How many times have you heard the phrase, "the book was better than the movie"? And sadly it’s often true! But, every so often a masterpiece adaptation emerges whose validation cannot be denied by even the most hardcore fans of the book.
The first name that comes to mind is Tolkein’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ which may have even changed the course of the fantasy genre forever. While the book is no doubt out of this world, the movie brought the elements of middle earth so perfectly on-screen that it will leave generations spellbound.
Similarly, many sci-fi books to movie adaptations have been a knock out of the park and are worth paying attention to. Here's a list of 5 of the best sci-fi movie adaptations:
Based on the book: “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley
This iconic horror film follows the scientist Dr. Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) obsessed with building a live creature by assembling body parts of the deceased. He succeeds in creating his monster (Boris Karloff) with the help of his assistant, Fritz (Dwight Frye).
Once animated, the monster fails to come to terms with his creation and ends up escaping into the countryside to wreak havoc. Frankenstein mirrors the story of Prometheus in his search for the evasive being who created him.
The classic novel, ‘Frankenstein’ has been adapted into everything from comics to tv series over the years. The best known of these, however, remains the original 1931 Frankenstein.
Jurassic Park (1993)
Based on the book: “Jurassic Park” by Michael Crichton
Directed by the highly acclaimed Steven Spielberg, the movie takes place at an amusement park where genetically engineered dinosaurs get loose and create chaos.
Released in 1993, the movie is a cult classic and is still applauded for its realistic VFX work. The success of the film even spawned a new highly successful franchise.
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Based on the book: “A Clockwork Orange” by Anthony Burgess
This dystopian story is a disturbing commentary on the psychiatry of juvenile offenders. The movie follows the story of the head of a gang of toughs who is captured for raping and murdering an elderly woman. As his punishment, he is conditioned to become physically ill at the thought of sex and violence.
The book features on Time magazine's list of the "All-Time 100 Novels" written since 1923 and remains a favorite among the readers of sci-fi fiction.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005)
Based on the book: “The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams
The story follows the human Arthur Dent (Martin Freeman) and his alien friend Ford Perfect (Mos Def). It starts with Arthur trying to save his house from getting bulldozed and leads into both of them being whisked into outer space
Together they meet colorful personalities, including many-headed President Zaphod Beeblebrox and sexy refugee Trillian while seeking the meaning to life, the universe, and everything which is later revealed to be the number 42.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was first broadcasted on the radio in 1978. The entire series of books, tv miniseries, and the movie has a cult following.
The Thing (1982)
Based on the book: “Who Goes There?” by John W. Campbell
Based in remote Antarctica, the movie follows a group of American research scientists who take in a dog who was being shot at from a helicopter. It is later discovered that the dog is an alien being who takes the shape of whatever it devours. A battle ensues between the thing and the humans, where the humans end up losing to the thing as it picks them off, one by one.
The original book, ‘Who Goes There?’ was voted by the Science Fiction Writers of America as one of the "finest science fiction novellas ever written" in 1973. It was first adapted into a movie in the 1950s however the 1982 John Carpenter version stood the tests of time and is still considered one of the best sci-fi book-to-movie adaptations.
The movie was trashed by critics at the time of it’s release and reviews stated it to be "instant junk", "a wretched excess", and "the most hated film of all time". Over the years, however, the movie has established itself as a cult classic.
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