5 Famous Movies That Changed Their Origin Books' Plots for the Better

5 Famous Movies That Changed Their Origin Books' Plots for the Better
Image credit: Warner Bros, United Artists, NBC, Sony Pictures Releasing

Fans often hate it when movies change the original story, but sometimes it's necessary. On rare occasions, it even leads to a way better viewer experience!

5. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012)

Admittedly, the Twilight movies changed one too many things in the plot, and fans have always been rather vocal about it. Many changes were undoubtedly necessary while others were simply cosmetic… But one slight deviation from the book that was made in Breaking Dawn completely changed the perception of its most epic scene.

The giant fighting scene between the Cullens and their allies and the Volturi army was the diamond of the movie: it was a nerve-wracking mess with amazing choreography and high stakes. The books sadly revealed that it was just a vision before the battle itself — and the movies won by a large margin by hiding this fact.

4. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

Peter Jackson’s world-famous adaptation of The Lord of the Rings has always been known for changing quite a few things about the original. From removing characters to adding new ones, Jackson took numerous liberties where he could to make room for the more essential details. And judging by the movie series’ popularity, it worked.

But one of the more subtle changes the director added at the very beginning of the first movie really helped to fix what Tolkien missed out on — the sense of emergency. In the movie, Frodo is in a rush to take the Ring out of the Shire — and in the book, he took his sweet time just vibing around before leaving.

3. P.S. I Love You (2007)

When we talk about movie changes, we typically mean something like adding or cutting details out. But P.S. I Love You employed an entirely different type of change that many viewers generally find annoying (especially those who are not US residents). This movie changed the location of the original book. Guess where to?

P.S. I Love You follows a woman traveling around on her late husband’s wishes as he tries to help her feel alive again after his death. In the movie, the couple lives in the USA, and the husband’s letters take the wife to his native land of Ireland — while in the book, they already live in Ireland, and he just sends her on vacation to Spain.

2. Carrie (1976, 2002, 2013)

5 Famous Movies That Changed Their Origin Books' Plots for the Better - image 1

Live-action adaptations of Stephen King ’s novels should be considered a standalone movie genre based solely on the sheer number of them. Carrie, one of King’s most popular novels, has been adapted three times — and that was just for the big screen! Interestingly enough, each adaptation dramatically changed the book’s story.

The reason why all three directors were so insistent on changing Carrie was the structure of the narrative. In the movie, we see a traditional and linear perspective that shows exactly what’s going on whereas the book relies on interviews, articles, and notes to give the reader a glimpse of the truth. Try adapting that as a film!

1. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

The story of the magical and crooked Chocolate Factory, too, has been adapted several times (with a Timothee Chalamet version cooking as we’re writing this). But it was the director of the first live-action adaptation, Mel Stuart, who saw a critical flaw in the finale of Roald Dahl’s much-acclaimed novel and decided to fix it in his film.

Simply because Charlie was the last kid standing, it didn’t make him the perfect successor for Wonka, and Stuart added that extra bit of realism. In his movie, Willy Winka puts Charlie through a new, special test at the end, and only admits his rights to the factory after he passes it — not just because he’s the last kid, like in the book.