An Open Letter: Don’t Go to the Darkside, their Cookies are Burned

Dear Authors Everywhere,

As I explained in this post, the future for book-to-movie adaptations is not bright. Lord of the Rings turned out well, most of the Harry Potter movies were great, and the Twilight and Hunger Games movies have managed to improve, but don’t let that fool you. The flops far outweigh the successes. Look at both Percy Jackson moves, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Eragon, Divergent, Ella Enchanted… We are inundated with appalling excuses for book adaptations (see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug).

I beg you now, do not let your work, your art, your masterpieces be corrupted, marred and stained by cinematic brothers. Do not allow more screenwriters and directors to get their grubby, unworthy, and slimy hands on your words. Because, as Peter Jackson has shown us, no one can be trusted. He did a beautiful job with The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Pt. 1, but The Desolation of Smaug was a catastrophe of epic proportions.

Is it really worth the money? No. Is it worth the time of everyone involved? No. Do yourselves, your fans, and your art a favor and do not allow them to twist it into a hideous, unrecognizable form. Lock your doors, guard your children, and never give them rights to massacre your work. Because your art will forever bear the shame of its evil counter parts with horrific movie companion covers of actors who, most likely, won’t be good representatives of your characters and world. Let Hollywood stick to superhero movies. They’re the only thing it’s semi-decent at; and while superheroes will be given second chances, your books will not.

Sincerely,
Stephanie from Chasm of Books

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6 comments

  1. I agree with you for the most part. But, as one of my favorite authors has said to several fans who ask her if her books will be movies, she has a family to feed, a mortgage to pay, and so selling the rights to her books is often something that is done because of that. I actually though Divergent wasn't too bad. And I loved The Help, even though there were changes. A lot are bad though, I totally agree with you on the Percy Jackson ones. I thought City of Bones wasn't horrible, but could have been better. Really great post though other than that.

  2. VAT. DID MY COMMENT JUST DISAPPEAR. THIS PISSES ME OF GREATLY.

    Like I was saying, very interesting post. You know how I feel about Percy Jackson, THE HORROR. But when they are done well, like the HP movies, The Hunger Games movies, Divergent and The Help, I cannot help but love them because it's just so magically seeing my favourite books go on screen.

    Lovely post, Steph! <33

  3. I think the problem with book adaptations is you have the truly spectacular ones, and then you have your catastrophic failures that never should have made it past the concept stage. And even the best adaptations can't match the author's words and our own imagination. Also, I always recommend watching the book first, because the story the author originally meant to tell was made for a book, rather than another media format.

    But as Cassie said, the movies do raise awareness for the book. I've gotten several of my friends to read books that they wouldn't have otherwise.

    In my opinion, authors/publishers should have a greater say in the actual making of the movie, and fewer adaptations in general should be produced. (quality over quantity). But I've seen some really great movies, so I wouldn't want them to go away completely.

  4. I…don't even know what to say to this.
    Except that I completely disagree.
    Yes, sometimes movies are completely rubbish adaptions. But sometimes they are wonderful, wonderful things.
    And even if they are rubbish, they still raise awareness for the book. I may have not discovered Percy Jackson if the movie didn't exist. (Don't get me wrong, I strongly dislike the movie, but it made me aware that the books existed).
    Just because there are some bad book-to-movie adaptions doesn't mean we should put a 'blanket ban' on all of them.
    That would be like saying "some YA novels are badly written, therefore people should stop trying to write YA novels".

  5. Aww, I'm so sad you mostly don't like movie adaptions! I agree, there are some incredibly sucky ones out there. *shudders at Eragon and Percy Jackson* But I cant' deny how much I'm loving how everyone seems to be upping their game these days. Catching Fire, TFIOS, and Divergent absolutely blew my mind. I'm not really into what they're doing to The Hobbit though. That seems to me just a bit…different from the book?? hehe.