Books to the Big Screen (and Vice Versa)

It seems today that Hollywood has run out of original ideas, not only for movies but for television as well. With movie rights sold before the book even comes out (I Am Number Four, I’m looking at you), it’s becoming a new chicken or the egg debate. Sometimes it feels like every book has been sold to some film company or other—though many never actually become movies, but that’s a topic for another place at another time.

As someone who always loved reading, it makes me a little angry when I see yet another book has been transformed into film because I know Hollywood will probably change some of my favorite parts of my favorite books—or in the case of Ramona and Beezus, they’ll simply drive me to pulling my own hair at the very thought of Selina Gomez degrading the Beverly Cleary series that got me through much of elementary school. On the other hand, though—the Ramona incident excluded—I see the benefits of doing this as well. As soon as audiences see previews that say “Inspired by the novel [insert title here],” many flock to bookstores to buy said book, whether to get in on the hype or just see if it’s worth going to the movie. With bookstores struggling to stay afloat, I’ll approve of basically anything that raises their sales.

However, books aren’t the only form of entertainment being appropriated by other media forms. Videogames like Halo, television shows such as Castle, and even tabletop games like Warhammer have been turned into books. In cases such as Castle, I guess it makes some sense because the series is about a novelist writing about the cases he helps investigate but Warhammer? Really? It seems in some cases, namely with Halo, the target market spends too much time involved in that universe in other ways to bother with the books. I know my brother read some of the Halo and Warhammer books, but only because our high school required 20 minutes a day of sustained silent reading (SSR). Are these books really adding to or expanding these fandoms?

Just as I generally wish books would remain in their original form (overall), I think this stance also applies when the situation is reversed.

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