Strange Days, I am convinced, is the best cyberpunk movie William Gibson never made. I’ve watched all of the movies based on William Gibson’s work, even the spectacularly bad “New Rose Hotel,” and NONE of them captures the feel of Gibson’s cyberpunk novels like “Strange Days” does. (Particularly, “Johnny Mnemonic.”) The feel of street hustlers peddling new tech and interacting with the cops and megacorporations was ALL OVER Strange Days.
I don’t know what James Cameron, who directed, conceived and scripted Strange Days, had to say about the matter, but I am CONVINCED that Cameron read some William Gibson and thought, “I can DEFINITELY bring this to the screen, and THIS time I’ll cover my tracks a lot better than I did with Terminator.”
I’m NOT accusing Cameron of plagiarizing Gibson … I don’t know of any story Gibson wrote that has a plot that’s all that much like Strange Days. I DO think he read some of Gibson’s work, and managed to trasmit the feel of the stories to his story, quite powerfully. Plus, Gibson would have come up with stronger, less cliched plot elements than Cameron did.
It’s very similar to Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” series. They did not directly plagiarize Tim Powers’ “On Stranger Tides” (though the plot of the first movie in the series DOES have much in common with “On Stranger Tides”) but I am CONVINCED that whoever made that movie read “On Stranger Tides” and realized that if he could capture Powers’ vision of life in a Caribbean filled with magic, he’d have a HELL of a movie. (And he was right.)
So what other movies are there out there that were clearly inspired by other works (not just books, necessarily) and captured their “feel” so well that the represent the author’s works as well as or better than movies that were ACTUALLY based on the author’s works?
I’m not asking for actual plagiarism, like Disney did with the Lion King, and I hope this thread doesn’t turn into “was it plagiarism?” What I’m hoping for, is a list of movies that will be helpful for “I sure did enjoy Book/Comic/etc. X, but the movies based on Book X are such crap and don’t capture the feel of the original. I sure wish something else out there that really captured his work.” And feel free to elaborate on why/why not the work in question captured the original.
Another example: “Deathstalker” is the best Gor movie not based on John Norman’s works.