My friends who know about the writings of George “Railroad Crossing” Martin were up in arms at this season of ‘Game Of Thrones,’ when the horrible fate of one character was shifted to another character in the adaptation.  (To be fair, much of the discussion centered on questions of whether the brutality of the story’s sexual assault was justifiable, regardless of at whom it was aimed.)  It was a moment that I, as a comic-book fan, felt much empathy for, given the sheer number of unnecessary and/or arbitrary changes seen when our favorite supers made their way to film.  Captain America wound up being a biker with a plexiglass shield and leotard; Captain Marvel became a teenager riding the highways in a Winnebago with the Maytag repairman; Spider-Man gained a giant robot and a weird backstory involving escaping hell in Japan.  (To be fair, the last two are actually kind of awesome in their own way.)  We’ve seen a strange armored Green Goblin, a Wolverine who is 6’4″, and Doctor Doom with a Malibu accent, which leads us to today’s slightly altered query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) has to admit that certain unfaithful adaptations are superior to their source material, but The Joker shooting Batman’s parents in the 1989 movie is still bull$#!+, asking: What’s the worst example of an adaptation taking liberties with the source material in your eyes?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. Even though they’re both kinda the same things, I feel it deserves a double mention:
    Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man.
    Toby Maguire’s Peter Parker.

  2. The Japanese Spidey is actually one of my favorite alternate takes on a series. Heck, if that series had never happened, Super Sentai as we know it may never have existed, so there are multiple layers as to why I love the strangeness of that series.

    As for the worst? It is very hard to pick a top spot when there are so many that have bothered me over the years.

    The film adaptations of Eragon and Percy Jackson spring to mind. The novels they were based on may not have been the most original premises, but they at least built fun stories that put some unique spins on existing ideas. The movies, on the other hand, tore down almost everything about the novels and went in completely different directions. Except for a few names and concepts, I can’t really see the source material in those movies. But to be fair, it also made me appreciate just how faithful movies like the Harry Potter series were to the source material despite the sheer amount of content they altered or left out.

    I also really, really dislike the organic webbing of the first three Spider-Man movies. For me, the fact Peter built the web-shooters himself helped accent just how smart he was. He wasn’t simply a teenage geek, he was a teenage genius, and I think that was something that needs to be addressed when dealing with Spider-Man rather than just the powers and the witty banter.

    I won’t even go into my beef with the X-Men film franchise. They got some things right (Patrick Stewart as Prof. X, Kelsey Grammar as Beast, etc), but there are a ton of little things through the franchise that were just far too off for me to enjoy them.

    But above all else, the live action Green Lantern movie. For everything they got right, they got 10 things wrong. Some of the alien beings looked amazing, and the light constructs weren’t too shabby, but then they made Parallax the big bad for the FIRST movie. That was hard for me to grasp because where do you go from there? That isn’t a first movie villain, that is an “end of a trilogy when everything seems hopeless” villain that you build up to. And that doesn’t even include the fact that he wasn’t quite the Parallax of the comic page, but more of a Galactus style villain, with Hector Hammond being something akin to his twisted Silver Surfer (which also bugged me because Hammond had an interesting enough origin already).

  3. lets see.
    Iron Man 3,turning the Mandarin into a joke.
    Man Of Steel,Superman kills Zod.
    Star Trek :Into Darkness.”rebooting”Wrath of Khan with a white Englishman to play Khan,a native of India.
    All the Xmen movies,despite some great casting.
    Green Lantern was in need of a good story but it didn’t happen.Yet there was so much source material to work from.

    • That is another thing that bugged me about the GL movie. I could gripe all day about what they did wrong, but it just breaks my heart to think about since GL has been my favorite superhero concept since before I could even read. There is such a rich mythology of GL built over the years, but it was like they skipped all but a few tidbits in favor of just mashing things together. It kinda felt like watching the Michael Bay Transformers movies, all flash (because I’ve said over and over again that I thought they did a good job bringing some of the alien members of the Corps to life visually) but very little substance.

    • Actually, that wasn’t Mandarin. A short was released where that actor was contacted by the real mandarin, making it clear that he’d better start running.

      The other complaints you have I can do nothing but agree with, though.

  4. I still hate The Dresden Files tv show. I can deal with them not following the books’ plots, but at least get the characters right. Harry is not a guy who wakes up next to a strange woman, when the book character canonically did not have sex (as a plot point) for the better part of a decade.

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