10 Book-To-Film Adaptations That Succeeded (And 15 That Failed)



  • Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)

Appropriately, first up in the first attempt at translating Unfortunate Events, a darkly baroque, Burton-esque film by Brad Silberling starring Jim Carrey the villainous Count Olaf who pursues the three child leads. Unfortunately, the appeal of the film style was too narrow, the story (consisting of a jumble of the first three books) failed to congeal, and/or the marketing failed it, because it didn’t turn much of a profit despite the source material’s popularity. The Netflix series, from Barry Sonnenfeld who flirted with directing the original film, appears lighter and more colorful in response.

Sam Flynn

Sam Flynn

Sam is a writer and journalist whose passion for pop culture burns with the fire of a thousand suns and at least three LED lamps.

  • andrew

    This is complete rubbish. The Lemony Snicket books are dark and grim. The film was closer to this then the new show is. I think it’s a brilliant adaption.

    • Samuel Patrick Flynn

      I really like that movie too! It falls under failures because it didn’t start a franchise, which it very clearly was intended to. And, with the author heavily involved in the Netflix show, I expect it to have just as much grimness and darkness as it needs while being fun.

  • DCDeathstroke

    Awesome List.. Disagree with Potter at 2 and Lord of the rings at 1.. Think it should be switched around. But still an awesome list.

    • Samuel Patrick Flynn

      Thanks! You know, originally I had it that way too! Upon editing it, I realized that I thought the impact Rings had – both production and reception – was so great that it allowed Potter to come together as awesomely as it did. My reasoning was, if Rings hadn’t happened exactly the way it happened, Potter might be an entirely different, probably worse, film series. My two cents!

      • DCDeathstroke

        Sounds about right.. But maybe I just feel that way since I am a huge Potter fan and not so much Lord Of The Rings – Fell asleep twice watching Return of the King. But again, Awesome list.

  • amin2302

    you have to ad Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children to that list. Probably the worst adaption of 2016.

  • Matias Gagliardone

    I completely agree about LOTR being first because it’s the greatest adaptation in my opinion! But I don’t think Maze Runner should be there while the first one was acceptable the second one was just awful I had to get out of the theater