Many years ago, I read the then new book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone to a large class of grade three students. I loved it and they loved it and I did different voices according to how I imagined they would sound. Hagrid used to make my voice quite hoarse after a while. Then the movie came out. I was wary because I loved the book so much that I didn't think I even wanted to see the movie. However, when I did see it, I was thrilled because the movie was just how I imagined the book to be, right down to Diagon Alley and the inside of the school.
I think that is perhaps the only time a movie was created from a book that I was deeply familiar with that got it right. I have read many books over the years and some have been made into movies, or television shows, but they disappointed me every time. I suppose that is normal, as we create our own movies in our minds as we read. We decide what each character will look like, what they will sound like, the "feel" of the setting, the details, the nuances.
For those of you my age, do you recall when they created the television series about girl detective Nancy Drew? It was so wrong on just about every count. I wasn't young anymore when the show was produced, but Nancy was wrong, the time period was wrong, everything was wrong. It was so disappointing.
I have enjoyed reading Janet Evanovich's numbered murder mysteries set in New Jersey with bond agent Stephanie Plum and her on again off again romances with her Jersey Italian boyfriend and dangerous Cuban partner in catching criminals. Then a movie was produced and the disappointment was enormous. The casting agent clearly had not read any of the books. Any of you familiar with this?
I wonder how the readers of Ian Fleming's James Bond series of books felt when they watched any of the subsequent movies? Which Bond was the correct one? Did the movies capture the books plots, villains, clever gadgets the way they imagined?
The reason I am thinking about this topic is something on I saw on the guide as I was looking through the channels on the tv. I saw something that said Will Trent. I kept scrolling through, looking for something I might want to record to watch later. The name kept niggling in the back of my brain and so I went back and looked at the info on this programme. Ah ha! Will Trent is the name of the main character in a series of crime books by the author, Karin Slaughter. I've read all of her books so far featuring this character and liked them quite a bit. Oh no, I thought. What will this be like? How can they create a series that captures storylines of all these books?
Well, I set it to record and watched it a day later. Did they choose the correct Will Trent? Mmmm, no. He should have been more awkward, taller, and more vulnerable. And honestly, I don't think he was Spanish in the books. But he is now. They did get the dog correct, though. Betty, the chihuahua is the way she was portrayed in the books.
I think perhaps the series, Shetland, based on the great books by Ann Cleeves was right on the money. I think their casting made sense and the setting was perfect.
Chime in if you can relate to any of these, or if you can think of other movies or tv shows based on books that you read first, and then watched later. Were you pleased or disappointed?