12 Films That Changed the Endings of the Books They're Based On
In the months leading up to 'Gone Girl's' release, the press has obsessed over whether or not writer Gillian Flynn changed the ending of her book when adapting it for the big screen. Speculation about the supposed tweak inspired this gallery of movies based on books that have similar tweaks. The spoiler-phobic should proceed with caution.
'My Sister's Keeper' (2009)
This adaptation of Jodi Picoult's novel, about a cancer-stricken girl and her donor sister, was a modest hit. Fans of the book were nevertheless shocked by the filmmakers' decision to swap the two sisters' fates.
'The Scarlet Letter' (1995)
Nathaniel Hawthorne's tale of a 17th century adulteress became a textbook example of forced Hollywood endings: The film, a box office flop, let Hester Prynne (Demi Moore) run away with her lover, Dimmesdale (Gary Oldman).
'Jurassic Park' (1993)
This blockbuster is considerably kinder to the Jeff Goldblum and Richard Attenborough characters than the Michael Crichton bestseller ever was. More notably, at the end of the book, the dinosaur's island gets bombed into oblivion.
'The Notebook' (2004)
Nicholas Sparks' original novel closes with the elderly Noah and Ellie still alive and making their remaining days together count. The movie version gives their love story a bit more finality.
Alan Moore's graphic novel has a far-out conclusion, involving a gigantic squid-like monster in New York. This might have been hard to swallow in the film, so it was replaced by a more plausible disaster designed to frame one of the characters.
'Forrest Gump' (1994)
The changes between Winston Groom's novel and the Oscar-winning movie are legion. Standouts: In the book, not only does Jenny survive and marry another man, but Forrest also goes into space and is later kidnapped by cannibals(!).
'I Am Legend' (2007)
After destroying scores of vampires, the hero of Richard Matheson's story learns that these creatures have established a new civilization -- one he observes from his prison window while awaiting execution for his "crimes." Nothing remotely like this happens in the movie.
'The Shining' (1980)
Stanley Kubrick's film is an entirely different animal from Stephen King's book. If it were a more faithful adaptation, the Scatman Crothers character would have lived in the end -- and the Overlook Hotel would have been a pile of rubble.
Another Stephen King adaptation, but with fewer alterations. The big difference here is that, in King's book, the enslaved novelist only burns a phony version of his new book, 'Misery's Return,' not the actual manuscript as in the movie.
'Fight Club' (1999)
'Gone Girl' director David Fincher's first book-to-movie adaptation was 'Fight Club.' In the film, Fincher lets Tyler Durden's plans to set off bombs in the big city come to their fruition. No such luck in Chuck Palahniuk's novel.
Fans of 'The Silence of the Lambs' didn't know what to make of Thomas Harris' 1999 sequel, in which Clarice Starling and Hannibal Lecter run off together as lovers. The film version ends with a bit more animosity between the two, but keeps Dr. Lecter's infamous dinner menu intact.
'The Little Mermaid' (1989)
It's no surprise that Disney would throw out Hans Christian Andersen's original ending; his unnamed mermaid loses her prince to a human princess, and then she turns into foam. There aren’t any singing crabs, either.