BADaptation: An introduction


[BADaptation is a look at some bad film adaptations. While the films themselves might be terrible, the main focus will be on the loss in translation from the source material to the big screen, whether that’s due to plot holes, unnecessary characters, or an outright misunderstanding of the content itself.]

Film adaptations are a curious interest of mine that has been developing since the beginning of 2011. In a few podcasts over the past year, I’ve publicly mentioned my intentions of writing a feature entitled BADaptations. Now what exactly defines a BADaptation, you may ask? As if the portmanteau wasn’t telling enough, a BADaptation is, simply put, a film adaptation that went terribly wrong in the translation process. 

Now then, a film can be a BADaptation while still being a legitimately good film. I’m not really focused on whether or not a film is actually good (although, due to the nature of the concept, a lot of the films covered will be absolutely terrible); rather, the focus of the analysis will be on the changes made to bring the material to the big screen. While some changes are necessary, such as story lines broken down to their main points, secondary characters cut, etc., other changes tend to be merely cosmetic, mostly in a desperate attempt to differentiate the film property from the source property.

Also, a general theme will run concurrently across each installment: exactly WHY such a film was made, whether they’re a personal pet project (The Rum Diary), an attempt to cash in on a property while it’s still relatively popular (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), to exploit our rose-colored nostalgia (various adaptations of childhood cartoons), or, the mecca of contemporary film adaptations: video game and comic book properties.

So join me as I finally take this idea that’s been bouncing around in my head and, hopefully, shape it into something interesting and entertaining. I already have a few films on my list, but if there are any specific suggestions you’d like to see in a future installment, please let me know by leaving a comment! I promise to keep any and all references to Nicolas Cage and Jason Schwartzman to a very bare, almost non-existent minimum.