10 Worst Book-to-Screen Adaptations

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. This week’s topic is Page to Screen Freebie. And I decided to go with worst book to film adaptations.
In no particular order, here we go:


Golden Compass (2007)
Okay so they did a number of mixing up all the scenes and really screwing up the plot. It also did not want to be too political and downplayed the Magisterium’s role. It’s a shame because the visual effects and the daemons were so beautiful.

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Eragon (2006)
Like. C’mon. You had one job.

This is still one of my most beloved book series and acting was so dull.

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The Hobbit (film series)
Strolling. Strolling. Strolling. Strolling. Strolling. So much strolling. Seriously. 3 hours per 100 pages in the book??

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The Cat in the Hat (2003)
Creepy cat alert!!
How do you not have nightmares after that? Poor kids.

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Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” (2005)
Directors must have been pretty ambitious.

Kuvahaun tulos haulle "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" (2005)

The Divergent Series
This wasn’t bad per say but they tried to recreate Hunger Games and then ended up cancelling the last movie? How do you screw up so bad?

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The Seeker: The Dark is Rising
Uhhh-nuhhh.

Kuvahaun tulos haulle the seeker the dark is rising (2007)

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant
Oh god. I haven’t watched this one but so I hear that they basically combined three books into one and actor for Crepsley.

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I Am Number Four (2011)
Pettyfer’s pretty face isn’t enough to save this from Michael Bay. I adore Transformers but here the director just did not make a good fit.

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The Polar Express
It’s not bad but let’s face the fact that this was also the movie that taught the animation industry not to make people to life-like.

Kuvahaun tulos haulle The Polar Express

Thoughts? What are the worst book to film adaptations you’ve seen?
Happy TTT!

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22 thoughts on “10 Worst Book-to-Screen Adaptations

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    1. It was so weird!! I think the first part was decent but then it went downhill so fast. And I hated how they broke the last movie into two parts. I hope Hollywood learned their lesson!

      1. Honestly I can’t remember! I hope so too, they only did it so they could make more money, it wasn’t like Harry Potter where the last book had enough material to justify two parts.

        1. Uhh I was very close to include Harry Potter last two movies here because what the hell they cannot do that. But I don’t know being a potterhead it seemed too much.

  1. Definitely the Cat in the Hat. It’s a creepy book to begin with? I also still struggle with feelings of hatred and betrayal for what they did to Ella Enchanted. I love Anne Hathaway but man do I really, really dislike that movie. Usually, I just pretend she never acted in it. Denial is an effective coping tactic.

    1. Haha yes denial all the way with these I think. Avoiding the problem is the best tactic… I haven’t read Ella Enchanted, I do remember liking Hathaway in it though.

  2. While I’ve seen the Divergent movies many times (mostly in Spanish) I can say it didn’t do the books justice. The acting was bad. They got minor details wrong that would have made absolutely no difference to the script but would have shown that they cared. I did like The Hobbit though.

    1. Hobbit was good but so freaking long compared to the source material. I would love to see Jackson do some other epic fantasy sagas… I think he would do great. I think Divergent movie makers wanted it to be the second coming of Hunger Games but it just did not work out that well.

  3. The saving grace for Hitchhiker’s is they used a script by Douglas Adams. Adams notoriously never told the story the same way twice, which is why while I didn’t love the movie version, I feel like it’s the vision that Adams wanted for audiences.

    1. Ah I didn’t know that, thanks for sharing! Maybe I’ll give the movie a second try and see it from this perspective. But I guess in general anything related to space just gets old fast.

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