The 5 Stages of Finding Out Your Favorite Book is Becoming a Movie

13 Feb

I’m sure this has happened to us all at some point. You hear the amazing news that a book you LOVED is being made into a movie. This happened to me with Ready Player One and A Darker Shade of Magic I’m sure many of you experience it with Harry Potter. I feel there are some universal stages, like the stages of grief, that all readers go through upon receiving the news of a film adaptation.

Stage One: Denial
I believe my initial reaction to every movie adaptation announcement has either been, “What?!” or “No way!” Clearly, my first reaction is denial. Despite rave reviews of the book, I’m shocked someone in Hollywood agreed with me that a certain title was absolutely amazing and totally worthy of being seen by the millions of non-readers who will see the film.

Stage Two: Excitement
I believe my second reaction to finding out about each movie has been, “Heck yes!” or “I’m so pumped.” The idea of getting to see something that lives in your head on a 40-foot screen with surround-sound is an adrenaline rush waiting to happen. The satisfaction of hearing a good review of the movie from a friend who refused to read the book is the best. Being able to appreciate red herrings and see the small details that get you to the ending you know is coming makes you feel like Agatha Christie. And all of this is really going to happen because the book is being made into a movie!

Stage Three: Nervousness
But then, doubt starts to set in. What if they get rid of your favorite scene? The one that would be visually beautiful if done correctly but might blow the entire budget? What if the adorkable best friend is cast as some Hollywood hottie who is totally wrong for the character? What if the writers add a love triangle to build tension that is completely unnecessary to the amazing story that’s already been created. What if it’s nothing like the amazing book? What if the movie flops and all your friends wonder why you liked such a stupid story?

Stage Four: Anger
Why did they have to make your favorite book into a movie? There’s no way the (insert number of pages here) pages of amazing plot can be compacted into a 90-minute movie! There’s no way they’ll get Natalie Portman/Shailene Woodley/Sophie Turner to pull off the female lead and it’s impossible Leonardo DiCaprio/Chris [Pratt/Pine/Hemsworth/Evans] will get the male character’s personality right. This movie is going to be terrible! Why would your favorite author let this happen? (S)He is just chasing the next easy paycheck, you thought (s)he was better than that!

Stage Five: Acceptance
Okay, the casting is set and it’s not as bad as you thought. It’s not the director you would have picked, but (s)he has made some decent films in the past, some you even liked, and you can put your faith in him/her. Plus, the teaser trailer was way better than you expected and it looks like they didn’t completely cut your favorite scene. It’s going to be a bit different, but you’re okay with that. A movie is a different creative mind’s interpretation of something you loved. They’re not going to imagine it the same way you did.

Have you been through these stages? Any others you would add? I posted yesterday about some movie/TV adaptations I’m still excited about. We’ll see how long it takes me to accept them.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

10 Responses to “The 5 Stages of Finding Out Your Favorite Book is Becoming a Movie”

  1. alilovesbooks February 13, 2018 at 2:28 PM #

    Hahaha great post. I’m pretty sure I go through every one of these stages. The only one I would maybe add is avoidance (although it’s probably covered by denial and anger). That’s the “okay they’re making the film of my fave book and they’re going to make a mess of it so I have no intention of going to see it and don’t want to know anything about it” stage.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sam February 13, 2018 at 2:41 PM #

      Hahaha I’ve done that! I avoid looking at who is cast because I don’t wait to see how badly it’s messed up. I also don’t see who’s directed it because I don’t want to see there directed movies I didn’t like in the past. Happy reading!


  2. Book Admirer February 15, 2018 at 12:13 AM #

    Omg this is sooo true. Haha! Thanks for posting


    • Sam February 15, 2018 at 7:50 AM #

      No problem! I knew I couldn’t be the only one thinking it. Happy reading!


  3. siderealday February 15, 2018 at 6:10 PM #

    I feel your five stages SO HARD! I think I’m at the ‘nervous’ stage right now when it comes to A Darker Shade of Magic and I’ll probably stay there for a while.


    • Sam February 15, 2018 at 9:36 PM #

      I tend to spend a lot of time there, too. I hope you come to acceptance! Happy reading!


  4. Aislynn d'Merricksson February 15, 2018 at 9:15 PM #

    Great post!


  5. ichabod2014ic February 16, 2018 at 4:13 PM #

    Oooo, I am still upset about what was done to James Ellroy’s crime books. Hollywood pick and chose a few scenes from a number of his books and cobbled the mess together in ‘L.A. Confidential’. If you are not a fan of the books, it is okay to watch that film, but if you have read the books, stay away. :-/
    I remember seeing a commercial on tv for the film. That first commercial was aimed at the reading members of the viewing audience, as it had a recognizable line from the book. For one full second, I was excited, but then I knew they would mess it up. They ruined it far worse than I could have ever imagined.
    I thought the same thing when the film ‘Fight Club’ came out. I thought they could only mess it up, but I was wrong. I think that film stands on it’s own outside of the book.


    • Sam February 17, 2018 at 11:08 AM #

      Fight Club changed the ending so much! That one really shocked me. I wonder if those making trailers purposefully target the readers at first to get the hype up fast. I’m a bit nervous about Ready Player One because the commercials look very true to the book. I hope the same thing doesn’t happen there. Happy reading!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: