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Why It's OK for Adaptations to Break From the Source Material

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With The Last of Us Season 1 in our rearview mirrors and viewership numbers now on record, let’s have a discussion about adaptations that take it upon themselves to veer from the canon continuity of their respective source material — what we’ll call “faithless adaptations.” HBO’s series based on Naughty Dog’s video game property kept setting new watch records until the finale, when 8.2 million people tuned in to end on the show’s highest ratings to date.

The Last of Us rolled with momentum until the very last chance, which is a testament to its attention-grabbing quality. It’s a successful show, which means it’s a successful adaptation — even though the storytelling forges a unique made-for-TV path that’s not beholden to the game’s choices.Faithless adaptations once again came into question after the departure of Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia from Netflix's The Witcher Season 4 raised many an eyebrow last December — but maybe not as many as executive producer and showrunner Lauren Hissrich's comments.

In response to the megastar's jump-ship, Hissrich mentioned that she's excited about the prospect of story reshuffling because "you don't know where exactly the adventure is going to end." Except, if you're a devout fan of Andrzej Sapkwoski's The Witcher novels — which the show was supposedly following like blueprints — you do know where The Witcher will end after the eight-book storyline is complete.

Fans might wonder if veering into faithless adaptation territory is a red flag for future seasons because what's an adaptation if it's not committed to its source?That's the question filmmakers and showrunners have puzzled over for years.

Read more on ign.com
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