10 Best Fantasy Book Adaptations
People are constantly looking for a way to escape, and what better way than to go through fancy? Not only does this genre allow readers to explore different worlds, it often allows them to cheer up the underdog and see good triumph over evil.
Some of the most popular works of fantasy in 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 it has taken the place of books in people’s minds.
Gretel and Hansel
This 2020 adaptation of the classic Grimm fairy tale follows siblings Gretel and Hansel as they are lost in the woods. They find a house that belongs to what they think is a nice old woman at first, but then all hell breaks loose. This new take on this age-old story features a brooding mystique that makes this fairy tale feel as much like a horror movie as it does a fantasy film.
The main characters, embodied by ThisSophia Lillis and newcomer Sam Leakey have remarkable chemistry and navigate this strange story with ease. Plus, this beautifully shot film offers audiences plenty of scenery to enjoy as they face the growing fear of finding out what happens to the siblings.
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 favorites list. Before The Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson turned this classic into a movie, it was made into an animated film in 1977.
However, Jackson took Tolkien’s writing and translated it for the screen; not only did he cast the perfect Bilbo (sherlock and Fargoit is Martin Freeman) but he imbued the films with the same whimsy and wonderment as the book. Jackson is always thorough, so it’s no wonder the costumes, sets, and fight sequences are also wonderful.
This series took netflix storming audiences in early 2020. Based on a series of Polish novels, the witcher follows Geralt de Riv, a monster hunter who has some supernatural enhancements himself. It also follows a woman named Princess Ciri, who is bound to Geralt by fate.
The show features separate timelines for Geralt, Ciri, and other characters before converging into one. The show’s world-building is part of what makes it such an effective adaptation. Considering there are multiple timelines and characters to contend with, it does a great job of making ends meet.
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. It follows the Pevensie children as they venture into a wardrobe 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 an endless winter by a powerful witch, Jadis.
Along the way, they befriend several anthropomorphic animals, including beavers and a wolf. It may be the only one on this list that caters more to young kids, but it’s still a great movie, even for adults. The special effects are spot on and the sibling conflict is relatable. Plus, it does a great job of empowering kids to find their own destiny, which again makes it a great movie for kids.
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 introduce the story of the One Ring to modern audiences. The film, which follows Frodo Baggins and a bourse of 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 lived-in, authentic world, even in scenes where magic is used. Additionally, the film’s score and cinematography give the film an ethereal quality that exists throughout.
princess bride is perhaps the ultimate cult classic. This film spawned several lines which have been extensively GIFed and memorized, including “As you wish” 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 goes on a quest to reunite with the love of his life, Princess Buttercup, before she is forced to marry the terrible Prince Humperdinck.
Along the way, he battles pirates, a giant, and a Spanish swordsman bent on avenging his father’s death. The film is both fantastical and funny, and it inspires audiences to root for every character to succeed, except for the prince, of course.
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, which is the adult version of Peter PanNot only must he reconnect with Tinkerbell and the Lost Boys, he must rediscover the child within himself in order 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 against the villain. Plus, it’s the movie that gave millennials several catchphrases, 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 a star. However, Tristan learns that the star that fell to earth the night before is actually a woman named Yvaine. He also learns that he is 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 film uses plenty of special effects to achieve its ethereal world, most notably in the fairy market sequences. The chemistry between the main characters is evident, which is important considering this is such a fantastic romance movie. It’s quick to watch, but it’s also a fun ride throughout.
game of thrones
game of thrones become the cultural phenomenon of the last decade. Although 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 country called Westeros. Some of the most popular characters include Jon Snow, Arya Stark, Cersei Lannister, Tyrion Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen.
In addition to the incredible special effects and costumes, the show’s writing was phenomenal, as it was able to weave together multiple storylines at once and across multiple seasons. Fans who love Tolkien’s works will also enjoy this series.
good omens, which was written by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchet, is a campy take on the end of the world as detailed in Judeo-Christian religion. It takes the idea of the antichrist, the four horsemen and other events and turns them on their head. The book was irreverent, and so the show had to be the same. Luckily, the show’s director, Douglas Mackinnon, is up to the challenge.
The show’s success is largely down to the writing, but the casting choices also help. The two main characters, the angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley are played by Michael Sheen and David Tennant respectively. Tennant and Sheen have great chemistry as a dynamic duo determined to stop the apocalypse, though it’s the event their two co-workers are looking forward to.