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  1. #1
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    Default When is it okay to make changes from the source material?

    When do you think it is okay to change things from the source material and how far should they be changed? I personally think when adapting from anything they should be as close as possible while streamlining the stories and some character origins. It just comes off as a little arrogant to me for filmmaker to change characters they didn't create so drastically much like they can make them better without the source material they pull from but that is just me

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    Cosmic Curmudgeon JudicatorPrime's Avatar
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    Are we talking strictly about going from one media platform to another, like from books to movies, or just changes in general, no matter the medium?

    I think the more arrogant assertion is to say that a character and their lore can't be improved upon ever. Most of the really popular characters didn't start out that way based on their original concept. It took someone other than the original creator to take that character and elevate him/her, typically by altering some aspect of the source material.

    Take Thor. Anyone familiar with the mythological concept of Thor will tell you that at minimum Marvel's version is a bastardization of the God of Thunder myth. Further, as different Marvel writers have worked on Thor over the ages, the divergence from the source material ebbs and flows. When you're trying to keep a character like Thor current and fresh for modern consumption, some elements about the character must change. Static franchise characters are a company death knell.

    So to answer the question, when is it necessary to make changes from the source material? Whenever you feel the need to capture and maintain the audience's fleeting attention. For better or worse.

    The second reason would be, obviously, to tell a more engaging story.

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    When something needs an update due to technological advances or because the original origin no longer works due to being tied to real life historical events (for example, the Vietnam War). Iron Man was updated for both of those reasons.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JudicatorPrime View Post
    Are we talking strictly about going from one media platform to another, like from books to movies, or just changes in general, no matter the medium?

    I think the more arrogant assertion is to say that a character and their lore can't be improved upon ever. Most of the really popular characters didn't start out that way based on their original concept. It took someone other than the original creator to take that character and elevate him/her, typically by altering some aspect of the source material.

    Take Thor. Anyone familiar with the mythological concept of Thor will tell you that at minimum Marvel's version is a bastardization of the God of Thunder myth. Further, as different Marvel writers have worked on Thor over the ages, the divergence from the source material ebbs and flows. When you're trying to keep a character like Thor current and fresh for modern consumption, some elements about the character must change. Static franchise characters are a company death knell.

    So to answer the question, when is it necessary to make changes from the source material? Whenever you feel the need to capture and maintain the audience's fleeting attention. For better or worse.

    The second reason would be, obviously, to tell a more engaging story.
    I am speaking about books to movies

    I do think the source materials can be improved upon but that usually comes from smoothing out rough edges instead of changing the whole thing. Take the GotG for example they are nothing like the 2008 comic it is based on. What was even the point in adapting GotG if Gunn is going to change basically everything? Like Harry Potter fans got upset when they dropped the subplot with Neville but this is completely changed

    Thor is a completely different scenario. Marvel never tried to adapt the mythology and work it into their universe. Not to mention how many people actually know about Norse mythology? GotG marketed itself as a direct adaptation of the comics yet was completely inaccurate

  5. #5
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    when you can make it better and/or new
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    When it makes sense and/or the idea is good. There is no formula as to when it should / shouldn't happen. It is all case by case.

  7. #7
    Extraordinary Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    The answer is:
    -- It's always okay to make changes from the source material.
    -- Provided those changes result in a good adaptation, a good story, and so on.

    People should have creative freedom to adapt material however they think is right and best. A member of an audience equally has their own right to like/dislike it and so on. But even if something turns out badly, I'd rather it be a result of the creator's vision than from any other commercial interests. For example, I don't like Zack Snyder's films in general and I think he was a poor fit to direct the DC movies, but having committed to Snyder, WB/DC should have let him make the movie as per his vision. I don't like The Last Jedi but I am glad that Rian Johnson got to do the movie he wanted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dboi2001 View Post
    When do you think it is okay to change things from the source material and how far should they be changed?
    It's virtually impossible to draw a straight line and say up-to-this is fine, and not after.

    I personally think when adapting from anything they should be as close as possible while streamlining the stories and some character origins.
    Here's the thing, the idea of "as close as possible" "streamling the stories" and "some character origins" are entirely subjective parameters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    The answer is:
    -- It's always okay to make changes from the source material.
    -- Provided those changes result in a good adaptation, a good story, and so on.

    People should have creative freedom to adapt material however they think is right and best. A member of an audience equally has their own right to like/dislike it and so on. But even if something turns out badly, I'd rather it be a result of the creator's vision than from any other commercial interests. For example, I don't like Zack Snyder's films in general and I think he was a poor fit to direct the DC movies, but having committed to Snyder, WB/DC should have let him make the movie as per his vision. I don't like The Last Jedi but I am glad that Rian Johnson got to do the movie he wanted.



    It's virtually impossible to draw a straight line and say up-to-this is fine, and not after.



    Here's the thing, the idea of "as close as possible" "streamling the stories" and "some character origins" are entirely subjective parameters.
    how was Snyder a poor fit for DC?

    I have drawn a straight line for that

  9. #9
    Sarveśām Svastir Bhavatu Devaishwarya's Avatar
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    Answer: When the writer thinks it is necessary and can make it interesting and updated for a newer audience. (Speaking as an "older" reader, I find some of the original, definitive story ideas from way back when quite dated, sloggy and boring.)
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  10. #10
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    It's "okay" at any time, in any way, for any reason. Now, the further the MCU characters got from their source material, the less I liked them (Mantis and Zemo being particular standouts). My pouty objections, however, don't have anything to do with whether the creative teams were within their rights to adapt the characters.

  11. #11
    Benefactor / Malefactor H-E-D's Avatar
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    ...Always?

  12. #12
    Astonishing Member Mary Jay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNewGod View Post
    It's "okay" at any time, in any way, for any reason. Now, the further the MCU characters got from their source material, the less I liked them (Mantis and Zemo being particular standouts). My pouty objections, however, don't have anything to do with whether the creative teams were within their rights to adapt the characters.
    It's weird because when I first read the OP post, my first reaction was "probably almost never" but what you're saying resonates with me. Like Revolutionary Jack said, there are very subjective parameters. All the changes made to the GotG franchise, for example, don't really bother me as a MCU fan, since I don't have an emotional investment in the original characters that made up the team to begin with. I can appreciate the movies for what they are, and the characters in them for what they are. Mind you, if they had gone for the original team and not... let's say "adapt" the characters, I probably would have appreciated the movies just as much. So for me, a casual fan, it didn't really matter. On the other hand, the Ant-Man franchise adaptation really got on my nerves, as a huge fan of the characters. I can still appreciate the movies for what they are, but am still longing for a more faithful movie adaptation, which now will never happen.

    I do think it would be a bit arrogant of the filmmakers to say they made the product, i.e. the characters and their stories, "better". They made them "different" but again, "better" is a very subjective term. For an old school fan, the characters were fine the way they were, and didn't need any sort of improvement. Then again, I never heard a filmmaker flat out say that they made something better.

    My biggest beef with adaptation is, and will always remain, when the adaptation starts to bleed onto the original medium. Peter Quill and Scott Lang come to mind. They didn't used to be that dumb, in my opinion, but they are now written like in the movies. Same with characters that pop out of nowhere to match the movies.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mary Jay View Post
    It's weird because when I first read the OP post, my first reaction was "probably almost never" but what you're saying resonates with me. Like Revolutionary Jack said, there are very subjective parameters. All the changes made to the GotG franchise, for example, don't really bother me as a MCU fan, since I don't have an emotional investment in the original characters that made up the team to begin with. I can appreciate the movies for what they are, and the characters in them for what they are. Mind you, if they had gone for the original team and not... let's say "adapt" the characters, I probably would have appreciated the movies just as much. So for me, a casual fan, it didn't really matter. On the other hand, the Ant-Man franchise adaptation really got on my nerves, as a huge fan of the characters. I can still appreciate the movies for what they are, but am still longing for a more faithful movie adaptation, which now will never happen.

    I do think it would be a bit arrogant of the filmmakers to say they made the product, i.e. the characters and their stories, "better". They made them "different" but again, "better" is a very subjective term. For an old school fan, the characters were fine the way they were, and didn't need any sort of improvement. Then again, I never heard a filmmaker flat out say that they made something better.

    My biggest beef with adaptation is, and will always remain, when the adaptation starts to bleed onto the original medium. Peter Quill and Scott Lang come to mind. They didn't used to be that dumb, in my opinion, but they are now written like in the movies. Same with characters that pop out of nowhere to match the movies.
    I can't be any more annoyed by screenwriters than I am comic writers that put their story before the characters. That said, your point is completely legit.

    If there's a point where deviating from the source becomes "not okay," it may be when the adaptation overwrites the source. That nearly destroyed Batman at one point.

  14. #14
    Extraordinary Member Crimz's Avatar
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    It's a complex give and take.
    An adaptation should be allowed some creative freedom to not only make changes necessary to adapt the medium to another format, but to allow whoever's making it to include their own creative spin on things. The most boring thing would be an exact recreation of the source material. I personally don't need that as I already have the book for that. Changes can and will be made and it can lead to something better or at least something interesting and different. As long as the spirit and core of the characters and story are there, then I'm good with most changes.

    Often, comic fans need for things to be exactly how they personally want envision an adaptation is stifling. It's accepted that film adaptations are different universe from the original, then why is it such a big deal when things are different? Anything can happen in an alternate universe, so fans should ease up on the anger towards changes on film.
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    Quote Originally Posted by H-E-D View Post
    ...Always?
    Definitely, don't say that. It can lead to subpar interpretations.

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