In a seminal essay on adaptation, Dudley Andrew argues that the defining feature of film adaptation — ‘the matching of the cinematic sign system to prior achievements in some other system’ — can be shown to be typical of all representational film.1 This is to say that every film — indeed, every representation — can be regarded as an adaptation because no film ‘responds immediately to reality itself but rather adapts, or represents, some pre-existing model.2 As Andrew points out, adaptation theory typically limits representation, first by focusing on the transference of novels into film, and then by targeting those cases in which the prior model is a highly regarded literary classic or a widely read popular novel.3 More recently, some critics have suggested that writing about adaptation should provide a more ‘flexible [and] animating discourse in film studies’.4 James Naremore notes that while adaptation is mostly thought about in relation to canonical literature, it might also accommodate adaptations of other textualised materials.5 A broader approach to adaptation could include, for example, films derived from songs (The Indian Runner, Sean Penn, 1991), letters (The Last Time I Committed Suicide, Stephen Kay, 1996), newspaper articles (Biker Boyz, Reggie Rock Bythewood, 2003), comic books (Spiderman, Sam Raimi, 2002), computer games (Laura Croft: Tomb Raider, Simon West, 2001), adventure rides (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Gore Verbinski, 2003), television series (Charlie’s Angels, McG, 2000) and films derived from other films — remakes. This chapter sketches a broad approach to adaptation and/as remaking before attending to two extended case studies — the remaking of Yojimbo and Planet of the Apes — and concluding with some historical notes around the concept of remaking.
KeywordsTelevision Series Film Adaptation Semantic Element Frame Story American Film
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