Movies You Didn’t Know Were Based on Classic Literature

From Emma to Harry Potter, Hollywood is brimming with countless movies that were adaptations of popular novels. There is no end to filming different iterations of these famous books. But there are also some directors who took inspiration from the classics and cleverly translated them without letting us realize. Most of us have watched these movies several times but never knew that they were based on classic literature that we read back in school. So, be ready to be surprised.


Most fans of this classic teen drama may have figured out that it was based on Jane Austen’s Emma. Just like the famous novel, Cher was a charming teen from a wealthy family who decided to be a girl’s fairy godmother out of pity and set her up with a friend. Apart from linking former stepbrother and stepsister, the rest of the plot is all inspired.  

The Dark Knight Rises

One might assume that a Batman film would be based on a comic book but Nolan will prove them wrong. One of Christopher Nolan’s greatest pieces, The Dark Knight Rises is inspired by Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities. He admitted it himself and said “What Dickens does in that book in terms of having all his characters come together in one unified story with all these thematic elements and all this great emotionalism and drama, it was exactly the tone we were looking for,”

Pretty Woman

This iconic romantic movie that breaks the class system, formed by society, was inspired by George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion. It delivers the same message where a less privileged woman is viewed differently by society when her appearance and way of carrying herself change. 

Bridget Jones’s Diary

We know what you must be wondering. Bridget Jones’s Diary is itself taken from a book with the same title. But the book that this lovable rom-com is adapted from was based on Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice. If you notice, both the stories feature Mr. Darcy with a similar disposition. 

Groundhog Day

Did you know that the iconic Groundhog Day was also inspired by a book? Its plot is loosely taken from The Gay Science by Friedrich Nietzsche where the author highlights the concept of “eternal recurrence”. Sounds similar to the protagonist of the film who lived the same day over and over again?

She’s the Man

If we strip off the soccer theme and modern time, She’s the Man is Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, through and through. The whole plot is basically the classic play with characters whose names were also inspired by the book. In both the stories, Viola, disguised as a man, falls in love with Duke.

She’s All That

The plot of She’s All That is also loosely similar to that of Pygmalion. It follows a popular high school teen who makes a bet with a friend that he could transform any girl into a prom queen within six weeks.

10 Things I Hate About You

Can you guess from which classic literature this film was adapted? With additional romantic elements, 10 Things I Hate About You is based on The Taming of the Shrew by Shakespeare. It features the story of completely opposite sisters.

From Prada to Nada

The essence of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility can be found in From Prada to Nada. They follow the lives of two girls from a privileged family who were compelled by life to leave all their wealth behind and start afresh.

Cruel Intentions

Cruel Intentions was a modernized and teen version of the classic French literature, Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos. Both have similar plots where a wealthy young girl challenges another boy from an aristocratic family to sleep the night with another girl as a part of her vengeful scheme.