The Next ‘Hunger Games’? YA Books Coming to the Big Screen

The Next ‘Hunger Games’? YA Books Coming to the Big Screen

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Some of you still might be on a high from all the bonus material on “The Hunger Games” DVD, and hey, we don’t blame you. But fans of young adult literature, particularly those digging the dystopian trend, which is clearly having a major moment, have a lot to be excited about beyond Suzanne Collins’ trilogy. So while you’re sitting around reading all the casting news about “Catching Fire,” which isn’t set for theaters until Thanksgiving weekend 2013, read up on these YA books-to-films slated to hit screens in the next few years.

“The Beautiful Creatures Complete Collection,” by Kami Garcia
This movie version of the first book in The Caster Chronicles started filming this month to plenty of buzz, and rightfully so. With Viola Davis (late of “The Help”), Jeremy Irons, Emma Thompson and Emmy Rossum attached to major roles, “Beautiful Creatures” is packed with star power. Interestingly, the main roles of star-crossed lovers Ethan (a mortal) and Lena (a girl with special powers) are assigned to relatively unknown actors Alden Ehrenreich and Alice Englert (move over R. Patz and K. Stew!). With such a strong story of love and suspense, they’re likely to cast a spell on filmgoers.

“Uglies,” by Scott Westerfeld
Westerfeld was writing dystopian lit back when “The Hunger Games” was just a nibble. His Uglies series introduces readers to Tally and Shay, two girls on the cusp of a futuristic rite of passage which, after an intense operation, will leave them looking beautiful. The series goes on to show certain characters before and after their surgeries. After years of delays, the movie has been greenlit with the support of a major special effects team who has been tasked with making the transformations and futuristic setting (hover boards!) look as real as possible.

“Legend,” by Marie Lu
Readers were instantly drawn to the adventures of June, a child prodigy on a mission to avenge her brother, and Day, a fugitive on the run. With the sequel in the series, “Prodigy,” due out this fall, big-screen rumors abound. Screenwriters were hired to bring Lu’s dystopian California setting and cage fights to life before her book was even published.

“Middle Ground,” by Kate Kacvinski
Though in the early stages of development, talks are cropping up of a “Divergent” adaptation. The book, set in an alternate version of Chicago, which has been divided into five factions (sound familiar?), features main character Tris and her love interest, Four. Fans take note: Roth has gone on record saying that she wrote Tris with very plain features, so try not to implode if an ingénue gets cast.

“City of Bones,” by Cassandra Clare
Fans of Clare have been waiting for years to see the first in the Mortal Instruments series made into a movie. IMDB tells us “The Mortal Instruments” is set to come out in 2013, and Lily Collins (you might know her from her recent turn as Snow White in “Mirror Mirror”) is attached to play Clary Fray, a girl forced into a world of guardians of the supernatural world. Twi-hards will love that Jamie Campbell Bower, who’s been featured as Caius in the Twilight films, is set to play Jace.

“Blood Red Road,” by Moira Young
Following the ubiquitous dystopian trend, the Chaos Walking trilogy is set to be brought to the big screen by the studio that gave us “The Hunger Games.” They’ve already enlisted “Being John Malkovich” and “Adaptation.” scribe Charlie Kaufman to pen the script.

“Delirium,” by Lauren Oliver
Author Lauren Oliver has not one, but two YA books heading to cinemas. Her first novel, “Before I Fall,” was picked up by Fox 2000 in 2010. The studio has also optioned her bestselling Delirium series about a society where teenagers are given a “cure” so they don’t fall in love. Fox has first dibs on all future books the author will write, and others published by Oliver’s company Paper Lantern Lit.

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