The film industry has been making adaptations of famous books pretty much since movies were invented. Nowadays, if an author publishes even a mildly successful novel, it’s a good bet that a movie studio will swoop in to scoop up the rights—sometimes even before the book is published. With so much of Hollywood dominated by franchises, turning a bestselling book into a movie is considered a sure thing: the movie already has a fan base even before it comes out, and if the fans like it, it’ll make tons of money.

Adapting multiple works of literature into multiple movies is a slightly bigger gamble. If it works, you get The Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter—movie series that are so good and culturally omnipresent they become entwined, and you can’t think of one without thinking of the other. If it doesn’t work, then you lost a ton of money on a movie without an ending that no one went to see.

More often than not, especially in recent years, it hasn’t worked. Studios have pushed out movie adaptations that are either so faithful to their source material that they’re boring, or so different they alienate their fans and confuse anyone else who tries to go see them. There’s nothing more disappointing than a bad movie based on a great book, and when the potential was there for multiple movies based on a whole world you loved reading about, it’s even more tragic when it’s over before it even got the chance to begin. Here are 12 of the worst attempted adaptations of beloved book series, a couple of which were allowed to continue despite their awful quality. Maybe that’s actually the worst case scenario.

12 Bad Adaptations of Epic Book Series

Most of these didn't even get past the first installment.

Gallery Credit: Emma Stefansky

READ MORE: Remakes and Sequels That Were Better Than the Original Movies

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