Movies take inspiration from a variety of sources, and books are probably the most common. However, sometimes a movie comes along and you think, “There’s no way this was based on a book.” Here are ten surprising movies based on books:
1. “Forrest Gump”
The original book, published in 1986, has a much more “adult” tone than the movie. Forrest is a much rougher, more sexual character, and goes on a lot more adventures than in the film, including to outer space with NASA.
2. “Die Hard”
The first movie in the franchise was actually based on a book sequel. The classic Bruce Willis action flick was based on Nothing Lasts Forever, the sequel to Roderick Thorp’s The Detective.
3. “Mrs. Doubtfire”
The book, called “Madame Doubtfire,” was a British story published in 1987. The movie followed the book very closely, though, in the original, the two oldest children always know their new nanny is really their father.
4. “The Parent Trap”
This movie has been made twice, but its first form was a German book called Lottie and Lisa: Das doppelte Lottchen.
One of the most famous mobster movies of all time was originally a nonfiction book called, Wiseguy, written by a crime reporter. The author, Nicholas Pileggi, worked on the script for the movie, as well.
6. “The Thing”
John Carpenter’s spooky alien movie has some very old source material. It’s based on a novella from 1938 called, Who Goes There?
7. “Mean Girls”
Tina Fey bought the rights to the non-fiction book Queen Bees & Wannabes, and somehow managed to turn it into an extremely quotable and popular movie starring Lindsay Lohan.
8. “First Blood”
Stallone’s famous first-installment of the Rambo franchise was based on the book First Blood, which has a very different ending but is otherwise very similar.
9. “How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days”
It’s hard to imagine a chick flick like this in printed form, but it was a non-fiction cartoon book whose full title was, How to Lose A Guy In 10 Days: The Universal Don’ts of Dating.
When screenwriter Charlie Kaufman was assigned this script, he had such trouble that he just ended up writing a bizarre alternate-reality story about the process of adapting “The Orchid Thief.”