Movies You Probably Didn’t Know Were Books
Movies You Probably Didn’t Know Were Books

By: Cassie Robbins



Clueless is THE standard for ‘90s teen girl dramas. It graced us with phrases like “as if!”, “whatever!” and “I dig”, but it was actually based on Jane Austen’s Emma. The plot is the same: popular girl takes unpopular girl as a “project”, turns unpopular girl popular—in fact, more popular than she intended, and loses her position as The Most Popular. Clueless, though abandoning most of Austen’s original grace and elegant work, nods to popular literature throughout the movie. Throughout the movie, references are made to Fredrich Nietzsche, Oscar Wilde, Shakespeare’s works Hamlet and “Sonnet 18”, Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, Junky by William S. Burroughs, and Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat.



Die Hard

Everyone’s favorite Christmas movie starring Bruce Willis and the late Alan Rickman was originally a novel by Roderick Thorpe titled Nothing Lasts Forever. It is the sequel to the 1966 novel The Detective, which was later adapted into a film two years later, starring…

Frank Sinatra.

Part of the contract Sinatra signed twenty-two years before, obligated Fox to offer him the lead role. Ol’ Blue Eyes, then seventy-three, turned it down, of course, and in doing so helped to launch Willis’ career.




Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park and The Lost World: Jurassic Park are both based on the books by Michael Crichton of the same name. Director Stephen Spielberg saw the potential in both and Jurassic Park was released in the summer of 1993. The Lost World was released just a few years later on May 19, 1997. Neither film had used all of the scenes from the original novels, and thus a third film was born under director Joe Johnston.

The first novel went through a series of extreme changes before the final publication in 1990. Beginning as a script at first, then evolving into a story of a grad student that creates a dinosaur, and from there a story told from the point of view of a child until it finally reached the novel, then the movie we know and love today.




Mrs. Doubtfire

The UK novel Madame Doubtfire, or Alias Madame Doubtfire in the United States, was later adapted into the 1993 movie starring Robin Williams and Sally Field. The movie and book have roughly the same synopsis. However, in the novel by Anne Fine, the two eldest children recognize Robin Williams’ character immediately. Only the youngest child and his wife, Sally Field’s character, are fooled by the costume. I guess this didn’t make sense to the producers and it was changed in the movie adaptation.






Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Called Who Censored Roger Rabbit?, the novel by Gary K. Wolf was published in 1981 and attempts to capture all of the voice and cartoon clichés found in the movie. It also delves into the darker, crime filled story of Toon Town.
Later, a novel by Wolf was published with the title Who P-P-P-Plugged Roger Rabbit? but the latter shows no connection to the former and only references Who Censored Roger Rabbit? when Jessica Rabbit is recalling a dream that Roger had.



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