Adaptation Blogfest – Novels into Movies/TV shows

Okay, so I’ve signed up for the Novel Films blogfest and I cheated slightly by doing the rounds before making my own post. I got some great ideas, and I’ve also decided that I’m not going to include play to film or comic book to film adaptations in my list, but I will include novel series into TV series, just for the heck of it.

So, here are the cases where I’ve read the book and scene it:

The Princess Bride – a true classic by any standard. Of course, it helps that the author of the book, William Goldman, wrote the screenplay as well and had a lot of experience adapting other people’s books into screenplays. On his DVD commentary, he said that if people could only remember him for one thing, he wanted that to be Princess Bride-related.

A Wrinkle in Time – a surprisingly good movie version of a favorite book. I got a chance to see this at the Toronto children’s film festival, Sprockets.

Earthsea. Ugh – not the worst fantasy film I’ve ever seen, but they messed up so much of the greatness of the two source books.

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – took a long time to get made into a movie, and I think it was pretty much worth the wait. Just a shame that there won’t be movie sequels.

Starship troopers – joke of a movie, for such a great novel. Sigh.

The vampire diaries – I started watching the TV series first, and then went back to read the first book in the series, which was interesting, but overall I think I like the TV version better.


  • Around the world in 80 days
  • The Jungle Book
  • How the Grinch stole Christmas

Books I’ve read that were turned into movies that I haven’t seen:

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Dr No
  • Eragon
  • First two Harry Dresden
  • From Russia with Love
  • Harry Potter
  • Howl’s moving castle
  • I, Robot
  • Lord of the Rings
  • Narnia books
  • Southern vampire series
  • The Bicentennial man
  • The Cat in the Hat
  • The color purple
  • The Great Gatsby
  • Treasure Island

Movies I’ve seen made from books I haven’t read:

  • A christmas carol
  • Clueless
  • Election
  • Field of Dreams
  • Jurassic Park
  • The Wizard of Oz
  • Total Recall
  • various James Bond

So – was there anything in my lists that surprised you? What was the worst adaptation you’ve seen or heard about, and why?

13 Responses to Adaptation Blogfest – Novels into Movies/TV shows

  1. Arlee Bird says:

    I haven’t read most of these books, but I have seen a few of the movies. I used to be a huge James Bond fan when I was younger and read all the books and saw all the movies.

    Tossing It Out


  2. Olivia says:

    Glad to know the movie version of A Wrinkle in Time is good stuff — that was one of my favorites as a kid, too! šŸ™‚

    Also, Howl’s Moving Castle (the movie) and A Christmas Carol (the book) are both marvelous. Especially the latter — which is much more hilarious than its reputation might lead you to believe.


  3. Trisha says:

    I’ve got the Earthsea quartet thing ready to read (on my TBR shelf!); look forward to it. I haven’t seen the adaptation of it though. I like your lists, I was going to do some similar lists in addition to those I added, but decided to shorten it up a bit. hehe


  4. Ana says:

    The Narnia series and A Wrinkle in Time are on my TBR list. So many books, so little time! And Total Recall was based on a book?


  5. Hi,

    Ah, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy! Some of the rest I’ve read/seen, but only the original James Bond were ever books by Ian Fleming, the rest movie makers’ license to exploit the character!!! šŸ™‚

    F .


  6. Great selection. Impressive list and a great mix of genres. Thwere are a few that I’ve seen but not read and the occasional classic I can’t remember if I’ve seen/read them or whether I’m imagining I did like Animal Farm. Oh and there’s 1984 I can’t remember if I read it or not. I think I did. Thanks for taking part :O)


  7. PK Hrezo says:

    Oo I forgot Treasure Island. I loved that book! The films I’ve seen… meh. I thought they did pretty good with the recent Narnia films. I bet Total Recall is a great read!


  8. Tony Benson says:

    Interesting to see the ones you’ve read but not seen. When I read, it’s my visualisation of a book that brings it to life. I often don’t trust a filmmaker to present their own visualisation without spoiling mine. It’s a bit like having that annoying song in your mind, it dislodges the thoughts you want there.

    Princess Bride is a great favourite of mine. Love it.


  9. I’ve read the books in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (including the sixth by Eoin Colfer) but haven’t seen the movie–I really want to get around to seeing it sometime.

    I saw the Muppet version of A Christmas Carol, but haven’t read the book. LOL.


  10. Will says:

    There are older BBC versions of “Hitchhikers Guide..“ but the quality is more in the dialogue than the effects. Either way, add Alan Rickman, and you`re already 10 points ahaed.


  11. Susan Oloier says:

    I really liked The Princess Bride, as well.
    You must be the only person I’ve come across who has not seen Harry Potter šŸ™‚
    Impressive list!


  12. Hmm, I didn’t think of TV series when I was making my list… Though I’m not sure I’ve read anything that’s been turned into a TV series. I love the Vampire Diaries TV show but have never read any of the books. I’ve heard they’re not as good (like you said)…


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