Movies you didn’t know were based on books

There’s nothing like a trip to the movies when you’re looking for a way to fill a few hours. No matter what kind of genre you’re into, there’s almost always something on there that will suit your taste. While some are original films, others are adapted from novels or other works of fiction. However, can you tell which is which? There are some movies out there that you might not have realized started off life in a book.


Forrest Gump

There’s a lot to love about Forrest Gump, from its memorable quotes to the brilliant performance by Tom Hanks. The actor helped the movie win a flurry of Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and it seems he might have had some extra reading material to bring his character to life. It wasn’t until after the movie was released that people started realizing it was inspired by a novel also named Forrest Gump. However, there was some difference between the two, with the book going places that even the outlandish film wouldn’t go. We’re talking Forrest flying into space with a monkey and landing on an island infested with cannibals.

Movies you didn’t know were based on books

Ms. Doubtfire

Fondly remembered as one of the late Robin Williams’ best films, Ms. Doubtfire was the family film from the ‘90s that charmed many viewers hearts. The movie saw Williams’ character get in drag and pose as his children’s nanny after his ex-wife was granted sole custody over the kids. While the film might have seemed like a unique idea at the time, it was actually based on the novel Madame Doubtfire. The film shared a lot of similarities with the book, although, in the latter, the kids weren’t as fooled by their father’s disguise as they were in the movie.


Children watching DreamWorks’ early 00’s animation Shrek never had any reason to believe the movie was anything but original. However, while elements of the film certainly came from the production company – like those memorable musical montages – parts of the story were taken from a graphic novel. Released in 1990, this book featured several similar plot points as the movie, and it even shared the same name. It turns out that an ogre saving a princess wasn’t as wild an idea as we initially thought.

Movies you didn’t know were based on books


We wouldn’t blame you if you were clueless about Clueless being based on a book, because it’s a very loose adaptation. It’s more of a retelling of a classic story – Jane Austen’s Emma, to be specific. Although the characters and settings are all different, the plot is mostly similar to the novel. Cher Horowitz, the main character portrayed by Alicia Silverstone, is motherless, has everyone she could want, and isn’t good at playing cupid for her friends (despite what she might think). Retelling a literature classic is actually very common in films, and it occurs more often than you might think.

A lot of great movies are based off existing stories because people felt they deserved some screen time. However, the only problem with this is that it poses the question of which was better – the book or the film?