Transposing an existing work to the cinema can be a double-edged sword, some are so well done that the authors love them while sometimes the authors hate the adaptations of their works. It’s very easy to stray a little too far from the original work, and if the writers try to change things in the story sometimes it happens that they are really good choices and that it gives an even better dimension to the story. ‘work.
1. The character of Chief Bromden in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”
In the novel, the character of the Chief is a man locked up in the asylum because he is truly dangerous for him and for the others. He is convinced that all humans are robots, that society is ruled by a strange superior intelligence and can be violent. The film decided to completely change this character and for once it was a brilliant idea: the leader becomes just a poor man whom society has broken down, rejected and left aside until his unjustified internment. It becomes much more touching, human and above all necessary to the story. And the damn end, what an end.
2. The end of “Watchmen”
SPOILER WARNING: if the Watchmen film is extremely faithful to the basic comics to the point of using the boxes as a storyboard, the end has been changed or at least the form of its events. The “villain” Ozymandias manages to make it look like a gigantic fake alien is destroying New York, a kind of huge octopus that makes the world understand that a common enemy exists and that we must stop waging war . In the film Snyder makes the choice to take Dr. Manhattan as a scapegoat and the story becomes even more believable, a choice that really pays off for the script.
3. The last three minutes of “The Mist”
Those who saw it remember the end of the film as it is shocking. Franck Darabont, the director, had originally chosen to follow the ending written by Stephen King. Trapped in this thick mist in which strange critters eat everyone, the hero tried to survive with his children and the story ended when they approached a military base, hoping to be saved. This first version therefore left the reader with an open end, allowing him to interpret for himself whether they were going to survive or not. But Darabont really wanted everyone to cry, so he added three minutes during which the father of the family kills his children and the other survivors with a bullet in the head so that they don’t get eaten just before the soldiers arrive to save them. It’s really a tough ending anyway, but Stephen King himself said he would have liked to write it so much he liked it.
4. Stannis’ choice in “Game of thrones”
You probably remember one of Stannis Baratheon’s most defining scenes in Game of Thrones where he sends his own daughter to the stake to get a god’s blessing. This scene shows how the character gradually sinks into a nightmare from which he will not return and this explains how he will evolve thereafter. In the book, not only does he not burn his kid, but he also categorically refuses to sacrifice anyone, advising his people to simply pray. A striking but winning choice for the creators of the series (for once).
5. The true nature of “Men in black”
So watch out because the comics are cool, but it probably wouldn’t have been a good family movie like the saga is considered today. Why ? Because in the comics men in black are big bastards, not only do they bump into aliens who are not threats, but they do not hesitate to use their “flasher” to push certain humans to suicide. Not cool, not selling, not very 90s Will Smith movie.
6. The fucking awkward scene in “It”
Stephen King’s novel adapted into a television version (which may have traumatized some of us, but I assure you, see the old one today, it’s really all musty) has been decked out with a few changes. In particular the disappearance of a terrible gang-bang scene in the sewers between the little girl Beverly (aged 11) and the 6 boys. Fortunately, this scene was literally released from both adaptations, it was rather disturbing.
7. Androids from “Blade Runner”
If the two works are very different (really very different) the best choice Ridley Scott made in adapting K. Dick’s novel was to refine the difference between humans and androids as much as possible. In the book we end up understanding that they are devoid of emotion while humans can have empathy. The film plays much more with this border by showing the incredible monologue of Rutger Haeur and the look of Rick Deckard completely lost after having seen the humanity which lives in the famous robots and which doubts its own mission.
8. The rivalry in “Dragons”
In order to energize the story of the film a little Dragons the writers have changed something quite crucial to the story of the book: the relationship between humans and dragons. In the book the Vikings are not at war with the creatures but on the contrary, taming a dragon is part of the passage to adulthood. So you see it has nothing to do with the movie where the hero is the first to befriend a dragon and encourages his people to follow him in the process and stop the war. Good change.
9. Baymax’s personality in “The New Heroes”
This friendly robot doctor on whom we want to bounce back is quite different in the book since his personality is quite simply that of Hiro’s father. As a result, there is a rather special relationship between the child’s mother and the imposing robot that the creators of the film have simply decided to remove by giving Baymax its own personality. Not only does it remove a few scenes but it also adds a more believable link between the two characters.
10. “The Mask” which was far too violent to be a children’s film
In the movie The Mask we have the right to cartoon violence which goes very well for children, it’s funny and it’s nice. But in the comics, not only is Stanley Ipkis very different, but when he wears the mask he becomes particularly violent, he smashes gangs but also people who don’t really deserve to die. The mask is just an excuse for Ipkis to start butting people out of pure revenge and finally giving him the chance to take revenge on the world. That makes him a much darker character for an adult reading audience who likes dark humor, not for 8-year-olds who want to see Jim Carrey pull faces.