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The Best Book Series That Have Been Turned Into Movies

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One of the most popular genres of films that does well with audiences worldwide is ‘young adult’. This film genre is available on many popular platforms, and right now there are some of the best young adult movies on Netflix available to stream including To All The Boys I Loved Before (2018)  and The Spectacular Now (2013). Over the past ten years, there was a popular rise in young adult films, particular ones that had been adapted from book series. But one of the main questions surrounding book to film adaptations is ‘do they work?’.

With many book to film adaptations, because of the length of the book, scenes need to be edited down or even cut from the final film altogether. Filmmakers must consider what characters and parts of the original story are the most essential to keep. Some aspects might even be changed altogether as production teams want the story to play out differently than what was written. Some adaptations have also been so good that they have been nominated for Academy Awards or even won some too. If you ever wondered what the odds are of you winning an Oscar yourself, then you can find out by playing this fun new quiz ‘What Are The Chances?’ to test your knowledge. Over the years there have been many classic stories and modern favourites adapted for the big screen. Here are just some film series that have been very popular with book and film fans alike.

 

The Classics

J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic quest The Lord of the Rings began initially as a book sequel to The Hobbit, before expanding into the high-fantasy film franchise we all know today. While The Hobbit book was released in 1937 and The Lord of the Rings trilogy released in 1954-55, these stories are some pieces of classic literature that many fans still enjoy to this day. In the early 2000s, director Peter Jackson adapted The Lord of the Rings story into three films starring actors such as Elijah Wood, Ian McKellan, Christopher Lee, Cate Blanchett, and Hugo Weaving, and many more. All three films were hugely successful as stand-alone releases, and this may largely be down to Jackson’s skill at turning a fantasy about battling wizards, orcs, and hobbits into something that felt tangible, real and ultimately, very human. Andy Serkis, in a career-defining role as the dastardly Gollum, saw the combination of CGI and actor performance combine to change the direction of special effects forever, with The Return of the King often pipped as the best of the three. Every film in the trilogy received multiple Academy Awards and the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003) received an incredible eleven Oscars. Peter Jackson later returned in 2012 to direct The Hobbit film trilogy.

C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia also had a new cinematic outing in the 2000s, with three movies made in total from the seven books. Written in the 1950s, these fantasy adventure stories follow siblings Lucy, Edmund, Susan, and Peter to the magical world of Narnia and beyond. The films received a lukewarm reception on release, with some praising the adaptations for being darker and more tween-friendly, whilst others felt they lost some of the more family-friendly elements found in the books. In either case, The Chronicles of Narnia still holds its place as one of the best book series turned into movies.

Modern Favourites

Over the years many book series that have been adapted for the big screen have been turned into exciting fantasy films for the whole family to enjoy. No discussion about book to movie adaptations would be complete without mentioning probably one of the most famous and well-known stories of the boy wizard Harry Potter. The seven books were turned into eight movies, with the last in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, split into two parts. According to producers, this was to allow the adaptation to stay as close to the source material as possible, with author JK Rowling’s approval. With so many films in the series, it can be hard to pick a favourite, but Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is widely seen as the best of the bunch. For this film, Alfonso Cuarón took over direction from Christopher Columbus, and set the franchise on a path to bigger, darker things.

Young adult novels have also provided popular source material when it comes to making great movie book franchises, such as The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, both wildly successful. The attraction of both the book series and film franchises may lie in their use of the classic literary device of the love triangle. In Twilight (2008), Bella Swan was torn between vampire Edward Cullen and werewolf Jacob Black while in The Hunger Games (2012), Katniss Everdeen had conflicted feelings for both Peeta and Gale. Both books did very well and were adapted into films. Much like other book series adaptations, the final books to be adapted for each film series were both split into a Part 1 and Part 2.

Recently there was some great news for fans of the Twilight Saga as, just a few days ago, Stephenie Meyer announced the new Twilight book Midnight Sun set for a release date of 4th August 2020. While nothing new is added to the story, the book is essentially a retelling of the first book Twilight but told from Edward Cullen’s perspective. The announcement comes twelve years after the project was originally abandoned following a manuscript leak online.

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