15 Novelizations That Shed New Light On Iconic Movie Characters

If you love the movie, the book might let you delve a lot deeper into the story.
15 Novelizations That Shed New Light On Iconic Movie Characters

When referring to great pieces of writing, there’s an old adage that the words really jumped off the page. These are the books that usually end up becoming movies. And not just any old movies… Some of the most critically acclaimed and financially successful films were adaptations. But what about movie novelizations? How do they do? And how do they differ from what we just saw on the screen? 

Movie adaptations tend to take a lot of shit, since fans of the books imagined the characters and “the world” one way, but it’s impossible for a film production to match every individual’s imaginations. It seems like the movie-to-book route would be an easier people pleaser, since we can already imagine the actor’s faces. Easy peasy. But a play-by-play retelling of the film would be pretty boring (and downright unnecessary). We want more! If you’re taking the trouble to novelize a movie, we better get new, intriguing information and/or more fleshed out scenes that the movie had to trim down. In that regard, these 12 movie novelizations definitely delivered. 

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If you want a lot more Forrest, give Gump & Co. a read.

CRACKED THE UNPRODUCED FORREST GUMP SEQUEL BECAME A BOOK. Forrest Gump was adapted from the novel by Winston Groom, who then wrote a sequel because of the movie's success. Gump & Co. has Forrest at the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and in the Gulf War. Zemekis and Tom Hanks almost adapted this sequel, but it never materialized.


Of course he wasn’t named “Scar” at birth, then just so happened to get a scar.

CRACKED THE LION KING BOOK REVEALS SCAR'S REAL NAME AND HOW НЕ GOT HIS SCAR. The 1994 book The Lion King: A Tale of Two Brothers explored the relationship between Mufasa and Scar. It revealed that Scar's real name is Taka, which can mean either waste or desire in Swahili. Oh, and a Water Buffalo gave him his signature scar.


From Love Story to Love Stories.

CRACKED ONE LOVE STORY WASN'T ENOUGH. The studio asked Erich Segal to adapt his screenplay into a novel, which was published the same year. The book was a huge hit, and led to a book sequel Oliver's Story, which itself became a movie.


Anything with more Marv is a win in our books.

CRACKED HOME ALONE HAD MULTIPLE NOVELIZATIONS. In 1990, Todd Strasser published one book alongside the original movie. The sequel's book features a prologue of Marv dreaming about Kevin tormenting him and Harry. Both movies were adapted into kids picture books.

Fandom / NY Post 

Wait, Quentin wants to talk more about ‘70s Hollywood?!

CRACKED ONCE UPON A TIME... IN HOLLYWOOD'S NOVEL GAVE FANS A LOT MORE. In 2021, Tarantino published a novel version of the movie. It fleshes out scenes, gives Cliff a thicker backstory, and has a different ending than the movie. Не plans to publish a 2nd novel about Rick and his career.

Digital Spy

Elektra is thick! The novel. The novel is much thicker than the screenplay.

CRACKED THE ELEKTRA NOVEL BEEFED UP THE ACTION. Yvonne Navarro novelized the screenplay that Frank Miller co-wrote. A fan described the 280 page book as much more fleshed out than the film. The action scenes are longer and more descriptive, and Elektra is portrayed as colder in the novel.

Good Reads / IMDB 

Yeah, but reading “I’ll be back” just wouldn’t be the same.

CRACKED THE TERMINATOR GOT TWO VERY DIFFERENT BOOKS. A reviewer said the Shaun Hutson version was average, but the 2nd version by Randall Frakes and Bill Wisher was possibly better than the film. The novel added characters like Sarah's boss, and entirely new scenes.

Good Reads / Indiewire 

From book to movie to book to 3 more sequels.

CRACKED 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY GOT 3 NOVELIZED SEQUELS. Kubrick adapted Arthur C. Clarke's short story The Sentinel into the movie. Clarke then adapted the screenplay into its own novel, and wrote 3 sequels. The fleshed out story has the book considered to be one of the greatest sci-fi novels of all time.


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