There are some movies that look as if they started out being an adaptation of something, but partway through they either realized that they couldn’t do a straight-up adaptation because it wasn’t cinematic enough or good enough or they couldn’t get permission, or something.
I’m not talking about things like Nosferatu, where they didn’t even TRY to get Stoker’s widow’s permission before essentially stealing the plot from Dracula (or the case of the 1958 film The Brain Eaters, which basically ripped off Heinlein’s The Puppet Masters), or cases of accidental similarity. When I first saw the ads for Honey, I Blew up the Kid I immediately thought of kit Reed’s short story “Attack of the Giant Baby”, which appeared in a collection with a very similar cover image. The Disney film was a sequel that was a variation of their Honey, I shrunk the Kids, and sort logically followed from it. I don’t think they drew from Reed’s story (although I understand they came to a financial settlement). Novertheless, if this thread lives, we’ll undot=btedly get suggestions of both sorts.
No, I’m thinking of something like event Horizon, whose history indicates it was to be a “haunted house in space” thing, but which includes scenes of a burning man that make me wonder if it was influenced by, or at some time was supposed to be an adaption of Alfred Bester’s The Stars my Destination(AKA Tyger, Tyger.
The Wachowski’s very odd and much-maligned Jupiter Ascending features a young person who 'owns the Earth", a space-spanning civilization, a drug that reverses the effects of aging, and a panoply of animal-people who seem to be regarded as less than human. Boy, that sounds like Cordwainer Smith’s Norstrilia. Could they have been trying to adapt that, then radically changed the script?
Nothing on Wikipedia or elsewhere suggests that these were in the minds of the filmmakers. But I have to wonder.
What about the wonderful but underappreciated the Hidden. doesn’t it look as if it owes more than a little to Hal Clement’s Needle?
Panic in Year Zero doesn’t really fit. the older editions of reference works say that it resembles Jay Simms’ stories “Lot” and “Lot’s Daughter”, but evidently Simms co-wrote the film, so that’s not surprising.