Adapting a story onto the big screen is sometimes a harder task than it seems. Depending on the medium of the source material, it can present substantial challenges. Sometimes, though, movies make big changes to their source material, and the worst ones are unforgettable.
Of course, we aren’t saying that it isn’t sometimes necessary. Movies adapted from books, for example, rarely have the runtime to accommodate every aspect of the original story. Even so, changes like removing characters, subplots, or entire sequences is a surefire way to upset your core audience of existing fans.
There are other changes that are more abstract and even harder to understand, too. Some films add material to pad out a story, and others randomly change the endings in order to subvert expectations. Regardless of the specifics, each of the following has something in common: these are the worst changes movies have ever made to their source material.
8. A Series Of Unfortunate Events (2004)
The Series of Unfortunate Events books chronicle the lives of the perpetually unfortunate Baudelaire children after their parents die in a mysterious fire. Each book concerns the Baudelaires heading to a new foster home, only to encounter the villainous Count Olaf who intends to steal their inherited fortune. Olaf pops up in all manner of disguises, bringing death and despair in his wake.
The success of the book series naturally spawned interest in a movie franchise. It was a perfect set up, really: each book contained enough content for roughly one movie, and the translation should have been easy. The rubber-faced Jim Carrey was cast as Count Olaf, which was perfect. Or it would have been, had the film not crammed the first three books into one movie.
Condensing three stories into one film was a pretty horrific way to handle a beloved book series. Elements of all three were skipped over and left out to fit in the broad strokes, leaving the resulting film feeling like a shadow of the source material. It wasn’t all bad, and certainly brought some Hollywood talent to the franchise, but it rightfully upset an awful lot of fans, too.