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Novelizations of films based on books

Old 09-18-21, 08:27 PM
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Novelizations of films based on books

On another discussion forum, someone mentioned that a new feature film might be made from Jane Austen's Persuasion. Another user joked that the novelization was already available.

That got me thinking: don't we have novelizations of movies based on books? I could swear that has happened, but I'm struggling to think of an example.
Old 09-18-21, 10:41 PM
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Re: Novelizations of films based on books

Theres a Junior novelization of Jurassic Park, Sleepy Hollow had one for the Tim Burton movie. Thats all I can think of
Old 09-19-21, 06:57 AM
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Re: Novelizations of films based on books

Total Recall

The movie was based originally on Phillip K Dick's "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale".

There was a movie novelization written by Piers Anthony, which had many "spoilers" which were not filmed in the movie.
Old 09-19-21, 07:41 AM
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Re: Novelizations of films based on books

Blade Runner and Dune had comic book adaptations done of the movies and both were books first.
Old 09-19-21, 09:39 AM
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Re: Novelizations of films based on books

Bram Stoker's Dracula had two movie tie-in promos in 1992. One had the movie logo on the Stoker original, and then there was one that was an outright novelization of the movie itself.
Old 09-19-21, 03:55 PM
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Re: Novelizations of films based on books

Makes me wonder if when a movie is made based on a novel, the author might have some contractual right to get their book promoted as a movie tie-in, and thus preventing an adaption of the movie from being written and sold.

I've noticed that the novels movies are based on are frequently sold as tie-ins or adaptions even if the movie and book diverge a lot. (I know that Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep was available with a Blade Runner cover for about a decade after the movie came out.)

Bram Stoker's Dracula is an interesting case; the original novel is in the public domain, so nobody has rights to it or receives royalties from its sale.


Old 09-19-21, 08:26 PM
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Re: Novelizations of films based on books

I seem to recall hearing that a novelization of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was written for the Martin Freeman movie but was shelved in favor of a reissue of the original.
Old 09-20-21, 11:28 AM
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Re: Novelizations of films based on books

I did some digging and found a really obvious answer to the question: films that only used the title and character(s) from a written work would get novelizations that are completely different than the original stories. The most well-known example would be James Bond where the films keep the protagonist and take Fleming's story titles to produce stories that don't come anywhere close to the author's plots.

milo bloom, you just reminded about the Peter David-penned novelizations of Iron Man and Hulk. Novelizing those movies make sense since a) they lifted elements from different storylines in the comics and b) a prose novel would be a different medium than the source material. Now that I think about it, I'm not sure if we've ever had a novelization of a graphic novel or a story arc from comics. I'd be kind of surprised if that hasn't happened at some point.

Along the same lines as morriscroy's example, I just remembered that I own a copy of Alan Dean Foster's novelization of The Thing, which was based on John W. Campbell's novella 'Who Goes There?' As with 'We Can Remember...'/Total Recall, the movie makes significant changes to the story, so a novelization made sense.
Old 09-21-21, 01:51 PM
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Re: Novelizations of films based on books

I just listened to a podcast with Quentin Tarantino, and he wrote a novelization of Once Upon a Time....in Hollywood.
Old 09-22-21, 12:23 PM
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Re: Novelizations of films based on books

Originally Posted by L Everett Scott View Post
milo bloom, you just reminded about the Peter David-penned novelizations of Iron Man and Hulk. Novelizing those movies make sense since a) they lifted elements from different storylines in the comics and b) a prose novel would be a different medium than the source material. Now that I think about it, I'm not sure if we've ever had a novelization of a graphic novel or a story arc from comics. I'd be kind of surprised if that hasn't happened at some point.
DC has definitely done this. Off the top of my head, there's The Death and Life of Superman by Roger Stern, Knightfall by Dennis O'Neil, Crisis on Infinite Earths by Marv Wolfman, and 52: The Novel by Greg Cox. I'm sure there are others.
Old 09-22-21, 01:15 PM
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Re: Novelizations of films based on books

I'm also reminded of the modern English translations of Shakespeare's plays. My high schooler has one for Romeo & Juliet that has two columns on each page with the original dialog and then a modern translation. I would have loved to have had that back in my school days.
Old 09-22-21, 02:55 PM
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Re: Novelizations of films based on books

James Blish wrote a series of books that rewrote Star Trek TOS episodes as short stories. In Star Trek 2, he adapted the episode Arena, which itself was adapted by Frederick Brown from his own 1944 short story, which was also called Arena.

I know that there were books which adapted Twilight Zone episodes into short story books. I know that some Twilight Zone episodes were based on previously existing short stories. I do not know if any of them made the full journey the way Arena did. Maye someone else can answer that.

I saw an illustrated book of the movie Dune when it came out. We got boxes of tie-in materials at the bookstore where I worked, none of which sold after the movie flopped. But I don't know of any theatrical films based on books that were subsequently adapted to proper books.
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Old 09-22-21, 04:04 PM
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Re: Novelizations of films based on books

A friend of mine remembers that as a child he'd seen the movie KING SOLOMON'S MINES (1950), which was based on the H. Rider Haggard novel from 1885. He bought a paperback from a drugstore rack purporting to be the book by Haggard, but when he got it home and started reading it he realized that it was a novelization of the movie and not the Haggard book, so he returned it and got his money back. My friend would have been nine or ten years old at the time and the memory would be from 70 or 71 years ago, for what it's worth.
Old 09-22-21, 04:40 PM
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Re: Novelizations of films based on books

I took a quick look at my bookshelves when I got home, and there were also novelizations of Batman: No Man's Land by Greg Rucca and Kingdom Come by Elliot S. Maggin. Also, Robert Kirkman's name is on most of the Walking Dead novels (some of which, I assume, are novelizations of the TV shows based on the original comics, and not original stories). Similarly, Jack Oleck wrote the novelizations for both Tales from the Crypt (1972) and The Vault of Horror (1973), which were themselves based on the original comic books.

Last edited by Dimension X; 09-22-21 at 04:51 PM.
Old 09-22-21, 04:42 PM
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Re: Novelizations of films based on books

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post

I saw an illustrated book of the movie Dune when it came out. We got boxes of tie-in materials at the bookstore where I worked, none of which sold after the movie flopped. But I don't know of any theatrical films based on books that were subsequently adapted to proper books.
That's right, I had that storybook until earlier this year, I downsized a lot of extra things like that to make space. It had a lot of stills from the movie and a condensed version of the story.
Old 09-22-21, 06:15 PM
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Re: Novelizations of films based on books

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
I know that there were books which adapted Twilight Zone episodes into short story books. I know that some Twilight Zone episodes were based on previously existing short stories. I do not know if any of them made the full journey the way Arena did. Maye someone else can answer that.
I have two anthologies that have the original short stories that certain popular Twilight Zone episodes were based on. One of the books has the stories that were made into episodes from the 1960s series, and the other has short stories that were made into episodes from the 1980s series. Both of these were hardcover "bargain books" I picked up at Barnes & Noble about twenty or so years ago. They weren't remainders, but original printings done for the bargain area of B&N, though I'm pretty sure they were reprintings of previously released books. They're both good reads; it's kind of fun to read the original stories like "To Serve Man" were based on. And I'm also an unapologetic fan of the 1980s Twilight Zone series, too, so I also enjoyed the New Twilight Zone book, too.

There were actually quite a few books of Twilight Zone stories; some were collections of original stories that weren't part of either series.

Here are the two Twilight Zone books I have that I got from Barnes & Nobles (looks like they're from 1997):





There two other books, Journey to the Twilight Zone and Return to the Twilight Zone, that were part of that B&N run that have original stories inspired by the series. I didn't buy those, but, in hindsight, I sort of wish I did.

And, going back further, there are some older books from the 1960s, at least two -- Rod Serlings Twilight Zone and Rod Serlings Twilight Zone Revisited -- that contain a few adaptions of episodes (or the original stories they were based on) and new, original stories. I had big, illustrated hardcover of Twilight Zone Revisited that I picked up at a yard sale when I was a kid, though I don't remember much about it other than it contained the story "The Purple Testament."
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Old 09-24-21, 02:52 PM
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Re: Novelizations of films based on books

I also recall having a storybook version of The Secret of NIMH, which was based on the novel Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH.

I imagine we could do a whole list of these where they made a movie based on Grimm’s Fairy Tales or 1001 Arabian Nights and there was a kids storybook made for the movie version.
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