Books are often turned into movies, especially in our modern days, but every once in a while there comes a movie that is based on a not so popular book and audiences end up not knowing about it for years, if they ever do find out. Let’s take a look at some of the most unbelievable cased of movies based on books.

10 Movies You Won’t Believe They Are Based on a Book


Mrs. Doubtfire

Yes, the famous and loved Robin Williams character is based on a book by Anne Fine, from 1987. The book is called Alias Madame Doubtfire and the movie is a close adaptation of it. When you see these types of easy to love but not very complicated comedies you would not think that there could have been a book behind them so there are probably a lot of people that still don’t know this about Mrs. Doubtfire.


Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, the popular Ang Lee movie about the two warriors in pursuit of a stolen sword does not seem like the type of movie that could come from a book, rarely do martial arts movies get inspired from books, although the Asian literature has plenty of martial arts masterpieces on its shelves. The movies is based by a book from the Crane-Iron series, by author Wang Dulu. The series was published between 1938 and 1942 and the book, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is the fourth of a series of five.


Silver Linings Playbook

Well it’s right there in the title, isn’t it? The romantic comedy-drama film directed by David O. Russell was adapted from the novel with the same name by author Matthew Quick. This was his debut novel, and it has been translated into several languages and gotten some nominalizations and awards, mainly after the success of the film.


Slumdog Millionaire

The Academy Award winning picture has won over the hearts of viewers from all over the world and is still one of the most talked about movies that came from India but did you know that it is in fact based on a book? The novel Q&A first appeared in 2005 and was written by author and diplomat Vikas Swarup. The idea behind the book came from a local newspaper which covers a story about children that live in the Indian slums and use mobile phones and internet. The book was also well received and has several awards and nominalizations but the movie went on to write history.


Blade Runner

While some people do know that Blade Runner is loosely based on a book, most of the fans of this cult classic have no idea that book is Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sleep? The movie’s immense popularity create a unique world for the film and its characters, so it might be hard to believe that the Blade Runner universe comes from someone else other than Ridley Scott. As we said, the book is loosely portrayed in the movie, in fact, the term Blade Runner can’t even be found in Philip K. Dick’s novel. Nonetheless, both the book and movie are amazing and fans should experience them both, rather than just the movie.


Die Hard

Who would have thought that the one of Bruce Willis’ best movies is based on a book? Die Hard does not seem like the kind of story that comes from the written pages but it is indeed based on a novel by Roderick Thorp, written in 1979. The novel is called Nothing Lasts Forever, and is a sequel to a previous novel, The Detective. Now things get really weird: the book was already made into a movie, starring Frank Sinatra but as you can imagine that movie looked a lot different that Die Hard. Maybe that’s why the connection is not so well-known.


The Road to Perdition

The Tom hanks movie from 2002 is actually based on a graphic novel, by max Allan Collins, and the graphic novel is based on a manga series from the 1970’s by author Kazuo Koike and artist Goseki Kojima. Who would have thought the gangster world of Tom Hanks came from a manga book? That’s proof that you can never judge a book by its movie, nor a movie by its book.


Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

The most famous and innovative film of its times is actually based on a book? Yes! Who Framed Roger Rabbit? comes from the book Who Censored Roger Rabbit?, but although the title and major plot lines are the same, the book and movie have a lot of different points of view. The author, Gary K. Wolf later wrote a new Roger Rabbit book, in 1991, and that particular one was indeed more similar to the movie. Did you knew that this groundbreaking animation was not based on an original script?



The famous movie about the green ogre who is transformed into a lovable little monster by his love for the princess Fiona seems to be loosely based on a picture book of the well-known children’s book author William Steig. The book first appeared in 1990 but did not have a lot of success, maybe that’s why not a lot of people know that Shrek, the ogre, has his origins in the book Shrek!


Rambo: First Blood

We end our list with probably the most unbelievable of them all, Rambo: First Blood. The first movie in the famous Rambo series is based on a David Morell novel from 1972. The author said he wrote it from tales he heard from his students. They told Morell’s about their Vietnam experiences and he decided write a book. Who would have thought that Rambo was a book?

Is one of your favorite movies on this list? You would be surprised how look the list actually is, next time when you see a movie, stay a little while for the credits maybe they will surprise you.


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