Spoiler alert: you’re going to get the surprise of your life.
You never knew it, but a lot of your favorite movies were actually adapted from novels and children’s books. Some were faithful adaptations, some took creative license, and all are worth checking out. Check out the list now:
1. Die Hard, based on Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp
Who knew that this Bruce Willis action classic was actually based on a book? And not just a book–Nothing Lasts Forever is the sequel to The Detective, which was the basis for a 1966 film starring Frank Sinatra.
2. Forrest Gump, based on Forrest Gump by Winston Groom
“No one believes me when I tell them Forrest Gump was a book that was way out there with him going to space with a monkey and crash landing back on an island with cannibals that he has to beat at chess to escape being eaten” (Winston Groom).
3. Jurassic Park, based on Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
Originally a screenplay, Crichton’s Jurassic Park was supposed to be about a student who decides to recreate a dinosaur. But then Crichton realized that this would be an extremely unrealistic academic venture and that, in order to be successful, the dinosaurs’ recreation had to come from “a desire to entertain.”
5. Legally Blonde, based on Legally Blonde by Amanda Brown
I hardly ever say this, but I’ve read Brown’s Legally Blonde, and I actually prefer the movie. It’s still fantastic–although Elle takes on Stanford in the book, not Harvard–but it just doesn’t have the same heart and quirky spirit as the movie.
6. Mrs. Doubtfire, based on Madame Doubtfire by Anne Fine
Oops! Might want to work on that disguise–in the book, the two eldest children immediately recognize Mrs. Doubtfire as their father, though the mother and youngest child are still fooled.
R.I.P Robin Williams.
7. Goodfellas, based on Wiseguy: Life In A Mafia Family by Nicholas Pileggi
Wiseguy is actually a nonfiction book: in it, journalist Nicholas Pileggi reveals the story of Henry Hill, an informant who was once a member of the Mafia.
Film director Martin Scorsese considered the book to be the most honest portrayal of real-life gangsters he’d ever read.
8. The Parent Trap, based on Lisa and Lottie by Erich Kastner
Let’s get together, yeah yeah yeah! Kastner’s children’s book (originally written in German) is the little-known basis for one of your favorite childhood movies.
9. The Shawshank Redemption, based on Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King
No wonder Shawshank Redemption was so darkly thrilling–it’s actually based on a short story written by the master of horror, Stephen King.
10. The Princess Bride, based on The Princess Bride by William Goldman
Inconceivable! The Princess Bride is based on a book??
Yes–your favorite romantic film is actually a book-turned-movie about a grandfather who reads the book to his grandson. Talk about meta.
11. Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, based on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Ron and Judy Barrett
They share the same title, but not much else: the picture book is a grandfather’s bedtime story about food falling from the sky. In the book, an inventor’s creation makes it so food actually does fall from the sky.
What’s your favorite book-based film? Did you know about any of the movies included here? Share your thoughts below!
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Featured image via Coach Calorie