Let’s Talk On Book-to-Film Adaptations…

Posted May 4, 2012 by Asheley in Uncategorized / 23 Comments

Click here to see Let’s Talk!

I’m so excited that Melissa at i swim for oceans likes discussion posts because sometimes I get chatty and have things to say. Melissa has opened her Let’s Talk event up to the rest of us and I’m excited to be a part of it. Thanks, Melissa! 

This week’s question

What are your favorite and least favorite
book-to-film adaptations and why

I don’t typically love book-to-film adaptations.
I initially get really excited about one being made
and then really apprehensive about seeing it,
and then I’m usually a little disappointed.

There’s just NO WAY a movie can live up to a book.


The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Movie Poster – left
Book Cover – right

The book is absolutely BRILLIANT
and so is the movie.
Perfectly written. Perfectly cast.

True Grit by Charles Portis
Movie Poster – left
Book Cover – right

This was admittedly not one of my favorite books. I just don’t enjoy reading westerns. But the movie adaptation was incredible, and one of the main reasons was due to perfect casting.

I know, I know – I’m not giving you guys any YA. Sorry!
How about this?

Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl
Movie Poster – left
Book Cover – right

This is arguable & I would even go as far as to listen to your case, but it wouldn’t sway me. First of all, Wes Anderson did it so it is pure gold as far as I’m concerned (which isn’t the topic here, but I thought I’d throw that out there). Second of all, Wes adapts the BOOK, yes. But the book is so short that he adds to the beginning and the end to make it long enough for the movie, resulting in one of my favorite movies EVER. With some of the best quotes EVER. With Wes’ trademark recurring cast and dry humor. Sometimes, you guys, I just listen to this movie without even watching it. It’s like an audiobook with a bonus beginning and end. (Okay, that’s really stretching it, but it’s a darn good adaptation in my opinion.)

Or maybe I’m just a big Wes Anderson fan. At any rate…


The Percy Jackson and the Olympians books are perfect.
They are PERFECT, you guys. 
The movie, ugh. It mixes the books up! Just, no. NO NO NO. NO. 

And let’s not even get started on Beastly. I adore Alex Flinn and her re-telling of Beauty and the Beast, but this movie was not even close to the book. First of all, the beast is hairy. HAIRY. Second of all, see the gal on his shoulder? She’s has red hair in the book. RED. HAIR. The book talks about it over and over and over.

Both of these are great movies. They just stink at being adaptations.


What about you guys?

What are your favorite book-to-movie adaptations?
Which are your least favorite?

What YA titles should’ve made my list?


About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!


23 responses to “Let’s Talk On Book-to-Film Adaptations…

  1. Oh, thank GOD you said BEASTLY was horrid haha I just love that book, and the movie failed so horribly. Come to think of it, so did THE POWER OF SIX…which I think was bc of Alex Pettyfer, too!

    I didn't know TRUE GRIT was a book. Does that make me horrible? I love that film though, so I'll definitely need to read it now.

    I definitely, totally agree that no book can actually completely measure up though :)))

    Thanks for linking up!

    • It's a shame, because Alex Pettyfer is so…nice to look at. I suppose it isn't his fault the writing is poor but I've also associated him with these movies as well. I thought about the other franchise too – and I LOVE those books.

      True Grit is indeed a book. It was a huge effort on my part to read it, though, because I really cannot stand a classic western book. I read it only because of the whole read-it-before-you-watch-it thing that I try so hard to do. Really, I probably should have DNF'd it, but the book-to-film was SPOT ON. It was brilliant.

  2. Other than the Percy Jackson movie I haven't seen any of those. And yes, they butchered that one. Never should made Percy a teenager. I liked him so much more as a middle grader!! I haven't read The Road, but Viggo Mortensen. Sigh. He's sort of a dreamboat… Great list! I need to check out True Grit and Fantastic Mr. Fox, LOVE Roald Dahl:)

  3. I haven't read most of these but given the success of the Percy Jackson series and Alex Flinn books, I'm not surprised that the movie versions didn't live up to the books 🙂

    Have a great weekend!

  4. Amy

    Sigh. The Percy Jackson movie was disappointing. It's almost like the movie highlighted the childishness of the books more than the books themselves, if that makes any sense. Maybe I just sometimes forget that I'm reading books for KIDS and so I should be surprised when movies of those books seem really juvenile. But AWW, I LOVE Percy! I'd probably still watch any more movies they made of those books.
    And I'd have to say that the Harry Potter movies were awesomely done adaptations. I feel like that's an easy cheat, but whatever. Can't be denied. And also, The Hunger Games. The movie version of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist was pretty solid also, although that book is still on my TBR.
    Lots of books-to-movies this week, right?! So awesome! 🙂

  5. I initially get really excited about one being made
    and then really apprehensive about seeing it,
    and then I’m usually a little disappointed. <— This is a prefect summary of my feelings towards adaptations!

    <3 Wes Anderson!

    I have not read/watched Percy Jackson or Beastly. Maybe I'll read them and skip the movies.

    • Wes Anderson is the best!

      The Percy and Beastly movies are okay…as long as you are not an avid reader. So…that's up to you. I just couldn't get over the blatant disregard for the stories, particularly with Beastly. The books are great, the movies are good, the adaptations are poor.

  6. I completely agree about Percy Jackson! And are you serious about Nathan Fillion playing Hermes?! Oh, I will so be watching that! I LOVE him!

    I haven't read Beastly. I did see the movie and I liked it, but now I'm curious as to see how much better the book is! So, thanks!

    As for movie adaptations I actually like the movie Stardust better than the book (by Neil Gaiman), though I did still like the book. Granted I did see the movie first and I absolutely loved the ending, so I was surprised when I read the book.

    As for good adaptations, Lord of the Rings was good and so was The Princess Bride! And I don't know if this counts as a movie, but the BBC miniseries Pride & Prejudice is the greatest thing ever.

    • Yes, Nathan Fillion as Hermes!!

      I liked Beastly the movie. I liked it a lot, but it just had BIG HUGE differences from the book. So as far as calling it the same thing – I just think they shouldn't have. The differences WERE NOT subtle. The book is excellent; I love Alex Flinn and her retellings.

      I haven't read Stardust yet, nor seen the movie, although I do have the book. LOTR – of course! They're excellent!

  7. Ems

    Okay, I can usually separate a book from its movie, but in the case of Percy Jackson? NO!!! There were so many crimes committed against those perfect books.

    I just finished Beastly, but I've no desire to watch the film. I can't stand the thought of him NOT being hairy. That was kind of a big deal in the book!!!!

    Excellent post!

  8. Beastly was a let down. I got over the whole non-hairy-beast thing pretty fast, but the acting was underwhelming. I actually kind of liked Percy Jackson – and then I read the books and realized the books were much better 😉

  9. You have no idea how disappointed I was after reading Beastly to see the craptastic movie. I really don't remember if it's a good movie at all because I was so in shock at how much creative license [read: suckage] the producers added to an awesome story. And Percy Jackson has gotten people interested in reading, but the movie was so…I don't know, a great movie (like you said!) but a horrible adaptation.

    • I feel the same way about Beastly. The producers really took huge liberties with that book.

      And Percy Jackson is such a tough one because I love the books SO MUCH but the movie was UGH for adaptation. It was okay for a movie, but they just killed the adaptation. However, I'm pretty darn excited about the second movie because of casting, which almost feels hypocritical after this post. But whatever. Nathan Fillion as Hermes. BOOM.

  10. I'm a total Wes Anderson fangirl too! I LOVED Fantastic Mr. Fox. This is the kind of adaptation I often like to see. He was true to the material and characters, while at the same time making it his own and developing the story. I actually have never read any Alex Flinn and the movie Beastly is one of the reasons why. It wasn't unwatchable, but I was embarrassed to be watching it alone at home, which means I didn't find it to be very good either. Maybe I ought to give her books a shot anyway?

    • Wes is incredible – I've loved all of his work, but this adaptation was perfect FOR ME!

      About Alex Flinn, I love her work. I think she has her own set of fans. Her books are not incredibly complex but very fun reads. She has her own spin on the classic fairy tales that we know from when we were young and they are just, well, fun. I especially enjoyed Bewitching, but you need to read that after Beastly because it is a spinoff. Definitely give her a try. She's a great go-to for easy, breezy books between heavier, longer books.

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