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10 Great Movies Not Book Adaptations (Part II)

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In the midst of the onslaught of comic book superheroes, it is undeniable that most films that have managed to get ratings or commercial success are the result of adaptations of popular books. While many books have had good adaptations (or poor adaptations), there have also been successful films whose stories have actually been based on original screenplays. Some directors even write their own film scripts. Here’s the second part of a list of 10 great films that are not book adaptations but the result of carefully crafted script formulations.

Marriage Story (2019)

In this film released by Netflix, written and directed by Noah Baumbach, Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver depict a married couple struggling through a loving divorce. The cast’s excellent performance takes audiences headfirst into one of the many ways love and marriage can play out, and it’s hard to imagine the raw emotions portrayed in the film don’t come from the book. The film was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Original Script and Best Picture.

Us (2019)

Not a Book AdaptationWritten and directed by Jordan Peele, also known as Get Out, Us is a harrowing tale of a family confronting their threatening doppelgänger. Horror films rarely focus on the quality of the writing but rather on the atmosphere and feel of the film. For this reason, horror films are not often praised for their writing. However, Us still has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 93 percent and won multiple awards for outstanding performances. The film received praise for its director, but Lupita Nyong’o’s performance as the main character was the most interesting.

Good Will Hunting (1997)

Not a Book AdaptationWritten by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon and directed by Gus Van Sant, Good Will Hunting is a film that everyone should be watching by now. Nominated for nine Academy Awards, the film won Oscars for Best Original Script and Best Supporting Actor. Good Will Hunting covers important themes such as child abuse, trauma, recovery. The characters learn to forgive everyone, including themselves.

Inception (2010)

Christopher Nolan wrote and directed Inception, and produced it with his wife Emma Thomas. The film was filmed in six different countries and takes the audience into an amazing subconscious with Leonardo DiCaprio as the main character. Inception was nominated for eight Academy Awards including Best Original Script but lost to The King’s Speech (based on historical events). It did, however, still win another four Oscars. The collective efforts of the cast and crew have earned the film a rating of 13 in the IMDB Top 250.

Star Wars: Episode IV – New Hope (1977)

Not a Book AdaptationWritten and directed by George Lucas, it may surprise many that the original Star Wars film, which has now become one of the world’s most popular giant franchises, is not an adaptation of any book but was written specifically for the screen. Filled with extensive references and countless sources of inspiration (one of which is Akira Kurosawa’s classic film Hidden Fortress -ed), George Lucas has managed to create a world so detailed and vast, it’s hard to imagine that Star Wars wasn’t based on a book. Indeed, the franchise has since expanded across a wide range of media including novels and comics, and now covers almost any format a fan could desire. Star Wars is the biggest film franchise that didn’t come from books or comics.

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