aileth wrote:The problem with a bad adaptation is that there is often enough of the story to be recognizable, thereby leaving a bad taste in one's mouth every time one bites into book or movie. As pointed out many times before, if they can make it a good movie, so that it can be enjoyed for its own merits, then go for it. Mary Poppins is one I can think of: I like them both, though the movie and the book are quite different.
This reminds me of Howl's Moving Castle
. While one of my favorite books of all time, I didn't get around to seeing the Miyazaki film until my late teens. The film is significantly different from the book in a number of ways, and while I love the book a good deal more and consider it superior, I still appreciate and love the movie. I think it has some major flaws, but it's a work of art and Miyazaki had a powerful vision for the film. I'm very glad that Studio Ghibli made the movie, despite the many changes and the issues I have with it as an adaptation. Diana Wynne Jones, the author of Howl's Moving Castle
, was alive when the film was made, but she had no input and said that movie ought to be different from the book, and that it would still be a fantastic film. She really enjoyed the film when she saw it.
What if the above paragraph was describing a film adaptation of The Silver Chair
, though? How would I feel if someone approached SC with a vision that was sharply different than the book? How would C.S. Lewis have felt?
It all depends on the finished product, I suppose. And whether or not it is reinforcing the themes of the book in new ways, or simply creating new themes and dialing back what is really there. (Example: one of the problems I have with the HMC adaptation was the focus on war and Howl's involvement; war wasn't a theme in the book.) If someone had a vision for SC that was quite different than the book while still preserving the heart and the feel of the story, I'm sure I would be spellbound. I would probably still be spellbound even if it missed the mark in several ways, as the HMC adaptation did. I do know that would prefer something creative and visionary, even if it failed in some areas, to a "tame" and boring adaptation.
said, though, SC is not a difficult book to adapt to film, and the C.S. Lewis Estate's careful guardianship would likely make it challenging for someone with a visionary mind like Miyazaki to have free reign over the project. (And Miyazaki did, after all, write the screenplay as well as direct; that won't be happening with SC.) On the other hand, the Estate may also be looking for someone who is uniquely creative in order to reinvigorate the franchise and capture new audiences, so we'll see. I just hope they're inspired, and that their inspiration stems primarily from the book.