Books and Movies


Mina Harkness Does Not Approve of Your Adaptation

Mina Harker Does Not Approve of Your Adaptation

This post on unfaithful science fiction movie adaptations got me thinking.  First of all, as I recall from my youth, one basically expected any movie adaptation of a science fiction or fantasy book to be horrible.  It seems to me decent adaptations were simply not done.  I mean, “The book was better than the movie” is sort of a classic thing for all genres, but science fiction, yeesh, forget about it.

Now, as the list on IO9 amply demonstrates, there are plenty of more recent adaptations that are bad or just get the source material wrong, but I have a notion things have improved of late.  In part, of course, this due to special effects technology improving, so movie makers don’t need to take the shortcuts they used to, and, I don’t know, change a scene set in the Galactic Council of Planets to one set in a hotel conference room.  But mainly I think it has to do with the steadily growing respect geek culture has.  I mean, back in the day, Comicon used to be a few hundred people talking about comics, and now it is the place the movie folks go to demonstrate their respect for the source material.

Not that they always get it right, of course, but it seems more likely that an attempt will be made these days, and even the unfaithful adaptations are more likely to be good, Blade Runner-y type mis-adaptations (Children of Men, for example –  great movie, even if it didn’t hew to the book).  Of course, your i, Robots show that the days of just taking the name of a story and banging out some movie that has nothing to do with it are not over (though, of course short stories get the worst of it there, something I’ve never understood since the majority of the target audience has probably never heard of the short story in question anyway).

Of course, the real thing that struck me about the list was the glaring absence of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.  Granted, it was a comic book series rather than a novel per se, and it actually hit some of the high points of the plot and kept most of the characters, but it did such horrible things to those characters that those responsible didn’t so much deserve bad reviews as a trial in The Hague.



~ by smwilliams on June 25, 2013.