The Rise of the Adaptation

Netflix has just announced a new adaptation of "Anne of Green Gables," Neil Gaiman’s "American Gods" is finally under production for Starz, and both the TV adaptations of "Zoo" (James Patterson) and "Beowulf" have received excellent reviews after the most recent seasons.
The the question arises: are film and TV studios running out of original ideas and content. Is the media bound to fall into the trap of making mainly adaptations of already created content, or is there hope for up and coming authors who wish to create new, potentially never before seen shows and movies?

  • I'm fascinated by this topic, mainly because I'd argue just the opposite. Certainly the lack of original content in mainstream cinema is prevalent today, but that has contributed in ushering in this new Golden Age of television that we are currently experiencing. Between HBO, AMC, and Netflix, we've seen some of the most original shows in recent memory: from The Sopranos and The Wire, to Mad Men and Breaking Bad, to House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. Like TKing, I hardly see how a new Anne of Green Gables adaptation represents the end of all of that. – ProtoCanon 6 years ago
  • Furthermore (re: your edits), though TV has been a breeding ground for innovative original content in the past decade or so, it is also presents creators and audiences with the ideal format for adaptations of novels. One of the biggest complaints that people always have when a novel is a adapted to film is that the book is better, the reason for this typically having a lot to do with the limited scope and timeframe of a film (seldom exceeding three hours), which cannot ever scratch the surface of a five hundred page book and barely lets you connect with the characters on the same level as you would as a reader. Television is therefore a much more suitable format for translating the experience of a book into an audio-visual medium, because it goes on for longer, is more easily divided into chapters, and can go into greater detail with each character. The best example of this that we see today is Game of Thrones; the ASOIAF series would have inevitably failed if each book were turned into a movie, but with a season per book, it's become one of the most popular and critically acclaimed shows of all time. Considering what Brian Fuller did with Thomas Harris' Hannibal Lecter novels - which can be described only as alchemy - I'm excited to see what he has in store for American Gods. Obviously, your point about Anne of Green Gables has merit (because that particular story has already been adapted enough), but I think we should be embracing the potential of TV adaptations of novels, having reached this period in which the art of television has become equal to that of cinema. – ProtoCanon 6 years ago
  • Please disregard the word never in my previous note. I should never have written never. – Tigey 6 years ago
  • Be careful with this topic as one, it has been written a lot, and two, does adapting really mean running out of ideas? An adaptation requires a tremendous amount of creativity and fresh ideas to make it interesting. Plus art since the beginning of the world has always been about adapting ideas - you can never really create something completely new, without being inspired by others works or the world around you. Is Baz Luhrman's Gatsby or Romeo + Juliet just pale replicas with no character or creativity? Has he ran out of ideas on these films? I personally don't think so! :) – Rachel Elfassy Bitoun 6 years ago
  • Adaptions also guarantee some sort of audience, so the TV/film adaption won't have to connect to completely new viewers. Even though the adaption may not be great, people will still come to see it because they already have some sort of attachment to it – ckmwriter 6 years ago
  • It's a common conception to think that film and TV studios are running out of original ideas and content because of all the remakes and adaptations we have seen lately. However, I believe that all of the remakes and adaptations bring something new to the table. The people in charge of remaking or adapting something, have to make the piece of work relevant today - they have to modernize it. Moreover, not only do they have to attract the fans of the original piece of work but a new audience. So, I believe that once something is remade or adapted, it's a new piece of art - it has become original in a sense. Those studios are taking a story/idea that already exists and are making it their own. – simplykrizia 5 years ago

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