November 15, 2012
Searching for the next 'Twilight'
By Bruce Kirkland, QMI Agency
Authors specializing in young adult fiction can thank J.K. Rowling, creator of Harry Potter. The genre has never sold better than now and Hollywood has never been more interested in exploiting young adult novels for movie franchises.
Stephenie Meyer's The Twilight Saga followed in Potter's path. So did Suzanne Collins' trilogy in The Hunger Games series. Now we look at five more that could be the next big ticket:
Mariah Mundi, a series by Graham Peter Taylor
Mariah Mundi and the Midas Box, the first of the English author's trilogy, has already been filmed by director Jonathan Newman (Swinging with the Finkels) for a 2013 release. Twilight co-star Michael Sheen headlines as Captain Jack Charity, friend of teenager Mundi, played by Aneurin Barnard. They investigate the Bureau of Antiquities, a government agency that allegedly deals with supernatural matters. Taylor intrigues as a former rock-band roadie, policeman, vicar and occultist.
The Mortal Instruments, a series by Cassandra Clare
This sci-fi fantasy franchise is next up on the big screen, after Mundi. Clare's City of Bones is now filming in Canada for a 2013 release. Harald Zwart (The Karate Kid) is directing with Lily Collins portraying Clary Fray, a 15-year-old Brooklyn teen propelled into a world populated by demons. Clare, born in Iran to American parents, is planning six Mortal Instruments books. City of Bones was first, with the final volume set for March 2014.
The Dust Lands, a series by Moira Young
Blood Red Road, published January 3, was first in Young's post-apocalyptic series, with Rebel Heart following on October 30. Young is Canadian-born and British-based. In Blood Red Road, she establishes her young heroine, Saba, who survives vicariously in a wasteland. Blood Red Road is already in development as a movie, but no details have been revealed.
Divergent, a series by Veronica Roth
Set in a future-shock Chicago, Divergent is the first in what the American author intends to be a dystopian trilogy. The plot revolves around a rigid plan of separating human beings by their prime characteristic, from honesty to selflessness. The protagonist is Beatrice (Tris) Prior, who is tested at 16 to determine which faction she will join. Insurgent is the second book; the third is not yet titled. Divergent is already in development as a movie for release in 2014, with Neil Berger (Limitless) announced as director. Summit Entertainment, the mini-studio behind The Twilight Saga, is producing.
Gone, a series by Michael Grant
Gone is the first of a six-book dystopian series with Hunger, Lies, Plague, Fear and the forthcoming Light completing the cycle. Gone's title refers to how the adult residents (anyone older than 15) disappear one day from the town of Perdido Beach, Calif. A group of teens rally around the protagonist, Sam Temple, and explore their strange world with its unsettling past, including a nuclear accident. Some youths find they have supernatural powers. Grant is an American author known for Everworld and Animorphs, which he co-created with his novelist-wife, Katherine Ann Applegate. Gone is rumoured to be in pre-production as a 2014 movie.