In the wake of a young-adult fiasco that is “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones,” I had to collect a couple of adapted films that young-adult (and juvenile) readers might just be proud of. YA streak, you see, isn’t particularly pretty this whole year (make it the last few years, since the birth of “Twilight”), and it wouldn’t hurt, I believe, if we let ourselves on a little hope that something worthwhile comes up. Say,last year’s “Perks of Being a Wallflower” and the likes?
THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE
The sequel film to Suzanne Collins’ appreciated “The Hunger Games” trilogy comes this year with Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) who unknowingly alter the minds of the citizens and inspirit the districts of Panem to rebel. Things are starting to pick up for the trilogy, both in terms of narrative and the fan-base; and it’s a reassuring that the names involved with the picture are scribes Simon Beaufoy (“Slumdog Millionaire,” “127 Hours”) and Michael Arndt (“Little Miss Sunshine,” “Toy Story 3″). The film, directed by Francis Lawrence, is to be found in theaters November 22nd.
Harrison Ford returns to sci-fi realms with the Gavin Hood-adaptation of the beloved Orson Scott Card sci-fi novel, “Ender’s Game.” He portrays a rigid colonel in the International Fleet and prepares an unusually gifted child named Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield) for an impending extraterrestrial invasion. It’s quite the adventure, as the trailer suggests, and I have my hopes for it; but then again, if there’s Han Solo, there must no second thoughts. Especially if it’s science-fiction.
“Ender’s Game” is slated for theatrical release November 1st.
THE BOOK THIEF
“The Book Thief” is adapted from the brilliant novel of the same name, by Aussie-author Markus Zusak, which finds young Liesel amid the horrid second-World War, stealing books and sharing them with others. Directed by Brian Percival and written by Michael Petroni, the translation of the “greatest story narrated by Death himself,” and the “bravest geek testament,” the film is set to open in theaters November 15th.
Since the news Mary Jane Watson casting, Shailene Woodly (“The Amazing-Spider Man 2; 3″) has been on the rise on many titles including “The Descendants” and the recent “Spectacular Now.” She’s also set to star in a handful of young adult adaptations including this film, and John Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars.” In this Neil Burger-adaptation, she stars as Beatrice Prior, an everyday-teenage girl living in a futuristic Chicago, divided into five factions; each faction has a distinct trait. She doesn’t fit in any of these factions and thus leads a life of secrecy amid the uprising hell that one Jeanine Matthews (Kate Winslet) brings. The film is set to find release March 21st next year.
The Young-Adult genre is here to stay. There are some gems to be found somewhere in its empire of rubbish; it’s healthy to learn, too, that these gems are existent and not only do they exist in hope. If you have other titles to include in the list please take a moment to drop them below. I’ll see you in the next post. Best, -A.