Books vs Their Movies

I’ve been thinking on this topic a lot lately. I’ve recently seen the last installment of Twilight, and had a discussion with my boyfriend’s mom today about Under the Tuscan Sun. And, of course, they’re are countless other books-turned-movies out there that I’m not going to name then and I’m sure you already know.

Now, when I write my stories, I imagine them in my head as a movie. I see the scenes as I think they’ll play out and try to write it that way. Sometimes it changes from mental picture to fingers, but that’s how I roll my words. I also sometimes go so far as to pick actors who would portray each part. Sometimes, the actors face will spark the character into life. This comes from years of roleplaying on line where that was how it’s done. Use an actor or singer or model, etc, for the face of the character. It’s just built into my mind now.

And then I got to thinking about it actually being made into a movie. What if it sucks? What if they ruin it completely? Am I publicly allowed to say it, or do I have to just smile and say ‘Hey! that pile of shit was great! So awesome!’?

A movie deal is a big deal for a book. I mean, come on, you get to see your baby on the big screen. It means that more than just your agent (if you went that route) and your publisher love and believe in your book. There is usually some kind of following for them to want to take your book and turn it into a movie.

Can we say huzzah on that?

I worry so bad that they would make it shit.

Take the Twilight movies, for instance. (Now, this is all my opinion, so don’t get all up in arms, okay? I’ve heard people say they love that pile of crud, to which I scoff, but whatever, to each their own.) They took books that were lacking to begin with and made it a movie. It was popular, it, I guess, deserved it. But then they took the books and butchered them farther. I am adamant in saying that the books were better than the movies, and the books were shit, which is saying a lot. Did I see all five movies? Yeah, most of them at midnight. And me and my friends were the ones laughing our asses off the whole time. Just the way they ruined it… I don’t think, if I were Stephenie Meyer, that I would be proud of those things. Though she seems to be, poor soul. (That just makes me think that you’re not allowed to publicly say the movie version sucks).

Another movie, one I love, it’s one of my favorites, is Under the Tuscan Sun. This is a movie that I watch when I feel like my life is just not going the way I want it to. It makes me feel better about my life and that everything will be okay, I just have to give it time. I loved the movie so much, that I decided to read the memoir that it was based off of.

I was so disappointed by the book that I couldn’t get past the first chapter. *SPOILER ALERT*In the movie, the main character gets divorced after finding out that her husband was cheating on her. Her best friends send her to Italy on a gay tour of the country. While there, she buys a run down house and moves into it and it’s all about her finding herself and remaking her life. The book? She’s still with her husband and the house she buys in the movie? Only MENTIONED at the beginning that they were thinking about buying the place, but then ended up not. *END SPOILERS* That just made me so sad. And annoyed. I wonder what she had to say about it. The movie’s not bad. No! It’s great! Just… not the book.

I want to read Running With Scissors. A memoir that was made into a movie. The movie is hilarious and just plain awesome. I’m afraid it’s going to end up like Under the Tuscan Sun and be nothing like the movie. He seems to like the movie, so I may just check it out and give it a try anyways.

What do you guys think about books turned into movies? Good or bad? And what would you do, as an author, if your book was made into a movie and it was utter garbage?


One thought on “Books vs Their Movies

  1. I can tell you that not all authors publicly support their movies. I know for a fact that Stephen King hated the movie version of his short story The Lawnmower Man (and a worse adaptation I’ve never seen; it only shares the title) so much that he made another movie, called Sleepwalkers, to come out at the same time and give it competition. He also repeatedly denigrates Maximum Overdrive, even though he directed it. I think he blames that one on his drug use lol.

    Personally, I think that if any of my books were adapted and ruined, I’d not beat around the bush about it. Most of the time, it’s your agent who agrees to sell the rights to the movie studio, and the studios almost never want the author hanging around and protesting how his baby is being treated. You’ve always got to keep in mind that there will be things in your book that just won’t translate well into a movie, so you’ve always got to take it all with a grain of salt.

    On the other hand, I supposed you could be grateful there’s a large enough audience out there for Hollywood to think your book is worth taking a chance on. And if they screw it up bad enough, the fans might be the ones who have the final say when they boycott the movie.

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