Category Archives: To the Big Screen

Certain books have the potential to take the leap to To the Big Screen. Maybe it was the plot. Maybe the appealing personality of the main character.

In this category, I will write about those stories that are going to be adapted into movies. Or have already been.

I will consider what made them successful. Why there considered being a movie, and what made them at made them so special in. I will also tell you the differences between the book and the movie in case they are.

This is a way to know if you should watch a movie. Or also, to know about the novel that inspired such movie. Who knows?

Fablehaven movie

Will Fablehaven become a movie?

Do you want the Fablehaven movie to be a thing? Fablehaven is a bestselling series composed of five books written by the American author Brandon Mull. This series is addressed to children and has a sequel series called Dragonwatch which is currently being written. This fantasy story is published in more than 30 foreign languages, a successful series no doubt. As a result, a lot of fans are asking why isn’t Fablehaven a movie coming out?

Are there Fablehaven movies?

Whenever a book series starts selling well this draws the attention of Hollywood. Making a movie adaptation of a bestseller novel is a great way for a studio to ensure they have a big audience that will, as long as your adaptation is decent enough, watch their production. 

As a result, producers option the movie, that is, a particular producer company pays the author in exchange to make sure nobody else can make the movie (for a set period of time). Then, lots of steps ( screenwriting, choosing a director, etc…) and decisions to take that may lead the movie to be produced or not.

In the case of this series, the rights to Fablehaven were purchased by Schaffer Studios in 2012. During that time it was even said that the Studios had teamed up with Brandon Mull on the Project. However, as of 2019, there is no Fablehaven movie.

When will Fablehaven the movie come out?

So far there is no news that a Fablehaven movie will come out. In case this changes, this article will be updated showing the release date.

Meanwhile you can take a look at this post with the Fablehaven series in order, it also includes the new series: Dragonwatch.

Don’t you think it would be great if Fablehaven turned in a movie? hope there is good news soon!

Take a look at Percy Jackson movies if you want to know why they were cancelled.

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The golden Compass film

Why was the Golden Compass film series canceled?

The Golden Compass film series is a movie adaptation of Phillip Pullman’s bestselling series His Dark Materials,  one of the most popular series among children. Despite having such a huge fanbase the first movie of what was supposed to be a multimillionaire project didn’t meet the expectations. The Golden Compass flopped and the sequels were canceled, but why? was the movie that bad? or there was something else? What if I told you this movie was boycotted and this meant in one way or another that The Golden Compass film sequels were never filmed?

The Golden Compass box office numbers

Let’s take a look at The Golden Compass box office numbers first, the movie had a budget of $180 million, an amount that is significantly higher than most of the big fantasy productions. Most of the fantasy movie adaptations have a budget that is usually less than $150 million, that is the case of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone ($125 million), Percy Jackson: Lightning Thief ($95 million) or The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring ($93 million).

Despite the huge budget of the film, the Golden Compass box officed $372 million. Yes, it recouped its production costs but such numbers were way far from the expectations. The film was produced by New Line Producers, a production company that had just had a huge success producing The Lord of The Rings directed by Peter Jackson.

The Golden Compass film cast

  • Dakota Blue Richards as Lyra Belacqua.
  • Nicole Kidman as Mrs. Coulter.
  • Daniel Craig as Lord Asriel.
  • Sam Elliott as Lee Scoresby.
  • Eva Green as Serafina Pekkala.
  • Clare Higgins as Ma Costa.
  • Charlie Rowe as Billy Costa.
  • Christopher Lee as the Magisterium’s first high councilor.
  • Tom Courtenay as Farder Coram.
  • Derek Jacobi as the Magisterial emissary.
  • Simon McBurney as Fra Pavel, a Magisterial agent.
  • Jack Shepherd as master of Jordan College.
  • Magda Szubanski as Mrs. Lonsdale.
  • Edward de Souza as the Magisterium’s second high councilor.
  • Paul Antony-Barber as Bolvangar Doctor.
  • Jason Watkins as Bolvangar Official.
  • Jody Halse as Bolvangar Orderly.
  • Hattie Morahan as Sister Clara.

So many good stars here isn’t it? Why wasn’t the Golden Compass a success? let’s take a look at the critics.

The Golden Compass film reviews

Here are the scores of The golden Compass Film at two of the most popular  review-aggregation websites for film and television:

Metacritic Score: 51.

Rottentomatoes Score: 42.

Not the best score to be honest, the critics’ consensus in Rottentomatoes says the following

Without the bite or the controversy of the source material, The Golden Compass is reduced to impressive visuals overcompensating for lax storytelling

We will get to the controversy later. Let’s focus on the rest, the visuals were actually pretty good in fact, but the film didn’t follow the original source, lots of scenes were not included in the film or were markedly changed.

These changes were obviously not well received by the fans of the books, but they were not the only one weren’t fond of the movie… there was some controversy.

The Golden Compass controversy

Let’s get back to the books, the world of His Dark Materials is dominated by the Magisterium, a powerful church might resemble too much to the Catholic Church. The Magisterium is a malevolent abusive organization that will not hesitate to resort to torture or even murder.

As you might have realized,  because of this resemblance to such a fictional evil organization some Catholic groups were not fond of Phillip Pullman’s story. In fact, the novelist has been accused several times about using his most notorious work, His Dark Materials, as a way to criticize religion and especially Catholicism.

The producers of the movie, being aware of this issue, tried to soften this version of the Church as well as not focusing as much on religion (despite the fact that both were key themes of the novels).

The director, Chris Weitz, said that the Magisterium portrayed in the film would represent all dogmatic organizations. Such decisions were not well received neither by the fans of the novels or anticensorship groups, but New Line Cinema wanted to make sure their adaptation would move away as much as possible from having the antireligious tone that His Dark Materials novels have.

Was this enough? No.

The Catholic League called for a boycott of the Golden Compass

Despite the attempts of the producers and the director to soften the religious theme of the adaptation the Catholic League called for a boycott.

The League president acknowledged that the Golden Compass film adaptation was not so focused on religion, and it was true,  both religion and God (“the Authority” in the books) were not be referenced directly during the film. Even so, he said the film would encourage children to read the novels promoving so atheism for children.

Here you have an excerpt of the call for a boycott:

The Catholic League is calling for a boycott of “The Golden Compass”; the movie opens December 7. It is based on the first book of a trilogy titled, His Dark Materials.

The author of this children’s fantasy is Philip Pullman, a noted English atheist. It is his objective to bash Catholicism and promote atheism. To kids. “The Golden Compass” is a film version of the book by that name, and it is being toned down so that Catholics, as well as Protestants, are not enraged.

The second book of the trilogy, The Subtle Knife, is more overt in its hatred of Catholicism than the first book, and the third entry, The Amber Spyglass, is even more blatant. Because “The Golden Compass” is based on the least offensive of the three books, and because it is being further watered down for the big screen, some might wonder why a boycott is warranted.

The Catholic League wants Christians to boycott this movie precisely because it knows that the film is bait for the books: unsuspecting parents who take their children to see the movie may be impelled to buy the three books as a Christmas present. And no parent who wants to bring their children up in the faith will want any part of these books.

We are launching a major educational campaign designed to alert the public to Pullman’s game plan. To that end, we have prepared a booklet, “The Golden Compass: Agenda Unmasked.” It contains snippets of what reviewers have said about the film and the books, as well as revealing comments made by Pullman himself; it also contains a synopsis of the trilogy. In short, the booklet is not what we are saying about Pullman’s work—it is what he and others have said about it.

You can see the full document here.

Was the boycott effective? is this the reason there are not The Golden Compass film sequels?

According to New Line Cinema, the sequels had been placed on hold because of financial concerns during the global recession (this was in 2008). However, the actor Sam Eliott ( Lee Scoresby  in the movie) stated the following:

 The Catholic Church … lambasted them, and I think it scared New Line off.

On the other side, Philip Pullman said that the sequels would not be made due to the first film’s disappointing sales in the United States.

We can’t know how many people didn’t go to the theatres to watch the Golden Compass because of this call for a boycott. Even so, in a sort of way, the boycott was effective: he fact that New  Line Cinema decided to change the plot and soften the religious theme of His Dark Materials made it less appealing for the fans, also, given that the subsequent books are even more driven into religion this might have made New Line Cinema think it was financially too risky.

Hope you found this article interesting. Did you watch The Golden Compass? do you think The Golden Compass film sequels should have been filmed?

Also, take a look at this article: why Percy Jackson movies floped.

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spiderwick chronicles 2

Spiderwick Chronicles 2: this is why there was never a sequel

Did you Watch The Spiderwick Chronicles movie? A feature film of the book series by the same name written by  Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black.  How come Spiderwick Chronicles 2 never came out? This is why Spiderwick never had a sequel.

If you are willing to know if you should read this series, remember we have this Spiderwick’s books introduction for you.

A bit of info about the film: who plays in the Spiderwick Chronicles?

The Spiderwick Chronicles movie was released in 2008. The film was directed by Mark Waters and cast Freddie Highmore playing the main role of the Grace twins.  Sarah Bolger played Mallory Grace, Simon and Jared’s older sister.

Budget

The budget of The spider Chronicles film was $90 million, a similar amount to other big productions of other fantasy book adaptations. This fantasy adventure film is a production by Nickelodeon movies that was distributed by Paramount Pictures.

Filming location

For those who were wondering where was The Spiderwick Chronicles filmed, it was in Montreal and Quebec (Canada).

How well did The Spiderwick Chronicles film in the theatres?

This adaptation grossed $162.8 million, which means it had good results. Similarly, the film was well-received by both the audience and the critics, more specifically, Freddie Highmore was praised by his performance, being able to play the role of the twins Simon and Jared.

Seems like the audience went to watch The Spiderwick Chronicles and not only that. They loved it. As usual, let’s take a look at the score this movie has in some well-known review-aggregation websites.

Rottentomatoes: 80%.

Metacritic: 62.

As you see, it was well-received by the critics. Where is Spiderwick 2 then?

Spiderwick chronicles 2

We have seen entire franchises being canceled for different reasons: filming rights, bad results at the theatres or even being subject of a boycott campaign. However, this is not so for Spiderwick featured films.

The original book series is five books long. However, the producers decided to cover all the events in a single movie. As a result, this is why there is not Spiderwick chronicles 2, the basic overall plot is told in a single movie.

In summary, for those who were wondering how many movies of the Spiderwick Chronicles series the answer is only one. Therefore, no Spiderwick 2, no need for a sequel after all.

What did the authors think about the movie adaptation?

This is what one of the authors, Tony DiTerlizzi, said about the film:

The filmmakers did a great job of adapting the stories. I got to witness firsthand what goes into making a film and understood many of the changes from the source material. The screenwriter couldn’t jam everything from all five books into one film. It would have been really long, and really expensive. Perhaps one day the studio will re-examine it as a television series.

Similarly, Holly Black seemed to like the film also:

I liked it a ton. I thought Mark Waters did a great job directing and that Freddie Highmore and Sarah Bolger played the kids pitch-perfectly. They really seemed like the characters from the books. I was also extremely happy that the faeries seemed organic and a little bit frightening.

Is the Spiderwick Chronicles on Netflix?

Additionally, for those who want to watch The Spiderwick Chronicles full movie online, you are lucky. This movie is available on Netflix.

So here it is, the mystery of why  Spiderwick 2 was never filmed is solved. However, there are lots of complimentary books in this series, do you think they would work as a sequel?

Take a look at what happened to the Eragon films. And in case you want to read this series take a look at this post with the Spiderwick books in order.

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Eragon film

Will there be Eragon 2? let’s find out!

Ever wondere what happened to the Eragon film series? An adaptation of the first novel of The Inheritance Cycle,  a young adult high fantasy series written by American author Christopher Paolini. However, there was never a sequel, Eragon 2 never saw the light. Why did the Eragon movie fail?

The novels focus on the adventures of a teenage boy named Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, as they struggle to overthrow the evil king Galbatorix.  Set in the fictional world of Alagaësia. A book series that has sold over 33.5 million copies worldwide.

But in this article, we are not going to focus on The Inheritance Cycle but on the movie adaptations. A lot of questions to be answered, will there be Eragon 2? why were the sequels not released? or why did Eragon film fail? it’s time to answer all those questions

If you want to start reading the books so you can know how this series ends you can take a look at this post with the Eragon series in order.

🎞️ A bit of info about the Eragon film

Eragon was released as a film in 2006 and was directed by Stefen Fangmeier. The main role was played by Ed Speleers, while the Eragon cast included major stars as  Jeremy Irons, Sienna Guillory, Robert Carlyle, Djimon Hounsou. Additionally, Rachel Weisz was the voice of Saphira.

Fox filmed Eragon in locations of Hungary and Slovakia and this movie was covering the events occurring in the first book of The Inheritance Cycle. The two next books in the series, Eldest and Brisingr, were going to be shooted back-to-back; however, as we all know, the Eragon sequels were not filmed.

The film had a budget of $100 million,  which is a standard amount for this kind of fantasy movies. The Eragon movie grossed a75 million in the USA and $173.9 million in the rest of the world,  grossing $249 million worldwide.

🐉 Will Eragon 2 movie be released?

No, this planned franchise was canceled so there are no plans to release Eragon 2. Eragon’s sequels were already programmed but given the bad results of the first Eragon movie, they were not even filmed.

But, where the numbers of the Eragon film that bad? Looks like the movie managed to recoup its budget at least, they why there weren’t any Eragon sequels? Let’s go deeper.

🎥 Why did Eragon film fail?

One of the reasons the movie failed is simple: Eragon film was significantly different from the original story. Was this well-received by the book fans and the critics? time for some reviews:

Tomatometer: 16%. So far the lowest score of all the movies we have analyzed.

Metacritic: 38.

Lots of aspects of the movie were the reason for its failure:

As said before, one of the main aspects, why this film flopped, was because the plot was drastically different from the book. This implied not showing major events of the books, excluding some races such as the dwarfs. Also, some minor issues that for some reasons were changed in the adaptation such as Sapphira’s scales being blue, Arya not looking like an elf…

The special effects were not good either, not for a movie released in 2006 at least. Let’s not forget that Jurassic Park was released more than a decade before Eragon and still the T-Rex looks way more real than Saphira.

As a result, the movie was not well received by both fans and critics and the sequels were canceled. True, the movie seemed to recoup its production budget, but let’s not forget marketing and distribution costs are not included in such numbers, so maybe such thing plus the bad reception made the producers made such a drastic decision as canceling Eragon films.

Will Eragon movie be remade?

It has been speculated more than once that Eragon will have a reboot, Christopher Paolini was also asked about his thoughts to redo the Eragon movie and start a new franchise, these were his words:

If I knew, I’d tell you. Let’s just say there have been a few inklings of interest in Hollywood, but Hollywood being Hollywood, it could be a long time before we get a reboot. Or it could happen tomorrow.

Also, he said that if Eragon had a reboot he would retain some control over the direction of the movie:

You bet. I would write the script, produce, etc. (Assuming my other projects let me the time, of course.)

So, Is it possible that Eragon films will be rebooted? Seems so, but this will depend on Hollywood studios.

How does the author Christopher Paolini feel about the Eragon film?

Christopher Paolini said the following about his feelings regarding the film of Eragon:

“Heh. Well, I’m glad it was made, since so few books ever get made into movies, and it introduced millions of new readers to the Inheritance Cycle. That said, the movie reflects the studio and the director’s view of the story, whereas the books reflect mine, and everyone is free to enjoy them on their own merits.” See full answer in his blog.

Seems like we discovered the reason behind Eragon’s film failure! Do you want Eragon to be rebooted? comment and say hi! If you like to know about other movie adaptation that went wrong, check this post where we answer why did they stop making Percy Jackson movies .

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why did they stop making narnia movies

Why did they stop making narnia movies

If you keep wondering what happened to the Narnia movies you will find the answer here, we will talk what made this adaptation to flop so hard despite being based on such a great series. Want to know Why did they stop making Narnia movies? keep reading to find out!

The Chronicles of Narnia is a classic of children’s literature. Its movie adaptation was produced by Walden Media and Walt Disney Pictures (except for the last film), but of the seven books of this series, only three of them were adapted into movies. Why? This is what happened to The Chronicles of Narnia movies:

It is a best seller series written by the British author Clive Staples Lewis. This series is composed of seven books, all of them published during the 50s. These books have sold over 100 million copies and have been translated into 46 languages.

This series takes place in Narnia, a magical place in which animals can talk and mythical beasts are real. The Chronicles of Narnia narrates the story of a group of children that are transported to Narnia, being called by the Lion Aslan so they can help to protect Narnia from evil.

How well did The Chronicles of Narnia movies do?

One might think that given that only three out of seven Narnia books were adapted into movies maybe their box office was not good and therefore they were not profitable. Was it that so? Let’s see how each of the Narnia box office performance:

  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005). Directed by: Andrew Adamson.  Budget: $180 million. Worldwide box office gross: $745 million.
  • Prince Caspian ( 2008)  . Directed by: Andrew Adamson. Budget: $225 million. Worldwide Box office gross: $419 million.
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010). Directed by:  Michael Apted . Budget: $155 million. Worldwide box office gross: $415 million.

The reviews

As you see, The Chronicles of Narnia movies did more than well at the theatres. Maybe it was because of the critical and public response? Word mouth is really important in this kind of movies, so let’s take a look:

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Rotten Tomatoes: 76% Metacritic: 75.

Prince Caspian: Rotten Tomatoes: 66% Metacritic: 62.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: Rotten Tomatoes: 49% Metacritic: 53

The scores are pretty good, even the last movie The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, has a somehow decent score. If it was neither a matter of grossing or public response how come the next installment, The Silver Chair, had never a movie adaptation?

Disney’s decision to dump Narnia films

While The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and its first sequel were co-produced by Walt Disney Pictures, this wasn’t so in the third movie. Disney decided not to coproduce the third movie in the series, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, this lose of interest was never fully explained, but Disney said it was due to budgetary and logistical reasons.

Why did Walt Disney decide not to finance The Voyage of the Dawn Treader?

This is just an assumption, but it may be a financial decision: just notice how the numbers of Prince Caspian are not so far from the box office gross achieved by the first movie. Specifically, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe grossed $291,710,957 in North America while  Prince Caspian grossed $141,621,490. Similarly, worldwide office gross of the prequel is way lower than the first one.

So maybe Disney had just seen this box office decrease as a warning and decided not to coproduce the second prequel. Were they right? Well, it is true that The Voyage of the Dawn Treader grossed $104 million in North America, but given that the worldwide box office gross worldwide was $415 million, the figures are only four million below its predecessor movie.

But if Warner coproduced the third movie why did they stop releasing Narnia movies?

In 2011, Walden Media’s contract of the series’ film rights expired in 2011. In 2013, The Mark Gordon Company acquired these rights and entered into an agreement with the C. S. Lewis Company to produce an adaptation of the next installment, The Silver Chair. It was not until 2017 when it was announced that Joe Johnston would be the director.

However, in October 2018, a different announcement was made: Netflix and the C. S. Lewis Company had made a multi-year agreement to develop a new series of film and TV adaptations of The Chronicles of Narnia. As a result, Narnia movies would not continue, The Silver Chair film has apparently been canceled instead having a tv adaptation.

So this is the story why Narnia movies were canceled, did you expect such an outcome? Don’t forget to comment!

If you liked this post, you will surely will like this post about why did they stop making percy jackson movies.

You can always read the books, here you have a list with all Narnia books in order.

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