List of public domain works with multimedia adaptations

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Following is a list of public domain works with multimedia adaptations. This lists includes works for which installments exist in multiple forms of media, such as books, comic books, films, television series, and video games. Multimedia franchises usually develop through a character or fictional world becoming popular in one media, and then expanding to others through licensing agreements, with respect to intellectual property in the franchise's characters and settings. With respect to public domain works, however, adaptations or extensions of the original work may be done without the permission of the author.

In order to qualify for purposes of this list, the original media must have originated from the work of an identifiable author or set of co-authors, and must have been adapted into works in at least three forms of media, and must have two or more separate works in at least two of those forms of media (a television series or comic book series is considered a single work for purposes of this list; multiple spin-off series or remakes of a previously ended series are considered multiple works). For example, a novel that spawned one film and one television series would not qualify; a series of novels made into a television series that had a spin-off series, or was remade as a new series, and which also spawned one film, does qualify.

All of these works arise in literature, because there are far fewer works in any other media in the public domain. Although many historical figures (such as Abraham Lincoln, Julius Caesar, and Casanova) and historical events (such as the sinking of the Titanic) have been portrayed in multiple media, with fictionalized elements, these people and events are not themselves "works", and therefore do not fall within the scope of this list.

Original literary work Comic books Animated
Live action
TV series
Live action
TV series
Video games Other media
Alice in Wonderland
(Lewis Carroll)
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865)
numerous adaptations and sequels
various several, most famously the 1951 Disney adaptation[1] several several several several -
Allan Quatermain
(H. Rider Haggard)
King Solomon's Mines (1885)
numerous sequels
yes yes various no no no -
(Edgar Rice Burroughs)
Under the Moons of Mars (1912 serial); A Princess of Mars (1917); numerous sequels several no Princess of Mars (2009); John Carter (2012) no no no -
Count Dracula
(Bram Stoker)
Dracula (1897) various yes numerous films yes yes yes Role-playing games; character and settings have been adopted into many other media/franchises
Frankenstein's monster
(Mary Shelley)
Frankenstein (1818) various yes numerous films yes yes yes Role-playing games; character and settings have been adopted into many other media/franchises
The Jungle Book
(Rudyard Kipling)
The Jungle Book (1894)
The Second Jungle Book (1895)
yes The Jungle Book (1967) several Adventures of Mowgli (1967-1971)[3] no The Jungle Book (1993) Radio show, stage plays
Peter Pan[4]
(J. M. Barrie)
The Little White Bird (1902; character appears in a segment)
Peter and Wendy (1911)
numerous adaptations
various Walt Disney's Peter Pan (1953); various others various Peter Pan and the Pirates (1990); various others no several Peter Pan's Flight (theme park ride); various stage plays
Sherlock Holmes
(Arthur Conan Doyle)
four novels and 56 short stories, beginning in 1887 various no various no various several -
(Edgar Rice Burroughs)
Tarzan of the Apes (1912)
twenty-three other books by Edgar Rice Burroughs; various adaptations by other authors
Tarzan (comics) several numerous Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle (1976-1984)
various others
Tarzan (1966-1968)
various others
several Stage productions, radio programs, and other media.
Tom Sawyer
(Mark Twain)
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876)
several other books
yes several several several several no several
The War of the Worlds
(H. G. Wells)
The War of the Worlds (1898)
and various sequels
various adaptations no The War of the Worlds (1953)
War of the Worlds (2005)
and various others
no War of the Worlds (1988-1990) various The War of the Worlds radio serial (1938)
Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds (1978 concept album and 2000s stage production)
and many others
The Wizard of Oz
(L. Frank Baum)
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
several sequels
various yes numerous, most famously the 1939 adaptation yes no yes Wicked (2003 Broadway musical); various other uses in music, theme park attractions, etc.


  1. ^ Louis Peitzman, "17 Adaptations Of "Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland" Through The Years", BuzzFeed (October 11, 2013), describing the 1951 Disney film as "undoubtedly the most well known".
  2. ^ Some elements of this work are still covered by copyright.
  3. ^ Note: the Disney animated series, TaleSpin also adapted a number of characters from Disney's animated film of The Jungle Book.
  4. ^ Copyright claims have been asserted as to certain specific elements of this work which were first published by the author in later installments.

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