4 Worst Book-To-Movie Adaptations According To Me

Books are almost always better than any movie based on them. Granted, there are exceptions, but the vast majority of movies simply fall short of the mark of a good book. I don’t blame them. They’re limited by time-space, budget, technology, and a hundred other factors.

That being said, there are certain movie adaptations of books that are, simply put, abominations. Here is a list of what I consider to be some of the worst book-to-movie adaptations.

Note: I can only evaluate an adaptation if I’ve read the book AND seen the movie. Therefore, there will be a lot of adaptations missing from this list. 

Note 2: ranting ahead. 

#4 The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader

Every time a movie tries to add content to a story already told in a book, I cry a little. Disney is no exception. The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe was actually a good film, in my opinion. Prince Caspian was…acceptable. But 2010’s The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader completely ruined the beautiful story with that stupid green mist garbage and those stupid magic swords, which were never a part of the book and reduced the plot to unimaginative fantasy cliches. Disney, for the love of literature, please don’t make up your own junk to add to movies!

#3 The Black Cauldron

Not a lot of people seem to know that Disney’s 1985 film The Black Cauldron was based on a fantasy series of five books written by Lloyd Alexander. On its own, the film is decent (although very dark, for a Disney animated film). However, it fails to accurately represent the books. The movie mixes plot points from different books and completely changes certain characters. Given how phenomenal the books are as a children’s or middle grade fantasy series, it’s really too bad Disney didn’t bother to do a better job.

#2 The Hobbit

Peter Jackson…what happened?? The Lord Of The Rings movies were gorgeous. Why did you stoop so low for The Hobbit? P.J. took a beloved children’s fantasy story (barely a novel by word count) and turned it into nine (nine?) hours of dwarvish action-men fighting CGI…things. He shoe-horned in characters that either never appeared in the book (Legolas) or simply never existed at all (Tauriel). Not to mention the abhorrent ‘love story’, the ridiculously cheesy villains and dialogue…ugh. It was awful. The only redeeming factors, if you ask me, were Martin Freeman’s brilliant portrayal of Bilbo and Andy Serkis’s return as Gollum.

#1 Eragon

Not only was this movie the worst book adaptation I’ve ever seen, it ranks among the worst movies ever made, period. I don’t even understand how someone can take such a great book and absolutely murder it. Steven Fangmeier (the director; I had to google it) completely removed a handful of essential characters (Orik, the Twins, etc.), he made the Urgals look like fat, sun-deprived pirates, he disrespected the book’s character descriptions, he ruined Durza and Murtagh forever, and he had the brainless audacity to give Saphira feathers. The action was atrocious (Jeremy Irons excepted), the movie’s version of the plot was bland, and….and…well, you get the picture.  The Inheritance Cycle deserves good movies based on it. Can we just wipe the archives of this filth and start over?


Rant over. If you disagree with me about this list, that’s fine. If you haven’t read the books, do yourself a favor and get them. If you haven’t seen these movies, spare yourself the agony. What are some of your least favorite book-to-movie adaptations?

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21 thoughts on “4 Worst Book-To-Movie Adaptations According To Me

  1. I wasn’t aware The Black Cauldron was based off a book, which is quite interesting. I’ve tried watching The Hobbit a few times and to be honest I just can’t get into the films at all (I haven’t read the book, sadly) however, I can’t even get through film two and I haven’t risked number three. I’m not entirely sure why it was necessary for The Hobbit to be three movies anyway? It just didn’t capture the magic and beauty of Lord of the Rings. The only recent book to film adaptation I have watched is The Martian and while some may disagree, I thought they were both really good. The humour and wit of the main character really drove the story for me. 🙂

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      1. I quite liked the book, even though there is quite a bit of technical jargon, which in all honesty made my eyes cross, but I’ve found that with a lot of sci-fi. So long as I can get a general sense of what is going on, I don’t stress over all the science etc. It was the essence of the story that drew me and then upon reading, the characters. It’s definitely worth the read. 🙂

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  2. 100%! The only one I wasn’t sure about was the Black Cauldron. Not being a fan of the books myself, I can’t really venture an opinion on that one, but the rest are spot-on! Movie directors are falling pretty low on the adaptations. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s official, then. I won’t watch the Eragon movie. I was aware of it for a long time, but put it out of my mind to the best of my ability (at least until I finish the series), because my mental image of the main character on the poster CANNOT look like that guy. No disrespect to the actor, but Eragon doesn’t have a Luke Skywalker haircut in my mental image.

    My favorite part of the Hobbit trilogy was the ending, because Billy Boyd sang in the credits.

    What really bothers me are movies based on Biblical stories. There are plenty of ways to interpret them, but even if you take the words literally, Hollywood can’t even get that right most of the time! 😛

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  4. Eragon (the movie) was just flat-out…horrible. There isn’t a word to describe how terrible it was. Another awful movie adaptation is the first Percy Jackson movie. The second one was also bad, but redeemed itself slightly. But the first one? …Yikes.

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  5. World War Z.

    Book: brilliant commentary on the atrocities of war and the nature of human suffering, from the viewpoint of a post-zombie apocalypse world.

    Movie: Brad Pitt flies around the world and sees lots of zombies.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ERAGON! That was one of the first series I loved obsessively, and the movie makes me want to cry. A lot. I didn’t mind the Hobbit movies as movies (though they did have problematic parts) but when compared to the book they completely missed Tolkien’s intentions.

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  7. The reason why Dawn Treader probably didn’t work (haven’t seen it so I don’t know for sure) is that those books are heavy on the Christian side of things. Hollywood is scared to death of Christianity so I’m sure they tried to make it not that way by doing other things.

    I actually have read The Hobbit and did for the most part enjoy the movies. They were too long with unnecessary scenes and it should have been just one movie, but I did enjoy being back in that world again.

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  8. Don’t forget A Series of Unfortunate Events. That movie shouldn’t have been made.

    I also groan every time I see an adaptation of Anna Karenina and want to scream “that’s not what the book is about!”.

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  9. Ugh, I read the book Eragon then watched the movie…the book wasn’t my favourite of all time, but the movie……ugh! *shudders* They ruined Murtagh! He was actually a decent character, then….ugh. And don’t even get me started about Saphira’s wings. Just don’t.

    Liked by 1 person

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