Last week, we had a list of adaptations that were absolutely hated by the creators of the original material. But it can be the other way around. Adaptations aren’t inherently bad. Sometimes they even improve on the original work. There have been plenty of times when creators have come out and said they wished they’d thought of some adaptation element and sometimes they just think the adaptations are just plain better that what they created.
So let’s take a look at various adaptations and see what the original creators thought they did better!
'The Mist' Film Adaptation
The 2007 film The Mist adapts Stephen King’s novella of the same name. The ending of the movie was very different from the novella and apparently Stephen King loved it, even going so far as to prefer it.
He said, “Frank wrote a new ending that I loved. It is the most shocking ending ever and there should be a law passed stating that anybody who reveals the last 5 minutes of this film should be hung from their neck until dead.”
If you haven’t either read the book or seen the movie and want to know (if you don’t, beware spoilers!): The original novella had a very open ending. The characters travel into the “mist” which holds the horrifying creatures that could eat them. They only have 90 miles worth of gas left in the car. The novella leaves it up to your imagination what might have happened to them.
The movie’s ending is much more definitive and tragic. The characters drive into the mist and their car runs out of gas. Rather than be eaten by the monsters, everyone agrees on a quick death. David, the main character, shoots everyone in the car, including his young son. But there are no more bullets, so David can’t kill himself. He sits and waits for the monsters to get him…only for rescue vehicles to emerge from the mist. Realizing he killed his loved ones pointlessly, David starts screaming.
Honestly, the ending felt ridiculously cruel to me, so I would have preferred the open ending, but to each their own. The films ending is certainly one possibility for what could happened to the characters in the novella.
The 1979 'Carrie' Film Adaptation
Stephen King also prefers Brian de Palma’s film version of Carrie to his own novel. On his feelings about the film version of his tale of a troubled girl with telekinetic powers, he says, “De Palma's approach to the material was lighter and more deft than my own -- and a good deal more artistic...The book seems clear enough and truthful enough in terms of the characters and their actions, but it lacks the style of De Palma's film. The book attempts to look at the ant farm of high school society dead on; De Palma's examination of this 'High School Confidential' world is more oblique...and more cutting.”
The 'Fight Club' Film Adaptation
Chuck Palanhuik, who wrote the original Fight Club novel that the famous 1999 film is based on, really prefers the movie to his version and seems to feel his novel is embarrassing in comparison. Both versions focus on men who fight recreationally, but Palanhuik feels the film is stronger.
To quote him: “I was sort of embarrassed of the book, because the movie had streamlined the plot and made it so much more effective and made connections that I had never thought to make. There is a line about "fathers setting up franchises with other families," and I never thought about connecting that with the fact that Fight Club was being franchised and the movie made that connection. I was just beating myself in the head for not having made that connection myself.”
'The Prestige Film' Adaptation
Christopher Priest absolutely loved Christopher Nolan’s film adaptation of his novel about a duplicitous rivalry between magicians. He said he saw the film three time and "Only on the third time did I feel able to watch it as a movie. Before, I was just looking at it and thinking, 'Well, holy shit.' I was thinking, 'God, I like that,' and 'Oh, I wish I'd thought of that.'"
Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (Adaptation of 'Who Censored Roger Rabbit?')
Gary Wolf seemed to prefer the movie version of the cartoon rabbit’s tale to his own book. So much that when he went to work of a sequel book (Who P-P-Plugged Roger Rabbit?), it was a sequel to the film version of events, rather than a sequel to his novel.
Blade Runner (Adaptation of 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?')
Philip K. Dick died before he could see Blade Runner, Ridley Scott’s adaptation of his novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, but he was completely in love with what he saw beforehand. Though both works focus on a bounty hunter tracking down androids in a dystopian future, the details are quite different in some bits. And Phillip K. Dick was not only okay with that, he was ecstatic.
He not only said nothing he’d done compared to the movie, but nothing in all science fiction compared to it. “Nothing that we have done, individually or collectively, matches Blade Runner. This is not escapism; it is super realism, so gritty and detailed and authentic and goddam convincing that, well, after the segment I found my normal present-day "reality" pallid by comparison. What I am saying is that all of you collectively may have created a unique new form of graphic, artistic expression, never before seen. And, I think, Blade Runner is going to revolutionize our conceptions of what science fiction is and, more, can be."
Talk about enthusiasm! You can read the whole letter where he gushes about the movie here.
Game of Thrones (Adaptation of the 'A Song of Ice and Fire' Series)
George R.R. Martin has never expressed a preference for the TV show to his books overall, but has said he felt a few elements and characters were done better in the show than in his books. He seems to prefer the show’s version of Osha to his own, saying he thinks he will write her to be more like her show counterpart when she returns in the books.
'The Walking Dead' TV Show Adaptation
Robert Kirkman has gone on record stating that he feels the TV adaptation made some great changes to his long-running zombie apocalypse comic. He feels like Daryl, who was a character original to show, is the best change the show made to the comics. He also prefers the show's version of Carol to the comics, saying they are on different levels. On Carol, he says “I'm really proud of the evolution that that character has gone through. It's one of the best parts of the show. Melissa McBride's performance is absolutely amazing. More than any other character, Carol has evolved in leaps and bounds."
The 'Wolf Hall' TV Show Adaptation
Hilary Mantel really loves BBC’s adaptation of her book Wolf Hall and its sequel. The stories of both works focus on William Cromwell, an advisor to King Henry VII. Mantel likes the show so much she’s considering incorporating some elements into her upcoming third book, The Mirror and the Light.
The 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' 1990 Movie Adaptation
Kevin Eastman created the first version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles back in 1984 in a black and white comic. But he’s gone on record saying he feels the 1990 movie is his favorite version, “hands down”.
The 'Children on Men' Movie Adaptation
P.D. James dystopian novel imagines a world where the male population is infertile. In Alfonso Cuaron’s film adaptation, it is the women who are infertile instead. There are reports that PD James thought this made more sense. Alfonso Cuaron also said she was “proud to be associated” with the film and pleased despite the changes.
The 'Fahrenheit 451' Movie Adaptation
Farenheit 451, the famous novel about a dystopian society where books are burned, got a 1966 film adaptation. The film made a major change in regards to one character. In the original book, the inquisitive character Clarrisse dies shortly after she becomes acquainted with the main character of the book, Montag. It is announced rather abruptly that she was hit by a car and now her family has left town. In the movie version, Clarisse is revealed to be living with the exiles. Bradbury liked this change so much that when he wrote a play based on the book, Clarisse survived in a similar fashion.
The 'Kick-Ass' Movie Adaptation
The Kick-Ass movie was an adaptation of Mark Millar’s comic of the same name, which focuses on a fanboy who decides to be a superhero and gets his ass kicked a lot. Millar was very enthusiastic about the movie, defending and explaining many of the changes made.
The film was actually made in conjunction with the comic- Millar pitched the project to the director and he agreed to work on the movie while Millar worked on the comic.
Millar stated he thinks Kick-Ass 2 might be better than his original version, saying “I literally for the first time thought this might actually be BETTER than the original. This was a huge moment for me because there is no bigger fan of the first movie than me. I think it's pretty close to perfect. But there's so much in this, the whole thing so rich, that I honestly think this might be the Empire Strikes Back to Star Wars.”
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