13 Young Adult Adaptations to Look Out For
With all the excitement in the air for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire hitting theaters November 22nd, YA books are all the rage. Twilight, Harry Potter, and (of course) The Hunger Games have set the mark as far as YA adaptations go, and book fans everywhere have many options to look forward to in the upcoming years.
YA book adaptations can either be complete flops or become successful franchises. While it's not certain if all these YA adaptations will be as successful as their predecessors, one thing is certain -- fans are extremely excited to see these book made into movies they can see on the big screen.
From vampires to demons to regular coming of age novels, below is a list of thirteen young adult adaptations you need to be looking out for next year and the years to come.
1. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Release Date: February 14, 2014
Director: Mark Waters (Mean Girls, Freaky Friday)
Starring: Sarah Hyland (Modern Family) as Natalie Dashkor, Olga Kurylenko (Oblivion) as Kirova, Zoey Deutch (Beautiful Creatures) as Rose Hathaway, Lucy Fry as Lisa Dragomir, and Danila Kozlovsky as Dimitri.
Why? Vampire Academy is currently the big young adult paranormal romance on the scene, and with this Twilight shortage it seems like a lot of fans have migrated over to this fandom. Vampire Academy's ship between Rose and Dimitri won Hypable's Books Battleships competition, actually beating Bella and Edward in the intense battle. The movie currently has a trailer released for the upcoming film as well as a poster, and it looks like it's geared towards that demographic entirely. Because of the film's director Vampire Academy could be something to look out for -- Mark Waters has a knack for comedic twists.
2. Divegent by Veronica Roth
Release Date: March 20, 2014
Director: Neil Burger (The Illusionist, Limitless)
Starring: Shailene Woodley (The Spectacular Now) as Tris, Theo James as Four, Miles Teller (The Spectacular Now) as Peter, Kate Winslet (Titanic) as Jeanine Matthews, Ansel Egort as Caleb Prior, Zoë Kravitz (X-Men: First Class) as Christina, and Maggie Q (Nikita) as Tori
Why? Divergent is riding on the coattails of The Hunger Games -- literally. If there's any other young adult "It-girl" other than Jennifer Lawrence, that would definitely be The Spectacular Now's Shailene Woodley; we also have her co-star and equal "It-boy" Miles Teller starring alongside her. Add Kate Winslet to the mix and you have an amazing all-star cast that's ready to take on this franchise. Summit Entertainment (owned by Lionsgate) has taken hold of the series, and they're the masterminds behind the Twilight franchise. Divergent is definitely on board to be the next big Dystopian franchise, so don't be the one that says "Divergent-what?" when the film releases March next year.
3. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Release Date: June 6, 2014
Director: John Boone (Stuck in Love)
Starring: Shailene Woodley as Hazel, Ansel Egort as Augustus, Willem Dafoe (The Boondock Saints) as Van Houten, Nat Wolff (Stuck in Love) as Isaac, Laura Dern (Jurassic Park) and Hazel's mom, and Sam Trammell (True Blood) as her father.
Why? The Fault in Our Stars was hands down the best young adult book to be released last year. The Fault in Our Stars follows a tragic love story between terminally ill Hazel and recently cancer-free boyfriend Augustus. John Green has been winning the hearts of young readers for years, and The Fault in Our Stars will be his first book-to-film movie adaptation. Yet again Shailene Woodley is starring, as well as her Divergent co-star Ansel Egort. John Green has been extremely involved with the filming and has even admitted to crying on set. With as much heart as The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Fault in Our Stars in a surprising coming of age story about two teens overcoming cancer. Look out for it next summer.
4. The Giver by Lois Lowry
Release Date: August 15, 2014
Director: Phillip Noyce (Salt)
Starring: Brenton Thwaites as Jonas, Alexander Skarsgård (True Blood) as Jonas' father, Katie Holmes (Batman Begins) as his mother, Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada) as the Chief Elder, Taylor Swift (The Lorax) as Rosemary, Jeff Bridges (True Grit) as The Giver, and Cameron Monaghan (Shameless) as Asher.
Why? The Giver is a classic, and if you're not familiar with it then you are not a true young adult genre fan. Although Taylor Swift's casting has caused some uproar, overall the film's talent is phenomenal from Streep to Bridges to Skarsgård. It's surprising that the book hasn't been adapted until now. First published in 1993, The Giver has been a middle school staple in English classes, and is one of the first dystopian books of its kind. This was The Hunger Games before it was a thought. The Giver is a powerful story, and the film adaptation is looking great so far. We should probably expect posters and trailers for the film to start cropping up early next year.
5. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Release Date: September 19, 2014
Director: Wes Ball
Starring: Dylan O'Brien (Teen Wolf) as Thomas, Will Poulter (We're the Millers) as Gally, Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Game of Thrones) as Newt, Kaya Scodelario (Skins) as Teresa, Patricia Clarkson (Shutter Island) as Ava Paige, and Don McManus (The Shawshank Redemption) as the Masked Man.
Why? The Maze Runner is yet another young adult dystopian novel, but instead of having a female protagonist the book has a male protagonist, Thomas, and many of its characters are young boys. This could be the link that the young adult franchises have been missing since Harry Potter -- a male fan-base. The Hunger Games has a good amount of male fans, sure, but the audience is still definitely skewed female. The movie's been in production for a while, and recently was pushed back to a September release date from its original Valentines Day one. That being said, The Maze Runner definitely has a bunch of great, young talent like O'Brien from Teen Wolf, Poulter from the successful summer comedy We're the Millers, and Brodie-Sangster, a recent addition to Game of Thrones.
6. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Release Date: 2014
Director: RJ Cutler (Nashville)
Starring: Chloë Grace Moretz (Carrie) as Mia, Mireille Enos (The Killing) as Kat, and Lauren Lee Smith (Trick 'r Treat) as Willow, Liana Liberato (Stuck in Love) as Kim, and Jamie Blackley (The Fifth Estate) as Adam.
Why? It's probably good that Dakota Fanning dropped the project If I Stay, because her presence definitely doesn't start buzz like Chloë Moretz's does at the moment. Moretz recently starred in the high school horror film Carrie and is adored for her role as Hit Girl in the Kick Ass series. If I Stay is another young adult tear jerker. The story follows Moretz's character Mia, who is stuck in (a sort of) limbo when her body goes into a coma after a tragic car accident. A Lovely Bones-esque setting, Mia deals with the possibility of death and leaving her friends and family behind forever. There is no current release date for the movie, but the movie is filming and has a set 2014 release.
7. Goosebumps by R.L. Stine
Release Date: TBA
Director: Rob Letterman (Monsters vs. Aliens)
Starring: Jack Black (School of Rock) as a R.L. Stine-like author
Why? A couple weeks ago at the Austin Book Festival I was lucky enough to see R.L. Stine read in a graveyard. It's amazing how many young children are still waiting on hand a feet for the author's books. Everyone remembers when they went to their elementary school library and fought with classmates over who was going to check out Say Cheese and Die. Well, Goosebumps still gives little kids that giddy feeling of spooky excitement and that's probably why Sony and Columbia Pictures have optioned the series for a movie. The movie isn't following a particular book, but it supposedly will have the look and feel of that Goosebumps world. With Jack Black and Rob Letterman at the helm things are looking good for this adaptation.
8. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Release Date: TBA
Neil Jordan Henry Selick Ron Howard
Production Company: Disney
Why? The Graveyard Book has been through hell and back, but it finally looks like the film adaptation is going to happen. Unfortunately Henry Selick as director didn't work out, but the promise of Ron Howard isn't so bad either. At least this means Disney will finally be going ahead with production on the film soon, potentially. The Graveyard Book is a dark twist on The Jungle Book, but instead of being raised by jungle animal, protagonist Bod is raised by ghosts in a graveyard. Many Neil Gaiman books-to-film have been wildly successful, and with the production of this film being halted so many time fans are practically screaming for this movie to get back on its feet.
9. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Release Date: TBA
Producer: Joe Roth
Producion Company: Universal Pictures
Why? Joe Roth loves his big budget fantasy, so when he picked up Daughter of Smoke and Bone to add to his heavy production list is seemed like a really great idea. The book follows a seemingly normal girl Karou, who has one secret -- she collects teeth for Chimera. Joe Roth has produced successful films Alice in Wonderland and Oz the Great and Powerful, so this film has a lot of potential to do well if advertised correctly. The film has a long way to go as far as production is concerned, but one thing's certain is that this movie won't have a micro-budget of any sort.
10. Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan
Release Date: TBA
Producer: Stephenie Meyer
Production Company: Fickle Fish Films
Why? There's no doubt that Stephenie Meyer's name comes up in young adult book conversations daily, but this time it's not with a book of her own. Under her production company Fickle Fish Films, Meyer has decided to adapt a YA horror classic by author Lois Duncan. The book Down a Dark Hall follows Kit, who is sent to the exclusive boarding school Blackwood. However, once she gets suited Kit learns that this school isn't just for normal girls. It's hard to say if Meyer will decide to modernize the 70's tale by adding cell phones and the like, but fans of Duncan will cheer to know that this adaptation won't go wayward like I Know What You Did Last Summer. With Meyer's name attached, you can bet that this production probably won't stay under the radar for long.
11. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
Release Date: TBA
Production Company: Seven Star Pictures
Why? Do you like zombies? Did you like Warm Bodies? Well this book is nothing like that movie. Based in a post apocalyptic world, The Forest of Hands and Teeth is a YA Bestseller about a girl Mary who lives in a village that is surrounded by a protective fence to keep out the enemy (zombies, duh). However, when the fence is breached Mary is left deciding between her future and the future of her village. Although it has different subject matter, Warm Bodies did fairly well targeted towards the young adult audience, so The Forest of Hands and Teeth should do well once it's made. And let's be honest, will film-going audiences ever tire of zombies?
12. The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
Release Date: TBA
Producer: Chuck Roven (The Dark Knight)
Starring: currently in its casting stages
Why? Producer Chuck Roven has been extremely careful with The Looking Glass Wars. After acquiring the rights to the series, Roven waited for Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland to premiere to see how well a Wonderland film would do in the box office. When the movie killed it, Roven officially decided to move forward with The Looking Glass Wars. An extreme twist on the Alice tale, The Looking Glass Wars is a popular twist on the classic tale in the young adult realm. The film supposedly is currently in its casting stages, so more news on the project should hopefully start coming through next year.
13. The Scorpio Races//The Raven Boys//Shiver by Maggie Steifvater
The Raven Boys: Newline production
The Scorpio Races: David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith production at Warner Bros.
Shiver: Warner Bros. production, currently halted due to Steifvater disagreements
Why? Magge Steifvater is amazing. To fans she is the goddess of all things supernatural as far as YA goes. Although on of her adaptations, Shiver, has currently been put on hold due to come creative differences, her other two books are still in the works. The most exciting project definitely has to be the David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith production of The Scorpio Races. Many of you may recognize Grahame-Smith's name as the writer of Pride, Prejudice and Zombies, and Katzenberg's for his current projects Beetlejuice 2 and the Gremlins remake. The Raven Boys is a newly released book by Steifvater and has been optioned by Newline to make the adaptation.