Greetings all, John J. Horn here.
Have you ever seen a movie rendition of a book and been outraged?
"They got it all wrong!"
"They didn't use my favorite character!"
"Did the director even read the book?"
Hollywood has murdered its fair share of books.
I hate to see a good book ruined as much as the next person, but I also think that movie-makers should have significant flexibility when adapting books.
I think most novelists dream of seeing their stories on the big screen, even if they don't really think it will happen. Sure, I've dreamed that dream myself.
Agatha Christie didn't need to dream, because it happened often during her lifetime. She and Shakespeare are purportedly the best-selling authors of all time. Many movies and plays were made from Christie's books during her lifetime, and she had input into some of them, particularly the plays.
Christie believed that the unique medium of films/plays allowed and required different things than the written word, so she was one of her own most liberal adapters. She even changed the ending to her book Witness when she adapted the stage play.
I agree with Agatha Christie that acted media (movies) should often be somewhat different than the books they were based upon. Theme is most important. There is an essence to every story that can be captured by both books and films, and that essence is what readers/viewers connect with. There's no reason to change details in a movie for the sake of doing so, but directors should have the flexibility to do so if their unique medium justifies it.
All that being said, books usually are more long-lastingly powerful than movies. That's why I prefer to watch a movie first, then read the book. I'll enjoy the movie (assuming it's good) and then enjoy the book that much more.
What do you think?
John J. Horn is a Christian author from San Antonio, Texas. Learn
more about John and his Men of Grit series and sign up for his
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