THE BLOG
02/18/2014 06:58 am ET Updated Apr 20, 2014

Lost in Translation: The Most WTF Parts Added to Movie Adaptations of Books (VIDEO)

A version of this piece also appeared on twentysomethingreads:

These days, it seems like every time you go to a movie theater, there are always a couple posters for films that have been adapted from books.

In each leap from the page to the screen, changes are made. This is understandable, of course-- different mediums require different modes of storytelling. Book scenes that involve time spent in a character's head might translate to "slow" on the screen. However, sometimes instead of simply modifying things, film adaptations add entirely new scenes that were never in the book.
Occasionally this adds to the story, but sometimes it's just plain baffling, and all you can ask is: Why? What was going on in the filmmakers' minds, and why did they think that was a logical decision? Or, in other words: WTF?!

Here are some of the culprits. I tried to include as broad and random a selection as possible so that there is something for everyone:

PHOTO GALLERY
WTF Parts Added to Book Adaptation

There are many more film adaptations I could have mentioned, including others where the films actually improved upon the books (the last Twilight movie's "battle" scene, everything about The Hunger Games), or others where the entire ending is changed (My Sister's Keeper) or still others where the personalities of the protagonists are changed (Sherlock Holmes, How I Live Now). Very rarely, there are films that actually stay true to the book (The Silence Of the Lambs, Jane Eyre, The Perks of Being a Wallflower). And then there is the category of film that stands by itself, the category of "Let's take an iconic book monster and give him a distracting hairstyle that resembles boobs, for no reason at all" (Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 Dracula).

As Hollywood keeps mining books for ideas, the question of whether they have any original ideas anymore remains (I don't have an answer for that). But this year, there is an entire lineup of new adaptations coming out, including The Giver, The Fault in Our Stars, A Long Way Down, Dark Places, Vampire Academy, Labor Day, Winter's Tale, Divergent, This is Where I leave You, The Maze Runner, and more. Whether they will attempt to get creative with the material and prompt some "WTF?" moments from the audience remains to be seen.

No matter their faults, there is one thing Hollywood can accurately predict about the general public: There will always be those of us book readers who know they will butcher the book but masochistically go to see the movie anyway.