Many of you have already noticed this, but the official verdict is in, and Tim Burton is making quite a large change to Emma’s character in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. In the original novel by Ransom Riggs, Jacob meets a young girl named Emma who introduces us to the world of Miss Peregrine and the “peculiars” through a time loop, and we find out her special ability is that she can control fire. However, in the film version (in which she’s portrayed by Ella Purnell), Emma’s special ability is weightlessness – she floats, and has to wear heavy shoes to keep her secured to the ground. The fire-control ability has been moved over to Olive, who you can see below wearing gloves to protect others from her red-hot hands. In the original novel, she’s the one who can levitate.
It’s important to remember that books and movies are separate entities and will always have some differences, so this is certainly not a horrible thing. The book will always be here for us to enjoy, and the film will be Tim Burton’s interpretation of the universe Ransom Riggs created! I’m assuming that the reason for the switch is that levitation is a very visual and cinematic superpower to have. While fire-control is cinematic as well, I feel like we see fire on screen in films quite a lot, and the protagonist pulling his love interest along with a rope is not something you see in movies everyday.
You can see the superpower in action in a striking image of Jacob on the beach dragging along Emma by a rope, who is clearly floating high in the sky. Tim Burton has also mentioned Emma’s flotation ability in his blurb about working on the project, saying:
“When I was first approached to direct Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children I was given a summary of the novel with all of the photos in the book. I was immediately intrigued by the haunting and mysterious pictures in Ransom Rigg’s novel and knew I wanted to tell the story of those kids. A girl, lighter than air, a boy with bees living in his stomach, a woman who turned into a bird—it was a world I wanted to explore. So I made a film about them.”
Ella Purnell, who plays Emma, and the author, Ransom Riggs, responded to the change and Miss Peregrine’s Peculiars on Instagram shared their responses on their account. See what they had to say, below:
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