Why Adaptation?

Creative adaptations are one of the most intriguing and controversial forms of art. Many believe that adaptations are not art at all, but symbols of corporate greed as film studios rush the latest novels or comic books onto the big screen at the expense of original content. Writers in particular can be cruel towards other writers who choose to make a living adapting other people’s work.

When most people think of adaptation, they think of books or graphic novels turned into movies. These arguably may be the most common type of adaptation, but there is so much more out there waiting to be explored. There are books adapted into television shows such as Gossip Girl and True Blood (based on the series The Southern Vampire Mysteries).  Theatre and radio are legendary for adapting literary works. Shakespeare’s love story Romeo and Juliet is based off a 16th century poem.

However, the literary adaptation process does not flow only one way. There are movies and television series that continue in books or graphic novels such as Star Wars and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Radio historically played a role as well in this process. The BBC radio series inspired the classic novel The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy which later inspired the films. Finally, books are being turned into other books. Bridget Jones’ Diary is arguably the modern-day Pride and Prejudice.

But let’s not forget all the non-literary film adaptations. There are movies being turned into television shows and television shows being turned into movies. There are movies and television shows adapted from foreign media and transformed into something more American. Theatre adapts quite a few of its musicals into movies such as Chicago. There even movies being turned into Broadway musicals which are then re-adapted into movies such as The Producers and Hairspray. 10 points for you if you managed to follow that one!

And then we have the more recent phenomenon of corporate adaptations. More recently, there’s been a dramatic rise in the number of films based on video games such as Prince of Persia and Tron. Pirates of the Caribbean and its numerous sequels proved that Disney amusement park rides can be inspiration for hit films. Toys are another source of inspiration for films such as Transformers and GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra. There are even board games being turned into films. Universal is currently filming the big budget production Battleship, an adaptation of the classic board game.

If you can dream it; it can be adapted! This is why understanding adaptation is so vital. Whether you are a screenwriter writing your own adaptation, a fan furious at how the latest Hollywood director has “destroyed” your favorite novel, or an academic curious about the adaptation process; this blog hopes to address adaptation in a fun and engaging manner. My bias tends to be towards literary adaptations but I intend to make a sincere effort to discuss a variety of adaptations. If there’s one you feel deserves to be covered, message me and I’ll do my very best to address your concerns.

Monday through Wednesday will highlight books either currently undergoing the process of adaptation or books that deserve to be transformed. Thursdays will be devoted to television adaptations. Every Friday, there will be a review of a current film adaptation just in time for your weekly movie date. Saturdays will be miscellaneous so be sure to check out what’s brewing that day. Sunday is a day of rest, so I will provide a news feed about adaptations featured in the news. And because all rules deserve to be broken, I may stray from this format if the muse inspires.

Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to hearing your thoughts soon.

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