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Page to Screen: “Dune: Part 2” demonstrates that all books can make great movies

Due to often being uninspired and cash-grabs movie adaptations of books have often caused controversy or complications with critics. But, how do some of the most successful book adaptations compare to this stereotype?

“Percy Jackson” Despite the commercial success of the 2010 adaptation of “Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief,” the movie failed to capture the same magic of its source material written by Rick Riordan. The characters in the 2010 adaptation are aged up, overall less developed, and heartwarming, making it seem less whimsical when they first enter the world of the gods. The film trades the book’s suspenseful and scary tone for a more humorous one, making the film forgettable and leaving audiences asking for more. 

“Maze Runner” The 2014 adaptation of “Maze Runner” is mediocre compared to its source material written by James Dashner. While the movie is tolerable, evidenced by grossing $348 million worldwide, it fails to adapt the characters and plot well. The book develops characters’ relationships, making them feel more human and complex, while the movie excludes many of the scenes that offer insight into the creation of the maze. The messy plot skips big or character-defining moments, making the film bland and unremarkable.

“Jurassic Park” Despite the original 1993 film’s huge popularity and influence since its creation, many viewers don’t know the story’s origin as a novel by Michael Crichton. Without reading the book, a viewer might think the movie is excellent, and indeed, it’s a good movie. However, the book is far more complex and interesting, diving into the main cast and the science behind not only the creation of the dinosaurs but also how the park works. Furthermore, the book dives into governments’ opinions on the dinosaurs and their escaping which is mostly out of the scope of the movie. Even though the movie is good, the book is far better, especially for fans of science fiction.

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“Dune” and “Dune: Part 2” may be the most influential science fiction book to date, “Dune” by Frank Herbert is a lengthy and nuanced novel that has often been considered unadaptable to film. Part of the reason Dune is so difficult to adapt is the scope of the story featuring the grandeur of the galaxy-spanning emperor while featuring minute and unreplicable details such as internal thoughts, feelings, and visions. but the most recent Dune movies proved it can be adapted well. “Dune: Part 1” streamlined the plot to only include the most important moments, while still exploring the weird and interesting parts of the world. “Dune: Part 2” improved upon its counterpart, cutting huge parts of the book while satisfying fans and general audiences. The movies excel at being impactful featuring tense and incredible scenes partly helped by the amazing VFW. Combined, the two movies grossed almost 900 million dollars–so far.

Dune isn’t only a demonstration of a good movie, or that book can be done right. It showcases that audiences want movies that have thought and care put into them. Movies based on books aren’t inherently bad or cash grabs as they may seem based on their prior track record, but they need just as much effort to do well as any other movie.

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About the Contributors
Dylan Keyes, staff writer
Dylan is a junior at Loudoun County High School and this is his first year working for the newspaper. He hopes to write about things that are not commonly seen in The County Chronicle.
Berek Harrison, staff writer

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