There’s a rather alarmist article over at The Atlantic this week worrying that J.K. Rowling is tinkering too much with her Harry Potter universe, eight years after the end of the series. Rowling has put forth scattered information about the Potterverse since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was published in 2007, notably that Albus Dumbledore was gay, and other, far less notable tidbits, such as last week’s reveal that Harry’s son James Sirius Potter was sorted into Gryffindor (quelle surprise). The author of The Atlantic article, David Sims, worries that Rowling might end up as bad off as the prime example of a creator who couldn’t leave well enough alone: George Lucas, who faced such backlash from fans after his edits to his original Star Wars trilogy, that some fans actually rejoiced when Disney bought the franchise, as it meant Lucas couldn’t screw it up anymore.
Me, I think Sims overstates his case against Rowling here. But it does raise an interesting question - what other authors or creators couldn’t leave a good thing alone and ultimately ruined their own franchise? I’d say Peter Jackson has to be on the list, as his Hobbit movies are downright terrible, and they make me enjoy The Lord of the Rings movies a little bit less. Surely no studio would entrust Jackson to a Tolkein based film again. Robert Jordan will also be on many fans’ lists. He took a fairly enjoyable, if derivative series, and dragged the plot out to a standstill, with many fans believing the Wheel of Time series didn’t really recover until after Jordan’s death, when Brandon Sanderson took over authorship.
Who ruined their franchise with too much of a good thing in your opinion?