The Loose Adaptation: Why Do We Care?
Here we talk about the concept of Hollywood changing the source material of comic book properties, and why it's not that big of a deal.
In the fanboy community there seems to be one major concern, Hollywood and their apparent desire to destroy the characters and stories we all know and love. We believe this based on the needless changes they make to the source material in order to attempt and make it more marketable. What I'm trying to say is that the argument of a movie's failure based only on the fact that changes were made from the source material pretty much shows our ignorance as to our knowledge of how film making truly works.
Before I begin it should be stated that I have no intention to offend anyone. Ignorance is not the same as stupidity. Instead it involves the lack of information on a subject one might have. In other words while fans may know the source material they may not understand how such stories would need to function in a feature length film. That's the intention of this article, to better inform people of the necessity of change and to offer a better understanding of how Hollywood operates.
First of all it should be mentioned that the act of adapting a comic book to a feature length movie is in fact changing the media it's being presented. What works from a comics perspective (such as the characters narrating what they feel or what they need to do) wouldn't work as effectively in a movie. Not to mention that comics are ongoing stories with plot lines lasting for months or even years. Movies on the otherhand need to tell a coherent story in the space of a single 2-3 hour experience. Sure there are trilogies and sequels that can work but each film should have a completed story without the concept of a to be continued (they can have plot lines that continue to the next movie but they still complete a story they began). For this reason alone changes would need to be made, after all one couldn't tell the story of a movie the same way they would with a song.
Talking more about the changes in media, with that also comes a change in audience. While exceptions are made the majority of comic book readers fall into the age range of teens to young adults. For a superhero movie like Superman could reach anywhere from a 5 year old to someone in their 70s or 80s. Adapting a modern comic word for word would mainly appeal to the fans of said comic, thusly making the movie ultimately a flop and ruining the point of adapting the property. Whether we like it or not the studios are making these movies for money, the same reason why people are making comics. That's just the way the world works.
Going outside of changing in media and accounting for a new audience it should also be mentioned that these characters need to change in order to survive. This concept applies to the comics as well as the eventual movie made about it. With a character like, say, Batman we often hold an image in our heads about what kind of a character he should be (mainly dark and gothic). What we tend to forget is that we adopted this version of Batman after the last generation of fans grew out of the Caped Crusader. Back when they were fans Batman was more of a lighthearted character involved in goofy stories such as being turned into a baby. In order for any character to survive the ages like that they would need to change for the next group of fans. It applies to the movies as well. Take Nolan's Batman films for example. While we may complain that this isn't Batman the truth is that it's the next generation's Batman, the same way Tim Burton's was our generations and Adam West's was our parents' generation. Complaining about these changes because you simply preferred the "classic" interpretation merely says that you can't accept change, which is a fact of life we all need to accept in life.
Now again I admit that not all changes are good or acceptable and I am not trying to offend anyone, but we should judge these adaptations based on their own merits and not simply what came before. Some day I know I'll watch a new Batman movie with my children and it'll be significantly different from what I experienced from Burton or Nolan, but assuming that it keeps the fundamental aspects of the character intact I know I'm in for a good time.
Also before I conclude I'd just like to mention something about properly using the complaint if it not matching with the source material. First being that you should elaborate on why it's better in the comics and why it doesn't work for the movie. For example with the Catwoman movie they changed a smart antihero into a generic superpowered hero with no competence outside of cat powers. Second be sure to know what you're talking about when saying the comics were better. I'm tired of hearing that Bruce would never retire like in the recent movie. Several comics and shows explored the concept that Bruce was unsure about being Batman and two stories of the Dark Knight, such as Dark Knight Returns and Batman Beyond, feature a Bruce long since retired (I know this yet I'm not that much of a fan of the comics).
So there's my look at the changes Hollywood makes to comic book movies. Like if you liked it and comment below on your feelings on property changes. Please suggest any articles, such as lists or reviews, that you'd like me to do. See you later.
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