We know that many television shows and movies are based on books. Love them or hate them hits like Twilight, Harry Potter, Gone Girl, True Blood, Game of Thrones, and many more were based on (or inspired by) the written word. However, there are so many more movies and television series that you have already seen, or could be currently binge watching, that are also based on books and you just do not know it. Here are some of the titles that I thought were the most interesting or surprising.
Pitch Perfect the film may have been based on Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate A Cappella Glory by Mickey Rapkin, a non-fiction book about a capella competitions, but I have to imagine that the movie version is much more audibly entertaining.
The movie Die Hard is based on Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp. The book was published in the late ’70s, and went out of print before the movie adaptation was released almost a decade later.
Shrek! by William Steig is a picturebook about an ogre who falls in love with an “ugly” princess, so part of the concept remained when the animated version of Shrek was made.
Forrest Gump by Winston Groom might have been changed a great deal in the film adaptation of Forrest Gump. However, the award-winning film certainly helped book sales.
Gordon Buford wrote Car, Boy, Girl in 1961, seven years before the first Herbie the Love Bug adaptation.
The Brave Little Toaster by Thomas M. Disch was a critically acclaimed science fiction novella long before it was turned into a beloved children’s movie, also named The Brave Little Toaster, it was nominated for both a Hugo Award and a Nebula Award.
The self-help book Queen Bees & Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman might not seem like the typical book to inspire a movie. However, it is what Mean Girls is based on.
Ted Hughes, former poet laureate of England, wrote a children’s book called The Iron Giant in 1968. The animated movie, also titled The Iron Giant, was released in 1999.
Jack Bickham wrote The Apple Dumpling Gang, a novel about orphans during the California gold rush. Disney adapted it into the classic The Apple Dumpling Gang with Don Knotts in 1975.
I know of a few more that were surprising, either because I did not know the book existed or because the adaptation so barely resembled the book that I could not recognize it. Are there any here that surprised you, and do you know of any more book to movie or television series adaptations that might be surprising? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments.