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The 10 Biggest Betrayals Of Source Material In Movies, According To Reddit

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  • Posted on 06th Aug, 2022 12:14 PM

Whether they're based on comic books, novels, or video games, these movies' writers should have delved deeper into the source material.

Death Note, which is based on what is considered one of the greatest anime shows ever made, is getting a sequel, and the writer says Death Note 2 will draw more from the source material. Given that the series is so beloved, fans were disappointed when the movie adaptation was unfaithful to the show, but the writer has listened to the criticisms and will right that wrong with the sequel.

That's a move that Redditors wish a lot of other studios should take note of, as so many movies betray the source material, and they usually end up bombing at the box office, getting critically panned, and upsetting the properties' fans. Whether they're based on comic books, novels, or video games, these movies' writers should have delved deeper into the source material.


Birds Of Prey (2020)

Birds of Prey is actually one of the highest-rated DCEU movies on Rotten Tomatoes, as critics enjoyed the movie a lot more than the usual DC outing. But that might be because they weren't as clued up on the source material, as the movie wasn't received anywhere near as well by fans. Professional-Rip-519 rhetorically asks, "Did the filmmakers even read one of the comics 'cause the movie and comics aren't similar in any way except characters' names?"

RELATED: 10 Ways Birds Of Prey Is The Very Best DCEU Movie

The antihero team in the movie includes Renee Montoya and Cassandra, and while they're DC comic characters, they don't have anything to do with Birds of Prey. The only actual comic book members in the movie are Huntress and Black Canary, and they're the two characters who are explored the least.

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World War Z (2013)

Hirasmas argues that World War Z isn't faithful to the book it's based on, arguing, "The World War Z movie is absolutely nothing like the novel. The movie is just a zombie action flick telling the story of Brad Pitt." The movie, while entertaining, is a formulaic and linear story with one protagonist who tries to survive a zombie outbreak.

The novel is far more interesting and is more like an anthology of several different stories about many characters' personal accounts of the catastrophe. However, a movie like that would have been much harder to market, even if it could have been much better with an ensemble cast. As David Fincher almost directed World War Z 2, it would most likely have been more faithful to the source material, and it's a shame that it's stuck in development hell.

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The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)

Redditor Thcidiot points to the 2003 movie The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen as the adaptation that deviates from the source material the most. The movie is based on the Alan Moore-written comic book of the same name that brings together several characters from the public domain with supernatural abilities.

The Redditor expresses, "Really loved that movie. Many, many years later I read the comics and it was a night and day difference. Now I want an R-rated League of Extraordinary Gentlemen." The graphic novel is extremely dark, and it's much closer to Watchmen than it is to any family-friendly superhero team-up movie, which the film adaptation tries to be. The 2003 take on the material was so disappointing that it even drove Sean Connery to retirement.

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X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

User DVDJunky refers to X-Men Origins: Wolverine as one of the biggest mistakes 20th Century Fox ever made, noting, "I'm just glad Ryan Reynolds was able to go on to make the stand-alone films." The Redditor is referring to the way Deadpool's mouth was sewn shut in the movie, so he wasn't able to make any of his crude and vulgar one-liners, which is exactly what the Merc with the Mouth is known for in the comic books.

RELATED: 10 Things About Wolverine From Movies That People Commonly Mistake For Comics Canon

But while no studio executive or actor involved would want to draw attention to the biggest blunder in the franchise, the new Deadpool series hilariously references and ridicules the decision to stitch Wade's mouth shut. And the two Deadpool movies overall have more than redeemed the X-Men series for the way it ruined the character in Origins. Now, instead of fans being angry at the movie like they were in 2009, they laugh at the film, and it's actually fun to watch because of it.

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The Dark Tower (2017)

Based on a series of novels written by Steven King, The Dark Tower should have been a western fantasy epic and the start of a long-running movie franchise, but it ended up being completely wasted potential. BrokenPedley is especially heartbroken over how the 2017 movie deviated from the source material.

The Redditor notes, "The Dark Tower movie is a trainwreck compared to the book, they got very, very little right if anything at all really. Casting was fine, story was really different in all the worst ways." The 2017 release took so many liberties with the source material that the movie made people angry. The result was an incoherent grab bag of moments from all five books instead of simply adapting book one and growing from there.

I Am Legend (2007)

It seems like Hollywood obviously struggles to faithfully adapt novels about zombie/vampire apocalypses. Either that or studios just use the property's name to help market whatever kind of movie they want. Poorloko seemingly thinks it's the latter, complaining that I Am Legend ruins the book.

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The Redditor explains, "Why  did they keep the title if they were going to intentionally miss the point?" The user is referring to the fact that the book is about how the vampires have become scared of Robert Neville, the last man on Earth. He has become a legend like vampires were to humans. But the movie overlooks all of that subtext in favor of being a mediocre action flick.

Super Mario Bros. (1993)

Super Mario Bros. is notorious for being the first ever major video game movie, and the genre has seemingly never been able to recover since. This user comments just how different the dark movie is from the colorful and vibrant video game. But, funnily enough, the Redditor doesn't think the lack of respect for the source material is a bad thing.

The user shared, "I love this movie. Just a weird fever dream. Absolutely nothing to do with Mario just borrowed the names of stuff." The film weirdly has more in common with Blade Runner and Total Recall than it does with the source material, especially as strippers and sexual content were in the original cut. But, against all odds, the film has actually become a cult hit.

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The Shining (1980)

Betraying the source material is usually a big no-no and generally results in bad reviews and poor box office performance. However, The Shining is one of the best examples of the filmmaker deviating from the source material that works. Tbrou16 explains that the film is completely different from the novel, but adds, "But that obviously turned out OK."

RELATED: 10 Biggest Mistakes Characters Make In Every Haunted House Movie

The 1980 horror is more of a Stanley Kubrick movie than a Stephen King movie, and that might be why the author hates the film. But for as great as Kubrick's film is, it'd still be great to see a proper adaptation of the source material, and fans of the book definitely felt done over when they first saw it in 1980.

Uncharted (2022)

Redditor LuinChance accuses the newly released Uncharted of betraying its source material. The Redditor hilariously blames studio executives, posting, "the studio heads at Sony are absolute manic idiots." In fairness, the movie's development was all over the place and was stuck in development hell for years where seven different directors were attached to the project. So it's hardly surprising that the result comes off botched and welded together.

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Uncharted pulls from all four of the series' video games to create a bizarre greatest hits-like movie. The film features all of the games' greatest sequences and levels, but it doesn't make sense given that they all take place at different periods in Drake's life. And it makes even less sense considering the movie's Drake is much younger than he is in the games, which was another criticism from fans.

Drive (2011)

Many fans might not know that Drive is based on a novel, as the movie takes complete advantage of its format. Between the sweeping synthwave, the stylish cinematography, and the dialogue-light narrative, it doesn't really seem like it was born from a novel. But that's because, as BobGoddamnSaget explains, the film is completely different from the source material.

The Redditor comments, "Standard and Driver have an elongated friendship and there are no hints of romance between Driver and Irene. Irene (Irina in the novel) actually dies about two-thirds in." In the movie, Irene and Driver's relationship is so at the forefront that Drive could easily be labeled a romance.

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NEXT: The 10 Best Style Over Substance Movies, According To Reddit

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