Everyone always says that the book is better than the movie. Well, there’s probably a reason for that. As great as movies are, when you can have 400 pages of dialogue and detail, you have a lot more room to create an entire world. Plus, the reader will always love what it looks like in their own heads, which is tough to match on screen.
However, we think the adaptation from these books did a great job—even though they completely cut out some major characters.
“The Wizard of Oz”: Good Witch of the North, Locasta Tattypoo
The Wizard of Oz is one of the most beloved classics in film history. However, when it was released in 1939, it wasn’t a box office hit; in fact, it earned only $3 million when the budget was $2.7 million. It could have been the fact that the country was just getting over the Great Depression, or that Gone With the Wind had come out just earlier and people weren’t looking for a colorful tale of magic.
Despite the financial hit it took, the film received six Academy Award nominations including Best Picture, but lost to the aforementioned title. Luckily it did win Best Original Song with with the infamous hit “Over the Rainbow” and Best Original Score. It wasn’t until 1956, when CBS began playing the film annually on television, that the film became the cultural icon that it is today.
However, the book on which the film is based is much older than that. L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz was published in 1900 and definitely has some major differences from the film. One of the biggest was the change from Dorothy’s silver shoes to ruby slippers; however, the filmmakers also made the decision to leave a character out.
The character was the Good Witch of the North, also known as Locasta Tattypoo. In the film, there is only the Good Witch of the South, who we all know as Glinda, and the Wicked Witches of the West and East, but Tattypoo is never mentioned. However, as The Oz Wiki site explains, “She is the first Good Witch to originally greet a newly arrived Dorothy Gale and her little pet dog Toto to Oz.”
The Hunger Games: Madge Undersee
“They let you wear one thing from your district in the arena. One thing to remind you of home. Will you wear this?” –Madge Undersee, as she gives Katniss Everdeen a mockingjay pin
That is one of the most meaningful moments in the book, and the mockingjay pin Madge gives to Katness ultimately becomes the symbol of the entire series. What makes this moment even more epic is that the girl, Madge, is the daughter of the mayor of District 12 and Katniss’s best friend.
In the film version, Katniss explains that another character, Greasy Sae, gave her the pin; she then gives the pin to her sister, Prim, and it comes full circle when Cinna puts it into one of her outfits. We have to admit, seeing that moment on screen was pretty amazing, but there is still the mystery as to why they cut out the character of Madge Undersee and the storyline of Katniss’s only female friend.
Throughout the three-book series, Madge is prevalent, spending a lot of time with Katniss in Catching Fire, learning to shoot, hunt, and explore. Then in the third book, Mockingjay, named for the very pin Madge gave Katniss, we learn that she and her family died in a bombing of the district.
Madge makes no appearances in the film and is never mentioned. Leaving Madge out of the films didn’t stir too much commotion though—The Hunger Games franchise has grossed almost $3 billion worldwide.
The Lord of the Rings: Tom Bombadil
You would think in a film that is close to three hours in length, you wouldn’t need to cut much out. However, director Peter Jackson did just that when it came to the character of Tom Bombadil in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
In the Fellowship of the Ring book, Frodo and his friends meet Bombadil on their journey with the Ring. In the LOTR Wiki, Bombadil is described as “a paradoxical creature, on moment defeating ancient forces with hardly an effort, the next capering and singing nonsensical songs.”
The fanbase is known to be incredibly loyal to J.R.R Tolkien’s written words, however many of them agree that Jackson did what he should have. Fan Thomas Snerdley explains on Quora, “For once, I’m going to be sympathetic to Peter Jackson and state that he did the right thing by leaving Tom Bombadil out of the movie. Even if [Jackson] hadn’t spent too much screen time on battle scenes (which he did) there simply wasn’t enough time in a 3-movie trilogy to include this lengthy and comparatively unproductive side excursion.”
“Captain America: Civil War”: Captain Marvel, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage
The film version featured so many superheroes it’s hard to imagine a few were left out. But, that is exactly what happened in the 2016 film from Marvel.
Captain America: Civil War cost over $250 million to make, but grossed over $1.32 billion, safely securing it at the top of the Marvel franchise. Fans may have noticed though that some characters from the comic book were missing in the film, and they weren’t small characters either.
Major players, like Captain Marvel, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage, were left out. It seems that Jones and Cage were not included in the film version because they already have their own shows on Netflix; Ms. Marvel didn’t make an appearance because the character had not been introduced to audiences yet.
However, that will change in 2019 when Captain Marvel comes out, starring Brie Larson as the superhero. Fans are waiting with anticipation to see the comic book adaptation of Carol Danvers a.k.a Ms. Marvel, especially when history has been made with Wonder Woman, including the highest debut weekend of a film by a female director.
It won’t be any surprise if more female superheroes end up getting their own movies in the years to come.
Harry Potter: Peeves
Peeves is the famous poltergeist in the books who is always pulling pranks while around Hogwarts. A lot of readers liked the character and his comedic pranks, but unfortunately, he never made it into the films.
The screenwriter for seven of the eight Harry Potter films, Steve Kloves, told io9 the reason he thinks Peeves never made the cut: “Peeves was always an issue. Chris Columbus [the director] was determined to put him in the first movie. I think there were even some technological problems with him initially, and [not] being satisfied with how he looked.”
Kloves goes on to say they kind of morphed Peeves’ mischievous energy with the character of Hogwarts groundskeeper Argus Filch; having both Peeves and Filch would have been a bit redundant. Yet, they really did try to bring the character to life. In fact, one actor, Rik Mayall, was even given the role of Peeves and worked for three weeks on the film before Columbus let him know that his scenes were to be cut.