6 Authors Who Were Fired from Their Book’s On-Screen Adaptation

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Getting any book turned into a film seems to be a very complicated process. Not only must a studio worry about disappointing and upsetting the novel’s OG fans, but it also has to make sure it pulls in new viewers, as well. Plus, working with an author who has already given so much of their blood, sweat and tears to a story proves to be a feat of its own — no wonder so many almost-adaptations never make it!

If a writer is going to diss the on-screen adaptation of a book, it usually happens after the fact. But sometimes the drama is so real between an author and a production company that the story’s creator actually gets the boot from the project while it’s still in production! Can you say, ‘Effed up??’ Check out the gallery below to see which of your fave writers were cut off before the adaptation’s premiere.


L.J. Smith

This author was never super involved with the process of turning her Vampire Diaries books into a TV series, but she was vocal about her happiness with the casting and the direction in which the show was going.

Things got pretty crazy, however, because she was eventually fired by the book's PUBLISHERS and replaced by a ghost writer to finish the series. From that point on, all involvement with the TV program was effectively cut off as well.

L.J.'s termination was based on the fact that the publishers didn't like who she wanted her characters to end up with in the end, but the author gained redemption after she posted the rest of the series as she envisioned it as fanfiction online.

Photo: Twitter (@drujienna) / The CW

John Green

Considering the success of The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns, it looked like Looking For Alaska was shaping up to be a blockbuster of its own. All work on the in-development film came to a screeching halt in early 2016 when Paramount Pictures decided that the author of the original work should not be a part of the adaptation at all.

According to John in some tweeted-then-deleted posts, he didn't think that the movie studio liked him and "the feeling is profoundly mutual."

Due to how vocal the bestselling writer was about his lack of involvement in the adaptation, the studio decided to shelf the project indefinitely — which explains why it never hit theaters.

Photo: Wenn Images / Dutton Juvenile

Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket)

After writing eight versions of a script to bring his popular A Series of Unfortunate Events book series to life, Lemony Snicket got sacked by studio execs. The author told The New York Times how he responded to the insult saying, "After I was fired, I bought a drink for everybody in the Burbank airport lounge. There weren't very many people, so it wasn't as generous a gesture as it might have been. But I said, 'I just got fired from Paramount Pictures, drinks on me. And one of the other people at the bar said, 'I was fired by Paramount Pictures a few years ago.' So that felt good." Talk about unfortunate events, eh?

Photo: Wenn Images / Nickelodeon Movies

Anne Rice

Long before Twilight and even Buffy the Vampire Slayer, there was Interview with the Vampire — considered to be one of the most classic Vampire-centric works out there. So obvs, some people wanted the book to become a great movie and Anne agreed.

While there were initial communications between the fantasy author and the higher-ups at a film studio, she got the boot once got critical about how they were molding her story.

After the film debuted, Anne published an in-depth response to basc every aspect of the adapted version and publicized what happened that left herself at odds with the on-screen creators.

"When the announcement was made that Tom Cruise would star as Lestat, I had deep reservations and severe criticisms. So did many many of my readers. I talked openly about this. A curtain thereafter divided me from the entire production, and with reason. Nobody likes to be criticized, and that includes movie people, too... It was okay to speak my mind on the casting, and I don't have any regrets."

The fact that she was cut off just from expressing concern seems absolutely crazy! In the end, Anne the author decided that Tom was the right decision, which makes the studio's decision to bar her even crazier! ~Patience is a virtue~ and they could have just waited for her to come around.

Photo: Wenn Images / Warner Bros. Pictures

Roald Dahl

Willy Wonka may have a special place in our hearts, but Roald Dahl's legacy is a bit more problematic. After he made some antisemitic remarks, the children's writer was fired by his publisher, but that wasn't the only time he got the boot.

When the film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory was going into movie production, the studio decided to give Roald a shot at writing the screenplay. When he failed to meet deadlines, however, he was replaced by David Seltzer. The author eventually disowned the film, saying the changes David made to the story left him "infuriated."

Photo: Getty Images / Warner Bros. Pictures

Ursula K. Le Guin

Ursula is an established Fantasy and Science Fiction writer and the Sci-Fi Channel picked up on the popularity of her book, Earthsea, and decided to turn it into a three-part miniseries. Days after it premiered, however, she published an article to Slate titled, "A Whitewashed Earthsea: How the Sci Fi Channel wrecked my books." So how did the author go from willingly turning over her books to the network under the provision she would be a "consultant" to publicly denouncing the final version?

Her side of the story goes like this: they initially exchanged niceties but when she asked that they make no "unnecessary changes," the studio told her that the television audience would be totally different and wouldn't care if things had been altered completely. After the meeting, it was obvious they didn't care much for her opinion and would not be asking for it any longer. They sent her a script only after they'd already begun filming.

"I had been cut out of the process," she said. While she was never formally 'fired' and her name is still attached to the Sci-Fi channel's series, Ursula has completely disassociated from the work because the movie makers refused to do the original justice.

Photo: Getty Images / Sci-Fi

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