Adapting books into movies

Which books made the best movies?


Photo Courtesy of Canva/Creative Commons

Erielle Ocampo, Opinion Editor

From a worldwide classic involving luxurious parties and an unforbidden love to a $356 million worldwide movie, “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald embraces the imagination of readers into movies that are enjoyed by many. Adapting books into pieces of entertainment is a way for the reader’s imagination to come to life. The discussion on if books are better than movies is a topic the majority have an opinion on. 

A consistency among many is the convenience factor of movies rather than books. 

“I usually prefer books,” senior Bella Weiss said. “But movies are more convenient. Books are more detailed and accurate to the original story, but movies are more convenient and condensed.” 

Movies generally crackdown a grand chunk of time rather than reading a movie. 

“You can watch a movie really quickly, in like an hour or two, but a book you usually sit down a couple of hours to read the whole thing or over a period of time,” Weiss said. 

Movies have a great way of being able to get the general idea of the book without actually reading it. For books, you have to set aside more time and not everyone can squeeze in a 200-page novel as easily as others. 

“I prefer [watching] the movie,” freshman Marissa Wilkins said. “It’s more engaging for me than reading a book.” 

Photo Courtesy of Canva/Creative Commons

Reader engagement is very hit-or-miss. For those with a shorter attention span or just get bored easily, they prefer the movie option. 

Another factor that was consistent throughout was the time it took for the books to go through the movie production process. [In relation to “Dune”] 

“I read the book first then watched the movie,” senior Adam Grove said. “[I read it first] because ‘Dune’ just came out like 2 weeks ago.” 

The process in which the book has to take to become a movie could take up to several years. 

“Majority of the books I read aren’t adapted into movies or aren’t really good movies that I never got around to watching,” Weiss said. “I ended up reading ‘Flowers for Algernon’ and “‘Brain on Fire,’” I really enjoyed them but I never ended up watching the movies because I either heard bad things or I never just got around to it.” 

A hard concept for many movies to capture is pushing these readers to want to see the book come to life. We see this a lot in the media where producers take a widely known book, for example, “Cinderella,” and twist their own ideas into it. Some people prefer the traditional story while others embrace the change. With the adaptation of the “Harry Potter” series, many fans had mixed feelings. 

“Yeah, the most commonly known book to movie adaptation would be ‘Harry Potter,’” Grove said. “The books are very different from the movies. [They] have the same plot but minor details are very different.” 

Once a reader or movie enthusiast has made up their mind on which they prefer, it’s pretty hard to change their viewpoint. 

“Yeah, there are some [books] but it’s pretty rare,” Wilkins said. “Honestly ‘A Dog’s purpose’ was [a] really good [book and movie].” 

Book-to-movie adaptations aren’t the most accurate. Due to things like cutting out scenes or completely rewriting them due to time constraints, producers and directors have to choose which scenes can really capture the storyline. 

“The only books that I can think of [preferring over movies] are the ones written by John Green. ‘Paper Towns’ and ‘The Fault in Our Stars,’ I watched the movie first. It was more convenient for me since my older siblings had it on. Then I heard it was a book so I read it afterward,” Weiss said. “‘The Series of Unfortunate Events’ was good [as well]. The show was better than the movie; it was really well done but it just wasn’t as good as the books. I think the books outdid the shows, it had a much better ending and more character.” 

When looking for a good book-to-movie film, most people opt to look for those that have equal book and movie parts. Most prefer when the movie provides both the writers’ twist and the books’ plot development. 

Overall, book-to-movie adaptations are all about preference. While some like to stay traditional to the books’ plotline, others believe it’s a great way to produce a different aspect. 

“They’re (books to show and movie adaptations) usually really fun to watch and show better development of the characters even if it’s not the main storyline,” Grove said. 

Whether you prefer the book or the movie, there are many options that are given for all entertainment connoisseurs’ enjoyment.

Photo Courtesy of Canva/Creative Commons