Book to Film–Yay or Nay?

It’s been done for decades–a book gets turned into a movie. It seems like the trend has been picking up faster and faster. Books seem to be out barely out for a couple of years before they become transformed into the film medium. Recent examples are the Dragon Tattoo books and The Hunger Game trilogy.

What have been your favorite and least favorite book to film crossovers? Personally, I find that many of Stephen King’s earlier books (who I am a huge fan of) don’t come across well on film. (Exceptions would be Misery, The Shinning and Carrie.) But those movies were changed in many areas, even the endings, when transferred to film. And I think picking the right actors (Kathy Bates, Jack Nicholson, Sissy Spacek) makes a huge difference. ((I’m still hoping Jensen Ackles will play the lead detective in my novel, Spider’s Truth!))

So what do YOU think?



  1. I agree with Tom about the Bourne books/movies. So very different, but each good in their own way. I only have two examples of liking the movies better than the books – One is the Notebook, and two is Big Fish. Other than that I always love the books better than movies!

  2. Anonymous

    i think one of the best screen adaptations of a book was ‘gone with the wind’. i found it covered all the major points of the book with beautiful photography and wonderful acting and costuming. i also loved the adaptation of steinbeck’s ‘of mice and men’. again, the acting was terrific, and the story itself was intense and emotional, which was brought across on the screen beautifully. one of my least favorite screen adaptations of a book was ‘harry potter and the prisoner of azkaban’. i know, most people thought that was one of the best of the hp movies, but i just couldn’t stand those shrunken heads!

  3. Joan Hoffmann

    Hello again, Christa –

    It was a nice surprise to run into you last week. You look great and are certainly progressing well in the writing field.

    First, I think you might want to get an idea of how your books are selling and the public’s reaction to them. If well, as we hope/expect, you will get a better idea about the advisability of going forward to the screen.

    Will keep fingers/toes crossed and look forward to hearing more.


  4. tom k

    Much of the rush to get books to movies (I think) is purely commercial, to take advantage of the book’s popularity before interest has a chance to fade.

    I have a split decision on one of my favorite series – the Bourne books. I reread the original, and while some of the elements are the same, the movies stray a long way from Ludlum’s characters. The good news for me was the movies stood very well on their own.

    And my understanding is that once an author sells the rights to the book, they usually have almost no control over what comes out in the end. I can only hope that Stephen King was appalled at Running Man!

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