14 YA Film Adaptations Sparked By ‘Hunger Games’ Success
Young adult adaptations seem to be Hollywood’s favorite type of film to make as of late, and after the huge box office success of the first two Hunger Games movies, it’s not hard to see why. Mockingjay: Part 1, the first of the two-part ending to the series, is set to hit theaters in November, but there are also plenty of other popular YA movie adaptations in the works. Here are 14 YA film adaptations sparked by the success of The Hunger Games.
Summer Entertainment picked up the film rights to the first novel of the popular YA dystopian trilogy in March 2011. The movie, starring Shailene Woodley and Theo James as the main characters, Tris and Four, and adapted by Evan Daugherty and Vanessa Taylor, was released on March 21, 2014, hoping to fill the strong female heroine void left after The Hunger Games: Catching Fire release in November. The first installment of the franchise grossed over $269 million worldwide against its budget of $85 million. The follow-up, Insurgent, is scheduled to be released on March 20, 2015.
Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
Jumping off the trend of YA film adaptations starring a strong female lead, this action sci-fi film based off the first book of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series was released in August 2013. Directed by Harald Zwart, the film stars Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, Robert Sheehan, and Kevin Zegers. Unfortunately, the movie failed to take off the way its predecessors did. It gained negative reviews from critics and was a box office disappointment, grossing $9.3 million in its debut weekend in the United States. Now, the studio is reportedly looking to bring the series to the small screen instead.
The popular 2005 science fiction series by Scott Westerfeld takes place in a dystopian society in which everyone is considered an “Ugly” until they reach the age of 16, when they get turned into a “Pretty.” The story focuses specifically on teenager Tally Youngblood as she approaches the time of the transition and questions whether she really wants to go through with it. Further, 20th Century Fox and producer John Davis (Eragon) bought the film rights to adapt the first novel of the four-book series into film. The movie was originally scheduled to be released in the 2011, but was then pushed back and eventually canceled. Now, the flick is reportedly once again in the works, but it’s unclear when production will start.
Blood Red Road
Published in June 2011, this dystopian novel was author Moira Young’s debut book and the first of a planned trilogy entitled the Dustlands series. The post-apocalyptic young adult novel follows eighteen-year-old Saba, who goes on a quest to rescue her brother after he is kidnapped by the a group of four cloaked horsemen that also killed their father. Director and producer Ridley Scott has been attached to helm the adaptation for some time now, and though Young discussed a completed first script in 2013, not much more has been heard about the potential movie since.
Author Patrick Ness’s sci-fi series is set in a dystopian world where all living creatures can hear each other’s thoughts in a mixture of images and sounds referred to in the book as Noise. Lionsgate Entertainment acquired rights to a film adaptation of the first novel of the trilogy, The Knife of Never Letting Go, and brought on Doug Davison’s production company, Quadrant Pictures, to produce. Charlie Kaufman, who won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, has also been hired to take on the script. There’s no word on when the film will start shooting or the release date just yet.
Based off Lois Lowry’s famous 1993 novel, the upcoming science fiction film, directed by Phillip Noyce, features an A-list ensemble cast, including Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Brenton Thwaites, Alexander Skarsgård, Katie Holmes, and Taylor Swift. The story takes place in a dystopian world and follows 16-year-old Jonas (Thwaites) after he is selected to become his society’s Receiver of Memory, a role that gives him insight into the dark underbelly of his community. The big screen adaptation, set to hit theaters on August 15, has been in the works for quite some time, with the rights originally being bought by Warner Bros. before ending up with The Weinstein Company and Walden Media.
The Here and Now
Alcon Entertainment, Alloy Entertainment, and Kira Davis’s 8:38 Productions have teamed up to acquire film rights to Ann Brashares’s latest YA novel, The Here and Now, which was released in April of this year. The three companies adapted Brashares’s previous bestselling books, the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, into a 2005 film and 2008 sequel. The novel follows a 17-year-old girl from the future who immigrated to New York when she was twelve to save the world from a mosquito-born illness headed their way. Alcon’s Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson will co-produce with Davis alongside Alloy president Les Morgenstein and VP of Alloy features Elysa Dutton.
The Immortal Rules: Blood of Eden
The Blood of Eden, a YA dystopian vampire series, follows teenager Allison Sekemoto, a young girl trying to survive a post-apocalyptic world where vampires have risen to rule over the cities after a virus called the “Red Lung Virus” wiped out most of humanity. The first book in the series, The Immortal Rules, was released in April 2012, the same week that Palomar Pictures acquired the screen rights to the book series. Since then, author Julie Kagawa has released two follow-ups, 2013’s The Eternity Cure and 2014’s The Forever Song, but not much more information has been released regarding the film adaptation.
In 2010, about a year after Lionsgate first purchased the rights for The Hunger Games, Disney acquired the film rights to the Matched trilogy before the first book was even released. The series by Ally Condie follows a teenage girl Cassie who, like everyone else in the futuristic, dystopian culture called Society, has to get matched with someone when they reach the age of 17. But when she goes to receive information on her match on a “microcard,” she is surprised to see a face she doesn’t expect flash up momentarily on the screen before it switches to her Society-approved match, her best friend Xander, the experience makes her rethink her place in Society and the world she lives in. Paramount Pictures also tried to obtain rights to the movie, but was eventually beat out by Disney. David Slade of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse was slated to direct the movie and Kieran and Michele Mulroney were reportedly writing the script, but Condie herself took to Twitter last year to confirm to fans that not much other progress has been made on the film yet.
The Queen of Tearling
The fantasy epic trilogy, described as a “female-oriented Game of Thrones,” was purchased by publisher HarperCollins in February and the debut book was published in July. Warner Bros. has already acquired the rights to the book and Emma Watson, who has plenty of experience turning a much buzzed about series into film, has already signed on to star in and executive produce the film adaptation. Her participation in the film has already garnered fans’ interest, as the actress has previously declared she wouldn’t do another franchise. Former Harry Potter producer David Heyman has also reportedly already been hired.
This 2011 dystopian novel, followed by sequels Prodigy and Champion, follows 15-year-old Day, the Republic’s most-wanted criminal who constantly manages to escapes from authorities, and 15-year-old June, the Republic’s prodigy who eventually becomes allies with Day. CBS Films optioned the movie rights before Legend was even published, but no one has been attached to the project yet. When the final book in the series, Champion, was released last summer, author Marie Lu revealed they are still looking for the perfect director and producers for the potential film after director Jonathan Levine dropped out.
Julianna Baggott’s YA trilogy is set in a post-apocalyptic world that’s divided into two societies: the Pures, those who are healthy and beautiful ones that live safely under a dome, and the Wretches, those scarred by the devastation. In January 2013, it was announced that Fox 2000 had tapped James Ponsold, director of YA indie movie adaptation Spectacular Now, to write the script and helm the film with producer Karen Rosenfelt. The last book of the series, Burn, was released in February 2014, but there’s been no word on any casting decisions or any set release date just yet.
Under the Never Sky
The 2012 YA debut novel by Veronica Rossi is the first in a trilogy that follows a 17-year-old girl, who turns to Outsider Perry after being exiled from home due to a fire that takes the lives of her best friend and two other boys. That same year, Warner Brothers Studios, who beat out both Summit Entertainment and Fox to push the film adaptation, optioned the film rights to the trilogy. The second book in the series was released in January of 2013 and the third, Into the Still Blue, was published in late January of 2014. In May, Rossi wrote on her Facebook page that some progress was being made on the film front, but didn’t disclose specific details.
The Fourth Realm Trilogy
In March 2012, Warner Bros announced they acquired the film rights to the Fourth Realm trilogy, the bestselling series by the reclusive novelist who goes by John Twelve Hawks (no one knows his actual identity or real name and he only communicated by email or untraceable phone calls.) At the time, the studio said they would start adapting the first book of the series, 2005’s The Traveler, right away, but it remains unclear when exactly the project will come into fruition. The series, which also includes follow-ups The Dark River and The Golden City, has been published in 25 languages.