Worst Movie Adaptations of Books in History
Hollywood has been adapting books into movies since people started going to movies. Our favorite works of fiction, nonfiction and graphic novels have been turned into Oscar winners, box-office hits, and our favorite films.
But it doesn't always go like that. Anyone who is an avid reader and loves movies has experienced the disappointment of seeing a great book twisted into something unrecognizable. The movies are so bad they tarnish the memory of a great book forever.
These are the worst movie adaptations of books of all time.
Honorable Mention: Interview with the Vampire
Book: "Interview with the Vampire" by Anne Rice
Director: Neil Jordan
Starring: Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Chrisitan Slater, Geoffrey Rush, Antonio Banderas, Kirsten Dunst
Budget: $60 million
Box office: $223.7 million
Release date: Nov. 11, 1994
Bottom Line: Interview with the Vampire
The blowback from casting Tom Cruise in the coveted role of Lestat was enormous but upon further viewings, it may have been his costar, Brad Pitt, who was miscast.
The real tragedy from all of this was that they never got to make a movie out of Anne Rice's sequel to "Interview." The far superior "The Vampire Lestat" would have been an epic ride.
The problem with the adaptation isn't Cruise at all. He's actually very good. The problem is with Pitt and with Neil Jordan's direction coming off the ultra-serious "The Crying Game" in 1992.
Should It Be Remade?: Interview with the Vamprie
Almost 30 years after the release of the film and one year after the death of Anne Rice, we are finally getting another version of "Interview with the Vampire" thanks to an 8-episode series from the AMC Network. AMC bought the rights to all of Rice's "Vampire Chronicles" novels in 2020.
The new series stars Australian actor Sam Reid as Lestat and Jacob Anderson as Louis — Anderson played Grey Worm on HBO's "Game of Thrones."
Book: "Watchmen" By Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (1985)
Director: Zack Snyder
Starring: Malin Akerman, Billy Crudup, Matthew Good, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Patrick Wilson, Jackie Earle Haley, Carla Gugino
Budget: $140 million
Box office: $185.3 million
Release date: March 6, 2009
Bottom Line: Watchmen
Zack Snyder's version of the classic graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons ended up being an almost shot-for-shot faithful remake of one of the most beloved works of fiction of all time.
Therein lies the problem. Snyder went through such pains to create this beautiful, lush world for the silver screen. Then he changed the ending.
It's hard to convey the disappointment of sitting through almost three hours of good-to-pretty-great adaptation to be denied the giant intergalactic squid we all deserved at the end.
Should It Be Remade?: Watchmen
It was remade — beautifully — into an HBO series starring Regina King, Jeremy Irons and Yahya Abdul-Mateen in 2019 that for sheer entertainment purposes alone might be the best single season of any show outside of "Game of Thrones" in the last decade.
29. The Green Mile
Book: "The Green Mile" by Stephen King (1996)
Director: Frank Darabont
Starring: Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan, David Morse, Bonnie Hunt, Doug Hutchinson, Sam Rockwell, Barry Pepper, Patricia Clarkson, Harry Dean Stanton
Budget: $60 million
Box office: $268.8 million
Release date: Dec. 10, 1999
Bottom Line: The Green Mile
This box-office smash isn't the only Stephen King adaptation to make the list, and we hear you when you say it's not a bad movie.
Here's the problem, though. It's 190 minutes long. That's three hours and 10 minutes for those of you counting at home.
Frank Darabont deserved another shot at making a movie out of a King novel after what he did with "The Shawshank Redemption," but this was just a ridiculous ask of moviegoers, who responded by not going to Darabont's movies anymore.
See how that works?
Should It Be Remade?: The Green Mile
Absolutely 100 percent yes "The Green Mile" should be remade into a television series. While Stephen King already does most of the heavy lifting by thinking up the plot and all the characters, just follow him one more step, Dear Reader. When "The Green Mile" was originally published in 1996 in serial versions, King did so in six serialized volumes published monthly between March to August before the complete book version was released.
28. The Beach
Book: "The Beach" by Alex Garland
Director: Danny Boyle
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Virginie Ledoyen, Tilda Swinton, Robert Carlyle
Budget: $50 million
Box office: $144.1 million
Release date: Feb. 11, 2000
Bottom Line: The Beach
It's pretty incredible that two artists as talented as Leonardo DiCaprio and Danny Boyle made such a stinker out of such a great book. But it still made a ton of money.
This was DiCaprio's first leading role in two years following "Titanic" and after several high-profile roles fell through for a variety of reasons, including the lead role in "American Psycho" with Oliver Stone attached as a director and "The Godfather Part IV" in which DiCaprio would have played a young Sonny Corleone.
"The Beach" author Alex Garland went on to show he's a great director in his own right with movies like "Ex Machina" and "Annihilation."
Should It Be Remade?: The Beach
Alex Garland's career has gone just fine, as has Danny Boyle's. It's been long enough that the movie came out that some hack could probably take a shot at making a TV series out of "The Beach" but we hope not.
Book: "Dune" by Frank Herbert
Director: David Lynch
Starring: Kyle MachLachlan, Sean Young, Patrick Stewart, Sting, Max Von Sydow, Dean Stockwell, Brad Dourif, Linda Hunt, Jurgen Prochnow, Virginia Madsen
Budget: $40 million
Box office: $31 million
Release date: Dec. 14, 1984
Bottom Line: Dune
Frank Herbert wrote one of the greatest sci-fi novels of all time with "Dune." And Hollywood's struggles to adapt it over the years have been as legendary as the book itself.
With David Lynch's 1984 attempt to make "Dune," we got half of a movie essentially. The first hour is as good as most sci-fi films, but due to budget constraints and pressures from the studio, Lynch was pushed off the project, and the second half of the movie isn't very good and borders on schtick actually. And that ending. Woof.
Should It Be Remade?: Dune
"Dune" got its third adaptation in 2021 with director Denis Villeneuve's version, which just encompassed the first half of Herbert's novel and official name was "Dune: Part One" and starred Timothee Chalamet as Paul Atreides.
"Dune: Part One" was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and brought home six wins. "Dune: Part Two" is scheduled for release on Nov. 17, 2023.
Book: "Jarhead" by Anthony Swofford
Director: Sam Mendes
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard, Jamie Foxx, Lucas Black
Budget: $75 million
Box office: $97.1 million
Release date: Nov. 4, 2005
Bottom Line: Jarhead
"Jarhead" has been given a second life thanks to four sequels that have zero to do with the original novel on which the first movie was based.
This movie seemed like it was sure to haul in a fair share of Oscar nominations when it was announced — an Academy Award-winning director in Sam Mendes, an Academy Award-winning actor in Jamie Foxx (in a supporting role) and one of Hollywood's hottest up-and-coming stars in Jake Gyllenhaal.
It's hard to put your finger on why "Jarhead" isn't a great movie, but if we're going to venture a guess, it's the same reason the book is so great. It's about the meandering existence of an enlisted military man. Not exactly ideal for a three-act structure.
Should It Be Remade?: Jarhead
We would normally say a groundbreaking novel like "Jarhead" was something that seems primed for our current era of peak TV ... but those mindless sequels have sucked the novelty out of the idea. No remake.
25. John Carter
Book: "A Princess of Mars" by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Director: Andrew Stanton
Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Samantha Morton, Mark Strong, Dominic West, Ciaran Hinds, Willem Dafoe, James Purefoy
Budget: $306 million
Box office: $284 million
Release date: March 9, 2012
Bottom Line: John Carter
If you want to know where almost all of the modern superhero tropes we love so much come from, look no further than Edgar Rice Burroughs' series of "John Carter of Mars" novels that came out in the early 1900s. The first one was called "A Princess of Mars," and it is the basis of this film.
Which leads us to the biggest question of all — why in the world would they just call this movie "John Carter" and not some variation on Burroughs' titles?
In the end, this was one of the most expensive movies ever made, with a reported price tag of $350 million, which it didn't even make back at the worldwide box office.
For comparison, "The Avengers" came out the same year at a cost of around $300 million and made $1.5 billion at the box office.
Should It Be Remade?: John Carter
Not only do we think this movie should be remade but we'd be willing to bet Disney takes another run at this property as a television series sometime in the next few years — if it's not in the works already. With multiple novels and the opportunity to cast the John Carter role ... could be big.
24. The Girl on the Train
Book: "The Girl on the Train" by Paula Hawkins
Director: Tate Taylor
Starring: Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Justin Theroux, Haley Bennett, Luke Evans, Allison Janney, Edgar Ramirez, Lisa Kudrow
Budget: $50 million
Box office: $173.2 million
Release date: Oct. 7, 2016
Bottom Line: The Girl on the Train
Such a great book. Such a bad movie.
We couldn't buy tickets quick enough when we heard the potboiler "The Girl on the Train" was being made into a movie starring Emily Blunt, which seemed like perfect casting.
The real fault here lies in the hands of director Tate Taylor ("The Help"), who showed zero signs he could handle a thriller in any of his previous outings. Blunt is a great enough actress that she almost makes up for it and saves the movie, which was a box-office hit.
Should It Be Remade?: The Girl on the Train
The five-year stretch from 2015 to 2020 was when we can directly point to Hollywood shifting from theatrical release movies as the first, best and only option for literary hits like "The Girl on the Train" to streaming services becoming king.
Released in 2016, it's not too hard to see how much better this particular book would've translated to a TV series instead of jamming all of that plot into a movie. Probably too soon to do it but would be really cool to see someone take a shot at this down the road.
23. Memoirs of a Geisha
Book: "Memoirs of a Geisha" by Arthur Golden
Director: Rob Marshall
Starring: Zhang Ziyi, Ken Watanabe, Michelle Yeoh, Koji Yakusho, Kaori Mmoi, Gong Li
Budget: $85 million
Box office: $162.2 million
Release date: Dec. 9, 2005
Bottom Line: Memoirs of a Geisha
You're not going to see many Academy Award winners on this list, but here we go. "Memoirs of a Geisha" was nominated for six Academy Awards in 2006 and won three, for Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design.
"Geisha" makes the list because of its cultural appropriation — in this case casting Chinese women in the main roles of Japanese women.
It was enough of a controversy that it overshadowed the movie's release, and the movie itself seemed to lack the heart that was such a key part of Arthur Golden's novel.
Should It Be Remade?: Memoirs of a Geisha
We're good on this remake never happening but if Michelle Yeoh can get an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for "Everything Everywhere All At Once" that would be phenomenal. Thanks in advance.
22. The Golden Compass
Book: "Northern Lights" by Phillip Pullman
Director: Chris Weitz
Starring: Dakota Blue Richards, Nicole Kidman, Daniel Cdraig, Sam Elliott, Eva Green, Ian McKellen, Ian McShane, Freddie Highmore, Kathy Bates, Kristin Scott Thomas
Budget: $180 million
Box office: $372.2 million
Release date: Dec. 7, 2007
Bottom Line: The Golden Compass
It's never a good sign when a movie that makes almost $200 million over its budget at the box office doesn't get a sequel, but that's what happened to "The Golden Compass," which was based on the "His Dark Materials" series of novels by Phillip Pullman.
The reason no sequel was ever green-lit was because making almost $200 million wasn't near enough of a return on investment for the studios involved. The movie cost almost $200 million to make.
Should It Be Remade?: The Golden Compass
The books were remade into an equally boring HBO television series called "His Dark Materials" with the first two seasons released in 2019 and 2020 and a third and final series set to be released in Nov. 2022.
21. The Deep End of the Ocean
Book: "The Deep End of the Ocean" by Jacquelyn Mitchard
Director: Ulu Grosbard
Starring: Mchelle Pfeiffer, Treat Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, Jonathan Jackson
Budget: $38 million
Box office: $28.1 million
Release date: March 12, 1999
Bottom Line: The Deep End of the Ocean
Maybe it speaks to how big a star Michelle Pfeiffer was during the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s that this movie got made for almost $40 million. We dare you to try and tell the difference between this and any run-of-the-mill Lifetime Movie of the Week.
That shouldn't be taken as a knock on Lifetime MOTWs, either. Because some of them are very good. So how'd this one get made? The power of Oprah Winfrey. It was the first book ever selected by her book club.
Should It Be Remade?: The Deep End of the Ocean
Totally unnecessary. No thanks.
20. Black Dahlia
Book: "The Black Dahlia" by James Ellroy
Director: Brian De Palma
Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Josh Hartnett, Scarlett Johansson, Hilary Swank
Budget: $50 million
Box office: $49.3 million
Release date: Sept. 15, 2006
Bottom Line: Black Dahlia
Brian De Palma pushed the envelope in Hollywood for 30 years before the failure of "The Black Dahlia" proved to be the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak. The venerated director of classics like "The Untouchables" and "Scarface" hasn't had another film financed in the studio system since.
The sad thing about it is that when "Dahlia" focuses on the female leads it's a fairly entrancing film. When it turns to the two male leads, Josh Hartnett and Aaron Eckhart, it gets bad.
This wasn't just the final straw for De Palma. "Dahlia" also represented Hartnett's last gasp at being an A-List actor.
Should It Be Remade?: Black Dahlia
Since there's a wealth of material out there about the Black Dahlia murders the need for a specific remake of Ellroy's novel probably isn't needed — TNT made a television series called "I Am the Night " starring Chris Pine that dealt with a lot of the same subject manner.
19. All the Pretty Horses
Book: "All the Pretty Horses" by Cormac McCarthy
Director: Billy Bob Thornton
Starring: Matt Damon, Henry Thomas, Lucas Black, Penelope Cruz
Budget: $57 million
Box office: $18.1 million
Release date: Dec. 25, 2000
Bottom Line: All the Pretty Horses
In one of the more famous cases of a movie being ripped away from its director by the studio, convicted sex offender and former Miramax studio head Harvey Weinstein wrenchd control of "All the Pretty Horses" from director Billy Bob Thornton.
In Thornton's camp over the years has been the movie's star, Matt Damon, who thinks it could have been one of the best movies he ever made had Weinstein not interfered.
What we got, instead, was a bland version of one of Cormac McCarthy's most beloved novels that seemed to have little connection to the book on which it was based.
Should It Be Remade?: All the Pretty Horses
We've had plenty of great Cormac McCarthy adaptations since the disaster that was the film release of "All the Pretty Horses," including "No Country for Old Men," which won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2008. "Horses" is just fine staying where it is for now.
18. The Lovely Bones
Book: "The Lovely Bones" by Alice Sebold
Director: Peter Jackson
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Saoirise Ronan, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci, Michael Imperioli
Budget: $65 million
Box office: $93.6 million
Release date: Dec. 11, 2009
Bottom Line: The Lovely Bones
There's something to be said for when a director knows to stay in their lane. It was a lesson Peter Jackson was never going to learn following the success of the original "Lord of the Rings" trilogy in the early 2000s.
Jackson thought he could do anything after winning Best Director for "The Return of the King," including adapting Alice Sebold's beloved novel, which ended up being an uneven disaster.
In Jackson's defense, he was thrown for a bit of a loop when the movie's lead, Ryan Gosling, showed up 60 pounds overweight and with a beard — changes he'd made for the role but hadn't bothered to discuss with Jackson. He was fired and replaced with Mark Wahlberg.
Should It Be Remade?: The Lovely Bones
It's probably too soon to go back to this source material but if "The Lovely Bones" ever gets shopped around Hollywood again we can almost 100 percent say it would be as a streaming series. Hey — they're already doing it to another Jackson's films (sort of) with "The Rings of Power" from Amazon.
Book: "Jumper" by Steven Gould
Director: Doug Liman
Starring: Hayden Christensen, Jamie Bell, Samuel L. Jackson, Rachel Bilson, Diane Lane, Michael Rooker
Budget: $85 million
Box office: $225.1 million
Release date: Feb. 14, 2008
Bottom Line: Jumper
"Jumper" was made with the idea that it would be the start of a franchise, with a director coming off a big hit in Doug Liman ("Mr. and Mrs. Smith") and an actor who had just helmed a huge franchise in Hayden Christensen ("Star Wars" prequels).
While "Jumper" made its money back and then some, this movie fell short of all that it could have been. Steven Gould's "Jumper" novels were fairly obscure but had a cool premise.
It's too bad the filmmakers couldn't find a way to translate that to the screen.
Should It Be Remade?: Jumper
There are plenty of amazing sci-fi novels, graphic novels and comic books out there that deserve a shot at being made a first time before "Jumper" goes for round two.
Book: "Congo" by Michael Crichton
Director: Frank Marshall
Starring: Laura Linney, Dylan Walsh, Ernie Hudson, Grant Heslov, Joe Don Baker, Tim Curry
Budget: $50 million
Box office: $152 million
Release date: June 9, 1995
Bottom Line: Congo
There was a time in the mid-1990s following "Jurassic Park" where you could just slap novelist Michael Crichton's name on a movie poster and moviegoers would line up around the block.
This didn't last long, mainly because the drivel that hit cinemas were movies like "Congo" and "Sphere" — although at least "Congo" made its money back.
The animatronic gorilla hasn't aged well, and wasn't very well-received when the movie came out. But, yeah, it made a lot of money. So they kept making Crichton novels into movies for years.
Should It Be Remade?: Congo
Even if you try and tempt us with CGI gorillas we're probably not going to green light this remake. But now that you mentioned it ... CGI gorillas would be dope. OK, you convinced us. We're doing it!
Book: "Phantoms" by Dean Koontz
Director: Joe Chappelle
Starring: Ben Affleck, Liev Schreiber, Peter O'Toole, Rose McGowan, Joanna Going, Nicky Katt
Budget: $15 million
Box office: $5.6 million
Release date: Jan. 23, 1998
Bottom Line: Phantoms
You can make a good argument that this movie has become known more for a line from the movie "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" ("Affleck was the bomb in Phantoms, yo!") because there's certainly nothing memorable about the movie itself.
Even a young Ben Affleck that was fresh off his Academy Award win for "Good Will Hunting" couldn't save this sci-fi/horror dud.
Should It Be Remade?: Phantoms
There's a common understanding among horror fans about adaptations of Dean Koontz books that are turned into movies and television shows — there's never really been a good one.
Arguably Koontz's two best novels — "Strangers" and "Lightning" — have never been adapted. "Phantoms" is in that mix and it would be lovely to see it turned into a movie or TV show.
Book: "Sphere" by Michael Crichton
Director: Barry Levinson
Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Sharon Stone, Samuel L. Jackson, Peter Coyote, Liev Schreiber
Budget: $80 million
Box office: $73.4 million
Release date: Feb. 13, 1998
Bottom Line: Sphere
Barry Levinson did a lot of great things as a director, but his specialty was dramas based on real life. Not science fiction.
Levinson went off the rails with the budget and production was shut down on "Sphere" for six months before they were allowed to finish. This happened despite reteaming with his "Rain Man" star Dustin Hoffman and bankable stars like Sharon Stone and Samuel L, Jackson.
You can tell this movie was made in two parts. Both of them turned out boring. That's not a great recipe for sci-fi movies.
Should It Be Remade?: Sphere
Aside from the seemingly endless run of "Jurassic Park" sequels there really hasn't been much call to adapt the works of Michael Crichton over the last decade. Our guess is eventually someone comes back to his works and this gets turned into a movie again or a streaming series.
Book: "Strip Tease" by Carl Hiassen
Director: Andrew Bergman
Starring: Demi Moore, Burt Reynolds, Ving Rhames, Armand Assante, Robert Patrick
Budget: $50 million
Box office: $113 million
Release date: June 28, 1996
Bottom Line: Striptease
Demi Moore's $12.5 million payday for "Striptease" set a record for a female actress, but what would have been nice is getting the potboiler/crime aspects from Carl Hiassen's novel onto the screen.
That didn't happen. The film ended up winning six Golden Raspberry Awards and effectively killed Moore's career as an A-List actress.
In one weird aside, NBA legend Michael Jordan has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo playing himself as a patron at a strip club.
Should It Be Remade?: Striptease
12. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
Book: "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" by John Berendt
Director: Clint Eastwood
Starring: Kevin Spacey, John Cusack, Jude Law, Allison Eastwood
Budget: $30 million
Box office: $25.1 million
Release date: Nov. 21, 1997
Bottom Line: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
Part of Clint Eastwood's appeal as a director is his productivity. The guy has just never stopped working. But because he works so much and makes so many movies — and a lot of them are based on novels — they're not always going to work.
Interestingly enough, there aren't a lot of adaptations of nonfiction novels that made the list, mainly because they're hard to screw up, and you can't change an ending of something that actually happened.
Eastwood manages to do it here, with a big helping of camp from two-time Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey. Then again, Eastwood's biggest box-office hit of his career would be the adaptation of the nonfiction novel "American Sniper" starring Bradley Cooper.
Should It Be Remade?: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
Nice try by Clint Eastwood & Co. but that's a solid 'no' on the remake.
11. Left Behind
Book: "Left Behind" by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins
Director: Vic Sarin
Starring: Kirk Cameron, Brad Johnson, Clarence Gilyard
Budget: $4 million
Box office: $4.2 million
Release date: Feb. 2, 2001
Bottom Line: Left Behind
Say what you will about secular novels dressed up as science fiction, which the original "Left Behind" is. It's a pretty good book.
That's why it was such a surprise to see it turned into such a stinking trash heap of a movie, although it's easily explainable when you see the film is headlined by former "Growing Pains" star Kirk Cameron.
Should It Be Remade?: Left Behind
There's really no need. Two more films were made in the original "Left Behind" series before it was rebooted in the early 2010s starring Nicolas Cage in the lead at the height of his "six movies per year" phase in 2014. Cage's productivity would actually peak in 2018 and 2019, when he released seven films in each year.
Book: "Dreamcatcher" by Stephen King
Director: Lawrence Kasdan
Starring: Morgan Freeman, Thomas Jane, Jason Lee, Damian Lewis, Timothy Olyphant, Tom Sizemore, Donnie Wahlberg
Budget: $68 million
Box office: $75.6 million
Release date: March 21, 2003
Bottom Line: Dreamcatcher
That three Stephen King adaptations made the list isn't a knock on King, but more of a testament to the Hollywood fervor that surrounds anything he writes.
"Dreamcatcher" isn't one of King's more memorable novels, but it's nowhere near the monkeys-painting-on-a-canvas treatment that this film gets.
Looking at the talent involved makes this failure all the more disappointing. Director Lawrence Kasdan wrote some of the greatest sci-fi and adventure movies of all time with "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark," but his talent as a director was with thrillers and dramas like "Body Heat" and "The Big Chill." Not whatever this is.
Should It Be Remade?: Dreamcatcher
We are always down to give another shot to Stephen King's novels if the movie version is a miss — "Dreamcatcher" is no different. Made in the kitschy, post-"Scream" era of the early 2000s this is actually one that probably deserve another shot. King fans: would you rather see a remake of this or "The Tommyknockers" if it came down to it?
9. Fever Pitch
Book: "Fever Pitch: A Fan's Life" by Nick Hornby
Directors: The Farrelly Brothers
Starring: Jimmy Fallon, Drew Barrymore, JoBeth Williams, Ione Skye
Budget: $30 million
Box office: $51 million
Release date: April 8, 2005
Bottom Line: Fever Pitch
The Farrelly Brothers made some really funny movies together. But this hackneyed adaptation of Nick Hornby's novel about soccer fanaticism turned into a story about an obsessed Boston Red Sox fan isn't one of them.
The idea of stretching a plot set in another country and adapting it for an American story isn't anything new and happens both ways. There are versions of the television series "Breaking Bad" in almost every country. That still doesn't account for quality.
This isn't just a bad adaptation of a book, which loses all of the heart from Hornby's novel. It's also a bad sports movie.
Should It Be Remade?: Fever Pitch
As long as it has nothing to do with baseball ... go for it!
8. The Island of Dr. Moreau
Book: "The Island of Dr. Moreau" by H.G. Wells
Director: John Frankenheimer
Starring: Val Kilmer, Marlon Brando, David Thewlis, Fairuza Balk
Budget: $40 million
Box office: $49.6 million
Release date: Aug. 23, 1996
Bottom Line: The Island of Dr. Moreau
"The Island of Dr. Moreau" was one of the more troubled productions in Hollywood history as the personal lives of its stars derailed production and its original director was fired after one week.
The movie's original lead, Bruce Willis, dropped out of the movie after he began divorce proceedings with his wife, Demi Moore. Willis' replacement, Val Kilmer, was served divorce papers on set and began to have angry outbursts against castmates and crew members.
That pales in comparison to what happened with star Marlon Brando, who refused to learn his lines. He had to have them piped in through an earpiece or would just improvise. The final product makes this obvious.
Should It Be Remade?: The Island of Dr. Moreau
At the top of our lungs: YES! Can you imagine how absolutely terrifying this story could be in today's day and age by using the CGI we have access to now? This needs to happen. Movie. TV show. Web series. Just do it.
7. The Postman
Book: "The Postman" by David Brin
Director: Kevin Costner
Starring: Kevin Costner, Will Patton, Larenz Tate, Olivia Williams, Tom Petty
Budget: $80 million
Box office: $28.8 million
Release date: Dec. 25, 1997
Bottom Line: The Postman
What's truly amazing about "The Postman" is that all three of the principles won Academy Awards for exactly what they were doing on this movie.
Director and star Kevin Costner won Best Director for "Dances With Wolves" while screenwriters Eric Roth ("Forrest Gump") and Brian Helgeland ("L.A. Confidential") won Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay. None of them had anywhere close to the same success here.
"The Postman" won five Golden Raspberry Awards in 1998, and Costner ended up with two of the biggest box-office flops in Hollywood history on his resume following "Waterworld" in 1995. Brutal.
Should It Be Remade?: The Postman
If only we could go back in time and make it so this film was never made in the first place. Absolutely no it should not be remade.
6. Red Dragon
Book: Red Dragon by Thomas Harris
Director: Brett Ratner
Starring: Edward Norton, Anthony Hopkins, Ralph Fiennes, Emily Watson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Mary-Louise Parker, Harvey Keitel
Budget: $78 million
Box office: $209.2 million
Release date: Oct. 4, 2002
Bottom Line: Red Dragon
If you've seen "Red Dragon" and not "Manhunter," shame on you. The original movie version of Thomas Harris' novel directed by Michael Mann is one of the best crime-thriller movies of all time, and for fans of that movie, "Red Dragon" was a tough pill to swallow.
One of Hollywood's ultimate money-grab directors of all time directed this movie with Brett Ratner, who had a similar effect on the "X-Men" franchise when he helmed one of its sequels.
Ratner is a true franchise-killer, even when given such exquisite actors to work with like Edward Norton, Anthony Hopkins and the late, great Phillip Seymour Hoffman.
Should It Be Remade?: Red Dragon
After two film versions of the novel by Thomas Harris and a television adaptation in the form of the series "Hannibal" we are probably good on "Red Dragon" remakes for the foreseeable future.
5. A Wrinkle in Time
Book: "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeline L'Engle
Director: Ava DuVernay
Starring: Storm Reid, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Chris Pine, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Michael Pena, Zach Galifianakis
Budget: $130 million
Box office: $133.4 million
Release date: March 9, 2018
Bottom Line: A Wrinkle in Time
Director Ava DuVernay doesn't miss very much, but it's hard to put any sort of good spin on how she butchered Madeline L'Engle's classic sci-fi novel, which was one of Hollywood's longest-gestating projects when she took the helm.
This cheese-fest's problems started with casting, where DuVernay decided to put some of her biggest stars in supporting roles. See Chris Pine and Reese Witherspoon just playing backup.
In an already bad movie, their presence is a distraction, and the movie reportedly lost between $150 million to $200 million after marketing costs were figured in.
Should It Be Remade?: A Wrinkle in Time
We would love to see the version of "A Wrinkle in Time" that scared and thrilled the bejesus out of us when we first read the book as kids. Reality is with the film version that was just released in 2018 it's probably going to be quite some time before it rears its head for a reboot.
4. The Goldfinch
Book: "The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt
Director: John Crowley
Starring: Ansel Elgort, Jeffrey Wright, Finn Wolfhard, Sarah Paulson, Nicole Kidman
Budget: $50 million
Box office: $9.9 million
Release date: Sept. 13, 2019
Bottom Line: The Goldfinch
When "The Goldfinch" became a literary sensation in 2013, it wasn't a surprise that someone wanted to make a movie out of it. One of the main concerns from the jump was that the novel's plot was essentially unfilmable because of its complexity — which didn't stop Hollywood from giving it a shot.
"The Goldfinch" became one of the biggest box-office bombs of all time after a wide release of some 2,500 screens across the U.S. It reportedly lost $50 million split between Warner Bros. and Amazon Studios and took the wind out of the sails for an up-and-coming star in Ansel Elgort.
Should It Be Remade?: The Goldfinch
3. The Bonfire of the Vanities
Book: "The Bonfire of the Vanities" by Tom Wolfe
Director: Brian De Palma
Starring: Tom Hanks, Bruce Willis, Melanie Griffith, Morgan Freeman
Budget: $47 million
Box office: $15.6 million
Release date: Dec. 21, 1990
Bottom Line: The Bonfire of the Vanities
One of the more famous flops in Hollywood history belongs to a director who landed multiple films on this list — Brian De Palma, who made a career out of his massive peaks and valleys.
In this case, the main characters portrayed by Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis were such stretches from the book that those who loved Tom Wolfe's novel had a hard time believing it. That they weren't the original casting choices speaks to those problems as well.
The movie's production was such a disaster that a book was written about it by The Wall Street Journal's Julie Salamon called "The Devil's Candy." And it became a bestseller itself.
Should It Be Remade?: The Bonfire of the Vanities
Oh my. The thought of someone in today's day and age taking a shot at this story of 1980s excess and New York City fills our heart with a certain kind of joy. If only we could be so lucky to get a "Bonfire" remake one day.
2. Ready Player One
Book: "Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Tye Sheridan, Ben Mendelsohn, Olivia Cooke, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg, Mark Rylance
Budget: $175 million
Box office: $583 million
Release date: March 29, 2018
Bottom Line: Ready Player One
There are some people who will tell you that the 1979 film "1941" is the low point of Steven Spielberg's directorial career. Don't believe them.
It's "Ready Player One" — a steaming, stinking pile of movie waste that somehow made over a half-billion dollars at the worldwide box office and cost almost $200 million to flm.
In a testament to the butchery Spielberg executed on Ernest Cline's beloved sci-fi novel, the majority of the money this movie made came from overseas. It only made $137.7 million at the U.S. box office, thanks in no small part to the release of an actually good sci-fi film one week later with "A Quiet Place" starring John Krasinksi and Emily Blunt.
Should It Be Remade?: Ready Player One
The film version we got of "Ready Player One" that we'd rather not be reminded it ever existed in the first place and fall back on our fond memories of the book instead. Red light on this remake.
1. The Dark Tower
Book: "The Dark Tower" by Stephen King
Director: Nikolaj Arcel
Starring: Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Taylor, Jackie Earle Haley
Budget: $66 million
Box office: $113.2 million
Release date: Aug. 4, 2017
Bottom Line: The Dark Tower
By far the most difficult of all of Stephen King's works to make it to the big screen was "The Dark Tower." At least a dozen directors and stars were attached to make this project over the years.
That it ultimately came out like this and not in the shape it should have been — a television series to tell the entire "Gunslinger" saga — shows how little Hollywood really cares about the people who love these properties.
Turgid. Unwatchable. Stupid. Proceed at your own risk.
Should It Be Remade?: The Dark Tower
"The Dark Tower" seems like it would be the perfect project for either multiple films or a television series in the right hands. We're not ready to give up on this one.