Many books were adopted by filmmakers who based their movies on them. Though more elaborate screen plays were drafted for the movies but their central ideas emanated from such publications. Many of such movies became popular encouraging writers to write on novel subjects and bring to fore new themes.
Mario Puzo’s novel The Godfather was published in 1969. It spent more than a year on bestseller lists and sold 9 million copies in its first two years. Paramount Pictures must have sensed that the book was a gold mine because it obtained film rights before the book was even published. The first two movies, starring Marlon Brando as Don Corleone, Al Pacino as Michael Corleone and Robert De Niro as Vito Corleone, are considered to be among the best American films of all time. The storyline follows a New York Mafia family from its origins to the present day, when Michael is head of the family and must make difficult decisions to expand the family business. While the first two movies are adored by critics and movie fans alike, the third movie has its detractors.
The Da Vinci Code
The Da Vinci Code spent over two years on the bestsellers list and sold more than 80 million copies worldwide. Dan Brown’s thriller follows French police cryptologist Sophie Neveu and Harvard symbol expert Robert Langdon on a scavenger hunt for answers. The 2006 movie starring Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou was panned by critics but that did not stop it from grossing over $758 million worldwide at the box office.
Girl with a Pearl Earring
For many years, author Tracy Chevalier had a poster of Johannes Vermeer’s 17th century painting Girl with a Pearl Earring on her bedroom wall. The inscrutable look in the sitter’s eyes inspired Chevalier to write a novel with the same title that imagines who the girl was and what her relationship with the great painter might have been like. The 2003 movies adaptation which stars Scarlett Johansson as a young maid called Griet and Colin Firth as Vermeer was rated very highly and brought in $31 million in returns. In addition it was nominated for three Academy Awards.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Four siblings from the Pevensie family happen to come across a portal at the back of a wardrobe that takes them to Narnia, home to many mythical creatures. An evil queen has cast a spell over the land, condemning it to eternal winter. With the help of a kind lion called Aslan, the Pevensie children are tasked with breaking the spell and bringing summer back to Narnia. C.S. Lewis’s classic children’s book has been popular for generations since after its publication in 1923. The 2005 movie adaptation won as Oscar (out of three nominations) and brought in $745 million.
The Devil Wears Prada
Legendary editor Lauren Weisberger once worked at the Vogue magazine and her experiences there inspired her to write The Devil Wears Prada, one of the most popular chick-lit books. Andrea “Andy” Sachs, a recent university graduate, lands a job as a junior personal assistant to the tyrannical editor-in-chief of a famous fashion magazine. The movie, which stars Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly and Anne Hathaway as Andy Sachs, was a box-office smash, bringing in over $326 million worldwide whereas its cost of production was only $35 million.
The Shawshank Redemption
Stephen King wrote the story titled as Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption that was first published in 1982 and was adapted as the Shawshank Redemption. The 1994 movie was nominated for seven Academy Awards and is rated very highly. Starring Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins in the roles of prisoners “Red” Redding and Andy Dufresne, the theme is about time, patience, loyalty and the desire for freedom. TW