12 Blockbuster Movies That Varied From Its Celebrated Books

Does something get lost when a book is adapted into a movie? While directors often are faithful to the book, they may change aspects of the book for the movie’s audience. The movie is confined to two to three hours, and something is bound to be left out or modified for simplicity’s sake. It helps when authors write the screenplay or can contribute, but modest adjustments may occur to match the chosen cast. Using Stephen King’s Misery, Annie Wilkes hobbles Paul Sheldon in the movie, which is tamer than the book’s version.

Nonetheless, it’s different. Someone recently asked, “Which film significantly differs from the book?” Here are the top-voted responses.

1. Eragon (2006)

Image Credit: 20th Century Fox

Eragon. Oof. That movie hurt to watch,” shared one. “The pain of betrayal. What could have been,” said another. “I agree. They combined Yazuac and Teirm. That alone was a terrible crime. But they were no Ra’zac, and the Shadow didn’t have red hair.”

2. Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix (2007)

Harry Potter and the Order of the
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Someone stated, “I know we need to move on, but Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix.” “Agree 100%,” another said. “I was waiting for the epic Dumbledore Harry scene at the movie’s end– the book shattered me. The film just glossed over it.

3. V for Vendetta (2005)

V for Vendetta 2005
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Another user shared, “Gordon isn’t gay in the comics. In the film, Sutler is the fusion of two characters, and I think some characters’ deaths are pretty different. Also, V in the movie is very different from V in the comics. V in the comics is much more radical and a villain than in the film.”

“Also, V and Evey’s relationship is quite different since, in the comics, she believes that V is her father, so they have a father-daughter relationship. In the movie, their relationship is more romantic.”

4. The Running Man (1987)

The Running Man 1987
Image credit: Tri-Star Pictures

“Reasonably spoiler-free synopsis for those unfamiliar with the book – it’s about a poor, working every-man who needs money for medicine for his daughter, so he goes on a game show where he’s on the run for his life from militarized chasers in the real world, real cities.”

“As an example of how screwed up this game show is, he gets additional money for killing cops. In addition, he has to post a video daily, and the public receives reward money for information leading to him. The end is also significantly different from the movie,” one user informed.

5. Forrest Gump (1994)

man eating watching tv on boat
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures

Forrest Gump. I’m an avid reader and cannot get through the book. The movie is a classic. For those that haven’t read the book, it features the following:

  • Forrest and Jenny have sex a LOT
  • Forrest saves the life of Mao Tse Tung
  • Forrest becomes a professional wrestler
  • Forrest becomes an astronaut
    • where he becomes best friends with an orangutan named Sue
    • who causes their ship to crash on a tropical island
    • where they farm cotton for a cannibalistic tribe
    • whose leader teaches Forrest chess

6. Starship Troopers (1997)

starship troopers
Image Credit: TriStar Pictures

“Agreed, I watched the movie first and was so surprised about how political the book was. I did not recognize the story at all. However, I enjoy the book and film for totally different reasons,” someone replied. 

The Starship Troopers movie is fascinating because it’s an adaptation of a book that simultaneously seems to parody the same book intentionally. So it sits in a unique filmmaking place for that reason. I’m not aware of any other adaptations that do that,” another confessed. 

7. Ready Player One (2018)

Ready Player One 2018
Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Ready Player One,” one shared. “The general premise and the character names are the same. Not much else.” “It was too long and detailed of a book to make a movie. It should have been a streaming miniseries, at the very least, if not a multi-season series.”

8. I, Robot (2004)

I Robot 2004
Image credit: 20th Century Fox

I, Robot,” someone stated. “Yeah, they ripped the title from the book and slapped that puppy on a Will Smith Vehicle! I would like to see a retro-styled series of stories from the book.” 

Another added, “The book is a collection of Asimov’s robot short stories. It’s entertaining, too, because you can try and figure out before the end why the robot was technically obeying the three laws.”

9. The Shining (1980)

The Shining (1980)
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

“Can confirm,” one claimed. “The book was way creepier, and Stanley Kubrick did Shelley Duvall dirty. For example, Wendy stands up to Jack way more in the book, and Stephen King includes a scene with the hedge animals that still gives me nightmares.”

Another admitted, “One of the biggest things for me is that in the book Jack isn’t just mental like depicted in the movie, there are whole reasons why the spirits in the hotel chose him, but it all to get to Danny – the film doesn’t depict it well.”

10. I Am Legend (2007)

sam the dog I am legend
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

“I came here to say I Am Legend. A book about vampires turned into Will Smith blowing up zombie/alien things,” someone shared. Another stated, “Agree. The book was great; I wonder why they changed them so much.”

11. World War Z (2013)

World War Z 2013
Image credit: Paramount Pictures

World War Z is excellent. However, it’s very different from the movie. It’s an easy read and an intriguing take on the zombie trope,” someone shared. “The book is a great horror—top of the genre. The movie is a bland action film that uses the name,” another suggested. 

12. Schindler’s List (1993)

Schindler's List (1993)
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

The powerful subject matter of Thomas Keneally’s book of the same name called for a director of Steven Spielberg’s stature to handle the Holocaust, one of the most atrocious historical events with emotional sensitivity balanced with the good and evil frame by frame. Spielberg cut a lot of the book’s material and rearranged some of the timeline but amplified the horror captured in black and white.

10 of the Worst Movies in the History of Cinema

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Image Credit: Columbia Pictures

What is the worst movie that you have ever seen? According to an internet poll, there are thousands of doozies to choose from, but these are the top-ten worst.

10 Best Movie Trilogies Ever Made According to the Internet

The Dark Knight

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

What is the best movie trilogy ever made? Unfortunately, Indiana Jones and Toy Story have added a fourth film disaster following their perfect trilogy success. Otherwise, I’d nominate both of those. After asking the internet for their top contenders, these were the top ten. 

10 Greatest Single Movie Scenes Ever Filmed

man in suit

Image Credit: Paramount Pictures

What is the most remarkable single movie scene ever filmed? There are so many cinematic gems that this is a difficult question. However, after someone polled the internet, these were the top-voted responses.

Top 10 Heist Films That Are Morally Good

Indiana Jones

Image Credit: Paramount Pictures

Ever feel like rooting for the characters you know are doing something naughty, like a victimless crime? Someone asked for morally good heist movies where the crew isn’t reformed, criminals, like Ocean’s 11. Here are the top-voted heist films from the discussion. 

Top 10 Black and White Movies Absolutely Worth the Watch

Some Like It Hot 1

Image Credit: Mirisch Company

Are you a black-and-white movie fan or interested in the classics? Watching black and white films is an entirely different experience than movies in vibrant colors. Our kids thought of these classic movies as archaic, but as they got older, they became more open and less judgmental as they found some of the greatest stories, like Schindler’s List, best displayed in black and white. 

We hope you enjoyed this Reddit picks lists of films significantly different from their books.

This Article Originally Appeared on The Cents of Money.

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