Adaptation: Books versus Movies
The earliest silent films often used books as their source material, from F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu based on Bram Stoker’s Dracula, to D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation taken from Thomas Dixon’s The Clansman. Gearing up for Oscar season, late fall and winter releases seem to regularly adapt popular or acclaimed literature. Beowulf, The Kite Runner, I Am Legend, Love in the Time of Cholera, Atonement, The Golden Compass, No Country for Old Men, Persepolis, and P.S. I Love You are all adapted from novels or short stories. Of those, I’ve only seen Atonement so far. I enjoyed it and would recommend it, but I certainly didn’t think it measured up to Ian McEwan’s novel (which I loved). But at the same time, if I love a story enough, I’m happy to see it in almost any version.
What adaptations are you most eager to see this winter? Which book do you think would make a great movie? (Who would you cast?) And are there any movies which you think have blasphemed the books they were based on?