10 great movies that surprisingly weren’t adapted from a book

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Today’s most successful movies that aren’t part of an already existing franchise are often based on popular books. While many books have great adaptations (or terrible adaptations), there are also great movies originally written as screenplays. Some authors even write the screen adaptation of their work themselves.

RELATED: 10 Authors Who Appeared In The Movie Adaptations Of Their Books

When writing the story directly for the screen, it allows the author to write the story in a way that it fits the medium, rather than having to stick to scenes from the book that might not fit well and potentially upset already existing fans. Most of the movies on IMDB’s Top 250 and Rotten Tomatoes’ Top 100 are based on books, but several surprising gems aren’t.

ten The Eighth Grade (2018) is not a young adult novel


Written and directed by comedian Bo Burnham, Eigth year addresses important topics such as mental illness, sexuality and consent. With a score of 99%, the film entered the Top 100 Rotten Tomatoes list and Burnham won the Writers Guild of America award for Best Original Screenplay. The film follows Kayla, played by Elsie Fisher, who tries her best to navigate eighth grade while dealing with anxiety and panic attacks. Burnham manages to leave the viewer unsure whether to laugh, cry, or cover their eyes in sheer embarrassment.

9 La La Land (2016) wins the awards


Sebastian and Mia dance in the movie La La Land

The Earth is an original screenplay and musical comedy written and directed by Damien Chazelle. The film follows Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, as an actress and jazz musician falling in love. Nominated for 14 Oscars, including Best Original Screenplay, The Earth won a total of six.

RELATED: 10 Best Movie Musicals, Ranked

Chazelle, also known for the film Whiplash, originally he struggled to get a studio to pick up the film the way he wanted until after the success of Whiplash when Summit Entertainment took over the project.


8 Baby Driver (2017) takes audiences on a ride


Baby, played by Ansel Elgort, is a getaway driver with severe tinnitus. baby driver, written and directed by Edgar Wright, takes the viewer on a wild ride through crime, violence and love, while listening to Baby’s carefully selected playlist. The music might not be something most people imagine coming from a book, but the restlessness baby goes through is a common theme in many novels. Although not nominated for any major writing awards, the film’s editing and sound mixing are spectacular and worth watching, earning it three Academy Award nominations in the sound and editing categories.


7 Django Unchained (2012) is an original tribute


Quentin Tarantino is known for writing original screenplays and casting the same actors in multiple films. Django Unchainedstarring Jamie Foxx as Django, is both written and directed by Tarantino and is a tribute to spaghetti westerns and the 1966 film Django, which was also an original screenplay. The film won two Oscars and was nominated for five in total: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role went to Cristoph Waltz and Best Writing, Original Screenplay went to Tarantino. The same two awards were won at the BAFTA Awards with multiple nominations.


6 The Hunt (2012) is worth the subtitles


Mads Mikkelsen as Lucas in The Hunt Jagten

This Danish film, known as Jagten in Danish, was written and directed by Thomas Vinterberg and stars Mads Mikkelsen, best known for the cult hit series Hannibal. The film won the Danish Robert Award for Best Original Screenplay, and Mikkelsen won several Best Actor awards.

RELATED: Hannibal And 9 Other Canceled Shows That Have Yet To Complete Their Stories

While many are intimidated by watching a foreign movie with subtitles, The hunt worth it with an IMDB score of 8.3 and a Rotten Tomatoes score of 93%. But beware, even if it’s great, it’s a heavy and heartbreaking film.


5 Marriage Story (2019) Have Different Happiness Forever


Imagine Kylo Ren and Black Widow married, with a child, but not really. In this Netflix-released film, written and directed by Noah Baumbach, Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver portray a married couple struggling through a compassionate divorce. The cast’s incredible performance takes the viewer headfirst into one of the many ways love and marriage can unfold, and it’s hard to imagine the raw emotions portrayed in the film aren’t from ‘a book. The film was nominated for six Oscars, including Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture of the Year.


4 Us (2019) is not for the whole family


Written and directed by Jordan Peele, also known for Come out, we is the terrifying story of a family confronting their menacing doppelgangers. Horror films rarely focus on the quality of the writing but rather on the atmosphere and feel of the films.

RELATED: Every Stephen King Film Adaptation To Look Forward To

For this reason, horror movies aren’t often praised for their writing. Corn We still has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 93% and has won several awards for its outstanding performance. The film received praise for its direction, but Lupita Nyong’o’s performance as the title character is the biggest draw.




3 Good Will Hunting (1997) Hunting for a Better Future


Robin Williams and Matt Damon in search of goodwill

Written by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon and directed by Gus Van Sant, Goodwill hunting is a movie everyone should have watched by now. Nominated for nine Academy Awards, the film won well-deserved Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor. Goodwill hunting deals with important themes such as child abuse, trauma, recovery. His characters learn to forgive everyone, including themselves. The movie left the world a better place with the famous quote “I gotta go see a girl.


2 Inception (2010) Fly into the world of dreams


Christopher Nolan wrote and directed Creation, and produced it with his wife Emma Thomas. The film is shot in six different countries and takes the viewer on a mind-blowing heist into the subconscious with Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead. Creation was nominated for eight Oscars, including Best Original Screenplay, but lost the award to The King’s Speech (based on historical events). It did, however, win four more Oscars. The collective efforts of the cast and crew earned the film #13 on IMDB’s Top 250.


1 Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) For Readers Worldwide


Han Solo, Princess Leia Organa and Luke Skywalker aboard the Death Star in Star Wars: A New Hope

Written and directed by George Lucas, it may surprise more than one than the original star wars The film is not based on a book but was written for the screen. With an incredibly detailed and expansive world, it’s hard to imagine that star wars was not based on a book. Granted, since then the franchise has expanded into all mediums, including novels and comics, and now covers nearly every format a fan could want. Star Wars is the biggest non-book and non-comic movie franchise.

NEXT: 5 Authors Who Hated The Movie Adaptations Of Their Books (& 5 Who Loved Them)


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