ByAshley Samour, writer at
Lover of Post, VFX, and the use of parenthesis. Follow me @ashleysamour
Ashley Samour

With this week's premiere of the second installment of The Maze Runner trilogy, The Scorch Trials, we can't help but to follow Hollywood's historic love affair with film adaptations from popular (or not so popular) novels. From the Twilight Saga to The Hunger Games, and even our recent John Green obsession (Hi,The Fault In Our Starsand Paper Towns) Young Adult novels seem to be the best start fun franchise.

This isn't a new trend, as many of us may believe. Yes, these recent hits had a huge fan-base before their film debuts thanks to their literary counterparts, however, there are a few old loves that even I was surprised to know were novels at first.

11. Shrek

Well, maybe there was a reason why the film opened up to an actual story book. Steven Spielberg actually acquired the rights for the book in 1991; it would take 10 years before it finally made it to the big screen.

10. Slumdog Millionaire

'Q&A' is a novel by Vikas Swarup, an Indian diplomat. Published in 2005, it was the author's first novel. Set in India, it tells the story of Ram Mohammad Thomas, a young waiter who becomes the biggest quiz show winner in history, only to be sent to jail on accusations (but with no evidence) that he cheated. In 2008, the book was adapted into the multiple Oscar-winning movie, Slumdog Millionaire.

9. Mrs. Doubtfire

'Madame Doubtfire,' known as 'Alias Madame Doubtfire' in the United States, is a 1987 British novel written by Anne Fine for teenaged & young adult audiences, about a family with divorced parents. In 1993, six years after its publication, the novel was adapted into Mrs. Doubtfire, starring our late Robin Williams and Sally Field.

8. Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

'Who Censored Roger Rabbit?' is a mystery novel written by Gary K. Wolf in 1981, later adapted into the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), being one of the animation industry's highest acclimated achievements in film.

7. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey

'The Incredible Journey,' by Scottish author Sheila Burnford, is a children's book first published by Hodder, which tells the story of three pets as they travel 300 miles through the Canadian wilderness searching for their beloved masters. It depicts the suffering and stress of an arduous journey, together with the unwavering loyalty and courage of the three animals. Sound familiar yet? When it was adapted into a movie by Walt Disney, it was remade into the 1993 Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey.

6. Freaky Friday

'Freaky Friday' is a classic comedic children's novel written by Mary Rodgers, first published in the United States in 1972, and adapted for film several times, the most recent being done by Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis in 2003. 'Freaky Friday' has been adapted three times by the Walt Disney Company into films with similar plots, the first screenplay having been written by the novel's author.

5. Babe

'The Sheep-Pig,' or 'Babe, the Gallant Pig' in the U.S., is a children's novel by Dick King-Smith, first published by Gollancz in 1983 with illustrations by Mary Rayner. Set in rural England, where King-Smith spent 20 years as a farmer, it features a lone pig on a sheep farm. It was adapted into the 1995 film Babe, which was a great international success. King-Smith won the 1984 Guardian Children's Fiction Award, a once-in-a-lifetime book award judged by a panel of British children's writers. That'll do, Dick. That'll do.

4. Forrest Gump

Maybe not exactly "Young Adult" due to its sexual content, but 'Forrest Gump' is a 1986 novel by Winston Groom. The title character retells adventures ranging from shrimp boating and ping-pong championships, to thinking about his childhood love, as he bumbles his way through American history, with everything from the Vietnam War to college football becoming part of the story. I've heard this one... Before being made into an Academy Award-winning movie, the novel sold an estimated 30,000 copies.

The movie doesn't mention Forrest being an idiot savant, and sanitizes his sex life and the character's profanity. According to the author, the movie "took some of the rough edges off." Fun fact: He had originally envisioned Forrest Gump being played by John Goodman. Yikes!

3. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

As if we thought this wouldn't be a book, right? How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days is a 2003 romantic comedy film directed by Donald Petrie, starring Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey. It is based on a short cartoon book of the same name by Michele Alexander and Jeannie Long, published in 1998.

2. Pitch Perfect

'Pitch Perfect' was written by GQ's Senior Editor Mickey Rapkin. It is in fact a behind-the-scenes look at the bizarre, inspiring, and hilarious world of competitive collegiate a cappella.

I wasn't sure how well a book would sell regarding this subject, because the movie's music is what makes it epic, along with the quick-witted backhanded commentary. But, yes, this was initially a novel, published in 2008.

1. The Scorch Trials

As for our latest, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, (barely escaping an R-rating due to its explicit horror scenes) was based on James Dashner's trilogy. The second installation of the trilogy was published 2010 originally, immediately following 'The Maze Runner's' 2009 success. An incredibly grueling journey already gearing up for its third movie, The Death Cure.

Make sure to catch Maze Runner: Scorch Trials in theaters September 18th!


Latest from our Creators