That’s Debatable

May 3, 2023


I’m the kind of person who gets emotionally attached to characters in books and TV shows so when the news comes out that my favorite book is also becoming a movie/limited series, I am ecstatic. When I finish a book, I find myself watching TikTok edits of what people think the characters look like or ship edits of the main couple and I just eat it up. I know I do not stand alone when I say I can spend hours watching those edits, which is why I am so extremely for books being turned into movies. The novel series “The Summer I Turned Pretty” and “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” by Jenny Han were both adapted into the film world. With most book to film adaptations, the author gets completely bought out and doesn’t really have a say in the film production, but for these two series, author Jenny Han was there for the whole thing. We see her make an appearance in the first “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” and in one of the episodes of “The Summer I Turned Pretty” as an extra, showing that she was present for the production and got to see it all take place. Some of the fan favorite movies of our time were previously books, like “Perks Of Being A Wallflower”, “Little Woman”, and “Call Me By Your Name”. The most common factor within these books are the actor choices. Directors having the ability to cast fan favorite actors as fan favorite characters draws a lot of publicity. Being able to see the actual emotions on someone’s face rather than having to imagine it is so much more emotional and effective. Some people do not have the ability to imagine such complex characters so a film adaptation really helps with the storyline and also just keeping up with what happens in the book. Especially for the dystopian realm. We have books like “The Maze Runner”, “The Hunger Games”, and “Divergent”, with obviously fictional plots. But for a lot of people just reading a book like that could get very confusing when you can’t at all relate it to the real world. Which is why it’s so cool to see what the authors really had in mind when writing these books and being able to see what they were imagining. And don’t even get me started on the relationships within the books. Why would I not want to see the film versions of Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark or Elio and Oliver or Jo March and Laurie? Getting to see my favorite characters be acted out by such talented actors is amazing. 


Arguably one of the best parts of reading is the personalized experience which each reader creates for themselves with the use of the imagination. Authors can only describe a character or setting so much which leaves a lot of open room for creativity. 

However, when books are made into movies, this unique aspect is ripped away from devoted followers of the book or series. This is, of course, is frustrating for those who dedicated so much of their time and energy towards a book they loved just to find that the way they imagined it was completely wrong.

Since there is so much room for the imagination while reading, it is impossible to make all readers happy with the book’s recreation in movie format. Not only will this undoubtedly lead to backlash towards the producers and author but many readers will lose the love they had for the book. 

This bad publicity could ruin careers and plummet sales and profits for all those involved in the business aspect. 

The main issues readers have with filming a movie based on a book is the poor decisions made by producers. Oftentimes, when a popular book has been rumored to be introduced to the Hollywood stage, the fans will create their “dream” castings showing which actors they believe would fit the role of their favorite characters best. However, producers have a notorious reputation of ignoring the public’s wishes.

One example of this happened just recently when the casting list came out for the movie creation of the popular book “It Ends With Us” by Colleen Hoover. The main character, Lily Bloom has fiery red hair which is an important feature. Yet, Blake Lively, a natural blonde, was the actor casted for this role. This enraged many fans who had been following the castings for the movie. 

Of course, Lively will most likely dye her hair or wear a wig to replicate Lily’s red hair yet many would argue that it just isn’t the same. 

Also, there is the issue of losing some key moments from the books in order to fit a lengthy story within a two hour time span. 

This is particularly relevant within the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. Many fans argue that the movies portray certain characters such as Ginny and Ron differently from the original books.

Producers also leave out parts of the book they view as fluff or invaluable to the plot line in order to keep the duration at normal length. Yet this takes away the heart and personality of the book and makes it less personal. 

  Due to these issues, the safest option to preserve a good story is to keep it only in book form and not waste the time and money to produce a movie that ultimately may only lead to frustration and backlash. 


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