7 Book Adaptations So Terrible That They Hurt Our Souls, Ranked

7 Book Adaptations So Terrible That They Hurt Our Souls, Ranked
Image credit: Columbia Pictures

Making a movie based on a book is a difficult job, and not everyone is up for it.

Here are seven of the worst book-to-movie adaptations in modern history.

7. Eragon (2006)

20th Century Fox wanted to have their own magical franchise, hoping that it would be as successful as Harry Potter. Well, the movie strayed so far away from the book that the only thing they had in common was the title. Book fans and new audiences alike hated the adaptation so much that all the planned sequels had to be canceled. Maybe the upcoming television series will right this horrible wrong?

6. Vampire Academy (2014)

The original book dives into complex topics of mental health and inequality, but the director butchered all that in favor of creating a run-of-the-mill teen movie about vampires. That was a wrong move because viewers and critics bashed the film, and it bombed at the box office. Last year’s television adaptation did a lot better, but unfortunately, it was canceled after just one season.

5. Paper Towns (2015)

The live-action adaptation of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars went on to become a cultural phenomenon a year earlier, but this movie failed to live up to its potential. The source material was so well-written with underlying themes of suicide and depression, and the movie ended up being a lighthearted road trip flick.

4. The Time Traveller’s Wife (2009)

The original novel was a dramatic story about a love so strong that it couldn’t be bound by the laws of time and space. The film might have been a box office success, but the book fans were not happy about how it twisted the plot. The characters just lost all the quirky charm they were supposed to have, and the movie itself was your typical romance drama.

3. The Da Vinci Code (2006)

Dan Brown’s mystery thriller novel is a masterpiece, but even Tom Hanks couldn’t save the film from becoming garbage, even though it grossed six times its budget and gave way to two sequels. The movie didn’t capture the epic storytelling that the book was praised for, and the characters felt extremely flat.

2. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013)

Cassandra Clare’s series is full of unique mythology and unforgettable plot twists, but the director turned the movie into a sappy drama that focused too much on relationships and failed to explore the Mortal Instruments universe itself. Thankfully, the television series, which premiered in 2016 and ran for three seasons, was much more successful.

1. Percy Jackson Movies (2010 & 2013)

These movies did the unspeakable to Rick Riordan’s novels. The story got simplified and changed, the characters were aged up for no reason, and the pacing was off. The only thing that’s good about the Percy Jackson films is Logan Lerman. Hopefully, the upcoming show will do the books justice.