Saturday, October 6, 2012

Teen Books Coming to a Screen Near You!

Since the Harry Potter franchise has run out of movies, the Twilight saga is about to end, and there are only so many Hunger Games films to make, studios are looking for their next Big Thing. Here are some of the movies/shows to look out for in the coming months/years:

The Selection by Kiera Cass

One of the many dystopian lite novels to debut post Hunger Games, this is the story of a girl who is chosen by lottery to compete in a televised competition for the hand of a prince. 300 years in the future, elaborate caste system, suspect leaders, etc. The writers look promising: Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain have written for major shows including Angel, The Shield, Dollhouse and The Vampire Diaries. Look for this one midseason 2013 on the CW.

Battle Royale by Koushun Takami

Appearing first as a novel in 1999, then a film and manga series, this is the brutal story of teens being forced to fight to the death in a televised event. Sound familiar? Many have claimed, with varying degrees of cynicism, that this is where Suzanne Collins found her inspiration for The Hunger Games. The similarities are clear, and while there are also plenty of differences, it's easy to see why the CW might be interested in releasing another series in the "Televised Teens Slaughter Each Other" oeuvre. (If you haven't already, check out the original Japanese film, it's definitely worth watching). There is no set deal in place, but a Battle Royale series sounds like a strong possibility.


City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

So far this is the most certain project on the list. Slated for an August 2013 release, a film adaptation is already in production for this highly popular opener to Clare's The Mortal Instruments series. Harald Zwart is directing, and the cast includes Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, Robert Maillet, Robert Sheehan, Godfrey Gao, Lena Headey (Queen Cersei herself!), Aidan Turner (Mitchell! *swoon* If you haven't watched the original, best, and English version of Being Human, close your browser immediately and do so. You can thank me later), Jared Harris, and Jonathan Rhys Meyers. I haven't read this series myself, but I think I might have to if the movie is going to star some of my very favorite people (Aidan Turner, fwaa!)

Divergent by Veronica Roth

And the dystopias just keep on coming! Look for a film adaptation of Roth's immensely popular series beginning in May 2014. No word on the cast yet, but this movie is being produced by the same studio responsible for Twilight, so you can bet that they are fully aware of the cash-cow potential here and will look to draw some big names.

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

For those of you who prefer paranormal romance to dystopian fiction, look for this story of love and werewolves coming out in 2014.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The film adaptation of this teen dystopian novel (surprised? Me neither) seems to be stuck in development hell without a green light at the moment, but Fox has the rights to this adaptation, and supposedly a script has been written and Wes Ball as been hired to direct.

Matched by Ally Condie

Even before the first book in the series was published, Disney purchased the rights for a film adaptation of this romantic dystopia-lite story. David Slade (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse) is the director and Kieran Mulroney (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows) is doing the screenplay. No cast announcements as of yet.

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Last but certainly not least is the long-awaited movie version of a classic sci-fi teen book.  Gavin Hood (the most recognizable movie on his resume is X-Men Origins Wolverine... I'll try not to hold that against him) wrote the screenplay and is the director, and the cast has some massive A-listers including Abigail Breslin, Ben Kingsley, and Harrison "MFing Han Solo" Ford. Ender is being played by Asa Butterfield, who you may remember from his fantastic turn in Hugo. Of all the names on this list, I think this is the one to watch out for.

Personally I would walk over hot coals for a tv show based on Libba Bray's The Diviners (review coming very soon) and, if they promised very solemnly to do it right, I would LOVE to see a film adaptation of Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

What do you think? Anything I missed, or any books that you would like to see turned into tv shows/movies?


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