The Most Adapted Authors: Revised and Expanded Edition (INFOGRAPHIC)

Slate's Culture Blog
March 23 2011 3:54 PM

The Most Adapted Authors: Revised and Expanded Edition (INFOGRAPHIC)

Recently, inspired by Jessica Winter's Slate article on why there are so many movie adaptations of Jane Eyre, I endeavored to find the authors most often adapted for the screen. Searching likely suspects on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), and comparing the number of "writer" credits attributed to each, I compiled a list of twenty-five of Hollywood's favorite authors. Some of my discoveries were surprising (the second most adapted author is Anton Chekhov), some were not (Shakespeare is by far the most popular author). I closed by asking Brow Beat readers to point out who I missed.

Readers came through. Some of the omissions were more obvious: For example, I'd missed the great Russian novelists Fyodor Dostoevsky and Leo Tolstoy, who have accumulated 177 and 154 IMDb credits, respectively. Others, though, I might never have guessedlike W. Somerset Maugham, who tied with original list member Mark Twain with 121 credits. The most glaring omission by far, however, was Three Musketeers and Count of Monte Cristo novelist Alexandre Dumas, who slides in ahead of Edgar Allan Poe with 243 credits.

The graphic previewed below shows the top twenty-five authors I've found, each of whom have 100 or more IMDb writer credits. Bear in mind: While the IMDb remains by far the most complete database for this information, these numbers include not just major film adaptations, but also limited release films,television series and in some rare cases even video games.

/blogs/browbeat/2011/03/23/the_most_adapted_authors_revised_and_expanded_edition_infographic/jcr:content/body/slate_image

Click on the image for an interactive graphic.

Advertisement

Authors with just under one hundred "writer"credits include H.P. Lovecraft (99), Eugene O'Neill (95), Samuel Beckett (95), J.M. Barrie (93), Cornell Woolrich (93), and Harold Pinter (92).

Forrest Wickman is a Slate staff writer. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Sports Nut

Grandmaster Clash

One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

Uh-Oh. The World’s Oceans Have Broken Their All-Time Heat Record.

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

Future Tense

How to Keep Apple From Sharing Your iPhone Data With the Police

Food

How to Order Chinese Food

First, stop thinking of it as “Chinese food.”

A Simple Way to Keep Apple From Sharing Your iPhone Data With the Police

The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant

The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 11:40 AM The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 18 2014 8:20 PM A Clever Attempt at Explaining Away a Vote Against the Farm Bill
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 18 2014 6:02 PM A Chinese Company Just Announced the Biggest IPO in U.S. History
  Life
Outward
Sept. 18 2014 4:15 PM Reactions to a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Reveal Transmisogyny
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 18 2014 8:07 PM Crying Rape False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 4:33 PM The Top 5 Dadsplaining Moments From The Cosby Show
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 6:48 PM By 2100 the World's Population Could Be 11 Billion
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.