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If a book or comic becomes sufficiently popular, it will almost definitely get a TV show or a movie. While some fans rejoice upon hearing that their favorite series is getting an adaptation, all too often the hardcore fans will find themselves bitterly disappointed, and problems are especially likely to surface when the story is ongoing and the staff has to work with incomplete source material. The result of such circumstances tends to be a Base Breaker.

Sometimes, these complaints are heard, and the result is a Truer to the Text adaptation. When this happens, the story gets another adaptation, or at least go out of their way to cover what they missed out on last time. This time there will be no annoying additions, no alternate ending, no important details ignored, just the original story, pure and proper. If done well, the Fandom will probably be quite pleased.

However, it's important to keep in mind that this is not necessarily a good thing. There are four closely related problems with this sort of adaptation.

  • The first is that, however divergent, a series' first adaptation will probably at least begin with the same basic plot, which could give it a repetitious feel; the reboot starts by covering ground that's already thoroughly trodden.
  • Thus the second problem: the beginning might have to deviate from the original story to make a re-adapted story seem new.
  • Thirdly, not all fans of the movie/show actually read the source material. This means that they have no idea what they're supposed to be waiting for, so it might feel like this second version is just more of the same.
  • Finally, depending on the differences between mediums, such as the inevitable problems that come with adapting a book into a film, "more faithful" does not necessarily equate to "better".

As such, this trope often results in Wilder Over Depp, when the "truer" version is a critical and/or commercial failure, while the less "true" versions are much more sucessful.


This is a list of examples that have already been done or are in the works. Do NOT list a series unless it has been officially announced. Mere rumors are not enough.

Examples of Truer to the Text include:


Adapted from Comics

  • Arguably, the purpose of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It's run by Marvel Studios, rather than owned by an independent studio (such as Fox, Sony or Universal), so they have direct control over the movie they put out. The Incredible Hulk and Captain America: The First Avenger are significantly more faithful to the source material than Ang Lee's Hulk or Captain America (1990 film) were.
  • Tim Burton's Batman was this to the Adam West series, being darker and moodier. After it suffered Adaptation Decay and became Lighter and Softer Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Saga became this in it's own right.
    • This is debatable.The Adam West series was incredibly faithful to its source comics at their time, and the Burton films were way darker than most of the comics at their time, tweaked Batman's origin story and the Joker's past, and showed Batman acting out of character in regards to killing.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, despite having had the cases of Adaptational BadassAdaptational Villainy (in the case of Simon Williams A.K.A Wonder Man), Adaptation DistillationAdaptation Dye-JobComposite Character (in the case of Nick Fury, Abomination, and Crimson Dynamo), Decomposite Character (in Nick Fury's case again), and occasionally In-Name-Only (such as with the portrayals of Michael Korvac and his former girlfriend, Correna, and some of the episodes that are named after storylines from the comics such as The Private War of Doctor DoomAct of Vengeance, and Live Kree or Die), is the most faithful adaptation of the Marvel Comics series as well as the superhero team The Avengers and the mainstream (both original and modern) Marvel comics in general in comparison to the Marvel adaptations that have been created both before and after the show (both animated and live action action).
  • Batman VS the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is this compared to Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the TMNT aspect of the crossover movie. The designs are closer to the comic, they all have the appropriate weapons (nunchucks for Michelangelo, bo for Donatello, sais for Raphael and ninjatos/katanas for Leonardo), Leonardo is the leader, Baxter Stockman is an adult (and is named "Stockman" instead of "Stockboy"), and the Shredder is the main villain (he was Adapted Out of Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). Also, the Foot Ninja are back to being humans.
  • Dark Phoenix compared to X-Men: The Last Stand. Jean's Super-Powered Evil Side is a result of fusing with a cosmic being called the Phoenix Force, Selene Gallio plays a role in the plot (albeit as a Brotherhood of Mutants member rather than a Hellfire Club member), there's an alien race that fills the role the Shi'Ar filled in the original comic storyline (and the most prominent member of said alien race also fills the role Mastermind filled in the original comic storyline), Dark Phoenix once again looks like "fire made flesh" (rather than the corpse-like look The Last Stand gave her), and there's no "Cure" subplot to get in the way of the main plot.

Adapted from Literature

  • Bram Stokers Dracula and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein were intended as faithful adaptations of two books that had been quite heavily changed in previous film adaptations. They had their own changes and quirks, though.
  • The 2000 Dune miniseries took some liberties with Frank Herbert's book, but compared to the 1984 David Lynch movie, its fidelity is nigh-slavish.
  • The 1997 miniseries of The Shining was far closer to Stephen King's book with the huge exception of the Bowdlerised ending. This is a strong example of "more faithful" not equaling "better": the miniseries was underrated (and scarily effective in its own right), and the 1980 film has significant weaknesses, but Kubrick's vision--however un-Kinglike--still resulted in a better movie.
  • The Coen Brothers said this was their intention when they made their film adaptation of True Grit.
  • Carson McCullers adapted her novel The Member of the Wedding for the stage herself, despite never having written a play before, to preempt the production of a more conventionally theatrical adaptation by another writer.
  • The first two Harry Potter films are noticeably closer to the text than the movies the followed. On the Sliding Scale of Adaptation Modification, the first two movies would score a "4" and the rest would score a "3". Fans are divided over which approach was better. Critics are less divided and prefer the later films (except for Roger Ebert).
  • John Carpenter's The Thing compared to A Thing From Another World. The older film used the beginning of the plot of them finding UFO in the ice and it containing and alien, but from there diverged quite a bit. Carpenter's version had the alien keep it's assimilation powers and overall stayed much closer to the plot of the book.
  • The 1982 animated version of The Wizard of Oz featuring Aileen Quinn as Dorothy and Lorne Greene as the Wizard is Truer to the Text of L. Frank Baum's original book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, retaining many elements of the book that were omitted from the 1939 classic movie (such as the Kalidahs, the wolves and crows, and the Wizard's other guises), though it lacks the staying power of the 1939 classic.
  • Return to Oz, though not an entirely faithful adaptation of the books The Land of Oz and Ozma of Oz, is nonetheless truer to the text of those books than the earlier animated movie Journey Back to Oz, using a far greater number of characters and plot elements from both books.

Adapted from Manga

Adapted from Visual Novels

  • The anime version of Tsukihime left many fans quite bitter over how much it deviated from the source material. There was, however, a manga that retold the original story quite faithfully.


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