Original works have goals and these goals are what needs to be achieved when going through that piece of media. Think of it as a moral. If the Tortoise is a sore winner towards the Hare after the race in a movie adaptation, is the moral still “slow and steady wins the race?”
The goals of each form of entertainment is different than the goal of the piece of fiction. A descriptive writer strives to implement a perfectly written description of a character’s looks so that every reader can accurately visualize what the writer intended. If a film or comic book is made based off the written work, the goal of having readers accurately depicting their characters is lost because the visual aspect of film and comics does it for them.
The goal of this film based off the descriptive writing could be to emphasize the story of the work, yes? Sure, but that shouldn’t be the case. Turning a book into a film should be to accurately represent the book, so if what makes the book what it is goes missing, what’s the point? If the author wanted emphasis on the characters and not the plot, the film should respect that, shouldn’t it?
Another argument could be the idea that the original creator’s work could be enhanced by today’s talent. I disagree with this. The only thing that can be enhanced is the availability or accessibility/translation of the work. These put it on the same level, only spreading its reach. A piece of fiction has its identity with who made it. If someone comes along and ‘enhances’ it, the name of the new person is on the cover or in the credits, so readers and watchers are aware of the new backbone behind the content, making it subconsciously feel different, even if the new author hypothetically perfectly recreates the original author’s style.
The person behind everything is synonymous with the project. It’s their story, their book, their film, their game, their content. Going back to Mr. Potter, the books never had a theme song until John Williams was hired to score the films. It enhances the film adaptations, but not the books. Novels are not Hallmark cards that sing you “Happy Birthday” when you open them (although that would be interesting to see). If the author didn’t include musical notation for a theme song to their book and cue it in with little notes in the margins, the music made for the films are disconnected from the books. This goes for the actors involved, any new artwork, anything made solely for an adaptation of the original is not enhancing the original unless the author made it, approved of it, or included it in the original publication.
Still, a remake could come out that fixes all the problems of the original. Besides enhancing visuals to coincide with modern technology or making the text available in other parts of the world through translations, a remake has new people working on it, again separating it from the original. Many things about it are deemed as new or based off an original. None of it will be the original.
Now what if someone wrote a book and then proceeded to direct a film based off their book? While it is not the original published work, it coincides with it, since the person in charge of each are the same. There will be two versions, being a book version and a film version. Both are true to themselves since the person behind it all oversees both.
Durham, Meenakshi Gigi., and Douglas Kellner. Media and Cultural Studies: Keyworks. Blackwell Publishers, 2001, https://we.riseup.net/assets/102142/appadurai.pdf.
The MIT Press. “Understanding Media.” The MIT Press, The MIT Press, https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/understanding-media.
(I don’t even know what I’m writing with this topic. I am going to talk about something else and do my entire 3000-word essay at once with that topic.)