10 Genre-Bending Book Adaptations That Stay True to the Source Material


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One of the most annoying issues that happens when books are tailored to films is when the filmmakers take their artistic liberties too far. This then leads the film to be unrecognizable from their original books, which is disappointing to fans.

RELATED:‘Rosaline’ & 9 Other Movies That Added Modern Spins To Classic Stories

A rarer breed of movie is when these creative liberties are pushed to the utmost, and yet, the story manages to remain pretty much the identical. Even although the setting, characters, or even style could be totally totally different, you’ll be able to still find out a lot about the guide by watching these adaptations.


‘As Above, So Below’ (2014)

The explorers find an ancient wall Image through Universal Pictures

As Above, So Below is a found footage horror flick primarily based on Dante Alighieri‘s epic poem Inferno (1317). The unique poem is about a man who traverses the Nine Layers of Hell in search of his lover. The film, nonetheless, is a few group of explorers who delve into the catacombs of Paris to search for the mythical Philosopher’s Stone.

Though the setting and characters are clearly modified, the broad streaks are virtually precisely the same. The Nine Layers of Hell (as well as what they symbolize) are distinct and clearly identifiable throughout the film. It turns out Dante’s biblical poem does nicely in a horror setting… or, a minimum of, it might if every little thing else concerning the film wasn’t so mediocre. The film suffers from all the unhealthy discovered footage clichés, nevertheless it still nails the story, so it may have been worse. It could have been better, though.

‘Throne of Blood’ (1957)

General Washizu, astride a horse, points his katana threateningly Image via Toho

Throne of Blood is a samurai movie made by legendary Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa. It’s quite probably Kurosawa’s greatest work, although virtually each script he touched was made into one thing incredible. The movie relies on William Shakespeare‘s tragic play MacBeth (1623).

MacBeth takes place in 11th-Century Scotland, and issues the titular MacBeth usurping the throne based mostly on a prophecy advised to him by a group of witches. Though the movie modifications the witches to a Japanese forest spirit, and the setting is changed from Scotland to Japan, the characters really feel familiar and the storyline is nearly beat-for-beat equivalent.

‘Bride and Prejudice’ (2004)

The Bakshi sisters giggle in a crowd Image via Miramax Films

Bride and Prejudice is directed by renowned filmmaker Gurinder Chadha and presents a extra trendy take on Jane Austen‘s 1813 romance novel Pride and Prejudice. The theme concerns organized marriages in excessive society, which was commonplace in 19th-Century England.

Despite its cultural influence, many find the novel to be uninteresting, as it plays out like a soap opera. So, Chadha decided to inject extra enjoyable into it and make the movie a Bollywood/Hollywood fusion musical that takes place in 21st-Century India. The theme of organized marriage continues to be current, and the story is unchanged. The most major differences are in fact, the character names and locations, and the fact that one of the protagonist’s sisters isn’t present. Granted, mentioned sister did not exactly have a distinguished function within the novel anyway, so it is a simple work-around. Regardless, if cleaning soap operas aren’t your thing, you’ll be able to all the time watch this movie and still perceive the story and primary theme of the unique work.

‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?’ (2000)

Ulysses and his friends are distracted by the sound of singing Image through United International

The Coen Brothers took the reins on this adaptation of Homer‘s epic poem The Odyssey. The poem was first printed in 1488, however it was written as early as the 8th Century BCE. Since the poem was written in Ancient Greece, it’s solely natural that it might happen in the same setting. There’s also plenty of Greek mythology woven into the story.

The film takes a bizarre strategy and switches the setting to the American South during the 1930s. Yet by some means, it actually works. There’s no mythological creatures, but there are lots of metaphorical representations of them. Apart from that, most of the trials Odysseus encounters in the poem are all represented in the film as nicely, simply another way.

‘The Prince of Egypt’ (1998)

Moses stares in horror as rains of flaming ice devastate the Sphinx in the background Image via DreamWorks

This animated film is based on the biblical guide of Exodus, during which the prophet Moses (Val Kilmer) leads the Hebrews out of Egyptian slavery to the Promised Land. Following that plotline to a tee, the movie mixes it up a little and turns into a musical journey harking again to basic Disney flicks.

The musical numbers are expertly crafted, and the film has some fairly emotional moments as nicely. Even should you aren’t spiritual, it is still an exquisite experience that portrays Exodus in a method that’s suitable for kids and adults alike.

‘Treasure Planet’ (2002)

Jim and Long John Silver stand on the bow of a spaceship. Silver points far ahead Image by way of Walt Disney

Treasure Planet is a criminally underrated adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson‘s classic swashbuckling story, Treasure Island (1883). The story of a young boy named Jim Hawkins (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who’s whisked away on a treasure hunt, it is one of many pioneering pirate tales that inspired many in circulation even at present.

Disney decided to inform the identical story, however make it an animated sci-fi movie set within the distant future. While the world of the film is unrecognizable from that of the e-book, the story is very a lot the same, even right down to the finer details. It’s also a reasonably distinctive film generally, as there aren’t too many flicks about house pirates going around.

‘Scrooged’ (1988)

Frank Cross wears a top hat with a holly on it Image via Paramount Pictures

One of the various adaptations of Charles Dickens‘ novella A Christmas Carol (1843), this film adjustments the book’s iconic protagonist, Ebenezer Scrooge, and swaps him for Frank Cross (Bill Murray). Fortunately, Cross possesses the same traits as Scrooge, and goes via the same paranormal experiences.

Set in 1980s America versus 1840s England, the movie is a a lot funnier and riskier version of the basic story, but in addition one that is remarkably comparable. If you are going to watch any model of A Christmas Carol, that is one which stands out among the many countless sea of different incarnations.

‘Apocalypse Now’ (1979)

Benjamin stands neck-deep in a pool of mud, his face covered in camo face paint Image via United Artists

Apocalypse Now is a movie directed by Francis Ford Coppola that is taken into account by many to be probably the greatest of all time. It is predicated on the novella Heart of Darkness (1899) by Joseph Conrad. The story of the unique novel follows Joseph Marlow as he embarks seeking a person named Kurtz (Marlon Brando), who has disappeared into the African wilderness. After traversing down a river in a steamboat, Kurtz is revealed to have gained the trust of native tribes, where he is revered as a demigod-like determine. Kurtz’s psyche has suffered from the cruel environments, which is why he has gone rogue.

The film takes place in the course of the Vietnam War, however follows an identical premise. However, as an alternative of merchants, it issues soldiers, by which Kurtz is a military official that has gone AWOL. Not solely are the broad strokes of the story explored, but the finest particulars, too. Even a few of the strains of dialogue are ripped straight from the e-book. Overall, it leaves the same lasting influence as the novel with its highly effective critique of colonialism, or in the case of the movie, of war.

‘Mulan’ (1998)

Mulan affectionately strokes Mushu's head as they lay on the steps of a shrine Image through Walt Disney

Disney’s Mulan is an animated movie based on a Chinese people song entitled “The Ballad of Mulan.” Though the song was composed sometime across the fourth Century CE, it wasn’t released in writing till practically 200 years later. Just just like the movie, the track includes a young woman named Mulan (Ming-na Wen) who went to struggle disguised as a man because of the military of Ancient China forbidding women to fight.

Though the song is based on warfare, Disney made the unconventional option to make the film into a light-hearted musical. And truth be told, it really works. The track doesn’t have many minor details woven into it. But the bigger particulars which would possibly be current are matched by the movie, which manages to show an early heroic tale into something fun.

‘Oliver & Company’ (1988)

Oliver meets a gang of thieves Image by way of Walt Disney

Oliver & Company is a lesser-known Disney animated musical. Not everyone is aware of this, however the movie is definitely primarily based on Oliver Twist (1837) by Charles Dickens. The story is of an orphan boy who is adopted by a gang of thieves. Unbeknownst to him, the thieves are associates together with his organic sister.

However, the Disney movie determined to make all of the characters animals instead of people, since a musical with humans had been done already in the 60s. Regardless, the movie still manages to maintain the major plot points of the original novel.

KEEP READING: 10 Movies Based on Books That Didn’t Quite Get the Point


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