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They’re Adapting: Why is “Unfilmable” Such a Dirty Word?

The word “unfilmable” is thrown around a lot these days. Mostly quite unfairly, but sometimes somewhat justly. It’s typically used as a go to word when somebody is genuinely terrified of what an adaptation of a certain work may look like, but don’t want to concede that the thought of what Hollywood will do to a clever and insightful idea chills them to the very bone (this is the system which turned down a chance to make Fahrenheit 451 because they couldn’t sell it to thirteen year olds). However, the word itself simply suggests that there are some ideas, stories, narratives, presentations, whatever that simply can’t be transitioned from one format to another – here, of course, the other is always cinema or television. So, is it ever fair to describe something is “unfilmable” and is there any shame in the idea?

Lost in Adaptation...

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