Five of the Best Film Adaptations of Novels


Hera Serna, Staff Writer

Once you finally finish a book you’ve been reading for a long time, do you ever wonder what your book would look like on the big screen? When a story is made into a movie it is called a film adaption. Film adaptations have been around for a long time and have started with the Disney movie Alice In Wonderland. After this movie was made, countless of other animators and directors started to create the storybook worlds and make them a reality. Movies like Empire of the Sun and even movies like Harry Potter were released and fans of the books went crazy for more.

More film adaptations were released and many fans were satisfied but others were disappointed with the world that got as it wasn’t their fantasy.  Sometimes these fans even say that the movie is better than the book, but those fans often forget that movie was made because of the book. It is a popular and large stereotype that movies are more action-packed than the book, and while there are times this is true, a book has certain elements that a movie can’t even compare to. It is a large problem that the movies aren’t up to par for those readers who need the satisfaction of perfection. On that note, here are 5 film adaptations that held true to the books they were adapted from.

 WARNING: This Will Contain Spoilers!

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1. Jurassic Park 

When someone talks about a dinosaur movie, almost everyone thinks about Jurassic Park as their first thought. Jurassic Park has been a hit since 1993 and is still recognized as one of Speilberg’s best movies. Jurassic Park is a cautionary about genetic engineering and how it could go wrong when being tampered with. The book is a perfect example of Murphy’s Law, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” The story follows paleontologist Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler and mathematician Ian Malcolm are among a select group chosen to tour an island theme park populated by dinosaurs created from prehistoric DNA. While the park’s mastermind, billionaire John Hammond, assures everyone that the facility is safe, they find out otherwise when various ferocious predators break free and go on the hunt. When it comes to the movie, there aren’t that many differences except two that fans didn’t seem to mind. In the book, the beginning scene is the same scene from the movie Jurassic Park: The Lost World, in which a young girl is eaten alive by dinosaurs. Another change was the two siblings Lex and Tim, both the siblings had been switched because of a casting difficulty but many fans were pleased to find out that a funny little boy would replace a whiny little girl.

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2. Ready Player One

Ready Player was a popular novel and when the announcement of its release reached the fans the people went crazy. The story is set in the year 2044 and tells the story of a young teenager as he searches for an easter egg in a worldwide virtual reality. The world has become an ugly place and the only place our protagonist really feels alive is when he’s in the game called the OASIS. Our protagonist, Wade, devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden in the world of OASIS in order to win the prize of ownership of the game as well as the creator’s fortune. When he finds the first clue by accident, Wade learns that the gamers are willing to kill for the keys and he knows that he will have to put more effort if he wants to win this race. The author is able to show a future that seems plausible and shows his readers his future in a colorful way. The fans of the book were more than excited to hear that their dystopia would become a reality. While the story was close to being exactly the same as the book, many fans were disappointed to find that in the climax of the movie, Ultraman was replaced by the Iron Giant due to legal issues.

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3. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies does a terrific job in being a parody to the book by Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice. Not many people realized this was done as a joke that grew bigger and bigger until a movie was made.It tells a story about how in the 19th century, a mysterious plague turns the English countryside into a war zone. No one is safe as the dead come back to life to terrorize the land and people start to go insane from the events. Our protagonist is trying to survive in the century as well as the plague with her sisters as they come upon marriage and slaying zombies Fate leads our main protagonist Elizabeth Bennet, a master of martial arts and weaponry, to join forces with Mr. Darcy, a handsome but arrogant gentleman. Elizabeth can’t stand Darcy, but respects his skills as a zombie killer. Casting aside their personal differences, they unite on the blood-soaked battlefield to save their country and even an unlikely romance starts to bloom between them. When it came to the movie it was practically identical to the book with every scene and chapter.

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4. 2001 Space Odyssey

The film is recognized as one of the best sci-fi movies that has ever been shown on a film screen by Stanley Kubrick. Not only was it an amazing movie but also a captivating book. 2001 Space Odyssey is a story that follows Dr. Dave Bowman and a group of astronauts as they are sent on a mysterious mission. While on their mission their ship’s computer system, HAL, begins to display increasingly strange behavior. His behavior leads up to the death of the astronauts and follows with a tense climax of a showdown between man and machine. The movie left people fearing their technology for weeks as you learn at the end of the movie that HAL killed the crew in order to protect and continue its programmed directions. We learn that with the crew dead HAL no longer has to lie to them which leaves many viewers in a confused state as to why HAL would care about lying. Stanley Kubrick takes the audience on a mind-bending journey through space and time with the movie. The movie was an amazing hit and was almost identical to how the book was written. In order to direct his movie, Kubrick wrote with the author of the book, Arthur C. Clarke and they both watched as the movie reached its glory.

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5.The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby is a book that has been famous for ages and it’s no surprise as to how it did. The book is about how no matter the circumstances, the ‘American Dream’ is, in the end, unattainable. The story is told through Nick Carroway’s eyes as we explore the filthy world of the rich. Nick guides us as he sees the tragic story of Jay Gatsby, a self made millionaire, as he chases the love of his life, Daisy Buchanan. In order to achieve his American dream, Gatsby attained great wealth as to boost his social status so that he may have a future with his one true love Daisy. Nick describes the desperate people he meets and even falls in love himself but his heart is broken as he realizes that the world is filled with nothing but liars. The movie is perfect when it comes to telling the story from Nick Carroway’s eyes. From the beginning scene to the climax you can’t help but fall in love with the story being told. The only difference the movie had was the fact that Nick Carroway was with a therapist in order to help him with his drinking problem after Gatsby’s death when in fact Nick never had a drinking problem and was just telling the story of a man who didn’t belong in the society of rich manipulators. Other than that the movie easily captivates its audience and you can’t help but shed a tear in both the book and movie.

Try giving these books a try and, once you’re done, watch the movies and compare what you think between the two. A movie can depict things that a book can’t and a book can describe things that a movie can’t. The question is, which one do you like best?