Hollywood Casting Directors Who Cast the Movies of Books They Don't Read

I am a reader.  The hubs is a movie watcher.  I majored in English.  He majored in Film.  I've never seen him read more than a headline on the newspaper or a caption under a photo.  I watch movies for pure entertainment.  I don't notice tricky camera angles.  I barely recognize great acting.  He thinks I'm a Neanderthal when it comes to my list of "great movies" (Star Wars is always number 1).  I think he's a rube and I secretly suspect he might not be able to read.

The only time I get persnickity about movies is when Hollywood takes a perfectly good book (with rabid followers like myself) and RUINS it with their casting choices.

Who read The DaVinci Code and imagined Tom Hanks!??  IMO Tom Hanks will always be Kip Wilson from "Bosom Buddies" and there is nothing he can do to change that.  He plays the same role over and over again only this time he's at the Vatican.  Now Kip's in space.  Kip is lonely and can't sleep in Seattle.  Now Kip is eating a box of chocolates.  YAWN!

Is Robert Pattinson ANYONE'S idea of the perfect Edward Cullen?  (Where are the muscles, Hollywood?   He took off his shirt in that one scene and I about puked.)  I don't know who they could have chosen, but just about ANYONE else would have been a better choice.  Edward is supposed to be smokin' hot and have a body to die for and a face that's so beautiful you can barely look at it.  I don't see any of that with Rob.  The only thing saving Rob is he has a great head of hair that you want to touch and a British accent.
Harry Potter was done pretty well.  J.K. must have been really involved and made sure the casting directors actually read her books.  You can do that when you're as powerful as J.K., I guess.  I never got used to Ginny though.  I don't know if there is a dearth of redheaded actresses in Hollywood/England, but I think they could have dyed someone's hair to have a better Ginny. She was not as cool as I imagined.

Now Hollywood is working on two of my favorite franchises:  The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and The Hunger Games.  So far I'm not UN-impressed with Tattoo's choices.  I like Daniel Craig.  I don't know enough about Rooney Mara yet, so the jury is still out on that one.  The Swedish versions were cast really well and I think Hollywood could learn a thing or two from them.

The Hunger Games is already ruined.  Katniss is clearly described as having olive skin.  She should be played by a Latina or a Native American actress.  Instead the blonde haired Jennifer Lawrence has been chosen.  WTH?   And don't get me started on the boys they chose for her love triangle.  ICK.  If I were Katniss and these are the two boys I get to choose from, I'd just stay in the Arena and take my chances with Tracker Jackers.  The only way these movies can be saved is if they cast Robert Downey, Jr. right now as Haymitch.  He's the only one.  They still have a chance to save this franchise.

Who am I kidding, though?  I own all the HP movies.  I brave the teeny-bopper crowds and see all the Twilight movies in the theatre (and yell like the old lady I am at the loud teeny-boppers to pipe down so I can hear Bella and Edward profess their love to one another).  I'm pretty excited about The Hunger Games coming to the big screen and no matter who they cast, I'll be there - bitching the entire time - but I'll be there.

I'm just asking that Hollywood stop looking at the big name actors and actresses and take a moment to read the damn books.  It will make your job easier and I would argue you'll make more money.  Look how big Twilight is.  Can you imagine how much bigger it could have been if you hadn't jacked it up with casting?!  If you'd picked the right Edward, I would have bought a poster (to hang in my closet where no one could see it of course) and I'm not the only Twi-Mom (or whatever you want to call me) who would do it.

22 comments:

XLMIC said...

So in agreement. It is borderline criminal. Especially Tom Hanks in DaVinci.

Whitney said...

Now, I am the queen of liking horrible movies, and probably books, too. Watched "My Sister's Keeper" again the other day and was again so pissed that they changed the ending so much. Does my opinion really even matter? Haven't seen a single movie that I like ever end up on the Oscars. I haven't checked, but I am sure the last "notable" book was probably required reading in high school - and even then, I bet I only read the Cliff's Notes.

Jen Piwtpitt said...

Exactly, Whitney! That bugs me too when they change the entire ending!! It was a great book, why do you need to change the ending now??

Kate said...

"I secretly suspect he might not be able to read" I am laughing SO hard right now. I'm a reader, too, but also majored in Theatre, so I dig good acting and great movies.

Anonymous said...

So true! I don't know that there has ever been a movie based on a book that I liked, if I read the book first. The things they change make me nuts. And when a character's appearance is an important theme in the book, is it REALLY that hard to stay true to it? Another case in point -- Alex Cross. How did anyone think that Morgan Freeman is the Alex Cross described in the book? Denzel Washington and Taye Diggs said no?

Anonymous said...

How about Katherine Hiegle (?) as Stephanie Plum?!? And the new Alex Cross is that guy that makes all of the Madea movies? Bad Bad Bad....

Caroline said...

Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher??? WTF!!!! Reacher is a foot taller than that little twerp, and crazy in a GOOD way.

Rebecca S. Johnson said...

Have to agree... ALMOST in total. However, I read The Help soon after it was published and ADORED that book. I recently rented the movie when it went to DVD and am SO happy to say they stuck to the book completely!! While (as always), the book was better and had much more detail (movie time limitations are to be blamed for that...), this was one of the best adaptations ever done, I think.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree!

When I was reading the Twilight books, I already knew Robert Pattinson was cast as Edward and he still wasn't how I pictured Edward in my mind.

M.Tracey said...

Totally Agree. The next one hitting the big screen is "One for the Money" ,part of the Stephanie Plum series..the casting as awful, who in their right minds casts a blue-eyed actor to portray an Italian with an over active libido and grew up in Jersey? Yes, I will be there bitching and whining and telling everyone to shhhhhhhhhh. Love the blog Jen!

Anonymous said...

I just saw Woody Harrelson is playing Haymitch.

Anonymous said...

My favorite example of this is 'The X-Wives Club.' In the book the chicks daughter had Downs Syndrome - it was a pretty big thing in the book. In the movie she was a lesbian!!?!??! Seriously, WTF!!! How did they even get away with that!?! Where was those excessive protesters from GLADD when the directors made a developmentally delayed person into a fully functioning lesbian? I couldn't even watch that slaughter. If they aren't going to follow the book, change the fucking title! Don't get my hopes up!

tamw said...

I'm another one that hates it when they do this. I also don't get why they change the story. They take a GREAT book that everyone loves, and they decide they can honor it by CHANGING the friggin plot??? WTF? I'm a rabid HP fan, and I think they actually did a pretty solid job on most of the movies, but some they really screwed up. Like in the sixth one, when they added a scene that NEVER happened (the Weasley's house burning) and then NEVER mentioned it again. When Ron's back at school, he's totally cool, like he doesn't even care that his house burned up. I guess you're supposed to think they just magicked it back together, but then why were they all upset about it burning up in the first place? They were all solemn and crying. I was baffled.

Anyway, I'm almost done, I know this is getting way too long. I can't leave a post on this topic without mentioning one last thing though. If you haven't read the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, check them out. They are awesome!!! (I saw you like Twilight and Hunger Games, so I figure you read YA--these are some of the best on the market!) So...read the books and then I'll have someone to be horrified with me that they cast Jamie Campbell Bower as Jace Wayland. WFT???? Even Cassandra Clare loved the casting, so I guess it's just me, but I think he's totally awful for the part. Okay. This time I'm really done. Sorry for making it so long!

tamw said...

Wow. That was embarrassingly long. Sorry!!

TraceyP said...

Like others mentioned, I get more upset about changing the storyline/plot more so than the casting. "P.S. I Love You" is perhaps the biggest offender IMO. I've pretty much given up on seeing any movie adapted from a book that I have read! I purposely didn't read The Help so I could actually enjoy the movie!

Although I do have to say that I never pictured Rachel McAdams as Allie in "The Notebook". I did not like how she played Allie AT ALL!

Stephanie said...

I have huge, HUGE issues with casting for these films. I could go into a rather lengthy diatribe on this... Robert Pattinson as Edward? No, no, no. Instead I'm going to mention who I think the worst offender is. Peter Facinelli as Carlisle. Really? I mean, really people? Carlisle is suppose to look like he's in his mid-twenties, right? He's supposed to look like a model! Peter Facinelli is the best they could do?

aupharmd said...

I have two movies in my head that perfectly personify these examples. Read nearly all the John Grisham books until I had children and had to give up reading anything beyond a 3rd grade level. Every movie made from one of his books was CRAP, EXCEPT: A Time to Kill. It was nearly perfect. All the rest, especially Tom Cruise and his stupid self, were CRAP! But Time to Kill -- they got right!!

Then there's Michael Crighton. Loved, loved, loved the book Jurassic Park. The nerd in me foamed at the mouth over all the chaos theory and how he made it interesting and a vital part of the book. The movie -- once again -- CRAP! CRAP on a stick!

Hollywood is stupid. Directors are stupid. Yet the make millions being stupid.

I'm starting to wonder--if they are making millions being stupid -- maybe we are the ones who are stupid for continuing to pay for their stupidity. Hmmm....???

Amanda said...

The biggest issue I have with the Twilight casting is Kristen Stewart. I didn't picture Bella nearly that miserable. She is akward and angsty, as teens do, but my god! It's overkill.

Saramather said...

I am mildly obsessed with Twilight, I read the entire box set in 3 days and I count down the days for the "next" movie to come out.. As much as I love Twilight, the acting, actors, scenery, and just about everything else SUCKS. Terribly.

Or how about The Lovely Bones? Amazing book. The movie was terrible and Mark Wahlberg was even in it. The boy who the main character loved was supposed to be a gorgeous Native boy but I must be the only person with eyes because he was ffuuuggglllyyy!

Stressin' Mommy said...

Kristen Stewart is the bane of my existence. I loved the books and she just hoses the whole deal with her constant "who just farted?" face.

AnaJ said...

I completely agree that Tom Hanks and Kristen Stewart was horrible casting!

Anonymous said...

I seriously wanted to walk out of the theater after only the first 2 minutes of Angels & Demons. I just really hate it when they change parts of books for no noticeable reason. I only sat through the movie so as no to feel like the theater robbed me. And I literally yelled once I we left the theater - I think I scared some people walking by...

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