revival or the god awful idea of a full female cast.

The 1990's version had more money behind it, but they changed the story around fundamentally and lost something in translation. It has better visuals though.

Neither of them actually manages to capture the symbolism behind the Lord Of The Flies though.


It has yet to get an actual adaptation that does the book justice or doesn't gloss over parts of the story.
The most important in my opinion being the relationship between Rebecca and Bois-Guilbert or even Rebecca and Ivanhoe. The sequence of events where Ivanhoe and Bois-Guilbert square off in combat gets overlooked with Ivanhoe besting Guilbert, even though that doesn't happen in the story. Guilbert knowing he can't live without her dying at the stake, essentially loses the will to live without her and ironically saves her life as a result. Rebecca also tends to get sidelined into the damsel in distress role, without emphasis on the fact that she is a strong female literary character. She saves Ivanhoe from death, keeps it together throughout being kidnapped and put on trial by the Templars, keeps it together despite the fact that faces prejudice from both the disinherited Saxons and the Normans, and after all is said and done doesn't hold it against anyone.

It's also probably already been mentioned, but I thought the Hobbit and following film adaptations were absolute shit. The story was serviceable enough, but the over the top action sequences really ruined those films for me, especially the kung fu dwarf in the bit where they are getting attacked and bobbing down the river.

I'm also waiting to see what abortion Hollywood and Kenneth Branagh push out for Artemis Fowl.


Local Weeb Translator
It's been mentioned before, but man, the Percy Jackson movies are awful. I don't want Columbus or Freudenthal anywhere near Kane Chronicles. God knows what they'd do to those books. At least Freudenthal made Annabeth blonde in Sea of Monsters, like she should be. What was with Columbus' decision to have Annabeth be brunette in Lightning Thief?

Also, while not a book, The Last Airbender. They did everyone dirty.
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The Farteteer
True & Honest Fan
Stormbreaker. Christ on a cracker that movie was cringe. I only remembered it because there’s been a trailer for a new Alex Rider TV series coming anon which I didn’t even know about until I randomly Googled the books:

I’m hoping this will be good when it drops. At least it looks closer to what an Alex Rider adaptation should be.

Fun fact about the movie: I got to meet Anthony Horowitz in person and I asked him what it was like adapting his own book for the screen. He told me that he wanted the film to be a lot grittier than it ended up being, but unfortunately the American distributor was Harvey Weinstein and he told them to dumb the film down for younger children or he wouldn’t give it a wide release in the US. They did as he said, and apparently he still screwed them over and didn’t give the film a proper wide release. Don’t know if that’s true, or Horowitz is just making excuses, but given what we know about Weinstein, especially now, I’m inclined to believe him.

Horowitz got his revenge by including a character called R.V. Weinberg in Snakehead who’s described as a “third-rate television producer” and is last seen rolling round in a muddy puddle. Savage.
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