All the Light We Cannot See: New Changes in Netflix Show

All the Light We Cannot See is getting a Netflix adaptation. Recent content reveals they’re making some changes from the book. Let’s take a look.

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All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr is a best-selling novel from 2014. Now, it’s getting a live-action adaptation through Netflix. Such a powerful book is sure to make for a powerful show as well. Shawn Levy, the director, has put in a lot of effort to capture the messages of the book. Here’s what we know so far about this adaptation which will be released in early November.

What is All the Light We Cannot See?

All the Light We Cannot See cover by Anthony Doerr

All the Light We Cannot See is a historical fiction centered on World War II. It follows the story of Marie-Laure, a blind French girl who has to flee when the Nazis occupy Paris. It also shows the perspective of Warner Pfennig, a German boy struggling to come to terms with the Nazi perspective and his place in life. There are many other intertwining subplots, and the story itself is an examination of how people struggled to persevere during World War II.

What is the Netflix Adaptation?

The Netflix adaptation will be four hour-long episodes, covering the entirety of the novel. The behind-the-scenes video was just released to give a bigger insight into the adaptation of the story. One of the most important disabilities within the novel is that Marie-Laure is blind. While it is not the entirety of her character, it is an important trait. So Levy cast Aria Mia Loberti, who both understood the role of Marie-Laure well and shared the same disability as the character.

Levy strives to have an accurate perception of the characters within the adaptation. So he’s chosen a cast that genuinely connects and understands the characters they’re portraying.

What Changes Have Been Made?

Levy mentions in the behind-the-scenes video that some of the more upsetting scenes are being changed from the book’s rendition. For any readers who are insistent the books are always better than the movie, this might already be a huge red flag for the show.


But for readers of All the Light We Cannot See in particular, Doerr did not leave much of a happy ending for most of the cast. Since the story is about World War II, it’s not a huge surprise that most of the characters faced an unhappy ending. Many of the complaints from those who didn’t like the book center around the idea that the ending felt too depressing or unnecessary.

So Levy’s choice to remove some of those darker scenes from the epilogue and later chapters may be a good choice to appeal to a wider audience. We won’t quite know until the show comes out, and we can gauge the reactions of fans of the book. But from what is mentioned in the behind-the-scenes video, it seems that they are trying to remain as faithful to the novel as possible. The only difference is that some of the endings might be changed to make it a slightly more uplifting story.

Netflix has a track record of making popular TV adaptations of novels, so there’s a good chance it’ll do well, even if it’s not entirely faithful to the book. We’ll have to wait and see in November to know for sure.

Want more about TV adaptations from books? Check out this list of some you should watch!