From Lord of the Rings to Harry Potter, numerous authors have secretly contributed to the success of Hollywood blockbusters – their words have stepped outside the realm of books and took over the film industry by storm. However, there also have been contradictory cases where the authors were not content with the movie adaptations of their books.
Interview With The Vampire (written by Anne Rice) This 1994 American drama horror film starred two of the uprising Hollywood stars back then – Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. Despite keeping the story line synonymous to the original story, the author was quite displeased. According to her, the casting was “bizarre” and she had a tough time imagining how the actors would portray the characters of her book.
Queen of the Damned (written by Annie Rice) The sequel to Interview With The Vampire did not gain much appreciation from the author either. Stuart Townsend replaced Tom Cruise as the vampire this time. Although the movie had surprisingly good reviews in the box office due to a muddled, choppy narrative, the author was still unhappy. “The movie has mutilated the book,” she claimed.
Forrest Grump (written by Winston Groom) This incident was almost like the Cold War. Winston Groom was infuriated when he discovered that the adaptation has omitted plot points and even censored the language. He even went to the extent of involving this incident in the sequel of his book, on which he wrote, “Don’t ever let nobody make a movie of your life’s story.” Groom sued the producers but it wasn’t in vain. And as a result of this conflict, Groom’s name was not mentioned in any of the six Academy Award acceptance speeches given by various cast and crew members of this hugely acclaimed movie.
Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (written by Roald Dahl) This 21 million dollars grossing movie of the early 70s was “crummy” according to the author. And worse, the iconic character Willie Wonka seemed pretentious to the author and he reportedly blamed the director saying that he had no talent or flair. And such discontent has led Roald Dahl to announce that the sequel to the book “Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator” will not be adapted into a movie; at least not until he is alive.
I Am Legend (written by Richard Matheson) The author has been repeatedly annoyed by the various adaptations of his book. According to the author, the first one The Last Man on Earth (released in 1964) suffered from a lack of proper film direction; although he loved how the plot resonated with his original story. The second film “The Omega Man,” however, annoyed him the most.
“The Omega Man had so many differences from my book that I wasn’t a bit bothered about the movie. It did not look like an adaptation at all,” he said.
Then came the widely acclaimed version starring Will Smith in 2007, but it failed to meet Richard Matheson’s expectations as well since it completely changed Matheson’s ending. The reason was quite simple - it didn’t test well with the audience.
Jaws (written by Peter Benchley) No matter how reputed a director you are, there are times when you won’t be able to please the author. This is exactly what this portrayed. Steven Spielberg decided to change the key plot of the movie. The book had a central character, named Hooper, being eaten by a shark whereas Spielberg kept Hooper alive. Although Spielberg’s adaptation has been critically acclaimed to be one of the most thrilling climaxes to any Hollywood film ever, Benchley was still complaining about it.
Charlotte’s Web (written by EB White) This book had two adaptations, one being a musical. The author found it meaningless to adapt the story into a musical. “The story is interrupted every few minutes so that somebody can sing a jolly song,” she said. However, the movie version, starring Dakota Fanning, was highly praised by the author.
Lolita (written by Vladimir Nabokov) The director of the movie Stanley Kubrick was humble enough to include the author’s name for writing the screenplay. But he used very little content from the book. The movie went on to receive a huge response; with Nabokov getting an Academy Award nomination for his involvement in the film. But even after all this, he had to share his discontent.
V for Vendetta (written by Alan Moore) This author was constantly being disappointed by film adaptations of his work. He despised the Hughes Brother’s version of his Jack the Ripper novel, From Hell, and Stephen Norrington’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen was also perceived by him as a massive failure. But the famous V for Vendetta served as the nail in the coffin. He was so displeased with the adaptation that he decided not to get involved or take credit in any of the adaptations of his work.
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