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Film to Movies

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  • The Mythanian
    Denizen of Moo Uria
    • Nov 2006
    • 131

    Film to Movies

    Hi, I was on the thread for Disapointing Movies, and I discovered that most of the movies I don't like are remakes from books.
    I'd like to ask you people what you think of remaking books into movies, because I'm not sure I get the basic premise. Except it has something to do with money.
  • lemec
    Eternal Champion
    • Jul 2005
    • 5317

    speaking of re-makes,although,not from a book,that I know of,I saw that there is a re-imagining of Night of the Living Dead,haha!

    It says that it is public domain now,I did not realize it was old enough yet.

    I guess that means that anyone can make a version now?

    Time to get the camera out.....

    Here ome the zombies!

    (At least the new one has Sig Haig in it. )

    "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
    - Michael Moorcock


    • The Mythanian
      Denizen of Moo Uria
      • Nov 2006
      • 131

      Yes, anybody want to explain to my why we even need to make film versions of books?


      • devilchicken
        We'll get to that later
        • Nov 2004
        • 2814

        Perhaps because its easier than conjuring up an original story for the screen ;)
        Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

        Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!


        • David Mosley
          Eternal Administrator
          • Jul 2004
          • 11823

          Originally posted by The Mythanian
          Yes, anybody want to explain to my why we even need to make film versions of books?
          Because they're popular?

          I think we should understand that adapting literary works (ie books) into theatrical works (ie plays/films/tv) is not unique to cinema. Sherlock Holmes was adapted for the stage before he ever appeared on the screen (in fact, most of his iconic 'gimmicks' - the Calabash pipe, deerstalker hat and Inverness cape -that we recognise today were established on stage by William Gillette). In any case, there does seem to be a instinct in people for having read a book to want to see it dramatised. After all, why do so many people here eagerly await the proposed Elric movie trilogy?

          Among the many reasons why Hollywood (or any entertainment medium) likes to make adaptations of books are:
          1. They come with a ready-made audience of readers and/or fans, so the "product" already has a proven track-record, which an original screenplay does not.
          2. Lower development costs; the 'hard' work has already been performed by the original author.
          That's not to say there aren't disadvantages either. The existing fans can - particularly since the advent of the Internet - create waves of discontentment if they feel that the object of their affections is being mutilated, either by the omission of some crucial scene or character, or by the addition of elements that weren't in the book. (For the former, see Tom Bombadil and Glorfindel in The Fellowship of the Ring, for the latter, see the Elves at Helms Deep in The Two Towers.)

          Likewise, while the basic plot, characters and narrative pre-exist in adapting books to screen, what works on the page doesn't always translate successfully in cinematic terms. This is why some books - like The Lord of the Rings or The Naked Lunch - are often alleged to be 'unfilmable'. Unsurprisingly, Hollywood has a history of tackling 'unfilmable' novels, sometimes with mixed results. I do think it's possible to remain faithful to the text and treat it with respect without slavishly doing a literal adaptation of the material. Sometimes the 'spirit of the book' is more important than the 'letter of the book'. (That's one reason why the film V For Vendetta can be argued to 'fail' because it dilutes the central narrative between Fascism & Anarchy down to Fascism v. Libertarianism.)

          Perhaps a significant reason why authors are prepared to let their creations be re-molded for cinema - apart from the cash (Tolkien only sold the film rights to LOTR because he had to settle a tax bill (he otherwise thought the book 'unfilmable') - is because it unquestioningly raises the cultural profile of the product. Prior to 1996, Judge Dredd was a fairly niche, cult comic-strip character with none of the mainstream awareness of ther comic characters such as Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Desperate Dan, Dennis the Menace, or Dan Dare. The movie Judge Dredd, while not a complete success, certainly put the character very much in the forefront of the public consciousness for, say, 6 months, so that now you can mention his name to someone who's never read 2000AD and they won't look at you as if you're some sort escaped maniac from the loony bin.

          Sales of all three volumes of LOTR sky-rocketed in the months immediately following the release of FOTR. IIRC it was something like an increase in sales of 600% on the 12 months prior to the movie's premiere. That's money that goes straight into the pockets of the publishers and/or the author instead of the film studios.

          Although he distances himself from cinematic adaptations of his work, Alan Moore has made the observation that whatever perversities the studio inflict on the narratives, the source material still exists in its original format for people to go back to. Again, if you look at the posts at this site about the VFV film you will a number of people who having seen the film said, "I've got to pick up the graphic novel after this", or even "I went out and bought the graphic novel".

          Looked at in those terms, it can be a win-win situation for all parties. On the other hand, if the film fails to deliver the goods, both in terms of audience satisfaction and financially, it can tarnish the original material, possibly terminally.
          _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
          _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
          _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
          _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."


          • The Mythanian
            Denizen of Moo Uria
            • Nov 2006
            • 131

            Okay, thanks again for your help Dave