It is a writer’s dream to write a best-selling novel, or maybe even a best-selling novel with a blockbuster film adaptation. Who wouldn’t want the fruit of his or her artistic labors to reach and influence the lives of millions? The right book can alter the way its readers think. It can inspire them into action. Sometimes, though, that influence reaches farther and in different directions than the author anticipated. Sometimes, authors grow to hate these publications that make them famous.
10. Brokeback Mountain
In 1997, Annie Proulx published Brokeback Mountain as a short story. In 2005, it was adapted into the critically acclaimed film that won three Academy Awards and four Golden Globes. The film, which centers around two men who fall in love against a conservative and rural backdrop, has had its fair share of controversy. In the years following the movie’s release, Proulx has given multiple interviews about the hassle she still receives about the content. She says the biggest point of contention is the ending. She receives many letters from men that begin with, “I’m not gay but . . . ” followed by a lengthy explanation of what should have happened and implications that they know better since they are men and the author is a woman. The harassment has bothered Proulx so much that she’s quoted saying, “I wish I’d never written the story. It’s just been the cause of hassle and problems and irritation since the film came out. Before the film it was all right.”
9. Watchmen, V For Vendetta, From Hell
Alan Moore is the mastermind behind multiple graphic novels that have been turned into box office gold—gold that he refuses to take. He worked with DC Comics to publish some of his most famous works, including V for Vendetta, Watchmen, and From Hell. Moore parted ways with DC Comics in the late 1980s for multiple reasons. He disagreed with rating and labeling the books for “Mature Readers.” He was also furious that he was being duped out of the rights to his work; the company said he would get the rights back when the books went out of print. The catch was they never actually planned to stop printing them.
When the DC Comics movies started coming out, Moore refused to be involved and has refused to accept any profit from the films. He won’t watch the film adaptations of his comics and graphic novels, including those published with non-DC companies like The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Moore even asked for his name to be taken off the credits. While he stands by his stories in their original form, he despises their connection to Hollywood.
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