Just because its an awesome book, does it mean it should be a movie?

  • This message board permanently closed on June 30th, 2020 at 4PM EDT and is no longer accepting new members.

blunthead

Well-Known Member
Aug 2, 2006
80,755
195,461
Atlanta GA
I'm a believer in movies and that virtually any story can be successfully translated to the screen if provided enough support. I think some of the sK stories which haven't been produced well weren't so due to producers assuming that horror movies wouldn't be taken all that seriously; consequently sK wasn't taken very seriously and those projects weren't given much support. Nowadays Hollywood and independent studios realize that sK is gold. So I have high hopes for DT and any other sK project to go to the big screen.
 

skimom2

Just moseyin' through...
Oct 9, 2013
15,683
92,168
USA
I have watched Shawshank so many times, that there's no way I could imagine Andy DuFresne as anyone but Tim Robbins!
We differ on this *GASP* Tim Robbins is so not Andy DuFresne that I can't enjoy the movie. I don't know why Morgan Freeman doesn't bother me as Red, but he doesn't. I don't know if I can watch Cell (if it ever comes out) for the same reason: the casting is horribly, horribly wrong for a story that I thoroughly enjoyed. If I don't have strong feelings about the story, it's easier for me to just go with the flow when it comes to a movie.
 

skimom2

Just moseyin' through...
Oct 9, 2013
15,683
92,168
USA
In the ABC version I felt sorry for the dad. I don't know if that was the point or if I am off but I wanted that basstaad to make it out as bad is I wanted the wife and kid too. That may make me sound like a loony but I was a kid so whatever. I thought he had been a good guy being tricked into being bad by the mean monster ghosts. I felt like danny knew that too. I have refused to watch the ABC movie as an adult because I dont know if it will ruin the magic. I made that decision after watching the kubrick version and feeling nothing but time wasting. I could be way off base.
I agree with you about the TV version of The Shining. There was a bit of slack there (pointless atmospheric shots of the grounds, I think there largely to make up screen time for each episode), but Steven Weber's Jack was much closer to the character in the book: a good man led astray by weakness. Nicholson was batshit crazy from the first frames, and you knew he freaking hated his wimpy wife and weird kid from the moment you saw them together. That's not the Jack Mr. King wrote. I preferred and still prefer the TV version, warts and all.
 

Ashcrash

Well-Known Member
Jun 10, 2015
1,326
4,898
Wutsittoyu
We differ on this *GASP* Tim Robbins is so not Andy DuFresne that I can't enjoy the movie. I don't know why Morgan Freeman doesn't bother me as Red, but he doesn't. I don't know if I can watch Cell (if it ever comes out) for the same reason: the casting is horribly, horribly wrong for a story that I thoroughly enjoyed. If I don't have strong feelings about the story, it's easier for me to just go with the flow when it comes to a movie.


I guess it is a good thing I saw the movie first then!!!!!!!
 

Maskins

Well-Known Member
Jun 16, 2015
640
3,700
I was spoofing on a common dispute here: "Was the movie ending of The Mist better than the story ending?" People have strong feelings on both sides :) I'm a "story ending is better" kind of gal, but there are definitely people who don't agree-lol.

Well I wouldn't say better - just different. It is amazingly divisive - even for non SK fans. I had a long (and admittedly pointless) argument with a friend who believed it was the worst ending in movie history. I strongly disagreed and would propose that the ending of the Never Ending story is the worst movie ending for the very reason that it ends.
 

Maskins

Well-Known Member
Jun 16, 2015
640
3,700
Oh sweet Dreamcatcher. The book I will never admit scared me as an adult. It made me all jumpy. I just got so into it that if a peice of fuzz rolled across the floor I would jump thinking it was a spider. Although I could not say that about the movie I still did enjoy it.

I remember reading Dreamcatcher in about two sittings - I had finished my finals at college and the book was my reward. I sat in the shade in the quite horrible garden at my student house and just read and read. I also stopped following people into the restroom for a while after. I liked the movie but I know friends who watched it with me were like, what the heck in the sequences set inside the mind. I had the context of having read the book to make it work.
 

Maskins

Well-Known Member
Jun 16, 2015
640
3,700
I think I read or saw somewhere Stephen king answering the Question "Didn't that movie ruin your book." His response was "No. The book is still right there and able to be read." But in that sense what about Lord of the Rings. I have never read the books and would have never even known of the existence if not for the movie. I have not read the dark towers so I will not pretend to know the complexity of the literature. But it may be one of those things that will never be satisfying to the fans of the book but might be epic to people just seeing the movie. I don't know my opinion is bias because I saw IT first as a child then read the book. But I also saw the ABC version of the shining as a kid Then read the book as an adult and saw the Kubrick version as an adult. The shinning series on ABC was epic to me. and the book was even more epic. Then when I saw the original movie I thought "daaaaaaaaaaaaaaam that was dumb lol"

You make a really good point - I suppose that if the world gets a good version of Roland and co.then does it matter if it doesn't completely satisfy us bookreaders as long as the essence of them is given to a wider audience.

I came to Mr. King's books via the tv series version of The Stand. I was probably too young to watch it and I think it has aged but at the time I was entranced. When I was a little older, I got stuck into the book which is a classic. I guess, maybe the TV series served its purpose if it makes lifelong fans of the books? Though I do still see some of the characters in my head as the same as the book. Not all of them - but Nadine and Stu seem to have stuck. Not sure why...
 

bobledrew

Inveterate yammerer
May 13, 2010
2,782
1,924
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
I had the good luck to interview Robert Sawyer a couple of years ago (Author Robert J. Sawyer: Hugo, Nebula, and Campbell Memorial Award-winning Science Fiction Writer). Sawyer's had one book turned into a TV series (Flash Forward), but nothing else. I tossed off a comment like "Well, at least they haven't ruined anything of yours" or something like that, and he told me a story. He had been at some science fiction convention or something and ran into Janet Asimov, Isaac's daughter and the literary executor of his estate. At the time, the Will Smith "I Robot" had come out, and Sawyer was expressing his disappointment with the adaptation. She told him that she was overjoyed about the movie and explained that even if the movie wasn't faithful to the book, that several million people would see it. And even if 5 % of those people go find the book, that's thousands of people being exposed to her dad's work that wouldn't have otherwise heard of it.

I don't ENTIRELY buy that perspective, but I can't discount it either.
 

Maskins

Well-Known Member
Jun 16, 2015
640
3,700
I had the good luck to interview Robert Sawyer a couple of years ago (Author Robert J. Sawyer: Hugo, Nebula, and Campbell Memorial Award-winning Science Fiction Writer). Sawyer's had one book turned into a TV series (Flash Forward), but nothing else. I tossed off a comment like "Well, at least they haven't ruined anything of yours" or something like that, and he told me a story. He had been at some science fiction convention or something and ran into Janet Asimov, Isaac's daughter and the literary executor of his estate. At the time, the Will Smith "I Robot" had come out, and Sawyer was expressing his disappointment with the adaptation. She told him that she was overjoyed about the movie and explained that even if the movie wasn't faithful to the book, that several million people would see it. And even if 5 % of those people go find the book, that's thousands of people being exposed to her dad's work that wouldn't have otherwise heard of it.

I don't ENTIRELY buy that perspective, but I can't discount it either.

That's an interesting story - perhaps this is why many authors are not phased by the adaptation of their work. I wonder if it works both ways - it would be great (though probably impossible to do) to survey how many people have NOT read a book because they have seen the film adaptation. I have known a number of people who have said there is not point in reading the Harry Potter books because they have seen the film (who might have checked it out to see what all the fuss was about if they hadn't).
 

Aloysius Nell

Well-Known Member
Apr 1, 2014
309
1,009
48
That's an interesting story - perhaps this is why many authors are not phased by the adaptation of their work. I wonder if it works both ways - it would be great (though probably impossible to do) to survey how many people have NOT read a book because they have seen the film adaptation. I have known a number of people who have said there is not point in reading the Harry Potter books because they have seen the film (who might have checked it out to see what all the fuss was about if they hadn't).

Feel free to tell them that's stupid. Harry Potter doesn't suffer any less than any other book from the translation process.

Well, OK, maybe a LITTLE less. They threw an insane amount of money at those movies, and did a lot of things well. Also LOTR is in that category. Although they are necessarily watered-down versions of the story, the movies can stand on their own without teetering, unlike most SK movies.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mal and GNTLGNT

Pucker

We all have it coming, kid
May 9, 2010
2,906
6,242
59
Well . . . the unfortunate truth of the matter is that a troubling percentage of the population has given up reading anything longer than this post altogether, and most won't watch a video that's longer than a minute.

Also, there is an incredible dearth of new ideas, so what we get is remakes of movies that the target audience knows nothing about.

That's why you can have a "Mad Max" movie that doesn't really have Max in it; or endless "reboots" of things that were never any good to begin with.

So, to answer the question . . . No.

But people need movies, because they're sure as hell not going to read 50,000 pages (or whatever it is), and those ideas have to be stolen from somewhere.
 

muskrat

Dis-Member
Nov 8, 2010
4,518
19,564
Under your bed
If we're talkin Dark Tower, I'm gonna say no. In fact, I think we oughtta outlaw the very idea of trying to film it. As I've stated somewheres else, much of what is cool about the series works simply because they are books, and harken here and there to King's other works. And, I hate to say it, there's a LOT of stuff in there that could very easily come out looking mighty stupid on the big screen (and even worse on the DAMNED TV). We should start a petition: No Dark Tower Movie!

Really, c'mon man, do we need big honkin digitized versions of all our fantasies? Must we have our fiction spoon fed to us in weekly, hourly portions sponsored by Cialis? Can't we, the readers--the True Constant Readers--have this one (okay, eight and counting) book be wholly our own? A sort of secret society, that's what it's like. You wanna go to the Tower, you gotta walk the Beam--and that means reading, snowflake.

NO TOWER MOVIE! NO TOWER MOVIE! NO TOWER MOVIE!
 

Dana Jean

Dirty Pirate Hooker, The Return
Moderator
Apr 11, 2006
53,634
236,697
The High Seas
I agree
If we're talkin Dark Tower, I'm gonna say no. In fact, I think we oughtta outlaw the very idea of trying to film it. As I've stated somewheres else, much of what is cool about the series works simply because they are books, and harken here and there to King's other works. And, I hate to say it, there's a LOT of stuff in there that could very easily come out looking mighty stupid on the big screen (and even worse on the DAMNED TV). We should start a petition: No Dark Tower Movie!

Really, c'mon man, do we need big honkin digitized versions of all our fantasies? Must we have our fiction spoon fed to us in weekly, hourly portions sponsored by Cialis? Can't we, the readers--the True Constant Readers--have this one (okay, eight and counting) book be wholly our own? A sort of secret society, that's what it's like. You wanna go to the Tower, you gotta walk the Beam--and that means reading, snowflake.

NO TOWER MOVIE! NO TOWER MOVIE! NO TOWER MOVIE!
.
 

Aloysius Nell

Well-Known Member
Apr 1, 2014
309
1,009
48
If we're talkin Dark Tower, I'm gonna say no. In fact, I think we oughtta outlaw the very idea of trying to film it. As I've stated somewheres else, much of what is cool about the series works simply because they are books, and harken here and there to King's other works. And, I hate to say it, there's a LOT of stuff in there that could very easily come out looking mighty stupid on the big screen (and even worse on the DAMNED TV). We should start a petition: No Dark Tower Movie!

Really, c'mon man, do we need big honkin digitized versions of all our fantasies? Must we have our fiction spoon fed to us in weekly, hourly portions sponsored by Cialis? Can't we, the readers--the True Constant Readers--have this one (okay, eight and counting) book be wholly our own? A sort of secret society, that's what it's like. You wanna go to the Tower, you gotta walk the Beam--and that means reading, snowflake.

NO TOWER MOVIE! NO TOWER MOVIE! NO TOWER MOVIE!

Ah likes you, rabbit.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mal and muskrat

Aericanwizard

Well-Known Member
Jun 15, 2011
218
306
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
I have known a number of people who have said there is not point in reading the Harry Potter books because they have seen the film (who might have checked it out to see what all the fuss was about if they hadn't).

I would argue that "Harry Potter" is a weird sort of "too faithful" adaptation of the novels. By the end of that movie series, there is a lot of stuff happening that is completely incomprehensible if you haven't read the books. Due to time limits, things were cut that explain further events. The events are there, but now with no explanation.

As for adaptations in general, I agree that the main part of a good adaptation is to get the "feel" of the book. My favourite adaptation of my favourite novel, "The Count of Monte Cristo", is a Korean cartoon called "Gankutsuou", and involves killer robots and interplanetary travel. It gets the relationships right, and doesn't tack on some phony Hollywood happy ending. It's wonderful.
 

Aloysius Nell

Well-Known Member
Apr 1, 2014
309
1,009
48
I would argue that "Harry Potter" is a weird sort of "too faithful" adaptation of the novels. By the end of that movie series, there is a lot of stuff happening that is completely incomprehensible if you haven't read the books. Due to time limits, things were cut that explain further events. The events are there, but now with no explanation.

Like what? I admit I'm more familiar with the book versions than the films, but I've seen them all. There are some things/characters I miss, but what doesn't make sense without the book?

Just curious.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mal and blunthead

Aericanwizard

Well-Known Member
Jun 15, 2011
218
306
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Like what? I admit I'm more familiar with the book versions than the films, but I've seen them all. There are some things/characters I miss, but what doesn't make sense without the book?

I, too, am more familiar with the books, but I remember watching the movies with friends that hadn't read them, and they were puzzled by events that I thought had been thoroughly explained, but upon consideration, had been only explained in the books.

I seem to remember a lot about certain characters cropping up out of nowhere (which I can partially forgive; movies often need to reduce casts), and the whole thing about
the unbeatable wand of Voldemort being beaten (although I thought that logic in the book was a bit hard to follow, to begin with
.

I know that isn't all that satisfying, but I've read the novels so many times, and only watched the films once or twice, so I can't remember what they leave out (and unless I'm watching with a non-reader, it isn't confusing to me; my brain fills in the details).
 
  • Like
Reactions: mal and blunthead

blunthead

Well-Known Member
Aug 2, 2006
80,755
195,461
Atlanta GA
That's an interesting story - perhaps this is why many authors are not phased by the adaptation of their work. I wonder if it works both ways - it would be great (though probably impossible to do) to survey how many people have NOT read a book because they have seen the film adaptation. I have known a number of people who have said there is not point in reading the Harry Potter books because they have seen the film (who might have checked it out to see what all the fuss was about if they hadn't).
I think it comes down to what makes a reader a reader. Any movie which is interesting in any way can cause someone who likes to read to want to read the original. People who don't want to read will use any excuse not to, whether they've just seen a movie or whatever.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mal and recitador

Aericanwizard

Well-Known Member
Jun 15, 2011
218
306
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
I think it comes down to what makes a reader a reader. Any movie which is interesting in any way can cause someone who likes to read to want to read the original. People who don't want to read will use any excuse not to, whether they've just seen a movie or whatever.

Bingo! I try describing the process of either reading a book and then watching the adaptation, or watching a movie, and then hunting down the source (and even re-reading a favourite book), to some of my non-reading friends, and they cannot comprehend why you would want to experience the same story more than once, "when you know how it ends". My favourite excuse for not reading is "I don't have the time". I try to explain that reading, like any other leisure activity, requires budgeting of time. I play less video games, or watch less TV, to make time to read. I may be being overly judgmental, but what I hear when they say they don't have time is that they are too impatient to spend 10 hours on a well-crafted story that may take a week or two to get to resolution; they'd rather take 2 hours, and get the gist of it.

I love reading, and I love watching movies, but they are different experiences.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mal and recitador