50 Worst Movie Adaptations

The Time Machine (2002)

The Adaptation: The thinking caps come off in favour of daft action set-pieces for this new adaptation of H.G. Wells’ influential sci-fi.

What They Got Most Wrong: It’s all down to the cast again, as Samantha Mumba and a mad-eyed Jeremy Irons do nothing to support poor old Guy Pearce.

Super Mario Bros (1993)

The Adaptation: Very loosely based on the videogame, Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo play the Italian brothers – here plumbers who are going out of business thanks to a mafia-like construction company.

What They Got Most Wrong: Every. Single. Thing. The casting. The tone. The story. So bad that even the film’s cast hate it.

Howling IV: The Original Nightmare (1988)

The Adaptation: A more loyal adaptation of Gary Brandner’s pulp werewolf novel than Joe Dante’s first Howling , this new nightmare changes the names and a few of the events for a pointless, futile exercise.

What They Got Most Wrong: Taking everything far too seriously – at least Dante’s film had suitably biting humour.

Yogi Bear (2011)

The Adaptation: The mayor wants to shut down Jellystone Park, or something, in this live-action re-do of the beloved kids cartoon.

What They Got Most Wrong: Following the CGI trend and turning Yogi into a horrible, fake-looking computer creation.

Batman & Robin (1997)

The Adaptation: Joel Schumacher has another go at destroying the Batman mythology with George Clooney now in the batsuit. We’ve never seen so much neon in our lives.

What They Got Most Wrong: Putting nipples on the Batsuit. Oh, you want something real? We’re not sure we have the energy to list everything here.

Double Dragon (1994)

The Adaptation: Live-action adaptation of the video game series that mostly just grabs the name for marketing purposes and then ignores the games entirely.

What They Got Most Wrong: New Angeles? Seriously?

Steel (1997)

The Adaptation: Basketball sensation Shaquille O’Neal shrugs on a big suit of armour to transform into the DC Comics character.

What They Got Most Wrong: Failing to include anything of entertainment merit – that includes Shaq.

Captain Corellis Mandolin (2001)

The Adaptation: John Madden’s filmic interpretation of Louis De Bernieres’s WW2-set romance.

What They Got Most Wrong: Casting Nic Cage, whose overblown attempt at portraying an Italian is so bad it’s almost farcical.

Catwoman (2004)

The Adaptation: Halle Berry flexes her claws and (cat)fights with Sharon Stone in surely the worst comic-book adaptation of our time.

What They Got Most Wrong: If we’re going to pick on anything, it’ll be the atrocious costume, which makes Catwoman look like some sort of bondage sex worker.

Thunderbirds (2004)

The Adaptation: There’s not a puppet in sight in Jonathan Frakes’ ‘modernisation’ of Gerry Anderson’s classic TV caper. Instead, we get a cast of 12-year-olds. And Bill Paxton.

What They Got Most Wrong: Pissing off Anderson. “It’s the biggest load of crap I have ever seen in my entire life,” was his condemnation of the movie.

What do you think is the worst movie adaptation ever made? Drop us your thoughts below...

Josh Winning has worn a lot of hats over the years. Contributing Editor at Total Film, writer for SFX, and senior film writer at the Radio Times. Josh has also penned a novel about mysteries and monsters, is the co-host of a movie podcast, and has a library of pretty phenomenal stories from visiting some of the biggest TV and film sets in the world. He would also like you to know that he "lives for cat videos..." Don't we all, Josh. Don't we all.