Why do producers change the storyline when they take a book/comic book and make it into a movie/ TV show?

I mean, I've been watching the walking dead since 2010 and I recently read all the comic book issues. I can understand why they didn't put some really brutal scenes in the TV show, but why did they have to change the storyline?

I could understand if they wanted to add stuff if there weren't enough on the comic book to make the TV show last, but there are like 10 seasons alone that could be made from the comic book issues and it is far from ending.

  • I didn't find any similar threads. If there is,delete this one. thanks Nov 2, 2013 at 15:17
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    This is hard to answer in general. There can be numerous reasons for changing the story when transforming it onto the screen. But maybe you could concentrate on The Walking Dead explicitly and on some particular major changes?
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Nov 2, 2013 at 15:49
  • There will be spoilers, so is there any way to prevent everyone from seeing it like, making it invisible until you hover your mouse over the text? Nov 2, 2013 at 15:51
  • @Shvliaskovic There is a special spoiler markup, either >! or !> (don't know which, since I never use it) which does exactly that. But keep in mind that, except for question titles, spoilers are absolutely no problem on this site, you don't even need to use spoiler markup. Talking about a TV show's story neccessarily comes with spoilers.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Nov 2, 2013 at 18:26
  • Because people who read the comics would spoil it for everyone as the story line would be exposed. Plus to give a fresh take and also because not everything in the comic is adaptable to television Jul 20, 2014 at 3:50

2 Answers 2


There can be numerous reasons. You have to remember that media like TV shows and film have to cover stories in a far more restricted timeframe than print media can. This means they can't dwell on story lines or certain characters for too long. This May result in shallower character development, characters being dropped, added, or altered. You may also have content considerations, as you've already noted. Sometimes the writers change things to keep those that have read the source material on their toes, or to make things more relatable to those who haven't read the source material.

In the end there can be many reasons why shows like The Walking Dead have the changes they do. I simply recommend viewing them as two separate items entirely. The comic book writer is telling his story, the show writers are telling theirs.


There is always a gap to bridge when adapting a book/comic/graphic novel into a TV show. A graphic novel is not addressing the same audience as the TV show. There is even a difference between the ways such literary works are adapted for Movies and TV shows. Given the episodic release format for the shows spanning over different seasons, the makers try to gauge the audience reactions to certain aspects of the show that make it click.

Since you have given the example of The Walking Dead, let's take that under consideration. We can clearly see that the start of the first season is true to the story in the graphic novel. In the first season the only new additions were made by the characters of Daryl and Merle. Since these are new introductions they can be treated as experiments by the writers. If the audiences accept them, they can incorporate them into the story-line. If they aren't they can be easily written off. In this particular case, the audiences loved these characters so much that they became characters around whom entire episodes were filmed. Therefore, the writers can now take the liberty of using such new introductions to further make creative additions.

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