Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

It's a cheerful rainy day here and the cat and I are behind on everything again. Yes, I notice you are not surprised. I should be filling out an author interview, but I am stuck on a question. Which one you may ask? I was asked to describe which actor I'd like to play my characters. Easy enough you say except it made me think about last night when I was waiting in the car and to pass the time I poked around the car to find something to read. The novel that was hanging out in the back seat was part of a series that had been adapted into a television show - parts of which I had just caught the week before.

Let's just say I was less then impressed with the adaptation. Why? Well, one of the joys I take in reading is visualizing the world created by the author in my head. Trust me, most film and television adaptations don't even come close to my fevered imagination. In this case a secondary character I was quite taken with in novel form, was played by an actor who while I'm sure did a fine job, didn't match my mental image. I was un-amused.

Has this ever happened to you?

I should acknowledge I've seen some fine actors and adaptations of novels. Jean Reno in Jean-Christophe Grangé's L'empire des loups, John Malkovich in Ripley's Game. James Garner in Joseph Waumbaugh's The Glitter Dome, Willem Dafoe as John Clark in Clancy's Clear and Present Danger (yeah, yeah, secondary character again) to name just a very few. There have also, in my totally biased and personal opinion, been many bad ones.

I know there are people and websites that spend years casting their favorite characters in various books and comics and whatever else could be converted to make a buck if adapted to large or small screen. I'm not one of them.

I shudder to think about what central casting would do if W.E.B. Griffin's Brotherhood of War series of novels was ever adapted. Who would they pick to play McCoy if The Corps series was brought to the screen? Okay, don't bother emailing me that I won't have to worry. I understand.

I just wonder if there is anyone else out there less likely to see a movie if it's been adapted from a favorite novel rather than more?


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 17th, 2009 04:33 pm (UTC)
It completely and totally depends on the novel. Case in point for me is John Grisham's A Time to Kill. I loved that book and have read it several times. So, I was all excited when the movie came out. There were definite moments of creative license taken - the ending springs to mind - however, it was well done so I could enjoy it as an adaptation of the novel.

One where I've seen the movie but haven't read the book yet is The Namesake. I loved the movie, which makes me wonder just how much more I'll enjoy the book. Especially since several people have recommended it.

A third example - Silence of the Lambs. The book was so well crafted that I was totally creeped out but couldn't put it down. I consumed it in one day. (Obviously, that was back when I wasn't working full-time and could do so. *g*) I watched the movie and felt incredibly let down. Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster are two talented actors, but they were left with a watered-down version of the book. And I decided at that time that I'd just re-read the book if I needed a good creep.

All of this to say, it depends on the actor(s) and it depends on how well the novel is adapted to screenplay. How's that for a rambling response? ;)
Jun. 17th, 2009 05:00 pm (UTC)
That's a great ramble - LOL. But I understand what you mean. It is much better to be open minded and hope for the pleasant surprise.
Jun. 17th, 2009 05:04 pm (UTC)
Sometimes they get it right, and sometimes they totally miss the boat. For some diehard LOTR fans, the movies fell short due to glaring ommissions. But others, the Welshman included, liked most of what was done.

Being open minded and hoping for a pleasant surprise gives you more wiggle room than going into it just certain they'll mess it up. ;)

PS - Saw your print book Drive Me Home at the Pride festival Sunday. :)
Jun. 17th, 2009 05:29 pm (UTC)
Heh, can't please us all - I understand.

Did you really? Cool.

Did I miss your blog post on the festival? *runs off to look at Layla's journal*
Jun. 17th, 2009 05:30 pm (UTC)
I don't think I mentioned shopping at the festival, it was more about the weekend as a whole so I kept it more about the first Pride festival and the rainstorm.
Jun. 18th, 2009 11:19 am (UTC)
It all sounded like a good day - even with the rainstorm.
Jun. 18th, 2009 12:18 pm (UTC)
The rainstorm was lovely. I'd been wanting to get caught in the rain, and I did. :)
Jun. 17th, 2009 11:47 pm (UTC)
The first movie I saw from a book I had read was Walter Farley's Black Stallion. They did a fantastic job, and I eagerly waited to see Black Stallion Returns. Boy, was that a bitter disappointment! At the tender age of 12 I had encountered my first Hollywood Book Mangling. At this point, I think LOTR has done much to raise the bar for our beloved books, and it helps to have a production company like Walden Media (founded by someone in the industry who wants to make movies for his own kids) doing some of the adaptations to screen. Book-to-movie is considerably better now than it was a decade ago.

Now, I understand that there are lots of parts in books that just don't translate to the screen well, and that some changes are to be expected. But take Twilight for instance: the director kept talking in her interviews about the action, how it was an action film. Um, hello? The book was a drama/tragedy based on Romeo and Juliet and the concept of forbidden love, and they messed it up trying to turn it into an action flick. If I want action I'll go see Star Trek again. If a book is popular and beloved by millions, there is a reason, and the people in Hollywood need to respect that instead of peeing all over it and making stupid changes so they can "make their mark" on it. Those of us who loved the book won't thank you for your "creative license".

Um, sorry. Touchy subject with me. Love books, hate seeing the author's vision so thoroughly f$%#ed with by the idiot suits in Hollywood.
Jun. 18th, 2009 11:21 am (UTC)
Heheh. Let it out darlin', let it out.
Jun. 18th, 2009 09:14 am (UTC)
I think so often it's the shortcomings of the movie format that let us down - there's no way it can ever match up to a book and its breadth of imagination and illustration.

Recently, I loved Tim Roth as Skellig, a book very close to my heart, yet he made the character partly his own.

Nicole Kidman was good as the villainess in Golden Compass (but why change the name of the book??!!!)

I've moaned recently as well about the poor casting decisions in some movies from books, but I'm damned if I can remember which ones. I'll return later when I do! LOL
Jun. 18th, 2009 11:23 am (UTC)
but I'm damned if I can remember which ones. I'll return later when I do! LOL

*Chrissy holds tight to the iron will that keeps her from cracking a really bad joke here over Clare's memory*

Ahem - obviously you are just concentrating on your writing.
Jun. 18th, 2009 01:15 pm (UTC)
No, I'm going senile, of course.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )