From the Page to the Screen

Hollywood has been getting their hands on more books and turning them into movies. Is this a good trend?

By Margaret E. Ayala

Over the past few years, the trend of turning books into movies has been on the rise. I was aware of this trend, mostly due to franchises such as Harry Potter, Marvel, DC Comics, The Hunger Games, and The Twilight Saga. Yet it wasn’t until I came across an article on that I realized just how many movies have jumped on the bandwagon.

All the movies I’m looking forward to spending too much money to see on the silver screen are all based on books: The Great Gatsby, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, and Catching Fire to name a few. Not to mention my nerd-heart skips a beat when I think of the comic book franchises that all have sequels released this year. I have Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, and Man of Steel to tide me over until the next Avengers and Captain America sequels are released over the next couple years.

The reasoning behind turning these beloved book series into movie franchises seems obvious: it works. Movie makers already know that the stories they plan on translating for the screen are successful. They have a ready-made audience. All they need to do is play Katniss Everdeen’s four-note whistle while showing nothing but a mockingjay pin on the screen to hook potential viewers, or show the Bat Symbol in the decaying skyline of Gotham City to cause viewers to fidget excitedly in their seats (or is that just me?)

However, while some DeSales students are fans of this movie-making trend, others are ready for the next fad.

“I generally dislike movies based on books because they are so different,” says senior Heather Craft. “I understand that it is difficult to translate the written word into a visual experience but often the writers/directors leave out pivotal, defining moments that can alter my investment in a character and even the story line.”

Others, although not fazed by the fad, aren’t influenced by whether the movie is based on a book.

“I don’t think I’m any more or less likely to see a movie if it’s based on a book, if I like the preview or if I’ve read the book and think the movie will do it justice then I’ll see it,” says senior Lindsey Graham. “I also think it’s just as difficult to make a movie from a book as it is to create an original movie because the film-makers have the task of not only trying to figure out what to change, but also how to translate the book into an entertaining visual experience that will please all audience members, those that have read the book and those that have not.”

Regardless of anyone’s opinion about Hollywood turning books into movies, it looks like this trend is here to stay for the foreseeable future.

Interested in reading more? Check out MTV’s story

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