Writers Who Read: The Original Stories Popular Movies Are Based On  


Some of our favorites stories have graced the big screen. We fall in love with movie plots and can watch them again and again. But, have you ever wondered where some of those tales come from? Did they originate from a screenwriter’s mind, or were they inspired by someone’s memory, or did they come from the pages of a book? Numerous popular movies, including The Princess Bride, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and Wild actually started as novels before heading to the theaters. As with many books, movie liberties can be taken and plot changes can be made to the classic version. Let’s take a look at the initial stories behind these three famous movies in their book forms.

The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure by William Goldman

Good news for lovers of this beloved journey, The Princess Bride movie doesn’t stray too far from The Princess Bride novel, except that it doesn’t give all of the details of the novel. Published in 1973, author William Goldman gives readers a fairy tale of adventure, romance, and laughter in his retelling of S. Morgenstern’s classic. According to Goldman, his version can be known as the “Good Parts Version.” Set in 1941, a father reads the story of a Renaissance couple, Buttercup and Westley, to his sick son. While living in the village of Florin, Buttercup and Westley fall in love and plan to get married. However, things take a turn when Westley goes off to retrieve his fortune, but instead gets captured by the Dread Pirate Roberts. Buttercup receives a letter about this attack and is led to believe that Westley has died. She then decides to marry Prince Humperdinck of Florin. But, does Buttercup go through with the marriage as planned or is Westley not really dead? Read the favorite story, The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure to find out.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Centered around the tagline, “What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once?” To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before tells the story of sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song and the letters she wrote to the five boys she has loved. Within the letters, Lara Jean includes her personal thoughts and emotions, things she normally wouldn’t say aloud. She keeps them in a hatbox from her mother, but when the letters are accidently mailed and Lara Jean’s true feelings are revealed to the world, things get a little crazy. Throughout the book, readers are given an insight to Lara Jean’s life with her sister, ex-boyfriends, and current one, all while wishing for her life to go back to normal. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was published in 2014 and is based on Han’s own experience of writing letters to her boy crushes. The novel is followed by two sequels: P.S. I Still Love You and Always and Forever, Lara Jean. In 2018, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Beforewas adapted into a Netflix film.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

2,650 miles long, the Pacific Crest Trail starts in Mexico, ends in Canada, and travels through California, Oregon, and Washington. It is also the main setting for Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. At the age of 26, Strayed sets out on an adventure unlike any she’s known before. With determination and courage, she decides to hike 1,100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, alone, all while on the mission to heal. Just four short years earlier, Strayed’s mother passed away from cancer, her stepfather, brother, and sister withdrew from her family, and Strayed’s marriage was dissolved. To help cope with these tragedies, a boyfriend persuades Strayed to start using drugs. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail is an inspiring tale of perseverance, discovery, and overcoming challenges.

Hundreds of books have been turned into movies. The Princess Bride, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and Wild are just three of the many. A good piece of advice: always read the book before watching the movie.


Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Stay up to date with our events and get exclusive article content right to your inbox!

Latest Stories

Other Featured Articles


All Article in Current Issue