Making books into visual films has been popular for quite some time, but there are some books that just don’t work out in the film industry. This is of no fault to the book itself or the author, or to the filmmakers doing their best. Some books just don’t translate.
A prime example of this occurrence is with the Percy Jackson books and the two sequential films. Being an avid reader and lover of literature, I loved Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series. I wanted to be a demigod and go on cool adventures and have powers. I was excited when the idea of a film was released, because while my brain made up most of the imagery, I could see details of monsters and real action. The fan base was not satisfied with the results of the films.
Another rendition of bad transitioning from text to film would be the infamous Eragon movie. I know several people who watched the movie as children and loved it since it had elves and dragons in it, but the book essentially ruined the film. The filmmakers didn’t seem to pay too close attention to the actual storyline, and fans everywhere were quite disappointed with the end result of the film.
But wait, there’s one more. Avatar: The Last Airbender, is a long-time cherished animated series. I grew up splashing around in pools trying to bend water, or hoping that one day I could zoom around on an airball. The upbeat series was widely loved, and a live-action film was commissioned. The result was a complete outrage from the fan base, and a general ignorance of the film in all. There were very few good things about the film, and a lot more bad things.
Where there is dishonor, there must be some form of redemption. The creators of these wonderful books and animated series have finally answered the aching call of the fan base to put their work to live film. Rick Riordan, the author of Percy Jackson, has agreed to a television series based on the books, and is going to be actively working with the directors and crew to make magic happen. Christopher Paolini has hinted about a possible TV series in the works, but has yet to confirm anything concrete. And the creators of Avatar: The Last Airbender, while no longer on the project, had been working with Netflix to create another live-action rendition, this time also as a series instead of a movie.
It seems that series in general are the better route to convey more detail from the books and get accuracy to the original copy. A season of a TV show doesn’t necessarily have a limitation of time, as they can have as many episodes as they want. More detail can be put into dialogue and description for the series and we can see the characters grow more like in the books.
As an avid fan of two out of three of the franchises, I am excited to see what happens with the live-action filming, and whether it will be better or the same as the previous attempts. My hopes aren’t set too high, mainly based around the failures, but it’s a shot in the dark to hope that they are good. I’ve seen many different opinions based around the creation of it. Some fans aren’t optimistic about the outcome of the series, based on previous attempts of translating it to live-action, but some are more positive and hopeful. I happen to be one of those as I look forward to the releases of the series and updates along the way.
Although the movies might not live up to the books, I do believe the TV series might.