The problem with Hollywood's refusal to make a movie unless it was a successful book/comic/video game first isn't just a lack of originality. It's that studios are famous for insisting on lots of little changes that tend to suck all the life out of the original. Throw on a happy ending, add a romantic subplot, strip out the social commentary, cast pretty people who'll look nice on the poster.
But every now and then, the movie and TV adaptations get it right ... and we mean to the point where the original author stands up in public and says, "Yeah, this is how I should have written it, sorry." Like ...
6 The Creator Of The Walking Dead Prefers Almost Every Change The Show Has Made
If you're a fan of The Walking Dead TV series and have mentioned that fact even once on the internet, you've heard a crowd of fans remind you that it was a comic first, by Robert Kirkman. And the comic, they'll point out, is way different -- and way more hardcore (Hint: At one point a baby gets blasted with a shotgun).
But where most writers who see their property spin off the rails in a TV adaptation weep softly into fistfuls of money, Kirkman is barking shouts of joy over every alteration ... also into fistfuls of money. Partly because of a character who wasn't a Kirkman creation at all. This guy:
Surgeon General's Warning: Extended viewing of Daryl Dixon will ruin your underwear,
regardless of your sexual preferences.
Yep. Daryl Dixon, the ass-kicking, crossbow-wielding, (maybe gay?) zombie hunter played by Norman Reedus (aka "Probably The Only Reason You're Still Watching The Show") was invented entirely for the TV series.
His inclusion is actually one of a series of choices Kirkman thinks improved on his own work. He has praised the show for such things as broadening the character of Shane Walsh and changing his death, saying that the TV version is "much cooler than the 'wham, bam, thank you, ma'am' that you get in the comic." In the comic, Shane dies almost as soon as the conflict between him and Rick is introduced, whereas the show actually allows for some tension to build before releasing him back into the wild to pursue other television projects.
"As long as I'm shooting people in the head, I'm good."
Another major change is that the character of Carol Peletier has been completely reimagined (in the show she's grown into a courageous badass; in the comic she gets lonely and commits suicide at the prison), causing Kirkman to say that the new Carol is "one of the best parts in the show." That is, better than most of the parts that are actually faithful to his work.
But his favorite change of all is Daryl, who is absolutely nowhere to be found in any of the billion-something pages of the comic series. He's not even hinted at or alluded to. Hell, he wasn't even in the original script. After Reedus auditioned to play Merle, the angry racist who was ultimately played by perpetually intimidating character actor Michael Rooker, series creator Frank Darabont was so impressed with him that it wasn't even enough to give Reedus a role, he decided to create an entirely new character specifically for Reedus to play. Thus was born Merle's brother, Daryl.
Merle's role was reduced, but he still came back to lend a hand.
Kirkman is every bit as in love with the scruffy, inexplicably motorcycle-riding hero as the show's fans, and has gone on record saying that he'll never bring Daryl into the comic because it would do a disservice to the show. Meanwhile ...
5 George R.R. Martin Is Apparently Changing His Next Book To Match The Show
The HBO money-printing machine Game Of Thrones, based on George R.R. Martin's A Song Of Ice And Fire series, has made its fair share of changes -- characters who live on in the novels are dead in the show and vice-versa, and some characters are left out of the TV show altogether. Those who remain are usually far more naked than their book counterparts.
That brings us to Osha, a wildling woman who tries to kill the Starks' crippled child, then becomes their kitchen slave and later their best friend, because this is a world of fantasy. She's a relatively minor character whose only reason for existing is, in Martin's words, "to fulfill certain plot points," and as such she has a "one-note personality." Basically, he would've already killed her off in some horrific way, had he deigned her worthy of the amount of words it would take to do so.
The TV series decided to give Osha a much larger role in the story, and hired actress Natalia Tena to fill the role (and didn't have her do full-frontal nudity until the middle of the second season!).
"When your show gets this expensive to produce, sometimes wardrobe's gonna have to take a hit."
And George R.R. Martin freaking loves her. According to Martin, Osha is one of the most interesting characters in the series, despite the fact that he deliberately put the most minimum possible effort into writing her in his books. After watching the show, Martin has completely changed his view on Osha, to the extent that he's actually considering giving her a much bigger role in his upcoming novel:
"The one exception [to the show changing the characters] is Natalia Tena as Osha," Martin said. "Cause she's very different than in the book, but I think she's more interesting. When I bring Osha back in Winds Of Winter, I'll have Natalia in mind and perhaps give the character more interesting things to do."
Steve Snowden/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
"Oh, and I'll probably kill ... mmmm ... Tyrion. Because fuck you."
Considering the kinds of "interesting things" George R.R. Martin typically unleashes on his characters, this could either be really good or really terrible news for fans of Osha.