Thanks to the blockbuster success of ‘Divergent’ and ‘The Fault In Our Stars’ this summer, film adaptations of young adult (YA) books are hotter than ever in Hollywood. Here are some of the ones to keep an eye out for.
'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1/Part 2'
The penultimate installment of the ‘Hunger Games’ franchise is coming 20 November, as Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) finally takes on the denizens of the Capitol alongside the rebels of District 13. The film was hit by tragedy with the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman during shooting, while it’s not known at which point in the novel the first film will cut off.
Even fans of the novels might admit the narrative is a bit stretched at this point (and there’s no tournament this time around), but JLaw is a brilliant lead and everyone wants President Snow (Donald Sutherland) to get his comeuppance. Be warned though – if you’re hoping for a happy ending…oh, don’t be silly, we’d never spoil it. ‘Part 2’ comes the same time a year later.
The sequel to ‘Divergent’ comes in March 2015 and sees Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) continuing to pursue the truth about the faction-filled society.
Expect more sacrifice, complicated discussions of simulations and Kate Winslet having a whale of a time in something that most certainly won’t win her an Oscar.
'The Maze Runner'
James Dashner’s novels were New York Times bestsellers and the producers of the movie version will be hoping those avid readers are ready to line up for three movies too (or four, as is the current custom of breaking the final book into two films for “artistic” reasons).
This pretty much does what it says on the tin – following a group of kids (including Dylan O’Brien, ‘Skins’ alumna Kaya Scodelario and Brit actor Will Poulter) trying to escape a deadly maze. There’s some conspiracy bumph/’Lord Of The Flies’ thrown in too. You can see if they make it on 10 October.
'If I Stay'
Tapping into the teen loss ‘Sick Lit’ paradigm, Gayle Forman’s 2009 novel gives it a supernatural twist by having protagonist Mia experience most of the story while her body is in a coma after a car accident. The hook? She must look at her life and remaining loved ones to decide if she wants to live or die. Chloë Grace Moretz is Mia, British actor Jamie Blackley gets his breakout role as her boyfriend Adam. Take tissues on 29 August.
'Chaos Walking' Trilogy
Patrick Ness’ terrifying trilogy, starting with ‘The Knife Of Never Letting Go’, is set in a dystopian world where people can hear each other’s thoughts. Following a young man called Todd, it’s an epic and complicated tale. Its cinematic incarnation will have a unique twist – it’s being written by Charlie Kaufman, the innovative Oscar-winner of ‘Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind’ and ‘Adaptation’. Robert Zemeckis (‘Back To The Future’) has been in negotiations to direct.
John Green is the celebrity author behind ‘A Fault In Our Stars’, so after that breakout hit, it’s no surprise producers are digging into his back catalogue. They might be confronted by a little more quirk than in the smash cancer-com which became a crossover phenomenon, with ‘Towns’ following a teenager called Quentin and his obsessive quest to find a girl called Margo.
Q will be played by Nat Woolf, who had a supporting role in ‘Fault In Our Stars’ and it will be scripted by the same writers, though Green himself wrote the first draft.
'Eleanor & Park'
Another bestselling quirky romance, this time written by Rainbow Rowell, though endorsed by John Green (it shares a lot of DNA with the latter’s work). Eleanor & Park are a mixed-race couple and it tackles domestic abuse as well. Plus it’s set in the 80s. Dreamworks have bought the rights and will be selling it like crazy to all Green fans.
'The 5th Wave’
Chloë Grace Moretz (her again) will star as heroine Cassie in this take on Rick Yancey’s alien invasion novel. With the world’s population decimated by an ET attack, it’s down to Cassie and Ben (Nick Robinson - not the one off BBC News) to take back the planet. On–screen, Liev Schreiber will try to stop that from happening. J Blakeson (‘The Disappearance Of Alice Creed’) will direct the movie, which is due out in January 2016.
The Designated Ugly Fat Friend. That’s what the title stands for, though being Hollywood, the lead role will be played by Mae Whitman, who is neither unattractive nor overweight.
Robbie Amell, best known for TV’s ‘The Tomorrow People’ is the object of her affection. Written by author Kody Keplinger when she was 17, done well this could be a comedy in the ‘Mean Girls’ mould.
'Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them'
Still in the early stages of development, this will be an adaptation of JK Rowling’s thin Harry Potter spin-off novel about the adventures of Newt Scamander, set in New York 70 years before Harry went to Hogwart’s. Rowling will write the script and you can expect it to become a multi-film franchise. It will be released in late 2016.
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