When a franchise reaches a certain level of popularity, it has become a noticeable trend to adapt written works, comic books and even video games into Hollywood Pictures. This practice has become prevalent in a number of recent motion pictures: Harry Potter, Twilight, The Hunger Games, the numerous superhero movies, Transformers and games like Resident Evil and Tekken. While seeing these materials in motion is definitely a big draw of a film adaption, there is often one thing that long time fans of a franchise end up looking at when these movies finally come out: How faithful the movie is to the source material.
For fans, it often does not matter how pretty the effects are or how famous the cast and production crew are, the film is rendered pointless if nothing resembles the original. Books seem to get off the easiest in this department, as at worst content is omitted due to the fact they need to compress a large amount of content into a relatively small time frame by comparison. It is the same with comics, though they are spared because an issue is often a self-contained story and does not reach the length of a novel, though skipping through big events is still a problem present in these...
Other franchises are not as lucky however. Video games seem to lose the most when they are ported from the home consoles to the big screen. Starting with the concept with something as simple as a fighting game it was a wonder how so much was changed in regards to Tekken. The characters were not recognizable beyond their names and most of the fighting styles were not even similar, and this is taking into account the transition from video game design to real life. Resident Evil is another game series that falls short in the film adaption department, whose story has absolutely nothing to do with the games beyond there are zombies in them.
Children's franchises also take a hit here, with Transformers and Avatar the Last Air Bender also receiving a number of negative criticisms in regards to how faithful they were to the original concepts. Admittedly while Micheal Bay's Transformers is its own universe, it does not really make people think of the classics beyond wondering what happened to them and why they are like this in his version. Avatar on the other hand just has a number of problems utilizing the original's content and is once more not recognizable by fans beyond their names.
While it is not true to say all adaptations of different media are bad, they suffer a lot in the transition and makes people question whether it was really worth it in the end. Further there are times when the creator is not even consulted for such and thus the distance between the adaptation and the original becomes even further. There is no real line to be drawn at what can and cannot be done in a movie, which is what makes these creative liberties happen.
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