Brad Pitt Developing ‘Illuminae,’ Based on the Best-Selling YA Sci-Fi Novel
Though it just hit shelves in October, the new YA sci-fi novel Illuminae is quickly becoming a big favorite among readers with its inventive format and suspenseful narrative. Sensing a potentially great opportunity, Brad Pitt has wasted approximately zero time in teaming up with Warner Bros. to develop a film based on the novel — because everything you love must become a movie or TV show and be remade eventually in the great cinematic circle of life.
THR reports that Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment has joined forces with WB to produce a big screen adaptation of Illuminae. The Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff novel is uniquely presented as a collection of files, text messages, internet communications, interviews, official reports and other various “found” documents to tell the story of a teen hacker who has to work with her ex-boyfriend to uncover the truth about a secret intergalactic war — you know, typical teen problems:
This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.
The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than a speck at the edge of the universe. Now with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to evacuate with a hostile warship in hot pursuit.
But their problems are just getting started. A plague has broken out and is mutating with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a web of data to find the truth, it’s clear the only person who can help her is the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.
Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, maps, files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.
Like most contemporary YA novels, this one is set in the future, features a female protagonist, and — wait for it — is the first in a series of novels, which means the film version could be the first in a potentially successful new franchise.
It does seem like a counterintuitive choice of source material, since one of the most attractive things about the book is its interesting format, which will undoubtedly be lost in translation from page to screen. It’s not the first time Pitt has gotten involved in such a project: the actor previously starred in World War Z, another film based on a book with atypical formatting (told as an oral history / collection of reports) that shirked its source material in favor of a more traditional narrative.