I am a lover of most of these films listed below – Christian Bale OUCH!). And I’ve always heard about Stephen King’s disgust at The Shining. But some of these movies come as a surprise – if not shock. For example, Clockwork Orange. I realize that it is a strange but fascinating movie. And to think Anthony Burgess didn’t like the film surprises me because the book was harder to understand, and not quit as entertaining.
But that’s just me.
I grew up loving Mary Poppins and Willy Wonka and it would’ve broken my heart to know the author didn’t like these films. Here goes. 11 films that the authors did not like.
Author P.L. Travers thought Disney’s “Mary Poppins” was a complete slap in the face.
Despite having script approval, Travers’ edits were largely disregarded. Travers loathed the movie’s animated sequences and was perturbed that Mary Poppins’ strict side was downplayed.
After some heated meetings, Travers reluctantly approved. She would have been shunned from the star-studded premiere had she not shamed a Disney exec into an invite.
The 65-year-old Travers spent most of the movie crying and ultimately refused to let Disney touch the rest of the series.
Anne Rice said Tom Cruise was “no more my vampire Lestat than Edward G. Robinson is Rhett Butler,” in “Interview with the Vampire“
The casting was “so bizarre,” she said, “it’s almost impossible to imagine how it’s going to work.”
When she saw the movie, however, she actually loved Cruise’s portrayal and told him what an impressive job he had done. She still hasn’t come around to liking Queen of the Damned, though, telling her Facebook fans to avoid seeing the film that “mutilated” her books.
Stephen King hated what Stanley Kubrick did to “The Shining“
“I’d admired Kubrick for a long time and had great expectations for the project, but I was deeply disappointed in the end result. … Kubrick just couldn’t grasp the sheer inhuman evil of The Overlook Hotel. So he looked, instead, for evil in the characters and made the film into a domestic tragedy with only vaguely supernatural overtones. That was the basic flaw: because he couldn’t believe, he couldn’t make the film believable to others.”
He was also unhappy with Jack Nicholson’s performance – King wanted it to be clear that Jack Torrance wasn’t crazy until he got to the hotel and felt that Nicholson made the character crazy from the start.
With director Mick Garris, King ended up working on another version of The Shining that aired on ABC in 1997.
Not only did Anthony Burgess dislike the movie based on his novella A Clockwork Orange, he later regretted writing any of it in the first place.
“The book I am best known for, or only known for, is a novel I am prepared to repudiate: written a quarter of a century ago, a jeu d’esprit knocked off for money in three weeks, it became known as the raw material for a film which seemed to glorify sex and violence,” said Burgess. “The film made it easy for readers of the book to misunderstand what it was about, and the misunderstanding will pursue me till I die. I should not have written the book because of this danger of misinterpretation.”
Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt tales have a cult following. Dirk Pitt movies don’t, especially 2005’s Sahara starring Matthew McConaughey and Penelope Cruz.
In fact, it was a certified flop: the $145 million production made just $68 million at the box office. Cussler said it was because the producer failed to give him total script control as agreed upon and sued for $38 million. He lost.
In fact, Cussler was ordered to pay $13.9 million for legal fees incurred by the Sahara production company. Though that order was overturned in 2010, it’s safe to say that Cussler probably won’t be pursuing that relationship again.
By the way, the other Dirk Pitt movie adaptation, Raise the Titanic!, was also an epic stinker and was even nominated for the first ever Golden Raspberry Award (in multiple categories). Despite having the star presence of Oscar winners Jason Robards and Alec Guinness, the movie made back less than 20 percent of its $40 million budget.
My Foolish Heart author, J.D. Salinger says, “There’s a reason no one has ever seen a big-screen version of Catcher in the Rye or Franny and Zooey.”
In the late ‘40s, J.D. Salinger consented to have his short story Uncle Wiggly in Connecticut made into a movie retitled My Foolish Heart. He was so mortified by the swooning love story that he swore his works would never be butchered again.
American Psycho author, Bret Easton Ellis, doesn’t think any of the film adaptations of his books are that great (save for maybe The Rules of Attraction), but he dislikes some more than others.
Though he worked on 2009’s The Informers, he says, “That movie doesn’t work for a lot reasons but I don’t think any of those reasons are my fault.”
And Ellis believes American Psycho never should have happened: “American Psycho was a book I didn’t think needed to be turned into a movie. I think the problem with American Psycho was that it was conceived as a novel, as a literary work with a very unreliable narrator at the center of it and the medium of film demands answers. It demands answers. You can be as ambiguous as you want with a movie, but it doesn’t matter — we’re still looking at it. It’s still being answered for us visually. I don’t think American Psycho is particularly more interesting if you knew that he did it or think that it all happens in his head. I think the answer to that question makes the book infinitely less interesting.”
Author Roald Dahl hated Gene Wilder’s “Willy Wonka” so much he refused a sequel to “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” ever be made.
Roald Dahl felt the movie version of his book was “crummy.” Dahl found Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka to be “pretentious” and “bouncy,” and thought the director had “no talent or flair.” He vowed that film producers would never get their hands on the sequel, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, to similarly ruin it … at least not in his lifetime.
Despite the fact that “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” swept the Academy Awards – it won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Screenplay – author Ken Kesey was not impressed.
Kesey was originally slated to help with the production, but left two weeks into the process. Though he claimed for a long time that he didn’t even watch it and was especially upset that they didn’t keep the viewpoint of Chief Bromden, his wife later said that he was glad the movie was made.
Richard Matheson has been annoyed with the adaptations of his book I Am Legend since 1964.
The first one, The Last Man on Earth, starred Vincent Price. “I was disappointed in The Last Man on Earth, even though they more or less followed my story. I think Vincent Price, whom I love in every one of his pictures that I wrote, was miscast. I also felt the direction was kind of poor.”
Another version, The Omega Man, starred Charlton Heston. “The Omega Man was so removed from my book that it didn’t even bother me,” Matheson said.
And when I Am Legend starring Will Smith was announced, the author commented, “I don’t know why Hollywood is fascinated by my book when they never care to film it as I wrote it.”
The most recent adaptation, by the way, completely changed Matheson’s ending because it didn’t test well with audiences.
“Forrest Gump” author Winston Groom was unhappy the Hollywood version omitted plot points.
Note to filmmakers: don’t anger the author of the book before the sequel has been written. Winston Groom started the sequel to “Forrest Gump” with the lines, “Don’t never let nobody make a movie of your life’s story,” and “Whether they get it right or wrong, it don’t matter.”
You can’t blame Groom for being mad: he sued for the 3% net profits his contract promised him, which he hadn’t received because producers claimed that by the time they took out production costs and advertising and promotional costs, the movie didn’t turn a profit.
And on that note!
John Travolta declined to play the lead in “Forrest Gump.”
Role was played by: Tom Hanks
Yes, John Travolta declined to run across America and deliver one of movies most well-known lines. Travolta later admitted passing on “Forrest Gump” was a mistake.
The actor turned down two other films in which Tom Hanks was later cast: “Splash” and “Apollo 13.”
Travolta also passed on a number of roles that went to Richard Gere including, “Days of Heaven,” “American Gigolo,” “An Officer and a Gentleman,” and “Chicago.”
Want more actors who turned down roles? CHECK THAT OUT HERE.
- How Burgess classic ‘A Clockwork Orange’ was tagged ‘enormous flop’ (independent.co.uk)
- Longer Cut of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining on its Way to the UK (dreadcentral.com)