The book is always better than the film – but is it really? Today we from novum publishing tell you which books to grab before or after enjoying the movie or series that go with it!
You’ve probably either read and/or watched such classics as The Wizard of Oz, based on a children’s book by L. Frank Baum, The Color Purple by Alice Walker or The Godfather by Mario Puzo, to name but a few. J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling showed us how to do it – their Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter films easily ranking among the most famous literary adaptations of all times. In recent years, Marvel’s comic book adaptations and Disney’s live-action remakes offered another spin to this development.
“I counted. Nine movies opening today. I remember when nine movies used to open in a month. Now a picture has to make a killing the first weekend or it’s dead. This is supposed to be conducive to great work?”Arthur Abbott, played by Eli Wallach, in The Holiday)
Although today’s book-to-film adaptations often dominate movie theaters and online streaming services for months at a time, the market has certainly not become any easier for aspiring authors. So let’s take a look and draw inspiration from our top 5 list of successful book-to-film adaptations.
1. Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
The series Game of Thrones, named after the first of seven epic fantasy novels in A Song of Ice and Fire, has won numerous prizes and become a world-wide phenomenon – and the last two books are not even out yet! Readers and viewers alike seem addicted to the complex noble characters and their stories of intrigue, love, conflict, alliance and death centering around seven kingdoms. With Season 8 completing the TV series, the last two books are said to end differently. Martin himself says that if he doesn’t have The Winds of Winter in hand at the WorldCon in New Zealand in summer 2020, they are allowed to keep him there until he has written the end…
2. Atonement by Ian McEwan (2007)
This heart-rending love story is based on McEwan’s 2001 novel. It tells the story of a false accusation born out of an innocent child’s imagination and a love that pervades all time and the conflicts of a world war. Young Briony (Saoirse Ronan) watches her older sister (Keira Knightley) and her boyfriend (James McAvoy) and makes up her own story of what happened between them. Her accusation is the start of a story full of betrayal, redemption, a war but, above all, the deep bond of love. The film excels in translating the characters’ thoughts, emotions and inner conflicts into images and music.
3. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (2018)
This book is a classic and a gem: a children’s story adapted by Disney that can still teach us a lot about life. We follow Meg, a teenage girl played by Storm Reid, who passes through space and time to another dimension to find her missing father with the help of Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling), Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey) and Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon). The story takes the reader and/or viewer on a journey, in which human beings can transcend time and darkness is defeated by a person’s own inner light and trust in herself. If you liked it, there is just one film but four more books in the series!
4. The Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King (1994)
Based on the 1982 novella Rita Haworth and the Shawshank Redemption, the protagonist Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) learns how to survive the cruel Shawshank State Penitentiary, a high-security prison. He is sentenced to life, accused of the brutal murder of his wife and her lover but claims to be innocent. Morgan Freeman truly deserved his nomination for the Oscar for his performance of Andy’s inmate Red. With the bleak background of an insufferable confinement, the film teaches us about holding on to our hopes and dreams and to seize the day or in Red’s words: “Get busy living or get busy dying!”
5. Mary Poppins Returns by P.L. Travers (2018)
The feeling of watching this final adaptation, based on the 1935 Mary Poppins Comes Back, is one you will most certainly know from your childhood. P. L. Travers grew up in Australia and went to boarding school in Sydney, when her first book was published. She emigrated to England and was contacted by Walt Disney who eventually obtained the rights to her work. The film Saving Mr. Banks, in which Emma Thompson stars as Travers and Tom Hanks as Walt Disney, retells the story behind this popular classic.
The film season 2019/20 is about to feature fantastic book adaptations: we are looking forward to films such as Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott and brand-new series, such as of Game of Thrones spin-offs or the recently announced Lord of the Rings TV series.
Which film adaptations would you never miss and what is your opinion of book-to-film adaptations? Write a comment and let us know!
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