Over the past couple of years, the movie industry has taken a particular interest on creating live action adaptations of certain classic fantasy novels. The movies that have gained the most popularity tend to be these types of films. Among the list of successful, recent screen adaptations include Peter Jackson’s ground-breaking “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, the “Harry Potter” film series, the “Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” as well as “A Series of Unfortunate Events” and many others. Some of these novels have endured several adaptations, including animated versions, but the live-action productions of these widely acclaimed works seem to be what the audiences look for. What motivates directors and producers to take on such projects, when they could be creating original ideas of their own? The fantasy genre alone seems to spark immense excitement throughout the film industry. Perhaps it is the mystery of the magical element itself–something so out-of-this-world and extraordinary, that strikes filmmakers. It gives them a chance to use their full potential, by experimenting with cutting-edge technology. Of course, the love for the books themselves and the wonderful worlds and characters created by the literary masterminds have also been a great inspiration. Unfortunately, many of the film adaptations of books have to include changes and must narrow down the main focus of the plot. However, if done well enough, the fans of the books try to push that aspect aside, and focus on the incredible talent of the filmmakers and actors.
According to Peter Jackson, director of the “Lord of the Rings” series, “I’ve always had a desire to make one of those fantasy-adventure type films,” he told Iofilm.com. In an interview on the “Fellowship of the Ring” Extended Edition DVD, he mentions how he began reading the books at eighteen years old and always hoped it would be made into a film. The other members of the “Lord of the Rings” production team admitted to being enormous fans of the novels, having read them over and over as children and therefore being obsessed with the stories themselves.
Andrew Adamson, director of the newly released “Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe”, began reading C.S. Lewis’ series at eight years old. “I lost myself in C.S. Lewis’ magical world of mythical creatures, talking animals, and childhood wonders” he mentions in the Official Illustrated movie companion. “As I continued to read all of the books in the series, the world and the characters expanded my imagination to bring the world to screen.”
Each of these movies gained enormous appreciation from audiences across the world, taking in millions of dollars their first week in theaters. Not only that, but they were also nominated for Academy Awards. While the imagination itself is an important part of people’s lives, it is still a wonderful feeling to watch the stories we grew up with as children or picked up on as adults come to life before our very eyes