Book lovers are perhaps the most passionate people on the planet. When they love a book, they love it violently and defend it to the no end. When the abhor it, they are intensely opinionated about that as well. Which is why, book to film adaptations are always an ambiguous affair – they are almost always met with controversy and mixed opinions. Sometimes readers create the controversy, other times authors do. Today, we’ve crafted a list of 10 most controversial book to movie adaptations, to break the spell of boredom due to the pandemic.
List of 10 Most Controversial Book To Movie Adaptations | Controversial Literary Adaptations:
The beloved Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan and is based on Greek mythology. This middle grade fantasy series garnered a lot of popularity, but unfortunately its film adaptation starring Logan Lerman and Alexandra Daddario was a flop. Critics deemed it as “unadventurous” and “uninteresting” while Rick himself publicly criticized it. He said that he couldn’t talk about it for contractual reasons but his avoidance and silence about the film and absence on his social media spoke plenty about his opinion.
A Wrinkle in Time
Ava DuVernay adapted Madeleine D’Engle’s fantasy adventure novel with a star cast of Oprah Winfrey, Chris Pine and Reese Witherspoon was expected to be a hit. However, unfortunately, not only did it get terrible reviews on Rotten Tomato and in general, but also the author publicly disproved the movie. When even a stellar cast including Oprah cannot salvage the movie from bad response, you know the movie is genuinely bad.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Truman Capote’s masterpiece, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, received a lukewarm response from critics for being offensive. Although Audrey Hepburn’s character in the film, Holly, became iconic and has become fashion and chic-life inspo all over pinterest, that does not hide the film’s obvious flaws. Racism and sexualization of women are some of the common problem points that most people who watch the film identify in it.
Solaris is a classic science fiction novel by the Polis writer Stanislaw Lem. Although this novel is insanely popular among book lovers, its box office record was extremely poor, which the cast blamed on bad marketing. Owing to George Clooney’s inappropriate scenes , the movie got a PG-13 rating as well. Lem also criticized the film’s overemphasis on the romantic angle.
My Foolish Heart
This film is based on JD Salinger’s story “Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut” and tells the story of Eloise WInters’ (played by Susan Hayward) first love. This film was critically lambasted upon its release. JD Salinger’s agent denounced it saying they thought the filmmakers would make a good movie. The New York Times said that it was “full of soap opera cliches” and Time buffed it because it was a “damp fable.” Even among the masses, the movie was not well received.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
J R R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series is perhaps the best loved epic fantasy series of all times. It’s a classic, and naturally, its fan base is fierce. Although this movie had a great box office reception and crossed the mark of one billion, it raised a lot of ethical issues. Wranglers in New Zealand said that as many as 27 animals died as a result of the film shooting. Horses, goats and sheep succumbed to the “death trap” laid by sinkholes and other obstacles on the Wellington farms.
Stephen King’s iconic novel became a movie in 1980 starring Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall among others. The film, in and of itself, was a goof psychological horror. However, it did no justice to the actual novel. Not only was it way less romantic, but also deviates from the novel in terms of characterization. King himself said that parts of the film fall flat and that the movie isn’t believable. He also criticized Shelley’s character as “just there to scream and be stupid.”
This movie, inspired by Earthsea Cycle by Ursula K Le Guin disappointed the masses due to the director’s inability to adhere to the original plot. Ursula publicly disapproved of the films and pointed out several problems in it. She condemned the fact that the brown protagonist of the novel became a white character in the films. She also had problems with the cover art of the films. This issue of racism created a lot of buzz and controversy around the film.
The Scarlet Letter
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic, ‘The Scarlet Letter’ became a film starring Demi Moore, Gary Oldman and Robert Duvall in 1995. The film received abysmally negative ratings, and made it into the Worst Remake category of the Golden Raspberry Awards. Viewers, critics across the world considered one of the worst films ever made. They bashed the film for its deviation from the beloved novel and for the poor acting. Most people regard it as an awful movie which disappointed them to no end.
PL Travers’s musical fantasy book Mary Poppins released as a film in 1964 and met with terrible criticism from the author. The author was anything but blunt about her blatant disapproval of the film, and said that the film lost its point when it turned the titular character into a “pretty girl.” She further said that she disliked the animation in the film and that she would have preferred for the British (instead of the Americans) to adapt it.
Also Read: 10 Books With Sad Endings