12 Best Movie Adaptation of Great Books

Directors and producers have been inspired by other media ever since the production of movies began. In fact, movies using books as their source material were some of the first movies that were ever filmed.

Lately, there has been a whole raft of terrible movies made from books (remember the tragic The Golden Compass movie that came out in 2007?), but there have also been some amazing movies based on even more wonderful books. Here are a few of the best movies of all time that were based on great books.

1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower

This movie, based on a coming-of-age story written by Stephen Chbosky, was made into a movie in 2012, roughly 12 years after it was first published. The movie starred Logan Lerman, Ezra Miller, and Emma Watson, who generated a huge amount of buzz for the movie. Watson was fresh off starring in the final Harry Potter film, and was a household name, especially among teens.

This movie was produced by Mr. Mudd Productions, headed by John Malkovich, and was the final film that they made on the subject of struggling teenagers — their other two were Ghost World and Juno.

2. Life of Pi

Life of Pi, written by Canadian author Yann Martel, sold millions of copies worldwide when it first came out in 2001. It followed the story of a young boy named Piscine Molitor “Pi” Patel, who survived months at sea in a small boat, accompanied by a Bengal tiger.

When word got out that director Ang Lee had been hired to direct an adaptation of the book, people thought he was crazy. No one thought a movie featuring giant tiger as a central character would succeed. However, critics were wrong, and Ang Lee’s Life of Pi was very well received when it came out in 2012, winning four Academy Awards, including a Best Director nod for Lee.

3. The Green Mile

When you first hear the phrase “prison-based magic realism,” it definitely gives you pause. However, Stephen King’s book The Green Mile is exactly that — a story about a prison guard’s encounter with an inmate named John Coffey, who has unusual powers of healing and understanding. Originally published in six parts, it was eventually synthesized into one larger volume.

The movie based on the book, starring Tom Hanks and Michael Clark Duncan as the guard and the prisoner, respectively, was released in 1999. Fans of the book agree that it was a faithful adaptation, and was able to bridge the gap between telling the story of the men’s lives in jail and using flashbacks to recount John Coffey’s life before he was incarcerated.

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