There is always a certain fascination when you find that a favourite book has been made into a film.
One of the great things about a book is that it allows you to use your imagination to the full, painting mental pictures from the descriptions on the page and bringing everything to life on the cinema screen of your mind’s eye.
So when a treasured book becomes a film it isn’t just a question of how much of the story can be squeezed into the limitations of screentime, there is also the factor of how closely the whole thing resembles your own vision.
The Lord of the Rings written by J. R. R. Tolkien started life as a sequel to the author’s 1937 children’s fantasy novel The Hobbit but developed into something much bigger.
The film trilogy from the book directed by Peter Jackson is one of the most ambitious cinema projects ever undertaken, spanning eight years of filming and production at a cost of $280 million. Shot entirely in Jackson’s home country of New Zealand, the results matched all expectations with their depiction of massive battles and stunningly familiar yet alien landscapes.
Stephen King is a master story teller and his works span many genres. The Shawshank Redemption is based on a novella by King and is currently ranked No1 in IMDb’s Top 250 Best Movies of all Time. Misery was a psychological horror novel nominated for the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel in 1988 and later made into a hugely successful Hollywood film.
Perhaps the most difficult trick of all is to take a massively successful book and turn it into a film. In these cases expectations are so high because so many different people have their own ideas of how things should be.
Fifty Shades of Grey written by first time author E. L. James took the publishing world by storm in 2011 and went on to top best-seller lists around the world, setting the record as the fastest-selling paperback of all time.
Now that success is set to be translated to film and will hit Cineworld screens in February next year. Director Sam Taylor-Johnson has assembled a cast including Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson to star as the books protagonists Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele.
How the erotic and edgy themes of the book translate to cinema will be central to how the film is received, but if the popularity of the book is anything to go by it is certain to be one of the biggest releases of 2015.
[Note: This post is brought to you by Cineworld]