A large part of Hollywood is taking a very popular novel or book series and showing it on-screen for readers and other audience members to enjoy. We see a lot of book-to-movie adaptions from all kinds of different genres and filmmakers, but now more stories from authors are being introduced to the small screen. “Game of Thrones”, “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Thirteen Reasons Why” are just a few example of books that have turned into popular TV shows, and there are more in line to premiere in 2019.
An adaption that seems to be drawing attention from many young adults is “Looking for Alaska” by John Green. Set to be a Hulu original series, there is excitement in the air and already some critique.
One main critique for projects like “Looking for Alaska” is the final casting. When readers have already pictured up what the characters on the pages of the book look like, they are going to have judgement if the actor portrays them differently than intended. This was the case for Green’s book, but in other cases, there are times where the author describes a character completely different than what the film or show casts.
For many young readers who liked Greek Mythology as a kid, the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan were near addictive. The amount of disappointment that came from these readers when they saw the casting for Annabeth Chase, the book’s female protagonist, was alarming. Riordan wrote Annabeth as blonde with out of control curls and grey eye yet actress Alexandra Daddario was the opposite. Not to mention the age of all the characters was a good five years ahead of where it needed to be. To this day, Riordan fans will scoff at the mention of the not one, but two movies that went completely off book.
Having an established fan base before the script is written can be a good thing for the production companies of these projects, but in the end, it is all a matter of maintaining the fan base after the finished product.
Then, there are more serious topics of casting such as whitewashing. There is one feeling of upset when a character does not
Where there are woes, there are successes in the movie industry that come from following the book. I think some of the best adaptions can be seen in popular series such as “Harry Potter” and “The Hunger Games”. Not only did these film series get to have a movie for every book—some are not so lucky like “Divergent”—but they even got two separate films to cover the last book in the series. What these adaptions did right was following the character descriptions, setting up the world correctly, and consulting the original author for ideas. A lot of adaptions can take notes on these two success stories to get their stories straight.
Being an avid reader, I will always get excited to see a book I’ve read
Featured image by Sydney Rose