Bringing a book to the big screen is one of those tasks that's easier said than done. Text and film are two totally different mediums, but that hasn't stopped both filmmakers and authors from trying. There is no shortage of page to screen adaptations of famous works from Beowulf to Harry Potter.
It's one thing to please the fans with a film, but what about the author whose work is being represented on the silver screen? Though there are numerous authors who despise their adaptations, there are a few who actually adore them. To show you what we mean, here's our list of five authors who loved—and five who hated—their silver screen adaptations.
10 Loathed: P.L. Travers (Mary Poppins)
Any Disney fan worth their salt knows that Mary Poppins was Walt Disney's magnum opus, and they also know the lengths he went to to get the film made. Author P.L. Travers was against a Disney adaptation of her famous character from the very start and was notoriously very difficult for Disney staff to work with.
She hated practically everything about it, from the casting to the musical numbers, and reportedly antagonized the filmmakers over the course of the production. She only managed to attend the premiere after asking for an invitation, cried during nearly all the film's entirety, and did not watch it for twenty years after. Talk about loathing.
9 Loved: Dodie Smith (101 Dalmatians)
Now we've gotten that sour note out of the way, let's lighten things up with another Disney flick, one with a happier result. 101 Dalmatians definitely owes its very existence to one major factor, the correspondence between Walt Disney and the author, Dodie Smith.
The pair had a sort of pen-pal relationship, and it was through this friendship Disney got the rights to make the movie. Smith adored the film and had a particular fondness for Pongo, but didn't like the fact her name appeared so briefly on screen. That being said, it's still heartwarming to know Walt at least got one author's approval.
8 Loathed: Agatha Christie (Various)
It was no secret that the legendary murder-mystery writer, Agatha Christie, openly detested various adaptations of her stories and plays. So much so, in fact, that she was reportedly denied access to a screening of The ABC Murders and was supposedly appalled by various portrayals of Hercule Poirot.
The animosity towards the adaptations all correlate to one factor; they were too soft. Despite her upper-crust appearance and soft demeanor, Christie's works relish in the darker side of the genre. With themes such as child abuse, torture, and manipulation, it's almost insulting to see some of her greatest works turned into romantic-comedies. We'd be upset, too.
7 Loved: Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire)
Despite initial outward objections toward Tom Cruise's casting as the infectious Lestat, Anne Rice later came to adore the film adaptation of her first entry of The Vampire Chronicles. Rice was openly and adamant about her opinion on what she was sure was a blatant miscasting. Then she saw the film.
Rice was so delighted and enchanted by the film, she later took out ads praising Cruise's previously hated casting and recanting her statements. She was reported saying that, in that moment, Cruise became Lestat for her, and the film was a success. It's a pity she wouldn't say the same of Queen of the Damned.
6 Loathed: Roald Dahl (Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory)
Though the film is a world of pure imagination with Gene Wilder's most famous and most adored performances ever put on screen, it is not a proper representation of the source material. Roald Dahl, the author of the beloved children's book, had serious reservations about the project, and, while he did like parts of it, he thought the film itself was "crummy."
Though he was paid a hefty sum to write the script, he was not a fan of the changes the filmmakers made and vocally disliked the portrayal of Wonka by the late Gene Wilder. And you wonder why the book's sequel has yet to see an adaptation.
5 Loved: Gary Wolf (Who Framed Roger Rabbit)
How good does your adaptation have to be when it gets the author to write a sequel retconning the original book? Gary Wolf, the author of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, was definitely more than a fan of the Robert Zemekis film. Although it shared little in common with the source material, Wolf loved it so much, he penned a sequel.
Not only did the sequel continue the events of the film, but reworked the first book into a nightmare had by Jessica Rabbit, essentially nullifying the whole thing. A most unusual turn of events, but definitely one we had to include on our list.
4 Loathed: Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson and the Olympians)
Let's get real for a minute—how many can actually say they genuinely enjoyed the film adaptations of this laudable fantasy series? Fans of the books had trouble getting behind the movies, and so did their author. Rick Riordan disliked the films so much that he wrote to teachers encouraging them to stay away from the adaptations, as they were not appropriate representations.
We have to side with Riordan here. The films were a mishmash of mythological madness and in no way captured the spirit or feeling of the books. Heck, they made Hades into a rock-star wannabe. Do yourself a favor and definitely stick to the books on this one.
3 Loved: Philip K. Dick (Blade Runner)
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep is without a doubt Philip K. Dick's most famous work, and it resulted in arguably one of the greatest science fiction dramas ever made. Though the author passed away before the final cut of Blade Runner was released, he did get a chance to view an early screening of the film. He was absolutely dazed.
Dick reportedly loved what Ridley Scott and company did to bring his novel to the big screen. In a behind-the-scenes book by Paul Sammon on the making of Blade Runner, he describes the author's elation at the visuals presented in the screening, loving it so much he asked to see it twice.
2 Loathed: Stephen King (The Shining)
One of the most infamous adaptations of an author's work has to be Stanley Kubrick's twisted adaptation of Stephen King's The Shining. There are few adaptations openly detested by the author as this 70s horror classic.
King has described the work as a "big beautiful Cadillac with no engine inside of it," and that watching the characters was like looking at ants on an anthill. Needless to say, he wasn't a fan. Speaking as fans of the book, we have to agree. Though Kubrick's film is iconic in the realms of horror, it's nowhere near what the book represents. But we'll definitely give Kubrick points for creativity.
1 Loved: Harper Lee (To Kill a Mocking Bird)
An adaptation of the dramatically powerful novel of the same name by Harper Lee is definitely something you can't afford to screw up. Fortunately, the film adaptation was just as moving as the source material and even garnered the great Gregory Peck an Oscar for his performance. But where did Lee sit on the matter?
Though she had reservations about the film at first, she came to adore it after seeing her characters on the silver screen. She loved the representation of Atticus Finch so much that she gave Gregory Peck her father's pocket watch as a sign of admiration. Praise doesn't get much higher than that.