There's nothing Hollywood loves more than existing IP—thus, the Oscars are historically adaptation-friendly. Last year, 50% of the Best Picture nominations were based on books and plays; in 2016, it was 63%. According to Adam Morgan at the Chicago Review of Books , on six separate occasions, 100% of the Best Picture nominees were based on books ( 1956 , 1959 , 1972 , 1980 , 1991 , and 1995 ). But this year, only two out of ten (20%) of the Best Picture nominees are adaptations. (A few literary snubs: Bones and All , She Said , Catherine Called Birdy , The Northman , and After Yang .) Why so little love? The powers that be said I don't need to actually answer this question—as I'm not, in fact, an expert—but I'm going to take a go at it anyway. 1. They're picking the wrong books to adapt. Of all the films that premiered in 2022 (and yes, I did a deep dive on Wikipedia, which will pay out in one sentence), a perplexing number of adaptations were based on not great books. There are so many to choose from ! Hollywood, call me. 2. They're not doing the source material justice. …and then there were the bad adaptations. See: Spiderhead , The Gray Man , Three Thousand Years of Longing , Persuasion , White Noise ( reviews are mixed on this one—I'm firmly a thumbs down), Firestarter (which got a whopping 10% on Rotten Tomatoes), Death on […]
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