Can Authors Be Wrong About The Adaptations Of Their Own Books?

Illustration for article titled Can Authors Be Wrong About The Adaptations Of Their Own Books?

We tend to trust an author's judgment when it comes to the quality of an adaptation of his or her books. But sometimes, maybe authors don't always know best, as an essay in AwardsCircuit points out.


Lois Lowry extravagantly praised the new movie of The Giver, despite the huge liberties it takes with her book — even saying that she thought it improved on her book in some areas. Which leads Joseph Braverman to wonder if maybe authors aren't always the best judges of film and television adaptations. He writes:

Just think for a moment think about all the times certain authors had been wrong about a film adaptation of their works: Stephen King (The Shining), Frank Herbert (Dune), Anthony Burgess (A Clockwork Orange), Anne Rice (Interview with a Vampire), Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho), Alan Moore (V for Vendetta), and the list can go on and on. How the heck did Stephen King not at least respect Stanley Kubrick's aesthetic prowess, which factored heavily into the psychosis of the characters themselves? Or how on earth could Frank Herbert be satisfied with David Lynch's Dune, a movie so visually grotesque that the sight of it likely sent viewers fleeing the cineplex well before the confounding plot could? In other words, fanboys and fangirls of the Milky Way galaxy, author approval really should have no bearing on whether you see or avoid a movie.

What do you think — should we always trust an author's seal of approval (or condemnation) when a movie or TV show adapts her/his book? Or are authors sometimes not the best judges of how their material is handled? [Awards Circuit]



Authors usually have a set idea of what their story is about, and ANY deviation from that may be hard to fathom.

For instance: Alan Moore. He refuses to watch The Watchmen, trashes it constantly, and believes many of his stories CANNOT be re-imagined. However, I think it turned out okay.