The ‘Twilight’ Effect: 12 Young Adult Movies on the Docket
It’s happening, folks. We’re in the midst of a renaissance where the Young Adult genre is reaching a peak of cultural significance. Coming off of the long-lasting effects of Stephanie Meyer’s hit ‘Twilight‘ franchise while simultaneously enjoying ‘The Hunger Games,’ more directors and screenwriters are turning to Young Adult literature for inspiration and compelling stories fit for the screen. So either accept it into your hearts or fight with all your might to resist the pull of Katniss and her Mockingjay symbol.
More recently we saw ‘Beautiful Creatures,’ adapted from the Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl ‘Caster Chronicles’ books, introduce the movie world to Ethan and Lena, while a number of other similarly named titles are prepping to hit theaters this year. To help better prepare you for what’s to come, here’s a preview of 12 upcoming movies based on Young Adult novels that we’re excited to see — some you might not know about.
Stephanie Meyer will follow up her 'Twilight' success with an adaptation of another one of her novels, 'The Host.' In the future, Earth has been invaded by an alien species and nearly every human has been possessed. Only Melanie and a handful of others remain -- that is until she too is taken. However, the alien inhabiting her body forms a bond with her and the two work to help liberate the world from the invaders. But, of course, because it's Stephanie Meyer, there's a love story thrown into the mix.
'Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters'
Ready for more Percy Jackson? Logan Lerman returns in the title role of the next installment of the 'Percy Jackson and the Olympians' series, only this time he and his demigod friends are going after the Golden Fleece in order to save their home/training ground, Camp Half-Blood. Now the son of Poseidon is on a mission into The Sea of Monsters.
Lerman returns from the first film along with Alexandra Daddario and Brandon T. Jackson, who join such newbies as Stanley Tucci, Nathan Fillion and Anthony Head.
'The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones'
'City of Bones' is the first installment of the 'Mortal Instruments' book series by Cassandra Clare. Lily Collins stars in the film adaptation as 15-year-old Clary Fray, who, after moving to New York, witnesses a murder. The problem is the killer is invisible to everyone but her. Soon Fray is thrown into a world filled with angels and demons, and discovers that she is a Shadowhunter, a half-angel warrior dedicated to eradicating demons.
Also starring in 'The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones' are Lena Headey ('Game of Thrones'), Jonathan Rhys Meyers ('The Tudors'), Jared Harris ('Mad Men'), Kevin Zegers ('Gossip Girl') and Jamie Campbell Bower ('Twilight').
'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'
'The Hunger Games' will continue its world domination with the sequel to last year's box office hit. 'Catching Fire' picks up where we last left Katniss and Peeta -- the duo from District 12 has won The Hunger Games, a brutal and televised fight-to-the-death-style tournament, and they're now embarking on their Victory Tour. But the pair soon find themselves back in harm's way as they're thrown back into the arena, this time with a group consisting of past victors who are all just as deadly as Katniss.
Francis Lawrence directs Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland and Lenny Kravitz in 'Catching Fire,' as well as newbies like Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Jeffrey Wright.
'The Seventh Son'
'The Seventh Son' is the film adaptation of Joseph Delaney's 'The Spook's Apprentice,' his first Young Adult novel in 'The Wardstone Chronicles.' A knight, Master Gregory, imprisoned a wicked witch, but she's now escaped centuries later and is ready to release chaos upon the world as retribution. To stop her, Gregory must train his young apprentice to defend against this dark magic before it's too late.
Directed by Sergey Bodroy, 'The Seventh Son' stars Ben Barnes, Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore and Kit Harington.
The sci-fi flick 'Ender's Game' is adapted from the Orson Scott novel of the same name. Earth has just barely survived a war against an alien species, and to ensure the devastation does not repeat itself, the military has been recruiting young children to train in a battle school. There the kids are pitted against each other in war games to identity promising soldiers, one of which is the main character Ender, a bit of a prodigy when it comes to the art of war.
Asa Butterfield ('Hugo') stars in the film version, directed by Gavin Hood, alongside names like Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, Abigail Breslin, Viola Davis and Hailee Steinfeld.
'The Maze Runner'
James Dashner's 'The Maze Runner' takes place, once again, in a dark future. This time around, Thomas, a young boy who can only remember his first name, awakens in a community of boys called The Glades. Surrounding The Glades is a vast maze, and the group must unlock its hidden secrets in order to gain their freedom.
Casting has only recently begun to build up with the latest additions of Thomas Brodie-Sangster (soon to be seen in 'Game of Thrones' season 3) as Newt and British actor Aml Ameen as Alby, while Will Poulter has been offered one of the lead roles.
Shailene Woodley is being eyed as the next potential Jennifer Lawrence for her lead role in the upcoming film adaptation of Veronica Roth's 'Divergent.' In this dystopian future, people are divided into factions, each dedicated to a specific virtue -- Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful) and Erudite (the intelligent). On her sixteenth birthday, Beatrice must choose which to join, but her choice slowly unravels a government conspiracy that threatens her life.
The 'Divergent' casting has only just begun to add names. Aside from Woodley, Kate Winslet, Theo James, Jai Courtney, Maggie Q, Zoe Kravitz and Ansel Englort are all attached to the project.
'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay'
Just like in the tradition of 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' and 'Twilight: Breaking Dawn,' the final story of 'The Hunger Games' will be split into two movies, directed again by Francis Lawrence and starring Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson. Without getting into too much spoilery territory, the time has come for Katniss to face off against the Capitol and put an end to its tyrannical authority. But what will it cost her and those she loves?
'If I Stay'
Gayle Forman's 'If I Stay' follows Mia Hall, a cello prodigy bound for Juilliard with a loving family and boyfriend as support. Then tragedy strikes in the form of a car crash. Mia's last memory of the incident is being in the vehicle, until she realizes that she's standing next to her unconscious body. Now in a coma, her soul must decide whether to move on or return to a now orphaned life.
R.J. Cutler, known for producing 'Dallas,' will be bringing this story to the big screen with Chloe Grace Moretz ('Kick-Ass,' 'Carrie') set as the lead
Marie Lu's 'Legend' wasn't even out on shelves when CBS Films decided to pick up the movie rights, and now their planning for a trilogy. One hundred years in the future, North America is divided into two warring nations. The story is centered in Los Angeles where June, "a teenage prodigy," has been tasked with tracking gown the most-wanted man in her nation, the 15-year-old, Robin Hood-esque Day. After the two enjoy a fun-filled game of cat and mouse, they learn an inconvenient truth about their leaders that forces them to work together.
'Shadow and Bone'
Is this the next 'Harry Potter'? If not, 'Shadow and Bone,' based on the novel by Leigh Bardugo, will at least have 'Harry Potter' Producer David Heyman onboard.
The story takes place in the fantastical world of Ravka, which is faced with a nearly impenetrable darkness known as the Shadow Fold. It contains flesh-eating monsters, and lonely refugee Alina Starkov, who's just awakened her dormant magical abilities, might be the only one who can stop it from consuming the kingdom.