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Author Topic: Book to movie conversion  (Read 293 times)
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Pitt Clemens

Urban Legend
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« on: 07-21-2005 15:08 »

Jaws spoilers:


Many times when making novels into films critical elements of the story are changed only for the reason that telling the story visually rather than with prose has a different need of presentation.  It's the eterntal doesn't translate to film problem.  I could go on a Fight Club rant right now, but I think Jaws proved my point.  What are some other Book-to-film changes that seriously altered the outcome, but looked good on film?
Wooter

Urban Legend
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« Reply #1 on: 07-21-2005 17:52 »
« Last Edit on: 07-21-2005 17:52 »

I have a question. Who does Michael Crichton know in Hollywood? He's had at least four of his books turned ito movies. Yet, the fact remains, Alan Dean Foster does not have a movie. Why? The same goes for Stephen King.

Oh, and speaking of Crichton, I think in Jurassic Park, the raptors were the correct size (like a medium sized dog) but Speilberg made them big.
Y_L_B

Professor
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« Reply #2 on: 07-21-2005 18:40 »

Hey, Stephen King had a few of his books turned into movies! Christine, anyone?

Speaking of Crichton, I saw Timeline the other day...  It was pretty enjoyable, worth a rental, but absolutely terrible compared to the book. A lot of the details were missing, and not minor ones either. Pretty much the whole reason they went back in time and how was left out with no explanation at all. Bleh.
DaveMason

Bending Unit
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« Reply #3 on: 07-21-2005 18:46 »

The Wizard Of Oz The Book was muuuuuch more serious than movie version. The movie tuned it into a frigging musical.  up yours
bankrupt

Urban Legend
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« Reply #4 on: 07-21-2005 19:32 »

Timeline was a fine read, but I've refused to see the movie.  Paul Walker is enough of a reason not to see the movie.  Choosing him to be in your movie is the equivalent of shitting on it.  I think it was Entertainment Weekly that describe his role in the movie as a "time travelling 2x4".
DogDoo8

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #5 on: 07-21-2005 19:38 »

I just got sick and tired of Michael Crichton after I read "TimeLine" this guy's got an unhealthy addiction to "Chaos Theary" and I still can't imagin  how they where able to make a movie of that Book.

And also Speilberg made alot changes to the Jurassic Park movie. I mean the old guy died at the end of the book, would have been better to kill him off in the movie as well.
VelourFog

Space Pope
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« Reply #6 on: 07-21-2005 20:57 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Pitt Clemens:
Jaws spoilers:

Did the fact that the fake shark looked shitty as hell have anything to do with the revision, I wonder?
i_c_weiner

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #7 on: 07-21-2005 21:41 »

Jurassic Park III wasn't a book. The pterodactyl cage and the spinosaur river scenes from the movie were from the Jurassic Park novel. They weren't put into the first movie because of budget and other concerns.
DrThunder88

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #8 on: 07-21-2005 22:29 »

Compared to movie magic available today, Bruce (the shark) doesn't even compare.  That being said, it is still pretty good.  I don't think the crappiness of the construction had anything to do with the path the screenplay took.  I can't be certain, but I imagine a crucial element like a main character/big shark death scene would be changed before the movie went into production (I'll look through the special features segment on my Jaws DVD tonight...I think that was on there somewhere).  Even on Jurassic Park I'm pretty sure they had the script done before Spielberg decided to use CGI instead of Go-motion animation.

Speaking of Jurassic Park, it is one of my favorite movies despite the fact that it was a pretty marginal book-to-movie movie.  The fact of the matter is, that, like everyone has said, there were a number of elements in the novel that just couldn't be added to the film.  Compressing 400 pages of prose to 130 pages of script is bound to leave something unsaid or said in a more concise manner.  Frankly, it seemed like bringing Chrichton on board was more of a buyout of a premise (genetically-engineered dinosaurs rampage in theme park) and characters.  David Koepp et al seemed to take this basic idea and run with it.  And of course, the same could be said about the sequel.

The same problem exists with Tom Clancy's books-to-movies.  The books generally have multi-linear plots that don't translate well into 120 minute movies.  The Sum of All Fears, while a good movie, was greatly changed and simplified from its novel version.  Much of the Clancy-esque hopolobabble is washed away, the romantic subplot is fundamentally changed and toned down, and the intra-office conflict is watered down.  At the end of the day, you have a different movie with the same characters (mostly), similar circumstances, and the same result.

The Harry Potter books have had a good series of film interpretations.  There are fewer major, technical plot points than Jurassic Park or Tom Clancy films, for example, so when they are glossed over, the story doesn't change much.
Wooter

Urban Legend
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« Reply #9 on: 07-21-2005 22:33 »

Well, Y_L_B, what I meant is why does Stephen King have movies, and not Alan Dean Foster?
Nerd-o-rama

Urban Legend
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« Reply #10 on: 07-21-2005 23:12 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by DogDoo8:
I just got sick and tired of Michael Crichton after I read "TimeLine" this guy's got an unhealthy addiction to "Chaos Theary" and I still can't imagin  how they where able to make a movie of that Book.
There's nothing wrong with liking Chaos Theory...

*Puts on Mandelbrot-pattern T-shirt and goes off to read Interesting Times*

And besides, Timeline was more about practical quantum physics and GUT than Chaos Theory.

I could go on for hours on the actual topic, but apprently I just did that by accident in the Potter thread.  Suffice to say that movies and print literature are possibly the two most disparate types of media in existance.  Alright, maybe television is further removed from novels due to its episodic nature, but you know what I mean.
Wooter

Urban Legend
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« Reply #11 on: 07-21-2005 23:58 »

Despit my preoccupation with the middle ages, I almost liked Prey more than Timelines. But that would be really hard to make into a movie.
canned eggs

Space Pope
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« Reply #12 on: 07-22-2005 00:05 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Wooter:
Oh, and speaking of Crichton, I think in Jurassic Park, the raptors were the correct size (like a medium sized dog) but Speilberg made them big.

Whoever designed the movie raptors just used deinonychus as a model instead of v. mongoliensis because they were scarier, is my guess.

I'm waiting for the movie adaptation of "Topics in Quantum Field Theory."  But I bet they'll screw up the ending.
Wooter

Urban Legend
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« Reply #13 on: 07-22-2005 00:12 »

No the deinonychus is smaller than that. They're approximately the size of Utahraptors. However, the movie was already underway (or finished, I forget which) when palientologists found the first Utahraptor (well, not ther first, but the first they found) They said "look, we've found Speilberg's raptor!"
I read that in the preface of a book called Raptor Red, writeen by a palientologist about a Utahraptor. It was suprisingly well written, but it was lacking in dialogue.
Pitt Clemens

Urban Legend
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« Reply #14 on: 07-22-2005 00:15 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by canned eggs:

I'm waiting for the movie adaptation of "Topics in Quantum Field Theory."  But I bet they'll screw up the ending.


No big crunch and the universe endures forever?

Horray!
Nerd-o-rama

Urban Legend
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« Reply #15 on: 07-22-2005 00:32 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Wooter:
Despit my preoccupation with the middle ages, I almost liked Prey more than Timelines. But that would be really hard to make into a movie.
Besides, SG-1 already stole part of the idea.  Mmm...RepliCarter...
DrThunder88

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #16 on: 07-22-2005 18:51 »

So yeah, after watching the 'making of' documentary, it turns out that the original death of Quint in Jaws was supposed to be just like Ahab's death in Moby Dick what with the harpooning and rope entanglement and drowning and such.  As such, Spielberg claims the early version of the script was changed not because of special effect constraints but because he wanted the shark's death to be a triumphant, dynamic scene.
Jeremy

Urban Legend
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« Reply #17 on: 07-22-2005 23:09 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Y_L_B:
Hey, Stephen King had a few of his books turned into movies! Christine, anyone?

You....liked the movie? I thought it was a piece of shit. A big piece of shit on a dashboard.
Y_L_B

Professor
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« Reply #18 on: 08-06-2005 22:09 »

I hated it, I was just saying that it was indeed made.
Zogonif

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #19 on: 08-07-2005 04:11 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by DrThunder88:
The Sum of All Fears, while a good movie, was greatly changed and simplified from its novel version.  Much of the Clancy-esque hopolobabble is washed away, the romantic subplot is fundamentally changed and toned down, and the intra-office conflict is watered down.  At the end of the day, you have a different movie with the same characters (mostly), similar circumstances, and the same result.

Wasn't in Sum of all fears the terrorist in the book were Arab Terrorists and for the movie they changed it to some Neo Nazi's thats what i heard anyway
Gocad

Space Pope
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« Reply #20 on: 09-05-2005 04:08 »
« Last Edit on: 09-05-2005 04:08 »

   
Quote
Originally posted by Zogonif:
 Wasn't in Sum of all fears the terrorist in the book were Arab Terrorists and for the movie they changed it to some Neo Nazi's thats what i heard anyway

Yes. Why did they change it?
The movie changed the villains from Islamic extremists (in the novel) to Neo-Nazis. This was done to increase realism because before the terrorist attacks on the USA of 11 September 2001, Islamic extremists were considered unable to carry out intensive terrorist act on US soil. After 9/11 the production staff had to review how to present the movie to the public.

Thank you IMDb!  smile

The plot of the book was:


 I wonder what they would if they wanted to turn "Debt of Honor" into a movie...
DogDoo8

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #21 on: 09-05-2005 04:41 »

I'm holding out for "SPOT, The Movie".

Don't now if there already is a movie or if they would make a movie but haey, a man can dream, yes a man "can" dream.
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