With the recent popularity of movies based on The Twilight Saga and The Hunger Games and TV shows like Vampire Diaries and Pretty Little Liars, young adult book-to-film adaptations are becoming more and more of a hot commodity. Several YA book adaptations are in the works for 2013, and many others are in development for possible film releases in upcoming years. Let’s take a look at what we can expect to see, as well as what we can cross our fingers and hope to see!
Release Date: 3/29/13
Starring: Saoirse Ronin, Max Irons, Jake Abel, Diane Kruger
Director: Andrew Niccol (Gattaca, In Time)
Based on Stephenie Meyer’s science fiction book of the same name, The Host tells the story of Melanie (Ronin), a teenage girl whose body is taken over by an alien nicknamed Wanda. As Melanie and Wanda struggle for control of the body, both try to pursue their separate loves, Jared (Irons) and Ian (Abel) and come together to try to save humanity from alien control. Fan reactions to the trailer have been mixed, with concern that the movie may be quite a bit different from the book. The Host is the first book in a planned series, so we will likely be seeing future films based on this series assuming the first does well.
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
Release Date: 8/23/13
Starring: Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Lena Headey
Director: Harald Zwart (The Karate Kid, Agent Cody Banks)
Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series may be controversial for its fan fiction roots, but there’s no denying its popularity with loyal fans. In the first installment, City of Bones, Clary Fray (Collins) becomes embroiled in a world of demons and Shadowhunters after witnessing a suspicious murder. Guided by the mysterious Jace (Bower), Clary realizes she may have unusual gifts that put her and her family in danger. The Mortal Instruments series is pretty epic, with five books already released and at least one more planned, so once again multiple films are likely should City of Bones perform well at the box office.
Release Date: 11/1/13
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Abigail Breslin, Harrison Ford, Hailee Steinfeld
Director: Gavin Hood (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Rendition)
This highly anticipated film is based on Orson Scott Card’s popular sci-fi series about brilliant children training to fight hostile aliens. After being drafted to Battle School for training, Ender (Butterfield) struggles with the pressure of competition and expectation, as well as separation from his family. Multiple generations of fans are eagerly awaiting this film and are hoping director and screenwriter Gavin Hood can bring Ender’s Game to life faithfully and respectfully.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Release Date: 11/22/13
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, Donald Sutherland, Woody Harrelson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci
Director: Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend, Constantine, Water For Elephants)
The first Hunger Games movie was a huge success, gaining a whole new following of fans and catapulting Jennifer Lawrence to superstardom. Catching Fire follows Katniss (Lawrence) and Peeta (Hutcherson) as they are drafted into a second Hunger Games as part of the Quarter Quell. Fan favorite characters Finnick Odair (Claflin) and Johanna Mason (Malone) are introduced, and Katniss begins to feel the wrath of President Snow (Sutherland) for defying the Capitol in the previous Hunger Games. Despite having a new director, buzz for this film has been fairly positive as fans wait impatiently for more official press on Catching Fire, especially the trailer!
Release Date: 3/21/14
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Kate Winslet
Director: Neil Burger (Limitless, The Illusionist)
We still don’t know a lot about the film adaptation of Veronica Roth’s hugely popular dystopian novel, but it’s in the early stages of production and has an official release date, so we can at least be confident we’ll see it on the big screen in the coming year. Shailene Woodley has been cast as Tris, the timid main character who finds untapped inner strength as she trains to become a member of the Dauntless faction in dystopian Chicago. There’s no official word on who will be cast as her Dauntless love interest, Four, but the three finalists are reportedly Lucas Till (X-Men: First Class, Battle Los Angeles), Alex Pettyfer (I Am Number Four, Magic Mike) and Jeremy Irvine (War Horse) – though Pettyfer is the rumored favorite. (Source 1)
UPDATE 3/11/2013: Most of the main cast has now been announced. Read about it here.
UPDATE 3/15/2013: Theo James has been cast as Tobias “Four” Eaton. Read about it here.
Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters
Release Date: 2/14/14
Starring: Zoey Deutch, Lucy Fry, Danila Kozlovski
Director: Mark Waters (Mean Girls)
It may involve vampires, but Twilight it is NOT. Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series is more like Mean Girls with vampires, so it’s appropriate that Mean Girls director Mark Waters will be taking on directing duties for Vampire Diaries. Not only that, but the script was written by Heathers writer Daniel Waters (Mark’s brother!), which promises witty dialogue and dark humor. Zoey Deutch (Beautiful Creatures) has been cast as Rose, the Dhampir bodyguard to vampire princess Lissa, played by Australian actress Lucy Fry. The film will also star Russian actor Danila Kozlovskiy as the hot vampire love interest, Dimitri. (Source 2)
The Fault In Our Stars
Release Date: TBD
Director: Josh Boone (Stuck in Love)
Obviously, there is still a lot up in the air regarding the film adaptation of John Green’s popular novel about a teenage girl living with cancer. It was recently confirmed that Josh Boone (Stuck in Love) has joined the film as the director, but casting still remains a mystery. Shailene Woodley (The Descendants, Divergent) seems to be receiving the most buzz for the role of Hazel Grace, but Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) is reportedly also being considered. John Green has previously stated his personal preference for the role would have to be Mae Whitman (Parenthood, Arrested Development), but as of yet her name has not been mentioned in regard to the film. The script for The Fault In Our Stars has already been written and filming will likely begin this summer. (Source 3)
UPDATE 3/19/2013: Shailene Woodley has been cast as Hazel Grace! Read about it here.
UPDATE 5/12/2013: Ansel Elgort has been cast as Augustus Waters!
The Selection (TV series, The CW)
Release Date: Spring 2013
After an initial pilot of The Selection starring Aimee Teegarden (Friday Night Lights), William Moseley (The Chronicles of Narnia), and Ethan Peck (10 Things I Hate About You) was not picked up, fans of Kiera Cass’s fairy tale-esque dystopian novel about a girl participating in a competition to win the heart of her country’s prince feared they may never see it on the small screen. The series received a second chance, however, and a new pilot is being shot with hopes of being picked up for spring 2013. According to Cass the original lead actors will not be involved, but there is no word yet on which new actors will be tapped to fill the shoes of America, Aspen, and Prince Maxon. Sean Patrick Thomas (Save The Last Dance) and Peta Sergeant will be the only casting carry-overs, playing the roles of Sylvan Santos – a decidedly more male version of Silvia, the etiquette coach from the book series and Gaia, a rebel leader, respectively. (Source 4)
UPDATE 02/24/2013: According to Deadline, Yael Grobglas has been cast as the lead in the CW’s The Selection pilot.
Delirium (TV series, Fox)
Release Date: TBD
Starring: Emma Roberts
Lauren Oliver’s dystopian trilogy about a society that considers love a disease has been in development for television for quite some time. It seems major progress is finally being made, as Emma Roberts (Scream 4, It’s Kind of a Funny Story) was recently cast as the lead role of Lena Haloway and British actor Gregg Sulkin (Pretty Little Liars, Wizards of Waverly Place) was selected to play Julian Fineman. (Source 5) There’s still no word on when we might expect to see the show on air, but with the final book in the series being released this month, it’s a great opportunity for the TV show to capitalize on the buzz surrounding the books.
UPDATE 2/25/2013: Daren Kagasoff (The Secret Life of the American Teenager) has been cast as Lena’s love interest, Alex, in the Fox pilot according to TVLine.
Aside from the books that we know are getting the movie and TV treatment, there are several that have been optioned for films and are in a developmental phase. Some of these are very likely to be filmed and released within the next couple of years, while others might never see the light of day. So, while we may not see these stories in the theater any time soon, that doesn’t mean we can’t keep our fingers crossed in anticipation.
- Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (Based on Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series)
- The Summer I Turned Pretty (TV, based on Jenny Han’s The Summer I Turned Pretty series)
- The Maze Runner (Based on James Dashner’s The Maze Runner series)
- The Giver (Based on the book by Lois Lowry)
- Shadow and Bone (Based on the book by Leigh Bardugo)
- Legend (Based on Marie Lu’s Legend series)
- Before I Fall (Based on the book by Lauren Oliver)
- Dust Lands (Based on Moira Young’s Dust Lands series)
- Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Based Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke & Bone series)
- The Book Thief (Based on the book by Markus Zusak)
- The Forest of Hands & Teeth (Based on Carrie Ryan’s The Forest of Hands & Teeth series)
- If I Stay (Based on the book by Gayle Forman)
- Chaos Walking (Based on Patrick Ness’s Chaos Walking series)
- Matched (Based on Ally Condie’s Matched series)
- The Raven Boys (Based on Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle series)
- Shatter Me (Based on Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me series)
Which of these movies or TV shows are you most excited to see? Do you have any casting ideas for the in development projects, or any thoughts on young adult books you’d like to see adapted for film in the future?
- Arciero, Ryan. “’Divergent’ movie news: Release date set, Alex Pettyfer and Kate Winslet casting.” Examiner. 1 Feb 2013. Web. 10 Feb 2013.
- Burt, Jacqueline. “’Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters’ is ‘Twilight’ Meets ‘Mean Girls’ – Sign Us Up!” Café Mom. 13 Feb 2013. Web. 19 Feb 2013.
- Lewis, Andy. “‘The Fault in Our Stars’ Movie Lands Director.” The Hollywood Reporter. 19 Feb 2013. Web. 19 Feb 2013.
- Andreeva, Nellie. “Joey McIntyre & Jessica Chaffin Join CBS Pilot ‘The McCarthys’, CW’s ‘The Selection’ Brings Back Peta Sergeant.” Deadline. 21 Feb 2013. Web.
- Ausiello, Michael. “Pilot Scoop: Emma Roberts Lands Starring Role in Fox Drama ‘Delirium’.” TV Line. 7 Feb 2013. Web.