10 Popular Movies You Didn’t Know Were Based On Novels

Moviemakers often turn to famous books and novels for inspiration, and there’s nothing wrong with that. People always enjoy good cinema and so, they appreciate any idea that gives them an amazing experience. But sometimes the movies get so popular that they overshadow their source materials. Here are 10 popular Hollywood movies based on novels:

1. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

Based on: Traumnovelle by Arthur Schnitzler

Eyes Wide Shut starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman is an R-rated mystery psychological drama film released in 1999. Stanley Kubrick did an amazing job directing the film and it went on to become a hit at the box office. It is a loose adaptation of an Austrian novella ‘Traumnovelle’ published in 1926.

During an interview with a French film critic Michel Ciment, director Kubrick explained, “The book opposes the real adventures of a husband and the fantasy adventures of his wife, and asks the question: is there a serious difference between dreaming a sexual adventure, and actually having one?”

2. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

Slumdog Millionaire Full Movie

Based on: Q & A by Vikas Swarup

The film features Dev Patel, Frieda Pinto, Anil Kapoor and Irrfan Khan in the lead and was directed by Danny Boyle. It did wonders at the Academy Awards, by winning 8 Oscars out of 10 nominations. Slumdog Millionaire is based on Indian author Vikas Swarup’s Q & A, which was published in 2005. The book talks about a young orphan boy who becomes a big reality show game-winner, but then gets accused of cheating and goes to jail.

3. Fight Club (1999)

Things About Mr. Robot

Based on: Fight Club by Chuck Palahnuik

This was one of the finest Brad Pitt films and it still enjoys a large cult following to this day. Based on the book of the same name by American author Chuck Palahnuik, it follows the story of a man’s descent into insanity and his battle with his split-personality self. The director David Fincher did change the ending a bit, as it was significantly darker in the book. But both stand as brilliant examples of writing and filmmaking in their respective fields.

4. Shrek (2001)

Based on: Shrek by William Steig

Yes, one of the most amazing Pixar’s animated films is indeed based on a book. Your favorite green ogre came out from a children’s picture book of the same name. It was created by William Steig in 1990 and was adapted into the movies in 2001. Andrew Adamson & Vicky Jenson did a wonderful job as the directors and Mike Myers (Shrek), Eddie Murphy (Donkey), and Cameron Diaz (Princess Fiona)
were great as the voice artists. The franchise expanded on the concept of the book significantly through its films and achieved the status of one of the all-time animated greats.

5. The Devil’s Advocate (1997)

Highest Grossing Movies of Keanu Reeves

Based on: Devil’s Advocate by Andrew Neiderman

This brilliant Keanu Reeves and Al Pacino starrer revolves around a trial attorney, played by Reeves, who moves into New York with his wife after accepting a job offer which looks too good to be true. And as it turns out, it is. He gets hired by the Devil himself! Al Pacino plays the role of Satan in the movie and he’s just mind-blowing. Although the ending of the film and the novel are not identical, they’ll surely and equally impress you. The film is directed by Taylor Hackford and features Charlize Theron and Connie Nielsen along with Keanu Reeves and Al Pacino in the titular roles.

6. Christmas With The Kranks (2004)

Christmas With The Kranks

Based on: Skipping Christmas by John Grisham

This light-hearted comedy film tells the tale of a couple, Nora and Luther Krank, known for their grand display of Christmas spirit. But their plans change when their daughter’s sudden change of plan to visit them during the holidays causes a mad rush and they need to get everything ready in time.

Directed by Joe Rukh, the film stars Tim Allen and Jamie-Lee Curtis and is based on the book Skipping Christmas by John Grisham. The film points out at just how commercialized the celebration of Christmas has become while looking at a family’s dynamics during the occasion.

7. Primal Fear (1996)

Primal Fear

Based on: Primal Fear by William Diehl

Primal Fear, directed by Gregory Hoblit, is a Golden Globe Winning film of 1996 and is based on the novel of the same name by William Diehl. It is the debut film of Edward Nortan and he did an amazing job portraying the character of Aaron Stampler. Primal Fear is a crime-thriller film and tells a unique story while giving us an understanding of the basic layout of the courtroom. The story tells us the moral dilemmas faced by the defense lawyers while providing us a stunning view of how the workings of a criminal trial take place.

8. Reservation Road (2007)

Movies Based On Novels

Based on: Reservation Road by John Burnam Shwartz

Starring Joaquin Pheonix and Mark Ruffalo in the lead roles, the film tells a story of a college professor who seeks to hunt down the person responsible for the hit-and-run death of his son. Although the film isn’t as awesome as the novel, it still manages to sufficiently comprise the key elements of the book. The film wasn’t as bad as its reviews suggest. It’s just the work of John Burnam Shwartz that is not quite easy to perfect in the form of a movie.

9. American Psycho (2000)

Based on: American Psycho by Bret Easton

The controversial film starring Christian Bale has gained a cult status since its release. It tells the story of a gruesome investment banker who tortures and abuses women in his idle time. The film is based on a novel of the same name by Bret Easton. It gained a lot of controversy upon its release, much like his book which got the same treatment back in 1991.

10. The Martian (2015)

Sci-Fi Movies

Based on: The Martian by Andy Weir

The Sci-fi flick starring Matt Damon in the lead role became a massive hit at the box office, raking in over $600 million. With Ridley Scott in the director’s chair, an incredible plot, and a huge budget, the film was destined to be a success. Based on the book of the same name by Andy Weir, it tells the ordeal of astronaut Mark Watney who got stranded on the red planet.

Also Read:

Top 10 Greatest Action Movies That Are Based On Books


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