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Wednesday 22 October 2014

Guest Post: Fall Movie Adaptations

Hey everyone! I've had fellow media lover Spencer on the blog a couple of times to talk about Game of Thrones and today he's back with a post about two fall book-to-movie adaptations that have come out recently! I was terrible and got behind on my emails and this was supposed to be up a lot longer, so my apologies! Here you go!

            Despite the fact that Hollywood has been turning books into films since the days of black and white movies, it seems that lately there has been an increased onslaught of film adaptations based on best selling novels hitting the theaters. This fall alone will see the release of two highly anticipated film adaptations: The Maze Runner and Gone Girl. Both fictional stories had major success in their literary form, so it seems only natural to explore the idea of turning them into films.

Unfortunately, as we know from experience, a successful book doesn’t always translate into a good film. So, how did these two films stack up against their best selling source material? The following article will contain some spoilers, so if you want to go into the films with an open mind, bookmark this page and come back after you’ve seen them!
            The film version of The Maze Runner (originally written by James Dashner) was released September 19th, and has been the most recent addition to the YA book-turned-film franchise that’s been dominating Hollywood. While it’s certainly not going to reach The Hunger Games level of fame, the film has pulled in nearly $150 million worldwide so far. It’s certainly on track to be a moneymaker for the studio, especially considering it only cost $30 million to produce. We’ve also been informed that we’ll see the other books in the series made into films in the very near future.

            As for the content of the film, it carries along the central themes and ideas without wavering. There are some discrepancies between the way some of the characters are described (in looks as well as personality) and the grievers are given a much more agile look in the film, likely to create more adventure and action. There are also some elements of the plot that are brought in earlier, particularly the subplots involving Theresa and Thomas, which admittedly help the story flow better. While the film and the book certainly aren’t perfect matches, they’re each enjoyable in their own right – just don’t go into the film expecting it to be a verbatim adaptation.

            Perhaps one of the most highly anticipated films of this year is Gone Girl, based on Gillian Flynn’s best selling thriller. The idea to create the film actually came about before the book was even released, after a producer friend of Reese Witherspoon’s got her hands on a manuscript and convinced the actress to use her production company to make the film. Flynn sold the rights to the film for a staggering $1.5 million only three weeks after the book hit shelves and was signed on to adapt the book into a screenplay (a role she felt comfortable taking thanks to her experience as a film writer). Other promising additions to the film include the celebrated director David Fincher, whose credits include The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button which are all highly recommended and easily available to watch online or on demand (click here for more info). Fincher also brought in Academy Award winning musicians Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross to create the score.

            While the film doesn’t come arrive until October 3rd, the reviews have been steadily streaming in, with the majority of them being extremely favorable. According to the review compilation site Rotten Tomatoes, out of the 49 reviews from major publications (both online and in print) 42 of them were favorable giving it a 86% “Fresh” score. There is an equal amount of praise for the film’s stars Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, with many expecting them to both to be nominated for a least a few major awards.

            What this means is that there are plenty of film viewing options this weekend for the avid readers out there. While you may have to take these films with a grain of salt and cope with changes to characters and plots here and there, both of them are fully entertaining ways to spend an evening, especially now that the warm weather is on its way out.


  1. I have had seriously mixed reactions with book to film adaptations. Some do really well, like Hunger Games and Harry Potter. Others, not so much. Mortal Instruments and Vampire Academy come to mind. Though they were very good for a laugh! I a still in the camp that they can be done well, and I definitely enjoy going to see them. I haven't read Maze Runner or Gone Girl so I haven't seen the movies, but I am glad they both were very well done!


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