I have difficulty believing the re-make (or re-adaptation) could live up to the stone-cold brilliance of the original movies, but from what I understand there were several subplots removed from the books in making the first adaptation, so I guess it could work.
I just finished reading 1974
and the above turns out to have been an understatement; if the plot of the movie is complicated, the plot of the book is positively labyrinthine. There's a missing (rugby? football/soccer?) player who turns out to be central to the climax, for starters, and John Dawson (movie version) turns out to be an amalgamation of about three different characters from the book, each of whom is involved in the murder of Claire Kemplay in a different way (not a spoiler, since everyone
is involved in the murder somehow--that's what the book's about). BJ gets a couple more scenes, as well.
Most notably, the ray of hope that we get in 1974
just before the conclusion of the movie is absolutely absent here. It starts dark and gets darker and then blows up.
All of which is to say--it's easy to see how a good re-adaptation of the book could be not only different, but wildly different, from the first movie--oddly enough, by hewing closer to the novel (in that way, it's the opposite of the situation I understand them as having with Let the Right One In
, where the original movie follows the book pretty closely for most of its running). But that's only if they're looking at a series; if they try to condense all four books into one movie--and if each book is as complicated as this--they're cooking up a disaster of a movie.
EDIT: Here's the biggest difference between the book and the movie:
That's a pretty big departure for the adaptation, right there.
Edited by NBooth, 18 June 2011 - 09:25 AM.