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Books you really want to see turned into FAITHFUL movies

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I would go head over heels if I got a Frankenstein, 20,000 Leagues or Tarzan movie that captured the same spirit of the original novel. And if I become a moviemaker and there aren't ones by the time I become one, I'm making all three.


And for modern books, I fell in love with a cyberpunk comedy called Three Days in April by Edward Ashton. That kind of movie needs to be made by Terry Gilliam.



None. Much in the same way I don't have any interest in a painting or a song being turned into a faithful movie. They are fairly incompatible formats, which is why there are so few actually faithful adaptations. What is good in a book (at least one that is good by measures of using language as its artistic medium) very rarely translates to the screen, beyond the most superficial of comparisons.


And even by these most superficial of standards, those being the basic plot points we follow throughout the story, many of these will still have to be excised in order to keep the film from getting too long, or are simply not going to work on the screen with the same impact.


I do think it's fair to pine over seeing specific moments in a book rendered for a film. Every adapted piece of fiction invariably has scenes which, for whatever reason, never seem to be included.



None. Much in the same way I don't have any interest in a painting or a song being turned into a faithful movie. They are fairly incompatible formats, which is why there are so few actually faithful adaptations. What is good in a book (at least one that is good by measures of using language as its artistic medium) very rarely translates to the screen, beyond the most superficial of comparisons.


And even by these most superficial of standards, those being the basic plot points we follow throughout the story, many of these will still have to be excised in order to keep the film from getting too long, or are simply not going to work on the screen with the same impact.


I do think it's fair to pine over seeing specific moments in a book rendered for a film. Every adapted piece of fiction invariably has scenes which, for whatever reason, never seem to be included.
was pretty much going to say this but dumber.



Auteurs do not adapt books faithfully without putting their mark on the adaptation. Essentially, the more unfaithful the adaptation the better because the book is a separate art piece and nobody should be interested in remaking it one-to-one to the medium of film. The greatest filmmakers always were "unfaithful" to their source material because they used it as inspiration and not just something that needs to be copied verbatim.
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Blood Meridian, but I want to see it as limited series on a streaming network.



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None. Much in the same way I don't have any interest in a painting or a song being turned into a faithful movie. They are fairly incompatible formats, which is why there are so few actually faithful adaptations. What is good in a book (at least one that is good by measures of using language as its artistic medium) very rarely translates to the screen, beyond the most superficial of comparisons.


And even by these most superficial of standards, those being the basic plot points we follow throughout the story, many of these will still have to be excised in order to keep the film from getting too long, or are simply not going to work on the screen with the same impact.


I do think it's fair to pine over seeing specific moments in a book rendered for a film. Every adapted piece of fiction invariably has scenes which, for whatever reason, never seem to be included.
I totally disagree. Many great movies were based on great books, including: It's a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol, The Shining, 2001, The Godfather, The Exorcist, Lord of the Rings, etc. etc. etc. As a matter of fact, an argument can be made that books are the best source for movies.

I know it's popular to say that "the movie wasn't as good as the book," but many times I've said the opposite.
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Deception Point (2001) - one of Dan Brown's few non-Robert Langdon stories.

It had a nice mix of everything that would fit well into a movie - a sci-fi mislead, action, adventure, mild violence, political intrigue, plot twists.



SHOGUN by James Clavell. They had a pathetic miniseries a few decades ago with Richard Chamberlin. The depth and intrigue could justify a season or two on a streaming channel. Honestly 90-120 minutes just isnt enough time to truly do most great books any justice.



I totally disagree. Many great movies were based on great books, including: It's a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol, The Shining, 2001, The Godfather, The Exorcist, Lord of the Rings, etc. etc. etc. As a matter of fact, an argument can be made that books are the best source for movies.

I know it's popular to say that "the movie wasn't as good as the book," but many times I've said the opposite.

And none of those movies you listed are purely faithful adaptations. Some are in fact completely different from the source material. Lord of the Rings might be the one that hews closest to what the author envisioned, but there is no doubt legions of Rings fanatics who will point to dozens of fundamental changes and omission (Tom Bombidil for example)



Technically 2001 wasn't an adaptation, it was co-developed.
I do think there's a question to be asked of what actually constitutes a "faithful" adaptation. Usually it's accepted to be mean a literal replication of plot and story, which is what a lot of the pushback is over. Admittedly some books are plot or story-heavy in their essence and can translate better under such a rubric. If someone says a movie, "faithfully captures the spirit (or tone) of the book," I could see someone that being the basis of someone trying to answer this question.
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I know it's popular to say that "the movie wasn't as good as the book," but many times I've said the opposite.
There's another adage of, "Great books make for good movies. Good books make for great movies." I've always taken that to imply it's because the filmmakers feel they have more leeway in deviating from the source material in the latter and create their own thing.



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There's another adage of, "Great books make for good movies. Good books make for great movies." I've always taken that to imply it's because the filmmakers feel they have more leeway in deviating from the source material in the latter and create their own thing.

Movies will always fall short of a great book, but expectations are lower for a good book.



Lonesome Dove is probably the most faithful adaptation of a novel but it took a multipart miniseries and a near perfect cast to do it right.

As for books I'll stick with my usual answer. The Repairman Jack series of books or anything from The Dresden Files franchise.



Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is an example of a film that probably keeps pretty close to everything that happens in the book. And in essence it has the same spirit. But it's a pretty horrible movie.



Hunter S. Thompson is one of the great writers of the 20th century. This was arguably his best book. But the problem is the greatness of that book is almost purely linguistic (as almost every book is). So it can start looking pretty dumb when rendered on screen.


Conversely, The Naked Lunch (the actual text) is a virtually unfilmable novel. And yet David Cronenberg, in completely deviating from the book, and instead incorporating elements of Burroughs real life, as well as other books of his, as well as Cronenberg's own fertile imagination, makes one of the greatest novel adaptations I can think of. It's completely different from the book, but it completely gets what the book is.



These are just two examples, but I'm just going to go ahead and say faithful adaptations are mostly pointless.



Lonesome Dove is probably the most faithful adaptation of a novel but it took a multipart miniseries and a near perfect cast to do it right.
I respectfully but passionately disagree. While the cast is mostly perfect (Blue Duck was egregiously badly cast), the adaptation bungles virtually all the revisionism and subtext of the novel and spins it into the grand Western myth that it sought to deconstruct. It's like taking Unforgiven and turning it into Stagecoach. A complete violation of the spirit and tone.

Even at its length, it still had to truncate and simplify the various storylines, utterly butchering some to cliffnotes (July was possibly my favorite character in the novel and he's a blip in this film).

A great example of the limitations of adapting an epic novel to film. It gets most of the plot right but little of the essence, which I think is ultimately far more important.

This is why something like Let The Right One In is such a great adaptation (script from the original author, no less). It adopts an iceberg approach, catching glimpses of the novel's larger world (which would take a miniseries to fully render) but perfectly capturing the essence and important beats. It wouldn't be any greater with 6+ more hours just to go into Hakan's pedophilia, Eli's origin, or their detective neighbor's relationship with his son. It would probably feel a great deal lesser because fidelity would override what's best for it in it's new form.

So to answer the OP, there are many books I would love to see get faithful adaptations. But faithful to the essence and not adherent to every plot point or layer of character. I'd love to see McCarthy's The Crossing (which makes the think of All The Pretty Horses, which similarly got the plot points right and the feel completely wrong).




So to answer the OP, there are many books I would love to see get faithful adaptations. But faithful to the essence and not adherent to every plot point or layer of character.

Essentially this.


And, considering the McCarthy talk, I'd like to see some Blood Meridian. The essence. On screen.



Essentially this.


And, considering the McCarthy talk, I'd like to see some Blood Meridian. The essence. On screen.
It's maddening that John Hillcoat apparently has a script that is approved by McCarthy and is ready to go but the rights holders say nay, as they'd rather pursue filmmakers like...

James Franco.

At least that seems to have fallen apart.



I don't actually wear pants.
Mostly just don't hire Peter Jackson to adapt and direct them, especially if they aren't schlock horror.
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