I love to read but I do not read novels. I read strictly non-fiction. I guess that is one of the reasons I enjoy movies so much. Even though I do have a good imagination I still like the visuals of movies. I guess that is why I call myself a special effects junkie.
One of the complaints about movies based on novels is that the movie is not the same as the book. Well, not having read the books that most movies are based on, I avoid this dilemma. I can empathize with those that feel that way to some degree. People get attached to the stories and certain aspects of these stories and if a film deviates too much from the book or changes a beloved scene or character, or omits it all completely, I can see how that would be upsetting.
I also understand that books and movies are two entirely mediums in which to tell a story. With that in mind there will naturally be differences between a book and a movie. Whether or not a viewer likes how a director has changed the story will be subjective. Some people don’t mind the changes and some people do mind a great deal.
As I mention, not having read the book, I do not suffer from this issue. Today I will list my 6 favorite sci-fi and fantasy films based on books that I often read or hear the most complaints about.
1. Starship Troopers
Based on the novel by Robert A. Heinlein, the major criticisms I have heard is that the book seriously discusses the political issues such as war and fascism and while some have complained that the novel was too pro-military, others complain that director Paul Verhoeven went too far in the other direction and made a movie that is more of a satire of the themes in Heinlein’s book.
2. Lord of The Rings Trilogy
This is the one franchise I have heard the most complaints about. Peter Jackson made an epic series of movies from Tolkien’s stories that many said would never be successfully made into a film. The major complaints are that Jackson changed the order of many events in the book and omitted characters that many fans loved.
3. I Robot
The major complain of this movie was that the only thing it had in common with Issac Asimov’s book except for the title. From what I understand there is a lot of truth to this complaint. The writers of the script did borrow the title from Asimov, some themes, such as the Three Laws of Robotics, some character sketches from across many of his short stories but the robot uprising is not found in his writings. I really like the movie anyway.
4. War of the Worlds
Although both the 1953 and the 2005 movie depart from the book by HG Wells in major ways I really haven’t heard too many complaints from people because both movies are very good. The book is set in the 19th century and neither movie adopts that setting. The walking tripods are not in the first movie but are in the second movie.
5. John Carter
Based on Edgar Rice Burroughs series of novels, the movie John Carter is based on the first two novels A Princess of Mars and The Gods of Mars. Although many complained that the title was too generic and that other movies have gutted the themes that were in this old story, some complained that the story deviated too far from the books.
6. The Hobbit?
This one is just speculation. The Hobbit is a book that is geared more toward children than the Lord of The Rings Trilogy and fans fear that Jackson will change the story too much to fit it in with the Lord of the Rings. Fans were also worried that he was making this movie into two parts given the fact that it isn’t really a long story to begin with. Now that Jackson is adding a third movie to tell this story some fans are trembling in their boots! I have the extended versions of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and the extended versions of King Kong, so I am not worried one bit and look forward to all three movies.