Hollywood, let’s get some originality

Tyler McGinty, Opinions Editor

Okay Hollywood, I get it.

Adaptations are easy. If you find a true story, a book, a comic, a play, or even another movie that you can turn into a movie, it’s a lot less work.

But just stop. Please.

I’m sick and tired of the phrases “Based on a true story” and “Adapted from the best selling novel.”

Hollywood needs to embrace original stories again. If creativity is a flowing force, then adaptations are a stagnant pool. It’s nothing new, just rehashing the same stories over and over again.

I just saw “Moneyball,” and it was a great movie. The acting, writing, and directing were excellent. However, I’d much rather have seen Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill in an original script by Aaron Sorkin. I know Sorkin is capable of writing his own stories, and I feel his ability is wasted just adapting other people’s work.

I think the worst example of this is 2007’s “I Am Legend.” Not only does this movie completely butcher the 1954 novel by Richard Matheson, but also the novel has already been adapted into a movie.


That’s right. By 2007, Hollywood had apparently run dry. It needed to take a 1954 novel that had been adapted into a movie in 1964 and 1971 and turn it into a movie again.

Yeah, that totally needed to be done.

Last year, three of the best movies were based on a true story (“The King’s Speech,” “The Fighter” and “The Social Network,” for those keeping track), and they were all fantastic. I’m sure that “Moneyball” is going to get the same treatment at the Academy Awards. It’s definitely going to at least get a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination, and probably Best Picture and Best Actor in a Leading Role.

But the market is absolutely flooded with adaptations.

The upcoming “Real Steel” is an adaptation of a Matheson short story (which was also a “Twilight Zone” episode) and “The Adventures of Tintin,” the new Spielberg project, is based on a Belgian comic book.

Martin Scorcese, David Fincher and Roman Polanski have all fallen into this adaptation trap. It seems like that’s all Scorcese has been doing lately, Fincher is remaking “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” which was already a Swedish film two years ago, in addition to being a novel already, and no one really knows what goes  on in Polanski’s head.

Fall 2011 is the season of bio-pics, adaptations and remakes. I mean, really? A remake of “Footloose?” How is that even relevant anymore? That seems like a decision a bunch of nostalgic executives made.

The only original stories that look like they’re worth anything are the new Diablo Cody movie and the new George Clooney movie.

No offense, but when an actor and an ex-stripper are writing the only original stories during Oscar bait season that look like they’re worth anything, clearly something is wrong with the industry.

Adapted stories have their place. I’m still going to see these movies (well, not the remakes), but they shouldn’t be flooding the market.