Yesterday I finally watched, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief for the first time with my kids. I really liked the movie and found it very entertaining; however, I was disappointed many things were different from the book. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems more and more books are being made into movies. Which is a good thing, but why are so many of these movies changing, adding to, and cutting out important scenes from the book?
I did not seem to be this way years ago. At least not from what I can remember after watching Interview with a Vampire, The Stand, and so many others. Yes, some things had to be cut out so the movie would not be too long, but the moviemaker never added scenes the author did not have or change the plot line. Honestly, the last movie made from a book that stuck pretty close to what was in the book are the first two Harry Potter movies, the others had some changes and add-ins, but nothing like some of the current movies such as: Spiderwick (which condensed all the books into one movie), Eragon, Inkheart, and a few other best-selling books.
Maybe it is just me. However, as a reader, I find it very disheartening to watch my favorite series as a movie when everything is changed and only 25% of the movie is anything like the book. Okay, maybe that was a bit exaggerated, but it sure feels like only 25% of the books plot is being used lately in some of these recent movies.
The other thing that goes through my head as I watch these movies is, “What does the author think about what Hollywood did to their book?” I know as an author, I would not want to sell my movies rights to my book if Hollywood is going to rip it apart and make a movie that is nothing like the story I wrote. Yes, it will get people to buy my book that normally would not until they say the movie. In addition, fans will flock to the movie helping to increase my profits. However, could I live with something with my book’s title on it that just is not something I wrote? I do not think I could personally.
I guess if I ever write a book that Hollywood wants to buy the movie rights to, I’ll have to make sure I can be there to help pick the cast (so they look like my characters and how I described them), help write the screen play (so my plot doesn’t get changed or added to), and be allowed at all the shootings . I know this sounds so snobbish, but think about it, you wrote this book from your heart, mind, and soul. It’s part of you. Would you really want someone messing with your story as you wrote it? No, so why let them mess with it just to make it a movie.