Question regarding book to movie adaptations

Discussion in 'Misc. Films' started by amazingfantasy15, May 5, 2006.

  1. amazingfantasy15 Registered

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    I'm reading the Running Man right now and it started to get me thinking, where's the line on what makes a movie a book adaptation. I'm about halfway through the Running Man right now and it is vastly different from the movie, I heard the book was different, but I didn't realize how different. It so far off, I really don't understand how the movie could be considered an adaptation and it got me thinking about other book to films like this. The Jason Bourne Movies, the first had a little connection to the book, but the second doesn't even try to keep any sembelence of the book's plot. Payback, a movie that takes the basic plot and throws out everything else. Don't get me wrong, The Bourne movies are a lot of fun, The Running Man is a great chessy '80s action flick and Payback is one of my favorite movies. However, I just wonder how far you push the envelope before you can no longer call the movie an adaptation of the book. I really don't think Payback, The Running Man or The Bourne Supremacy should be able to call themselves adapations. There are more I'm sure (The Lost World springs to mind), but these are the three that were on top of my head.
     
  2. Addendum Registered

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    The movie was loosely based on the book.

    While the movie's story was changed from that of the book, there were elements that King wrote in the novel as "Richard Bachman" that were still in the movie, so he deserved to be credited.
     
  3. amazingfantasy15 Registered

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    So if I made a movie about an orphan going to a school for witches and wizards who has to fight an evil wizard at the end could I call it Harry Potter?

    If I made a movie about a midget the has to destroy of powerful magical object could I call it Lord of the Rings.

    Heck using that logic Dogma could make a case to change it's name to the DaVinci Code.

    I'm just asking how far is to far.
     
  4. Addendum Registered

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    Well, the movie "The Running Man" had a character named "Ben Richards" who was on a sadistic game show entitled "The Running Man". It came out in 1987.

    Stephen King wrote a novel under his pseudonym "Richard Bachman" titled "The Running Man" about a man named "Ben Richards" who was on a sadistic game show entitled "The Running Man". It came out in 1982.

    Since the novel came out BEFORE the movie, if they didn't give credit to Stephen King, then could have successfully sued them.

    Cut away all the differences, and they're essentially the exact same story
     
  5. David Ford, RPD Registered

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    I just can't agree with that. The core of the book--a man playing a hyper-dangerous reality show to support his family--is entirely absent in that shclock fest of a film. Like many book-ti-film adaptations, the filmmakers took the basic premise and left the rest.

    Also, they took out the plane stuff--those scenes were argueably the best in the whole book.
     
  6. Addendum Registered

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    And if they didn't give credit to Stephen King for that premise, then he would have had a legitimate case for a lawsuit.
     
  7. amazingfantasy15 Registered

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    But why would you even keep the title and character names if you aren't going to use the story. With a name like Ahh-nold you don't need a the "based on a novel by Stephen King" to help sell tickets, if nothing else you'll piss people off that actually read the book.

    Again, I like all the movies and the books they're based on that I mentioned, just don't know why the scriptwriters felt they had to throw out everything but the most basic parts of the books for the movies.
     
  8. Addendum Registered

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    That's the unanswerable question for Hollywood
     
  9. Dr. Fate Registered

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    One of many unanswerable questions for Hollywood.
     
  10. Leto Atrides Guest

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    I get what you mean. I think "Inspired by the book The Running Man" and that sort of thing would be more appropriate than saying it is an adaptaion.
     
  11. thealiasman2000 Registered

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    Maybe the scripwriter read "The Running Man", and he felt inspired to write a similar story with the same characters. Is that so bad?

    And if that indeed happened, he must credit Stephen King for the original idea, because he DID write the book that inspired him.

    And books are not comic books. They are some things that work in a literary medium that don't work in a visual one.

    If Alan Moore were to adapt "Catcher in the Rye" or "The Once and Future King" in a comic book, he'd have to change a lot of things.
     
  12. cerealkiller182 Must Get Deadpool Avatar

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    It doesn't work that way. The filmmakers probably bought the rights to use the book. What they did with the material afterward is up to them. A sucky idea, but thats what happens. Look at Alan Moore's stuff. He said he cant do anything because he doesnt have the complete rights.

    Plus it is not uncommon for movie scripts to start of loyal to the book only to become something completly different after numerous re-writes. Look at Die Hard w/a vengance and Ocean's 12. They both started as scripts seperate from the respective franchises as Simon Says and Honor Amongst Thieves to eventually be retooled to be sequels after numerous re-writes.
     
  13. bored One Sexy Lemur

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    "The Running Man" movie made no sense. They took what could have been an entertaining cat-and-mouse type thriller and made WWF Smackdown before its time. Nothing is the same but the name of a character and the fact that it's a tv show.

    "The Bourne Supremacy"... I've ranted at length about that movie many times on the Hype. It had nothing- NOTHING- to do with the book it took it's name from. The main character was barely the same.
     

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