Tuesday, 26 May 2015

YA: From Book To Film

2014 saw the cinematic debuts of Veronica Roth’s Divergent, the first in James Dashner’s Maze Runner series and John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. Not to mention the first instalment of Suzanne Collins’ Mockingjay, the last book in The Hunger Games trilogy. No doubt, a strong year for YA in film but what about 2015? What can we expect from the next 12 months in YA-based films?

1. Insurgent

Author: Veronica Roth

UK Release Date: 19th March 2015
US Release date: 20th March 2015

Yes, March 2015 saw the global release of the follow-up to Divergent, with Shailene Woodley reprising her role as the self-sacrificing Tris, alongside love interest Theo James and antagonist Cate Blanchett. Divergent fever continues as the worldwide box office earnings totalled $275m on a production budget of $110m.

2. Seventh Son

Author: Joseph Delaney

UK Release Date: 27th March 2015
US Release Date: 6th February 2015

Also known as The Spook’s Apprentice, this story has been in the pipeline for quite a number of years. It finally debuted on the big screen earlier this year. Strong performances from Jeff Bridges as the Spook, Ben Barnes as Tom Ward (with memorable performances in C. S. Lewis’ Prince Caspian and Dorian Gray) and Julianne Moore as Mother Malkin weren't enough to propel the film into strong profit. A production budget of $95m yielded a disappointing $111m at the worldwide box office. It's difficult to say just why the film underperformed but its UK and European release coinciding with Insurgent's release certainly wouldn't have helped.

3. Paper Towns

Author: John Green

UK Release Date: 24th July 2015
US Release Date: 21st August 2015

Quentin Jacobsen (Q) has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life, he follows, though the closer he gets, the less Q sees the enigmatic girl he thought he knew. John Green’s work is no stranger to the big screen. With The Fault in Our Stars grossing over $300 million with a shoestring budget reported to be between $12-$16 million, the fate of this movie is a bit of a no-brainer. With supermodel Cara Delevingne playing Margo, this looks set to be another cinematic hit – and yet another addition to John Green’s endless list of accolades and achievements.

4. Fallen

Author: Lauren Kate

UK Release Date: Unknown
US Release Date: 2015

This one is an interesting one. I didn’t particularly like the book and as angel lore goes, there are much, MUCH better books out there. Having said that, Scott Hicks directed it and he seems to have done a decent job with Nicholas Sparks’ The Lucky One (starring Zac Efron). Luce is sent to a reform school where she finds herself drawn to a strange, mysterious boy, Daniel, unaware of the secrets he’s hiding. With some fresh-faced talent from Addison Timlin, Jeremy Irvine and Harrison Gilbertson respectively playing Lucinda (Luce), Daniel Grigori and Cam, they certainly look the part but time (Lord knows how long as they haven’t finalized the release date) will tell if this will be a hit or miss at the box office. To give you an idea of the popularity of these books, check out this short, book trailer here.


5. Maze Runner: Scorch Trials

Author: James Dashner

UK Release Date: 18th September 2015
US Release Date: 18th September 2015

The Scorch Trials follows Thomas and Teresa (and their band of maze survivors) as they face new challenges on the open roads of a desolate landscape. On a modest production budget of $34million, The Maze Runner managed to gross just over $340 million worldwide and with filmgoers still hungry for more action-adventure dystopia (just look at the successes of The Hunger Games and Divergent), we can look forward to another riveting instalment with Dylan O’Brien and Kaya Scodelario reprising their roles as Thomas and Teresa.


6. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2

Author: Suzanne Collins

UK Release Date: 20th November 2015
US Release Date: 20th November 2015

I still haven’t seen the first instalment. I know, I know, but I’ve been busy. Anyway, the first film in the two-part ending grossed over $750 million, cinema-goers will flock (do filmgoers flock?) to the cinema to see Jennifer Lawrence reprise her role as Katniss (alongside stellar performances from co-stars Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland and the late Philip Seymour Hoffmann) and conclude her war on the Capitol.

7. The 5th Wave

Author: Rick Yancey

UK Release Date: 15th January 2016
US Release Date: 29th January 2016

16-year-old Cassie Sullivan tries to survive in a world devastated by four waves of an alien invasion that has already decimated the human population and knocked mankind back to the Stone Age. The 5th Wave approaches and fulfilling a promise to her brother, Cassie is determined to discover what the 5th Wave holds. I don’t really like alien films. I enjoyed Pittacus Lore’s I Am Number Four up until the aliens showed up. So, why did I include it? Although it falls just outside of 2015, it’s still relevant to book sales especially with the Christmas period one month before. My interest in this film can be boiled down to three words: ChloĆ« Grace Moretz. Having starred in Kick-Ass, the Carrie reboot and her tear-jerking performance as Mia Hall in Gayle Forman’s best-selling If I Stay, you might now see why this has piqued my interest. The film adaptation also stars Live Schreiber (Salt, X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and Nick Robinson (Melissa & Joey, Jurassic World). If the budget reflects the potential, I think this will kill at the box office, especially in January when kids and adults have grown weary of Christmas films. I anticipate it holding appeal for male and female filmgoers.


* * *

I know that readers are always at odds with film adaptations of their favourite books. They don’t want to see Hollywood versions of stories that were special to them. While I agree and strongly share this sentiment, I love that it increases book sales and if even one thousand people buy the book after watching the film, that's one thousand more people that have the chance to discover and share the world that I already love. More than this, it might lead those readers to other books by that author or within that genre so in my eyes, it's a positive (unless, of course, it's the film adaptation of Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief which is not only unforgivable, it's CRIMINAL!).

So what are your thoughts? Do you like YA film adaptations? What is your favourite YA book to film adaptation? Share your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us @YAfictionados.

***All statistics and figures were correct at time of blog publication***

No comments:

Post a Comment