The global phenomena of “Harry Potter” and “Twilight” have demonstrated to filmmakers and authors alike that popular teen novels can become cinematic blockbusters when adapted for the silver screen. Although ‘The Hunger Games’ is looking like the next page-to-screen juggernaut, the conclusion of the epic wizard/vampire flicks is sure to leave a gaping hole in the lives of their devoted followers; however, we feel that the following ten novels that have been optioned or are being produced as films might just be able to help take their place.
The Mortal Instruments – Cassandra Clare. This series (originally planned a trilogy and then expanded) follows the tale of Clarissa Fray, an ordinary girl who discovers her supernatural roots as a demon-slaying Shadowhunter; like all good teen reads, it features a scintillating love triangle between Clary, her best friend-turned-vampire Simon and the forbidden Shadowhunter Jace Wayland. Casting for the film has already begun, with Lily Collins set to play Clary and Jamie Campbell Bower announced for the role of Jace.
Shiver – Maggie Stiefvater. Warner Brothers were quick to option this popular werewolf story, which tells the story of Grace, a socially awkward young woman whom has been fascinated by the wolves that roam her property ever winter ever since she was nearly mauled by them as a child. One wolf in particular always catches her eye because of his unusual yellow eyes, who later turns out to be Sam, a tortured musical prodigy whose parents tried to kill him after he was infected with a disease which forces him into his lupine form every winter; however, after many years of shifting back and forth, Sam can feel that he may not survive many more changes and will soon be trapped as a wolf forever. As his relationship with Grace blossoms, the temperature falls and the clock begins to count down the days until his final transformation.
Fallen – Lauren Kate. One of Disney’s latest pickups, Fallen is the first in a four-book series about mysterious Lucinda Price, who has been able to see the disturbing “Shadows” since she was a child, finds herself at the Sword and Cross reform school after being accused of murdering her boyfriend Trevor. Soon after her arrival at her unconventional new school, she finds herself drawn to the alluring Daniel Grigori and darkly handsome Cam Briel; fallen angels who have loved, fought over and followed Luce through her haunting series of past lives that have always ended in tragedy. This time around, it seems that the rules have changed, the ending will be different and that the fight for Luce’s soul is more perilous than ever.
Matched – Allie Condie. Currently optioned by Disney, Matched is the first book in what will be a trilogy and chronicles the life of Cassia Reyes, a young woman growing up in a perfectly dystopic Society where Officials and data control everything – what she will eat, the job she will have and even the man she will marry. When her best friend Xander Carrow is identified as her future Match, she is delighted; however, she soon finds out that Xander may not be her optimal Match when her Match microcard reveals the face and name of another boy she also knows, Ky Markham. With one tiny error, a chain of events is sparked that soon has Cassia questioning the perfection of the Society, breaking the rules that bind her and having to choose between her Match with Xander and her burgeoning relationship with Ky.
Divergent – Veronica Roth. Beatrice Prior lives in a future Chicago where society is divided into five factions that are dedicated to a particular virtue – Abnegation (selflessness), Amity (peacefulness), Erudite (intelligence), Candour (honesty) and Dauntless (bravery). Every year, all sixteen-year olds are required to choose which faction they will devote their lives; though Beatrice has spent her whole life in Abnegation and had no plans to change, she finds herself somehow drawn towards the dangerous, exciting Dauntless. As Beatrice makes her choice, renames herself Tris and begins down the exhilarating path towards initiation, during which she finds love and discovers a harrowing secret about herself along the way.
House of Night – P.C. Cast. With popular vampire books fast becoming a hot commodity, Empire Pictures has snapped up the rights to the House of Night series, set in an alternate reality where vampyres are accepted members of society who are Marked as adolescents by their crescent-moon shaped tattoos on their foreheads and must successfully complete a four-year Change at a House of Night before becoming a full member of the vampyre community. Enter Zoe Redbird, who is immediately set apart from her Fledgling vampyre peers when her Mark appears complete even though she has barely begun her change, and soon it becomes increasingly apparent that Zoe is truly one of a kind as she masters all elemental affinities without difficulty, develops intricate and never-before-seen vampire Markings and becomes a target for attack by the wolf-in-sheep’s clothing, High Priestess Neferet. Of course, no vampyre novel would be complete without the requisite teen drama, love quadrangles and always-loyal group of friends, which are present in droves throughout this series.
The Host – Stephenie Meyer. With Meyer’s Twilight one of the biggest book-movie success stories in literary/filmic history, it is unsurprising that producers Nick Wechlsler, Steve Schwartz and Paula Mae Schwartz secured independent financing to acquire film rights to The Host. Meyer’s foray into sci-fi tells of a future where a largely peaceful race of aliens known as Souls have invaded our planet and gained possession of our bodies to the point where over 99% of the human population have been implanted with one of these creatures. Melanie Stryder is one of those precious few people still in control of her own body until she is captured and implanted with Wanderer – a soul who has lived many lives on other planets and has been paired with Melanie because of their mutual strength of personality. Though Wanderer initially finds it difficult to control Melanie and her body, they eventually develop a close friendship reminiscent of sisters as they go in search of Melanie’s brother Jamie, her love interest, Jared and what may be one of the last pockets of human resistance to the invasion of the Souls. Saoirse Ronan was announced to play Melanie in May this year.
Uglies – Scott Westerfeld. 20th Century Fox is set to release the first book in the Uglies trilogy as a film later this year; a series which tells the story of Tally Youngblood, a 15-year old, “Ugly” awaiting her 16th birthday so she can have the comprehensive plastic surgery called the “operation” that will transform her into an attractive, blissfully carefree “Pretty”, where her main concerns in life will be leisure and entertainment. Just days before her operation, Tally’s friend Shay disappears to the Smoke – a ruined city free of the omnipresent (and oppressive) government that rules their world – and thus, Tally is send on a mission to recover her friend if ever she is to achieve “Pretty” status. Upon arriving at the Smoke, Tally soon learns that not everything about her world is as she thought it, especially when she finds herself falling in love with David; a young man born and raised in the Smoke who challenges Tally’s every perception of the word “pretty”.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters – Rick Riordan. With Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief becoming a modest box-office success last year, Fox 2000 have officially announced their intention to produce its sequel with most of the original cast already signed on. The second book in the series follows Percy’s seventh-grade year, where it is revealed that the magical borders that protect Camp Half-Blood are under siege forcing Percy and his friends to journey into the Sea of Monsters to save their beloved camp.
Wicked Lovely – Melissa Marr. Rather than vampires and werewolves, this one fixes on pixie-dust sprinklers – yup, fairies. The protagonist, Aislinn can see fairies and wishes she didn’t see them like her friends. Keenan, the Summer King, believes Aislinn is the queen of fairies he has been hunting for nine centuries. Universal and Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Productions (yes, Vince Vaughn; hopefully the big guy doesn’t fancy himself a petite butterfly type) will push the fairy Kingdom up the multiplex steps. Mary Harron, who directed the feature film adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ book “American Psycho” (one of Clint’s favourite books and movies), will steer the ship
What do you guys think will be the next “Twilight”?