9 Books That Should Have Never Been Made Into Movies!

Hollywood has always loved turning books into movies. Some of the biggest movies were actually based on novels, like the “Harry Potter” series and the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. These movies retained a lot of the actual story and they also incorporated some amazing digital visual effects. Unfortunately, not all great books transition well on the silver screen. Here is a list of 9 books that should never have been made into movies!

9. Twilight

The “Twilight” series – both the novels and the films – have become immensely popular. While the films were successful at the box office, they received mostly mixed and negative reviews. Some critics weren’t so nice. “Meyer is said to have been involved in the production of Twilight, but her novel was substantially more absorbing than the unintentionally funny and quickly forgettable film,” one critic wrote online.

8. He’s Just Not That Into You

The self-help book “He’s Just Not That Into You” was inspired by a conversation from “Sex and the City” where Jack Berger – Carrie Bradshaw’s boyfriend during season six – gave Miranda Hobbs some dating advice. Strangely, it has spawned a 304-page book and a two hour and 12 minute movie. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a 41% rating, criticizing it for reducing the characters to stereotypes.

7. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

The novel “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” – which is set during World War II on the Greek island Cephallonia – deals with some extremely violent events, which the film adaptation either tip toes around or changes altogether. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 29% rating with this consensus: “The cinematography is gorgeous, but the movie plays it fast and loose with history and the novel it was adapted from. Mostly, the movie fails because the romance between the leads strains credulity and the story is largely uninvolving.”

6. Water for Elephants

The novel “Water for Elephants” is a gritty account of a Depression-era circus with a love story at its core. Unfortunately, in the film adaptation, the chemistry between the two leads – Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson – is absent and it is supposed to be a crucial element in the story.

5. The Cat in the Hat

The children’s book “The Cat in the Hat” was published to immediate critical acclaim, while the film adaptation – which starred Mike Myers – was a box office failure that was panned by critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, 10% of critics gave the film a positive review and the general consensus statement was, “Filled with double entendres and potty humor, this Cat falls flat.” Ouch!

4. The Da Vinci Code

The film and the book are considered controversial; however, unlike the book, the film adaptation of “The Da Vinci Code” received mostly negative reviews. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 25% rating with the consensus statement being, “What makes Dan Brown’s novel a best seller is evidently not present in this dull and bloated movie adaptation of The Da Vinci Code.”

3. The Great Gatsby

Considering the novel “The Great Gatsby” is all about opulence in the 1920s, you’d think that having a visually dazzling film adaptation would be good. Unfortunately director Baz Luhrmann’s movie was too over-the-top. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a score of 49% with the consensus: “Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby emphasizes visual splendor at the expense of its source material’s vibrant heart.”

2. Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina is Leo Tolstoy’s great masterpiece and there have been several film adaptations, the most recent being a British version by director Joe Wright, starring Keira Knightley. While the costumes and the cinematography are incredible, the story – which is over 800 pages – is impossible to cram into 130 minutes. As a result, the relationship between Knightley and Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s characters never develops fully and is unconvincing at best.

1. On the Road

“On the Road” is considered a defining work of the Beat generation, celebrating non-conformity and spontaneous creativity. The film adaptation, however, was unable to achieve this. It received mostly negative reviews with Rotten Tomatoes giving it a score of 44% and a general review that stated, “On the Road doesn’t capture the energy and inspiration of Jack Kerouac’s novel.”



Cate has a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature and has been the Managing Editor of Fame10 for more than 6 years. Despite having a love for the works of Thomas Hardy, Leo Tolstoy and Lord Byron, she also has an intense fascination with pop culture. When she isn’t writing for Fame10, she’s planning her next big adventure in Southeast Asia.