YA adaptations are so hot right now. -Derek Zoolander
And he’s right. Every production company wants their hands on the next “Hunger Games” or “Twilight” (I won’t even mention Harry Potter because NOTHING could be the next harry potter, lbh), but it’s a risky business. YA adaptions seem to soar or crash land… so the decision on which series to adapt is a big one. Luckily, I’ve done the work for them.
1. Shatter Me (The Shatter Me series) by Tahereh Mafi
The whole post-apocalyptic dystopia/utopia thing is also super in right now. It worked for the Hunger Games movie and the Divergent movie (and many tv shows) so why not continue with that hot streak? It has an interesting enough premise to catch people’s attention: Juliette’s touch kills. This series is gripping from beginning to end, gaining action with each book; action that would be SUPURB on the big screen (including giant battles with tanks and armies). And do I even have to mention the huge fanbase this series has acquired over the years? A Fox based production company currently holds the rights to the movie, but nothing has been done towards actually making the movie, which is extremely common once rights are sold. It’s sitting on the shelf…. Hey guys, start pre-production already!
2. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Coming off the quiet success of If I Stay, Before I Fall would be a smart option for any production company (the rights were bought a few years back & it has a director attached). This is the only novel on the list that is not a part of a series, but it’s a brilliant stand alone novel. It centers around a high school girl who spends 7 days reliving the day she died… or didn’t die. It’s a fantastic coming-of-age story of a girl growing into the person she was meant to be in the most tragic yet beautiful of ways. Every choice has a consequence, and she is lucky (or unlucky?) enough to see each choice’s consequence play out with the chance of fixing it the next day. This is a novel that really affected me as a reader, and I can’t imagine the emotional rollarcoaster it would be seeing it on the big screen. Oliver already has a huge fanbase of her own (13 Reasons Why, Delirium series) and Before I Fall as quite fanbase in itself. It’s been optioned by Fox 2000 (back in 2010) and has Maria Maggenti attached as the director (announced in 2012) but it’s been listed as “in development” since. Get a move on Fox, we want to see Sam’s journey on the big screen!
3. Wither (The Chemical Garden trilogy) by Lauren DeStefano
Lauren DeStefano’s debut novel, Wither, is a beautiful written, post-apocalyptic dystopian. Set in the distant future, boys only live to the age of 25, while girls only live until they are 20. Obviously, is not an ideal setting for a functional society. Along with crime, violence, and a general lack of authority, many girls are kidnapped and forced into unwanted polygamous marriages to reproduce. And so we meet Rhine, a orphaned twin who has been kinapped from her brother and sold into a marriage. This world is well built and constantly intriguing. Rhine’s journey is of a much more mature nature than most YA fiction; it deals with marriage, pregnancy, and the ever-ticking clock of death. Throughout the drama of Rhine’s personal story over the entire three book series, there is always the question in the back of your mind; will they ever find a cure? My argument for Wither is simple; it’s too good of a story NOT to be made into a movie. The rights were optioned by Prospect Park & Violet House Productions back in 2012, but no news since then.
4. Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices series) by Cassandra Clare
It greatly saddens me that this will unlikely ever be made into a movie due to the box office failure of City of Bones. I personally greatly prefer this series to the Mortal Instruments (I think it’s generally a better story with better characters). I would KILL to see this on the big screen, but seeing as we can hardly get a City of Ashes movie, it’s extremely unlikely this would be made. Though a script has been written and it has been optioned as a film by the same people who did City of Bones, nothing else has been announced. Needless to say, seeing Will, Tessa & Jem on the big screen would be KILLER. Check out our fancast of The Infernal Devices here.
5. Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin series) by Robin DeFevers
Because who doesn’t wanna see a bunch of sexy nun assassins kicking ass and taking names? Imagine female medieval assassins seducing men and then slitting their throats… on the big screen! Woo Woo! Grave Mercy is not only about female assassins, but it’s set in Brittany while it was still a Duchy trying to gain independence from France, just after the Mad War. Most of the characters are based on real people and it also follows historical events. Grave Mercy is much different than most YA in that it is supernatural medieval fiction while being set around real historical events, which makes it very intriguing. There really is nothing like it. Not to mention it’s a time period where women weren’t supposed to be powerful or strong, and the women within this story are just that. It would be a refreshing story to see on the big screen, as there is nothing quite like it. Currently there are no plans for this series to be made into a movie, but the last book hasn’t even come out yet. (The Mortal Heart: November 4th!)
6. Delirium (Delirium Trilogy) by Lauren Oliver
Lauren Oliver makes another appearance on our list! Fox tried to make this into a tv show… and failed. The pilot was filmed, starring Emma Roberts, and was not picked up. It was, however, released on hulu for a short time. I’ll tell you where they went wrong: the pilot episode was the ENTIRE first book (not to mention they threw Julian and his father in there, too). 441 pages of world building, relationship building and character development condensed into 40 minutes. WHO thought that was a good idea? This series would be butchered if it was made into a show, simply because it is not long enough. Three books stretched into numerous season is never a good idea if you want to stay faithful to the books (see: Vampire Diaries). It would, however, be ideal for a movie trilogy. If it went far enough to be filmed into a pilot, then it still has a chance of being made into a movie… but the rights would most likely have to be traded. Now that the pilot has failed, who knows what will happen to the rights.
7. The Forest of Hands and Teeth (The Forest of Hands and Teeth series) by Carrie Ryan
Zombies are super hot right now. Obvi. We have the Walking Dead, World War Z, Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, etc. But The Forest of Hands and Teeth is a take on zombies we have never seen. Mary lives in a village surrounded by a fence, and beyond that fence is zombies, or as she calls them, the Unconsecrated. Walking around the village, she constantly listens to the moans of the unconsecrated leaning against the fence, hands outstretched towards her. The worst part? They were once people, even some that had before lived in the village, even some she once knew and loved. But fences don’t hold forever. It’s an extremely psychological take on the zombie phenomena. It would be a bit of a challenge to cast (mothers, twins, etc.), but beyond that completely doable. Each novel in this trilogy is told by a different character, giving us looks at all the different ways of life in this zombie ridden world. Seven Star Pictures currently holds the rights the novel. In 2011 Peter Iliff was announced as the screen writer and director, but nothing has been announced since. Of all the novels on the list, I have the most faith in this adaption. Though it’s YA, I think it has the most potential to span larger demographic.
What do you want to see made into a movie?