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From comic to film: deviate from or abide by the original?

This seems like a controversial issue in the wake of all the new Marvel/DC Comic movies. In light of all the talk over Suicide Squad, there seems to be a rising debate. Should film adaptations follow the characters and plot lines, or are the comics just inspiration for a blockbuster? Every time something Batman related in particular comes out, there is a storm of analysis and critique about the abidance to the original story in the comics, or the original TV shows. Perhaps they altered a character’s personality, or the origins of the character’s story. This is always met with vehement criticism. But why? Is there really any harm in being inspired by a character’s story, and taking it and running with something new? Is it just glorified fan fiction then? Why or why not is it important to remember the comics in all of this? What are the pros and cons either way?

  • Other examples, which represent both sides of the argument: "V for Vendetta" "300" "Sin City" "Wanted" "Constantine" – Tarben 5 years ago
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  • Very interesting topic but very heavy in content. When writing this it would be good to organize this well and be careful to keep an unbiased tone -- especially when discussing pros and cons, glorified fan fiction, and why comics/origins are and aren't important. I'm not sure if this would work, but perhaps organizing this topic in terms of a compare and contrasts with an ending critique/opinion would be best. – Mela 5 years ago
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  • I think the crux of adaptations are that they must keep the spirit of the story alive. Yes, the characters can change and evolve. Spiderman has been successful because it has kept the character of the misunderstood hero intact. The same with LOTR, small Hobbit triumphs over massive evil with a tiny band of hopefuls. My view would be if it ain't broke, don't fix it. – Munjeera 5 years ago
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  • Abide all the way – Riccio 5 years ago
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  • I definitely agree with Mela that structuring it as an objective compare/contrast of both sides, and ending with a critique/opinion would work best. – eadewaard 5 years ago
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  • I think one consequence of overdoing truth to the comics is the general flatness of the MCU. It isn't quite realism and it isn't quite camp. This is because they refuse to create a world different from the one in the comics, so the films often fail to come alive in the new medium. – TKing 5 years ago
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  • That depends... If Oliver Stone's writing the screenplay, feel free, Olly, to change nothing from the original. If Vince Gilligan's doing the screenplay, give him carte blanche. – Tigey 5 years ago
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  • You would also have to define the parameters of this article, as there are so many ways to look at the films. You have the MCU, The DCU (both film and screen), then there is the animated films that DC produce which stick closer to source material than some of the films, as well as the original batman films. It is a very rich area and so would need to become more focused. – Tyler McPherson 5 years ago
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  • An example might be the way the Watchmen movie was done. Many scenes were visually the same as comic panels, and dialogue was often word for word. However, some people didn't like that certain plot threads got left out or deemphasized even though the movie was already long enough, and I'm not certain how much sense it would've made if I hadn't read the graphic novel first. So should an adaptation be reinterpreting the ideas for now, or just moving from one medium to another? – sk8knight 5 years ago
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