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Authors who hated the movie versions of their books (11 Photos)
Bret Easton Ellis – American Psycho
Bret’s main complaint was that the book was “unadaptable because it’s about consciousness, and you can’t really shoot that sensibility.” Making ‘American Psycho’ as a movie, he continues, “you have to make a decision whether Patrick Bateman kills people or doesn’t,” whereas that was originally intended it to be ambiguous.
Roald Dahl – Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Dahl hated every single movie adaptation of his books. His grouchiness extended to the most famous of his adaptations, ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’. He said director Mel Stuart had “no talent or flair whatsoever” and that Gene Wilder, who flawlessly brought the psychotic, child-abusing candyman to life, was “insufficiently gay and bouncy” and his casting was “pretentious.”
Ken Kesey – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
While the film absolutely dominated the Academy Awards (winning Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Screenplay) Kesey was far from impressed. He was originally slated to help with the production, but left two weeks into the process. Though he claimed for a long time that he didn’t even watch it, he admitted he was especially upset that they didn’t keep the viewpoint of Chief Bromden. Kesey’s wife later said that he was glad the movie was made.
Anthony Burgess – A Clockwork Orange
Burgess’ main issue with ‘A Clockwork Orange’ is how it turned rapist and murderer Alex DeLarge (Malcolm McDowell) and his fellow Droogs into pop culture icons. You see, part of what Burgess wrote was inspired by the fact that his wife was beaten by GI’s and subsequently miscarried. The popularity of ‘A Clockwork Orange’ the movie caused Burgess to wish he’d never written it in the first place. It became known as the raw material for a film that initially seemed to glorify sex and violence. “The film made it easy for readers of the book to misunderstand what it was about, and the misunderstanding will pursue me till I die,” he said.
Winston Groom – Forrest Gump
‘Forrest Gump’ was one of the most popular films of the 1990s, and deservedly so. But as far as the author of the film’s source book is concerned, it didn’t deserve the praise it received. Winston Groom’s most famous beef with Forrest Gump wasn’t even related to its plot, but rather the financial finagling that kept him from a lion’s share of the film’s profits. Still, he also expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that the film’s screenplay eliminated plot points from the book, and toned down the language and sexual content.
He was so unhappy with the film adaptation that he began the book’s 1995 sequel, Gump and Co., with the line “Don’t ever let nobody make a movie of your life’s story.”
J.D. Salinger – My Foolish Heart
Salinger was so mortified by the making of ‘My Foolish Heart’ (originally named Uncle Wiggly in Connecticut), that he vowed to never let any more of his books ever become movies. There’s your reason why you’ve never seen the classic ‘Catcher in the Rye’ on the big screen.
Stephen King – The Shining
Stephen King’s hatred for Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’ is a pure one. The crux of his hatred comes from what Kubrick did to his main characters, making Jack Torrance seem
a lot more crazy than he was, where in the book he was a more sympathetic character who started out as a decent guy struggling with alcoholism. Kubrick also turned his wife Wendy into “one of the most misogynistic characters ever put on film. She’s basically just there to scream and be stupid. And that’s not the woman I wrote about.
I’d admired Kubrick for a long time and had great expectations for the project, but I was deeply disappointed in the end result. … Kubrick just couldn’t grasp the sheer inhuman evil of The Overlook Hotel,” says King.
P.L. Travers – Mary Poppins
Walt Disney pursued the rights to ‘Mary Poppins’ for decades, and Travers eventually gave in because she was low on funds herself. She constantly made suggestions during the production process, most of which Disney responded to with “How about not.” Among the things she didn’t like were the animation sequence and Poppins not being as strict as she was in the book. Seeing the finished film reduced Travers to tears, and she decided to put the other books in the series on lockdown so no ‘filthy movie types’ could get their hands on them in the future.
Richard Matheson – I am Legend
Matheson has been agitated with every adaptation of his book, stretching all the way back to 1964. The initial version starred an actor by the name of Vince Price. “I was disappointed in ‘The Last Man on Earth’, even though they more or less followed my story. I think Vincent Price, whom I love in every one of his pictures that I wrote, was miscast. I also felt the direction was kind of poor.” And then when ‘I Am Legend,’ starring Will Smith, was announced, the author commented, “I don’t know why Hollywood is fascinated by my book when they never care to film it as I wrote it.”
Clive Cussler – Sahara
Cussler, creator of the popular Dirk Pitt series of action novels, has not appreciated what Hollywood has done with the character in the past. The first adaptation of Pitt, Raise the Titanic, was a critical and financial fiasco, while ‘Sahara’ didn’t fare much better. The film cost around $145 million to produce and made just $68 million at the box office. In fact, Cussler hated ‘Sahara’ so much that he sued the producers of the film over what they did to his final script.
Anne Rice – Interview with the Vampire
Initially, Rice despised the casting of Tom Cruise, saying he was “no more my vampire Lestat than Edward G. Robinson is Rhett Butler. The casting was so bizarre.” However, after seeing the movie, she actually loved Cruise’s portrayal and told him what an impressive job he had done. She still hasn’t come around to liking Queen of the Damned, though, telling her Facebook fans to avoid seeing the film that “mutilated” her book.