Adaptations give filmmakers an opportunity to retell pre-loved stories. Over 50 per cent of all Hollywood films have been adapted from different materials. In an industry that is more capable than ever before, why is it that more and more adaptations feel so tired?

Film adaptations are nothing new; they’ve been around for a while now. The first recorded adaptation was Georges Méliès’ Cinderella in 1899. Over the years they have produced many successful films, 70 per cent of the highest-grossing films are adaptations.

For the audience, they provide a chance to see beloved characters visualised and rethought on the big screen.

For the film studio, adaptations are safe. They come with a fully-fledged story as well as an interested audience. This means that they are almost guaranteed to make their money. Realistically, that is all they have to care about; money makes the world go round, as they say, and these films make a lot of it. On average, adaptations make 53 per cent more revenue than original screenplays. If adaptations are successful then what's the problem?

The problem is many are tired of seeing the same concept over and over again. There are so many redos and remakes it can be overwhelming. 

 Some argue that they are lazy, modern films feel copy-and-pasted just to produce a quick buck. Too often, projects are motivated by the bottom line rather than real passion for a project.

So then what makes a good adaptation? The main thing separating great films from the rest is passion. All of the most successful adaptations have a great respect for the original story, regardless of the interpretation. Take the 1995 film Clueless, for example. Written as a parody of Jane Austen's novel Emma, it provides a completely new perspective for the story despite being adapted to a modern-day setting. It is the fact that the original story was understood that the film has developed such a cult following.

Without adaptations, the film industry would be unrecognisable. It's nice for stories to feel familiar when we settle down to watch them. Adaptations are never bad so long as they are done well.

But it's important to be original as well. Tell stories from new angles or, better yet, write new ones. 

  • This article was written by Christopher Airiemiokhale, from Peter Symonds College, as part of Newsquest's Young Reporter scheme.