Books to Big Screen
There’s an epidemic going on, people, and I call it…literary cinema. As of late, The Hunger Games is the latest YA series to make the transformation from novel to movie, following in the footsteps ofTwilight and Harry Potter. Numerous Nicholas Sparks novels have been adapted into movie versions, the latest forthcoming movie adaptation of one of his novels being The Lucky One. Many classic novels have been reworked into film versions, multiple Dr. Suess books have hit the big screen, and even the critically acclaimed TV show The Walking Dead was based on a comic book series.
So what’s the basis of Hollywood’s obsession with turning literature into film? Hollywood has created a market in which authors now not only strive to publish and sell their novels, but it’s as though the ultimate goal is to have your novel turned into something bigger…a movie. There’s two sides to every story though. (Ahem, pun intended, thank you.) On one hand, movie adaptations have helped to further popularize mainstream literature. For example, people who might not regularly read may be more inclined to pick up The Hunger Games and give it a go if they hear all the buzz surrounding the movie premiere. Great, score one for literature. However, here’s my question…doesn’t the visualization of the movie in some way deter and damage the magical imaginative aspects of reading?
Reading is supposed to incite and inspire each and every person in a slightly different way. Half the fun of reading is developing the world of the story in your head–a special world that is shared with other readers, but at the same time is solely yours as part of your imagination. Sounds delightful, doesn’t it? But with all these movies depicting the world of the novel that once resided primarily in our imagination, that magic is diminished.
It’s without a doubt that literary cinema is here to stay, as every great story must now be told in multiple mediums, but food for thought for authors and readers alike: Write and read for the love of literature and the creative world it fosters. It’s with this mindset that great stories are developed.