25 books that should have never been made into films

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It makes sense for Hollywood to look to the written word for inspiration when it comes to producing new films. But, the sad truth is there’s become an over-reliance on using pre-existing material to either find the next big franchise or to capitalise on the success of a bestseller. It’s fair enough – these adaptations will always be guaranteed large box office takings thanks to the book’s readers merely showing up to see how the film has translated certain parts to the screen.

While there are solid examples of successful big-screen adaptations – The Lord of the Rings, stray Harry Potter films, Gone Girl – there have more than likely been a larger number of botch jobs. Nothing is more disappointing than seeing a film version of your favourite book and realising minutes in that the director has misjudged the novel’s spirit or two actors have been cast in the wrong roles and have no chemistry whatsoever.

This week sees the release of A Million Little Pieces, an addiction drama from Sam Taylor-Wood that follows an alcoholic and drug abuser’s rehabilitation. Aaron Taylor-Johnson plays the lead role. it’s based on the semi-fictional book by James Frey – the author who originally presented the novel as a memoir before it was later revealed many of its events hadn’t happened. The film’s reviews have been middling, with many questioning why the book was adapted in the first place. Maybe these writers should merely take inspiration and create their own original stories?

We’ll tell you what’s true. You can form your own view.

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Below, we rank the 25 books that should have been left alone and never made into films. Click through the gallery to see what made the list.

A Million Little Pieces is in cinemas now – and you can read our review here.