10 best adaptations of fantastic books
People are constantly looking for a way to escape, and what better way than fantasy? Not only does this genre allow readers to explore different worlds, but it often allows them to encourage the underdog and see good triumph over evil.
Some of the most popular fantastic works of recent centuries have been books, some of which have since been adapted into movies or TV shows. For some of these works, adaptation has become so popular that they have taken the place of books in people’s minds.
ten Gretel and Hansel
This 2020 adaptation of Grimm’s classic fairy tale follows siblings Gretel and Hansel as they get lost in the woods. They find a house that belongs to who they think is a sweet old lady at first, but then all hell breaks loose. This new take on that age-old story features a moody mystique that makes this fairy tale look as much like a horror movie as it does a fantasy movie.
The main characters, played by This‘s Sophia Lillis, and newcomer Sam Leakey, have remarkable chemistry and navigate this bizarre tale easily. Plus, this beautifully shot film offers audiences plenty of scenery to enjoy as they face the growing fear of finding out what becomes of siblings.
9 The Hobbit Trilogy
With one of the most recognizable opening lines in literature, The Hobbit has been near the top of every fantasy lover’s favorite list. Before The Lord of the Rings Director Peter Jackson turned this classic into a movie, it was adapted into a cartoon in 1977.
However, Jackson took Tolkien’s handwriting and translated it to the screen; not only did he cast the perfect Bilbo (Sherlock and Fargo‘s Martin Freeman) but he imbued the films with the same fantasy and wonder as the book. Jackson is always thorough, so it’s no wonder the costumes, sets, and battle sequences are also wonderful.
8 The witcher
This series took Netflix audiences by storm in early 2020. Based on a series of Polish novels, The witcher follows Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter who has some supernatural buffs himself. It also follows a woman named Princess Ciri, who is linked to Geralt by fate.
The show features separate timelines for Geralt, Ciri, and other characters before converging into one. The construction of the performing arts is part of what makes it such an effective adaptation. Considering there are multiple timelines and characters to wrestle with, it does a great job of making ends meet.
7 Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
The film is based on the beloved children’s book series of the same name, written by CS Lewis. He follows the Pevensie children as they venture into a closet in their new home and enter the world of Narnia. There, they are told that they must help the magical Aslan restore order to Narnia, which has been cursed with endless winter by a powerful witch, Jadis.
Along the way, they befriended several anthropomorphized animals, including beavers and a wolf. It might be the only one on this list that’s aimed more at young children, but it’s still a great movie, even for adults. The special effects are perfect and the conflict between the siblings is relatable. Plus, it allows kids to find their own destiny which again makes it a great movie for kids.
6 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
The movie that started it all, The Fellowship of the Ring is the first film of the The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the first film to present the story of the One Ring to modern audiences. The film, which follows Frodo Baggins and a bourse humans, hobbits, an elf and a dwarf to destroy an evil jewel, is one of the most effective pieces of world building in modern cinema.
As The Hobbit, director Peter Jackson excels at creating a world that feels lived-in and authentic, even in scenes where magic is used. Plus, the film’s score and cinematography gives the film an ethereal quality that exists throughout.
5 princess bride
princess bride is perhaps the ultimate cult classic. This movie spawned several lines that were GIF and memorized extensively, including “As You Like” and “I Don’t Think That Means What You Think It Means”. For anyone who hasn’t seen director Rob Reiner’s masterpiece, princess bride follows a man named Westley who sets out to find the love of his life, Princess Buttercup, before she is forced to marry the terrible Prince Humperdinck.
Along the way, he confronts pirates, a giant and a Spanish swordsman determined to avenge his father’s death. The film is both fantastic and funny, and makes audiences root for every character to be successful, except the prince, of course.
4 To hang up
Perhaps one of Robin Williams’ most beloved films, To hang up follows a man named Peter Banning who returns to Neverland after his children are kidnapped by Captain Hook. Banning, who is the adult version of Peter Pan, not only has to reconnect with Tinkerbell and the Lost Boys, but he has to rediscover the child within himself to beat Hook.
The film takes JM Barry’s beloved novel and the 1953 Disney film and adapts them for a new generation. The chemistry between Williams and Dustin Hoffman, who plays Hook, is palpable and helps strengthen the hero versus the villain of it all. In addition, it is the film that gave Millennials several slogans, including the iconic “bangarang”.
It’s not the only Neil Gaiman adaptation on this list, but it’s the first. Stardust follows a young man named Tristan who, to win the heart of the woman he loves, promises to bring her back a star. However, Tristan learns that the star who fell to earth the day before is actually a woman named Yvaine. He also learns that he’s not the only one looking for her, a witch and a prince are looking for Yvaine for the power boost she would provide.
This star-studded movie uses a lot of special effects to realize its ethereal world, especially in the fairy market footage. The chemistry between the main characters is obvious, which is important considering this is such a fantasy love movie. It’s quick to watch, but also a fun ride throughout.
2 Game Of Thrones
Game Of Thrones has become the cultural phenomenon of the past decade. While fans have mixed feelings about the show’s final season, the show as a whole is considered a masterpiece. It follows the lives and political machinations of dozens of characters in a fictional land called Westeros. Some of the more popular characters include Jon Snow, Arya Stark, Cersei Lannister, Tyrion Lannister, and Daenerys Targaryen.
Along with the amazing special effects and costumes, the show’s writing was phenomenal, as it was able to weave multiple storylines at once and across multiple seasons. Fans who appreciate Tolkien’s works will also appreciate this series.
1 Good omens
Good omens, which was written by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchet, is a camping vision of the end of the world as detailed in the Judeo-Christian religion. He takes the idea of the antichrist, the four horsemen and other events and turns them over on his head. The book was irreverent, so the show had to be the same. Fortunately, the director of the series, Douglas Mackinnon, is up to the challenge.
Much of the show’s success is down to the writing, but the casting choices help, too. The two main characters, the angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley are played by Michael Sheen and David Tennant respectively. Tennant and Sheen have a great chemistry as a dynamic duo determined to stop the apocalypse, although it is the event their two colleagues are eagerly awaiting.
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