In Name Only Adaptations.

by Tish-The-Scorpion | created - 19 Dec 2012 | updated - 26 Dec 2016 | Public

Every now and then you get a great adaptation from a highly acclaimed source material. It's true some things won't translate well and a pragmatic adaptation is the safest bet. But often then not you get hardly recognizable adaptations. Here's my theory as to why this is. 1) You have a studio trying to capitalize on a recognizable brand name intellectual property, and that's all they're interested in. So essentially a cheap cash in. 2) They chickened out at the last minute and decided to go a different route creatively. 3) Executive meddling from the studios which in turn leads to the next explanation 4) People trying to justify their jobs, and or thinking they have better ideas than the source material. 5) The studio is completely ignorant to what the source material is actually about. And just know that it's popular, not realizing they may have bit off more than they can chew when they see how big the scope is of the source material. 6) they didn't like the tone of the source material, so they changed the set up, circumstances, or outcome to be less dark than it was in the source material. 7) too many people of color and not enough white (or at the very least ambiguously brown) leads for the studios liking. 8) it's too smart for the mainstream so they cut out all of the intelligent subtext, and sub-plots. usually ruining the point of the story.

This list is about how these adaptations weren't even pragmatic, but in fact just bastardized adaptations that gutted the characters, story or even the premise. Some of these films turn out to be great films in their own right, but even then they just prove to be exceptions to the rule.

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1. World War Z (2013)

PG-13 | 116 min | Action, Adventure, Horror

63 Metascore

Former United Nations employee Gerry Lane traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments, and threatening to destroy humanity itself.

Director: Marc Forster | Stars: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz, James Badge Dale

Votes: 533,320 | Gross: $202.36M

If you're a fan this is arguably the most heart breaking example. A very taught global Geo-political thriller/horror/drama involving zombies was turned into a generic PG-13 action film where the fate rests in the hand of one american man. also the zombies are no longer traditional zombies, but "runners". defenders say the book's narrative wasn't filmable, detractors disagree. There's also some who say they like it just due to the fact it's the first global epic zombie film. But ironically it could have still been all of that and then some with a faithful adaptation.

2. Resident Evil (2002)

R | 100 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi

33 Metascore

A special military unit fights a powerful, out-of-control supercomputer and hundreds of scientists who have mutated into flesh-eating creatures after a laboratory accident.

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson | Stars: Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Ryan McCluskey, Oscar Pearce

Votes: 224,907 | Gross: $40.12M

I defended the first resident evil film, i remember getting flak for it. Reason being the ending showed that the film franchise would eventually match up to the source material, with this film acting as a prequel.... that never happened. After the second film they stopped caring and decided to do what ever they wanted. This would be fine if it still had the source material's characters. They did but they played second fiddle to the Mary sue character Alice (who is an entirely made up protagonist) played by the directors wife. From then on out the films barely had a narrative, and rarely payed any attention to their own universe they built. This actually make you respect the game writers alot more. Hell i think they deserve an apology. The Resident Evil movies did get the look of the games down for the most part. They just threw out the plot, characterization, atmosphere, and everything else that makes the games so enjoyable. The movies should have been called "The Amazing Alice's Kung-Fu Adventures in Zombie MatrixLand." It would have made much more sense as a title and pissed off far fewer Resident Evil fans. Which is such a shame, as the first few minutes of the first film really capture the 'feel' of Resident Evil, only to have it immediately thrown away to move out of the mansion and onto the technological underground bunker. This entry is generally a placeholder for the entire franchise.

3. The Running Man (1987)

R | 101 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

45 Metascore

A wrongly convicted man must try to survive a public execution gauntlet staged as a game show.

Director: Paul Michael Glaser | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Conchita Alonso, Yaphet Kotto, Jim Brown

Votes: 125,956 | Gross: $38.12M

King describes the book's protagonist, Ben Richards, as "scrawny" and "pre-tubercular". King also added that Arnold Schwarzenegger, who played Ben Richards in the film adaptation of The Running Man, portrayed the character very differently than he wrote about him in the book, saying that Richards (in the book) was " far away from the Arnold Schwarzenegger character in the movie as you can get

4. Wanted (2008)

R | 110 min | Action, Crime, Fantasy

64 Metascore

A frustrated office worker learns that he is the son of a professional assassin and that he shares his father's superhuman killing abilities.

Director: Timur Bekmambetov | Stars: Angelina Jolie, James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman, Terence Stamp

Votes: 331,148 | Gross: $134.51M

Entertaining enough, but the movie is BARELY recognizable as an adaptation of the comic miniseries. Director Timur Bekmambetov said that the film would keep the same characters from the miniseries (which ultimately, did not happen). The film focuses on a league of self-righteous assassins rather than super-villains. The comic was actually about one simple principle: superheroes really do exist in our world. Well, at least they did until 1986, when all the supervillains in the world teamed up for the express purpose of defeating every superhero in the world. However, getting rid of the superheroes and divvying the world up into sections to make money unencumbered by spandex-clad do-gooders wasn't enough for the supervillains. They used magic and technology to alter reality and people's memories, removing the superheroes from all recorded history and recall. You see, this still wasn't enough, So they took the heroes who had survived and gave them meaningless lives, then left most of the heroes exploits comic books.

5. The Lawnmower Man (1992)

R | 108 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

42 Metascore

A simple man is turned into a genius through the application of computer science.

Director: Brett Leonard | Stars: Jeff Fahey, Pierce Brosnan, Jenny Wright, Mark Bringelson

Votes: 30,812 | Gross: $32.10M

Here's what the book was about, Harold Parkette hires Pastoral Greenery and Outdoor Services, Inc. to cut his lawn. The serviceman is not a service "man" at all but a satyr who works for the Greek god Pan. The serviceman, making good on his job to mow the lawn, conjures up an unholy, autonomous lawnmower that proceeds to mow Parkette's lawn while the serviceman, completely nude, devours the freshly cut grass. The event is terrifying and beyond the intellectual comprehension of Parkette. In a panic, he tries to call the police, but the serviceman and his diabolical lawn-mowing device proceed to brutally slaughter Parkette. The police arrive at Parkette's house and believe that an insane nudist has killed him in a form of ritual sacrifice; they write off the occurrence as just another bizarre murder and leave, though not without noticing the powerful scent of freshly cut grass. Does the movie even remotely sounds like the book? nope, in fact kings sued because of it. BTW expect more Stephen King entries.

6. Godzilla (I) (1998)

PG-13 | 139 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

32 Metascore

A giant, reptilian monster surfaces, leaving destruction in its wake. To stop the monster (and its babies), an earthworm scientist, his reporter ex-girlfriend, and other unlikely heroes team up to save their city.

Director: Roland Emmerich | Stars: Matthew Broderick, Jean Reno, Maria Pitillo, Hank Azaria

Votes: 166,127 | Gross: $136.31M

The 1998 Godzilla strays so far from the source material, many fans like to call it GINO. (Godzilla In Name Only), and Toho went so far as to rename the beast "Zilla" because they believed that Emmerich managed to remove the 'God' from Godzilla. They even went so far as to incorporate him into their own Godzilla series as an antagonist (thus making it clear that he and Godzilla are two different characters), only to have the real Godzilla defeat him with two hits in an 11-second battle. Strangely enough, after that film, many fans who previously hated him now accept him as just another monster in Godzilla's Rogues Gallery.

7. Stuart Little (1999)

PG | 84 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

61 Metascore

The Little family adopt a charming young mouse named Stuart, but the family cat wants rid of him.

Director: Rob Minkoff | Stars: Michael J. Fox, Geena Davis, Hugh Laurie, Jonathan Lipnicki

Votes: 109,852 | Gross: $140.04M

The books were set in the late 1940s, Stuart was born from a human mother rather than adopted, and only the boat race in the first movie bears any resemblance to the events of the book.

8. I, Robot (2004)

PG-13 | 115 min | Action, Crime, Drama

59 Metascore

In 2035, a technophobic cop investigates a crime that may have been perpetrated by a robot, which leads to a larger threat to humanity.

Director: Alex Proyas | Stars: Will Smith, Bridget Moynahan, Bruce Greenwood, Alan Tudyk

Votes: 446,491 | Gross: $144.80M

I, Robot, was actually started as a completely unrelated script named Hardwired until the studio got the rights to the book and decided to use the name. They also included very nearly every action and line of dialogue from Robot Dreams, an Asimov short that was published decades after I, Robot itself. The movie credits say that the movie is "suggested by", rather than "based on", the book.

9. Starship Troopers (1997)

R | 129 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

51 Metascore

Humans in a fascist, militaristic future wage war with giant alien bugs in a satire of modern world politics.

Director: Paul Verhoeven | Stars: Casper Van Dien, Denise Richards, Dina Meyer, Jake Busey

Votes: 244,320 | Gross: $54.81M

Starship Troopers, which was really more of a Take That against the original book than an adaptation. the producers bought the rights to the original after the script was written. To be fair to the movie it has developed it's own cult following.

10. Street Fighter (1994)

PG-13 | 102 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

Col. Guile and various other martial arts heroes fight against the tyranny of Dictator M. Bison and his cohorts.

Director: Steven E. de Souza | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Raul Julia, Ming-Na Wen, Damian Chapa

Votes: 58,599 | Gross: $33.42M

DAMN.... where do i even begin??

11. Blade Runner (1982)

R | 117 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller

89 Metascore

A blade runner must pursue and terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space, and have returned to Earth to find their creator.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos

Votes: 599,038 | Gross: $27.00M

Blade Runner took the title of one book (The Bladerunner by Alan E. Nourse) and slapped it on a movie made from a completely different story (Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?). But except for the broad concept of a man hunting for renegade androids, and a few names, everything else differs from Dick's original. In fact, the whole dynamic is reversed: in the story, the androids are soulless villains, the threat of what humanity is becoming. In the film, the androids are tragic Byronic Heroes and the humans are callous slavemasters. Still considered a classic Sci-Fi film though. expect more Philip K. Dick entries.

12. The Bourne Identity (2002)

PG-13 | 119 min | Action, Mystery, Thriller

68 Metascore

A man is picked up by a fishing boat, bullet-riddled and suffering from amnesia, before racing to elude assassins and attempting to regain his memory.

Director: Doug Liman | Stars: Franka Potente, Matt Damon, Chris Cooper, Clive Owen

Votes: 461,377 | Gross: $121.66M

The Bourne Series have nothing whatsoever to do with Ludlum's novels, aside from the name of the main character and his amnesia. They cut out the primary villain , changed the time to present day, completely changed the backstory behind Bourne's skills, changed the last name, nationality, profession (and, in the second film, lifespan) of his love interest... The movies are generally considered good, mind you (especially the first one). Just... expect to be disoriented if you read the books afterward.

13. Total Recall (1990)

R | 113 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

57 Metascore

When a man goes for virtual vacation memories of the planet Mars, an unexpected and harrowing series of events forces him to go to the planet for real - or does he?

Director: Paul Verhoeven | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside, Rachel Ticotin

Votes: 269,231 | Gross: $119.39M

The original Total Recall is very loosely based on a short story called "We Can Remember It For You, Wholesale.". Actually, both the film and the story begin being roughly the same, but there's a point in which they divert: just after the protagonist has his malfunctioning memory trip. Viewers of the movie will instantly recognize that point as the same one in which the movie has a sudden Mood Whiplash from classic sci-fi to pull-all-the-stops action movie, while the story turns into a spectacular Mind Rape.

14. Catwoman (2004)

PG-13 | 104 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

27 Metascore

A shy woman, endowed with the speed, reflexes, and senses of a cat, walks a thin line between criminal and hero, even as a detective doggedly pursues her, fascinated by both of her personas.

Director: Pitof | Stars: Halle Berry, Sharon Stone, Benjamin Bratt, Lambert Wilson

Votes: 97,925 | Gross: $40.20M

technically this isn't a catwoman film. the script was an original idea. They just twisted the premise to be about the comic character in a very loose sense.

15. Next (2007)

PG-13 | 96 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

42 Metascore

A Las Vegas magician who can see into the future is pursued by FBI agents seeking to use his abilities to prevent a nuclear terrorist attack.

Director: Lee Tamahori | Stars: Nicolas Cage, Julianne Moore, Jessica Biel, Thomas Kretschmann

Votes: 136,526 | Gross: $18.21M

Next is based on The Golden Man, and differs greatly from its source material even for a movie based on a Philip K Dick story: Both share the general idea of the government trying to capture a main character who has the ability to foresee the immediate impact of anything he does before he does it. However, the setting, the main character's background, personality, and appearance, and what the government wants with him are all changed beyond recognition: In the original story, it was a post-apocalyptic future, the main character was a golden-skinned, non-sapient mutant, and the government was trying to wipe out all mutants with superhuman powers. On the other hand, the film takes place in the present, where the main character is a perfectly normal-looking, sapient human, and the government wants him to use his abilities to help them stop a nuclear threat. Reportedly, the original script was much more faithful to the source material before some drastic rewrites kicked in.

16. The Beastmaster (1982)

PG | 118 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

18 Metascore

A sword-and-sorcery fantasy about a young man's search for revenge. Armed with supernatural powers, the handsome hero and his animal allies wage war against marauding forces.

Director: Don Coscarelli | Stars: Marc Singer, Tanya Roberts, Rip Torn, John Amos

Votes: 17,621 | Gross: $14.06M

Andre Norton's The Beast Master series tell the story of retired veteran Hosteen Storm, an American Indian in the far future who was recruited into an elite commando force, the titular Beast Masters, which were telepathically bonded to a team of genetically enhanced animals (a horse, tiger, pair of ferrets and hawk in Storm's case) to fight an interstellar war. With Earth destroyed on the way to a costly victory, he is discharged with honors to seek his fate and sort out his life on a distant colony world. It's been adapted to other media a number of times... In a manner of speaking: Three films were made, recasting him as Dar, a blond Barbarian Hero with telepathically linked animal companions in a generic High Fantasy setting. While a box-office bomb, the first film was actually pretty good for what it was and received a cult following on TV. It's actually one of my favorite 80's fantasy films.

17. Queen of the Damned (2002)

R | 101 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

30 Metascore

The vampire Lestat becomes a rock star whose music wakes up the queen of all vampires.

Director: Michael Rymer | Stars: Aaliyah, Stuart Townsend, Marguerite Moreau, Vincent Perez

Votes: 48,333 | Gross: $30.34M

Queen of the Damned shared only the title and character names with the book. Important plot elements and characterizations were either changed or completely ignored. As a matter of fact, Warner Bros. made it no secret that the only reason the movie was made was because the rights to the book were about to expire. When book author Anne Rice offered to pen the screenplay for free, the studio flat-out refused, preferring to make a low-budget cash-in as quickly as possible.

18. He's Just Not That Into You (2009)

PG-13 | 129 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

47 Metascore

This Baltimore-set movie of interconnecting story arcs deals with the challenges of reading or misreading human behavior.

Director: Ken Kwapis | Stars: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Connelly, Morgan Lily

Votes: 145,624 | Gross: $93.95M

He's Just Not That Into You is basically just an ensemble romantic comedy with the same name as the relationship advice book.

19. A Sound of Thunder (2005)

PG-13 | 101 min | Action, Adventure, Horror

24 Metascore

When a scientist sent back to the prehistoric era strays off the path he causes a chain of events that alters history in disastrous ways.

Director: Peter Hyams | Stars: Edward Burns, Ben Kingsley, Catherine McCormack, Armin Rohde

Votes: 17,749 | Gross: $1.89M

The classic Ray Bradbury short story, A Sound Of Thunder and the film of the same title both involve time travelers accidentally altering the past while hunting a dinosaur — and that's literally it. The movie even kills the concept on which the book was based in the first five minutes. That's like Marty getting run over by a semi before he can hit 88 MPH in the first Back to the Future.

20. I Am Legend (2007)

PG-13 | 101 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

65 Metascore

Years after a plague kills most of humanity and transforms the rest into monsters, the sole survivor in New York City struggles valiantly to find a cure.

Director: Francis Lawrence | Stars: Will Smith, Alice Braga, Charlie Tahan, Salli Richardson-Whitfield

Votes: 611,367 | Gross: $256.39M

I Am Legend: The original ending would've given it some connection with the book it was apparently based on, but that was changed too... now the only thing they have in common is a disease that turns people into monsters. And even then they didn't get it quite right. In the new movie it's a virus, but in the old book, it was a type of bacteria. Also, a Caucasian-to-minority Race Lift for the main character, Robert Neville. Of course, I Am Legend isn't The Film of the Book so much as a remake of The Omega Man, which is itself an In Name Only adaptation of the book I Am Legend... Except for the name, of course.

21. I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)

R | 101 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

52 Metascore

Four young friends bound by a tragic accident are reunited when they find themselves being stalked by a hook-wielding maniac in their small seaside town.

Director: Jim Gillespie | Stars: Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Anne Heche, Ryan Phillippe

Votes: 118,723 | Gross: $72.59M

I Know What You Did Last Summer was based on a book from the 1970s. The film and the book have almost nothing in common, besides the vaguely similar plot and some character names. Lois Duncan, the writer of the book, was apparently pretty unhappy about this.

22. Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (2003)

PG | 86 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

48 Metascore

The sailor of legend is framed by the goddess Eris for the theft of the Book of Peace, and must travel to her realm at the end of the world to retrieve it and save the life of his childhood friend Prince Proteus.

Directors: Patrick Gilmore, Tim Johnson | Stars: Brad Pitt, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Joseph Fiennes, Michelle Pfeiffer

Votes: 42,573 | Gross: $26.48M

Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas has nothing whatsoever to do with the stories about Sinbad the Sailor other than featuring a character named Sinbad who happens to be a sailor. Further, it removes "Sinbad" from the original story's Arabian Nights background and places him in a completely Greek setting. (This being 2003, the producers might have felt that it was Too Soon after 9/11 for an Arab hero.)

23. The NeverEnding Story III (1994)

G | 95 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

A young boy must restore order when a group of bullies steal the magical book that acts as a portal between Earth and the imaginary world of Fantasia.

Director: Peter MacDonald | Stars: Jason James Richter, Melody Kay, Jack Black, Carole Finn

Votes: 9,290

The third movie in The Neverending Story series shares no plot at all with the book. The only element from the book it uses that wasn't in the first two movies is the Old Man of Wandering Mountain - and in a very different context. Not only does it share no plot, the third movie rips out and destroys the entire philosophical significance of the book and first two movies. The rules of the world of Fantasien (a.k.a. Fantasia, or Fantastica) are essential, they cause the story to exist and to move forward. The third movie blatantly ignored these rules, having torn out the whole heart of the story, to make it just another kids' movie. It cannot truly be called The Neverending Story.

24. Ella Enchanted (2004)

PG | 96 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

53 Metascore

Ella is under a spell to be constantly obedient, a fact she must hide from her new step-family in order to protect the prince of the land, her friend for whom she's falling.

Director: Tommy O'Haver | Stars: Anne Hathaway, Hugh Dancy, Cary Elwes, Joanna Lumley

Votes: 55,018 | Gross: $22.92M

The movie version of Ella Enchanted had almost nothing in common with the actual book other than character names and the curse on the main character. It's not like the book was excessively violent or anything, In fact, the movie is probably more violent than the book. It's just strange that they'd deviate so much from the original when the original was intended for the same audience

25. Death Sentence (2007)

R | 105 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

36 Metascore

Nick Hume is a mild-mannered executive with a perfect life, until one gruesome night he witnesses something that changes him forever. Transformed by grief, Hume eventually comes to the disturbing conclusion that no length is too great when protecting his family.

Director: James Wan | Stars: Kevin Bacon, John Goodman, Kelly Preston, Garrett Hedlund

Votes: 65,027 | Gross: $9.53M

Death Sentence the film has a different story, focused on a Papa Wolf Vigilante Man going on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, as opposed to the original novel, which was a sequel to the Death Wish novel. Author Brian Garfield actually insisted on the changes. Due to his hatred of the sequels to the film version of Death Wish, he would not sell the film rights to Death Sentence unless the main character was not Paul Kersey and the adaptation didn't follow the film series. This in turn led to a long development hell period for the project.

26. Death Wish (1974)

R | 93 min | Action, Crime, Drama

51 Metascore

A New York City architect becomes a one-man vigilante squad after his wife is murdered by street punks in which he randomly goes out and kills would-be muggers on the mean streets after dark.

Director: Michael Winner | Stars: Charles Bronson, Hope Lange, Vincent Gardenia, Steven Keats

Votes: 30,362 | Gross: $22.00M

For that matter, Death Wish; the film's supposed glorification of vigilantism goes against the intended message of the novel.

27. The Postman (1997)

R | 177 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

29 Metascore

A nameless drifter dons a postman's uniform and bag of mail as he begins a quest to inspire hope to the survivors living in post-apocalyptic America.

Director: Kevin Costner | Stars: Kevin Costner, Will Patton, Larenz Tate, Olivia Williams

Votes: 62,486 | Gross: $17.63M

The Postman is barely recognizable (starting with the fact the movie is not so 'very fine'). The scene where the main character discovers the postman's uniform is pretty much the only scene from the book to make it into the movie. Otherwise the main character and his motivation is completely different (in the book he's much less of an obvious white-hat), the love interest is completely different, the villain is completely different (in the book being a genetically-enhanced warrior, in the movie just a weird guy with a beard), there is a second 'hero' who doesn't appear at all in the movie and there is an interesting subplot about a super-powerful AI that is guiding a remote village of survivors back to civilization that isn't even mentioned in the film.

28. Men in Black (1997)

PG-13 | 98 min | Adventure, Comedy, Mystery

71 Metascore

A police officer joins a secret organization that polices and monitors extraterrestrial interactions on Earth.

Director: Barry Sonnenfeld | Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Linda Fiorentino, Vincent D'Onofrio

Votes: 457,273 | Gross: $250.69M

Men in Black: The first five minutes of the first movie is a faithful reproduction of the first few pages of the first issue of the comic. After that, they have almost nothing in common.

29. Alone in the Dark (2005)

R | 96 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi

9 Metascore

A detective of the paranormal slowly unravels mysterious events with deadly results.

Director: Uwe Boll | Stars: Christian Slater, Tara Reid, Stephen Dorff, Frank C. Turner

Votes: 39,785 | Gross: $5.18M

The Alone in the Dark video game series is a rather atmospheric experience, usually residing within the territory of Survival Horror, but Alone in the Dark is just a hardcore action flick with a few horror elements stolen from various sources, with almost no story elements from the games. When director Uwe Boll was handed a working script, his first comment was "There weren't enough car chases."

30. I Spy (2002)

PG-13 | 97 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

35 Metascore

A professional athlete has to help a U.S. government agent recover a missing jet.

Director: Betty Thomas | Stars: Eddie Murphy, Owen Wilson, Famke Janssen, Malcolm McDowell

Votes: 45,211 | Gross: $33.56M

I Spy. Has none of the wit or coolness of the original. In fact, the director begged the studio not to use that as the title for the movie, but Executive Meddling won the day.

31. Earthsea (2004– )

90 min | Fantasy, Drama, Adventure

A reckless youth is destined to become the greatest sorcerer that the mystical land of Earthsea has ever known. When the young wizard Ged discovers that he possesses infinite magical powers... See full summary »

Stars: Sebastian Roché, Chris Gauthier, Jennifer Calvert, Emily Hampshire

Votes: 5,548

The Earthsea movie had very little in common with the books except the names, and sometimes it didn't even get the names right. And given that it's Earthsea, where knowing the correct names for things is the root of magical power, that's kind of horrible. and this is not getting into the wholesale whitewashing of characters which infuriated the author as she was cut out of the development process..

32. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)

PG-13 | 110 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

30 Metascore

In an alternate Victorian Age world, a group of famous contemporary fantasy, science fiction, and adventure characters team up on a secret mission.

Director: Stephen Norrington | Stars: Sean Connery, Stuart Townsend, Peta Wilson, Jason Flemyng

Votes: 153,622 | Gross: $66.47M

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The Alan Moore comic won't remind you of the film, and vice versa.

33. Jonah Hex (2010)

PG-13 | 81 min | Action, Drama, Fantasy

33 Metascore

The U.S. military makes a scarred bounty hunter with warrants on his own head an offer he cannot refuse: in exchange for his freedom, he must stop a terrorist who is ready to unleash Hell on Earth.

Director: Jimmy Hayward | Stars: Josh Brolin, Megan Fox, John Malkovich, Michael Fassbender

Votes: 50,389 | Gross: $10.54M

Jonah Hex bears very little resemblance to the comic book, save for the scarred protagonist. The filmmakers added an inexplicable super power to temporarily resurrect the dead, which served no purpose, as he just uses this ability to pump the dead for information, something the hardcore western Hex of the comic would have accomplished simply by shooting the living in the kneecap.

34. Priest (2011)

PG-13 | 87 min | Action, Fantasy, Horror

41 Metascore

A priest disobeys church law to track down the vampires who kidnapped his niece.

Director: Scott Stewart | Stars: Paul Bettany, Cam Gigandet, Maggie Q, Karl Urban

Votes: 105,380 | Gross: $29.14M

Priest is a rather unique and strikingly drawn manwha combining Religious Horror, Zombie Apocalypse and The Western, as Badass Preacher Ivan Isaacs treks across the American frontier battling a band of rebel angels. The about a bunch of priests fighting vampires in the far future. About the only thing the two have in common is a main character with a cross on his forehead. The only people who are happy about this are the ones who've never read the comic. The director made this change as he didn't want people saying that he was copying his previous film Legion

35. Conan the Barbarian (1982)

R | 129 min | Adventure, Fantasy

43 Metascore

A barbarian warrior sets off to avenge his parents and his tribe whom were slain by an evil sorcerer and his henchmen when he was a boy.

Director: John Milius | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Max von Sydow, Sandahl Bergman

Votes: 124,532 | Gross: $39.57M

Conan the Barbarian scarcely bears any relation to the books (and comics), besides some few elements like names and most notably Mako's narration at the start. Conan's character is fundamentally altered since he now grows up in slavery, becoming what he is all due to others (e.g. devoting his life to revenge against the warlord who left him an orphan, being educated in the arts and in swordsmanship by Eastern masters). The Conan of the books was always master of his own fate, Walking the Earth because he felt like it and absorbing knowledge as he went.

36. Doom (2005)

R | 105 min | Action, Adventure, Horror

34 Metascore

Space Marines are sent to investigate strange events at a research facility on Mars but find themselves at the mercy of genetically enhanced killing machines.

Director: Andrzej Bartkowiak | Stars: Karl Urban, Rosamund Pike, Dwayne Johnson, Deobia Oparei

Votes: 96,446 | Gross: $28.03M

Doom has very little in common with the game series it is supposedly based on other than the title. Both the games and the movie feature humans on Mars trying to repel a sudden outbreak of horrific monsters whose origins are initially unknown. The name of the Evil Corporation responsible for the outbreak is the same, but that's where the similarities end. When the origin of the monsters is eventually revealed, it is completely different than the games, being more akin to resident evil ironically.

37. Æon Flux (2005)

PG-13 | 93 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

36 Metascore

Aeon Flux is a mysterious assassin working for the Monicans, a group of rebels trying to overthrow the government. When she is sent on a mission to kill the Chairman, a whole new mystery is found.

Director: Karyn Kusama | Stars: Charlize Theron, Frances McDormand, Sophie Okonedo, Marton Csokas

Votes: 117,402 | Gross: $25.86M

Æon Flux had nothing in common with the TV series except for three character names, a couple of prop designs, and that it involved an Action Girl. The creator of the TV show has been complaining ever since.

38. Steel (1997)

PG-13 | 97 min | Action, Crime, Sci-Fi

John Henry Irons designs weapons for the military. When his project to create weapons that harmlessly neutralize soldiers is sabotaged, he leaves in disgust. When he sees gangs are using ... See full summary »

Director: Kenneth Johnson | Stars: Shaquille O'Neal, Annabeth Gish, Judd Nelson, Richard Roundtree

Votes: 9,737 | Gross: $1.71M

The film version of Steel cuts all Superman references apart from the title character wearing a Superman tattoo...which is unintentional, since Shaquille O'Neal, who plays the title character, already had it.

39. 21 Jump Street (2012)

R | 109 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

69 Metascore

A pair of underachieving cops are sent back to a local high school to blend in and bring down a synthetic drug ring.

Directors: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller | Stars: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube, Brie Larson

Votes: 462,229 | Gross: $138.45M

Other than being about twenty-somethings entering a program to go undercover in a high school, does 21 Jump Street have anything to do with the show of the same name? It might has well been called Never Been Kissed Goes Undercover.

40. Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010)

PG | 118 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

47 Metascore

A teenager discovers he's the descendant of a Greek god and sets out on an adventure to settle an on-going battle between the gods.

Director: Chris Columbus | Stars: Logan Lerman, Kevin McKidd, Steve Coogan, Brandon T. Jackson

Votes: 159,808 | Gross: $88.76M

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief is based on the book The Lightning Thief' in that it is about a boy who is the son of the God Poseidon and he has to find the Lightning Thief; pretty much everything else in the film differs from the source material.

41. Human Target (2010–2011)

TV-14 | 60 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

An unique bodyguard protects his clients by secretly infiltrating their lives in order to draw out and eliminate threats.

Stars: Mark Valley, Chi McBride, Jackie Earle Haley, Indira Varma

Votes: 16,348

The 2010 Human Target TV show shares the title and the name of the main character. That's about it. Just like in the title sample, you get the feeling that they had a bodyguard show lying around waiting for a name.

42. Boardwalk Empire (2010–2014)

TV-MA | 55 min | Crime, Drama, History

An Atlantic City, New Jersey politician plays both sides of the law, conspiring with gangsters during the Prohibition era.

Stars: Steve Buscemi, Kelly Macdonald, Michael Shannon, Shea Whigham

Votes: 154,288

Boardwalk Empire is supposedly inspired by Nelson Johnson's non-fiction History book Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times and Corruption of Atlantic City, but is actually a fictional crime drama set in 1920s USA that follows a very fictionalized version of an historical character mentioned in the book.

43. The Thing from Another World (1951)

Not Rated | 87 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

Scientists and American Air Force officials fend off a bloodthirsty alien organism while at a remote arctic outpost.

Directors: Christian Nyby, Howard Hawks | Stars: Kenneth Tobey, Margaret Sheridan, James Arness, Robert Cornthwaite

Votes: 21,855

while liked on it's own merits it barely resembles the short story.

44. Jem and the Holograms (2015)

PG | 118 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

42 Metascore

As a small-town girl catapults from underground video sensation to global superstar, she and her three sisters begin a journey of discovering that some talents are too special to keep hidden.

Director: Jon M. Chu | Stars: Aubrey Peeples, Stefanie Scott, Aurora Perrineau, Hayley Kiyoko

Votes: 6,306 | Gross: $2.18M

There is a girl named Jem who leads a band called "The Holograms" (who are only given that name at the end of the movie), there's a character named Synergy who's a Robot Buddy instead of a supercomputer, the Misfits appear in The Stinger, and that's about it. Nothing else follows the 80s animated series. The cameo of the creator of the animated series, Christy Marx, didn't even help.

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