11 Movies You Didn’t Know Were Book Adaptations

Famous movies leave an imprint in the audience for its superb plot and impeccable lines. There are movies that live with us with these memorable lines, only to find out that the great plot is from a book. 

Although some of these books are living in the shadow of the film, it is worthy to mention how the pages of the novel have come to life through these screen adaptations. Here are some movies you didn’t know were based on books.

1. Die Hard



The blockbuster movie is an adaptation of Robert Thorpe’s Nothing Lasts Forever. The book is the inspiration of how John McClain came to be, portrayed by Bruce Willis. The book’s protagonist is Joe Leland, and he goes through the same plot as in the movie. There are also differences between the book and the movie, but no matter what those are, it can’t be denied how the book lives in the shadow of Die Hard.

2. Gone with the Wind



Filled with historical anecdotes and romance, Gone With The Wind is a Hollywood film everyone should watch. But what most people don’t know is that this film is actually based on a book of the same title by Margaret Mitchell. Both the film and book follows the story of Scarlet O’Hara and her life story as a spoiled girl who was deeply in love with a married man. The movie was set in the American Civil War, the same way as the book. Although it has a lot of historical references, the audience had a tight grip on the film because of how the romance evolved with talented actors and actresses.

3. Fight Club



The first rule about Fight Club is you don’t talk about Fight Club. But not today, because you need to know how this masterpiece came from a book of the same title from Chuck Palahniuk. The book is also popular, but the movie made its name as it stars Brad Pitt and Edward Norton.

4. Shrek



The audience applauded DreamWorks for coming up with the right mix of fantasy and comedy through Shrek, but the movie is based from the graphic novel by William Steig last 1990. The book features an ogre who left his family and accidentally saved a princess, a concept that sounds very familiar with the fans of the movie.

5. Jaws



This thrilling movie about sharks has been phenomenal at that time of its release. But did you know that the movie came from a book? The writer, Peter Benchley was not that enthusiastic with the reputation that the sharks gained after the movie. He became an ocean conservationist a few years later after its release.

6. Forrest Gump



This award-winning film has worked its magic to charm the audience into tricking that the movie was solely based on the film’s writers. The American treasure, Tom Hanks, stars in the movie and has made a great impression as Forrest that has struck the fans for a long time. It was released in 1994 and has received many awards since the screen adaptation. The book portrays Forrest adventuring into various endeavors, and it has been labeled as the novel that inspired the critically-acclaimed film. The movie has shown how his life story has triumphed through distinct tales, the same way as the book.

7. Mrs. Doubtfire



The beloved transgender comedy is based from a teen novel entitled Madame Doubtfire. It was written by Anne Fine, and its comedic pages have been successfully portrayed by Robin Williams. This feel-good movie has lived on for decades. There are a few differences with the book and the movie adaptation. The children in the book are savvier, and some there are a few other differences that are best appreciated when you read it through the book itself. Other than that, the movie follows the narrative exceptionally.

8. Gone Girl



If you are betting that the psychological thriller came from a best-selling novel, you are placing your bet on the right side. Gone Girl is based on the book of the same title from Gillian Flynn, released in 2012. Like the movie, the book has gained the attention of the readers through its heart-stomping pages. The movie adaptation lived through the reputation of the book by bagging nominations and awards like the Academy Award, Golden Globes, BAFTA Award, and more.

9. Psycho



The most shocking book from 1959 paved the way for a thriller of the same title, Psycho. It was written by Robert Bloch, and it instantly became a bestseller at the time of release. While some movies deviate by a few lines from the book, Psycho was a faithful adaptation to its original inspiration because the producer and director were huge fans of the book itself.

10. Legally Blonde



Legally Blonde was inspired from a book that was released alongside the movie. Amanda Brown, the book’s author, had high hopes for the audience to flock through the bookstore after seeing the movie, but it didn’t go as much as she planned. However, the book was written with Amanda’s own experience from Stanford Law, making it a great adaptation of her real life.

11. Mean Girls



The movie Mean Girls has lived through the years with its memorable catchphrases and iconic characters. But as most of the audience didn’t know it started from a self-help book from Rosalind Wiseman with the title Queen Bees and Wannabes. This non-fiction book had a goal of showing parents what their teenage daughter usually goes through in high school. Even though the book is not as popular as the movie, the message of the Rosalind Wiseman has lived through Mean Girls and its legacy.

These movies have captured the heart of film lovers, but there might only be a few distinct fans who knew that there’s an equally enjoyable book that it has been based on. There will be some differences between the book and the movie but the main one is that the pages of the book will play with your imagination and the film will make that imagination come to life. 

About the Author

Charles Vallena is the founder and managing editor of Cuppabean.com, a coffee blog that helps people make better coffee by providing expert insights, recipes, and in-depth reviews on coffee makers. Follow Cuppabean on Facebook here.

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