Friday January 4, 2013
Hollywood's latest flicks for young adults
By MUMTAJ BEGUM
No more Twilight movies? No problem – Hollywood has been busy looking for the next big thing in young adult flicks.
THERE has been a Twilight movie in theatres every year since 2008. The series has earned a lot of money for everyone involved and made actors Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson household names. So what’s going to happen in 2013, a year sans Twilight?
Well, it isn’t from lack of trying that there isn’t another lucrative young adult-centric franchise like Twilight right now. Ever since the first film hit theatres in 2008 and established the series as a massive cash cow domestically and internationally, studios in Hollywood have been racing to find the next big movie based on young adult books.
So far, however, the wannabes have had mixed fortunes. Remember I Am Number Four, the film starring Alex Pettyfer as an alien who falls in love with an insipid human girl? Yeah, we wish we could erase it from our minds too. Thankfully, we didn’t make the same mistake with Red Riding Hood, which some reviewers recognised as a Twilight copycat.
Now last year’s The Hunger Games – based on Suzanne Collins’ book – did more than all right at the box office and garnered decent reviews for its efforts. It did so well that three more films have been confirmed to continue Katniss Everdeen’s tale of rebellion. The Hunger Games series, however, does not share too many similarities with Twilight.
For one thing, The Hunger Games doesn’t depend solely on its love triangle to push the story along, but explores the growth of its strong central female character, who goes from volunteering for a violent game to save her sister to becoming a figure that folks look up to, ultimately affecting the whole nation.
There are several films in the works right now vying to fill the void that Twilight has left behind. We take a look at five movies that are out to win the hearts and wallets of young adults.
> Beautiful Creatures (Feb 14): One way to move on from fawning over glittering vampires and hot werewolves is to fall under the spell of witches. Beautiful Creatures is the first of four books written by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, under the Caster Chronicles series.
The tale kicks off with the arrival of one Lena Duchaness in the small Southern town of Gatlin, where Ethan Wate has lived all his teenage life. It is a town where nothing much happens, that is, until Lena comes along (Ethan has seen her in his dreams even before her arrival). Before you can say “how creepy”, it turns out that Lena comes from a long line of people with magic powers and is at an age when she has to choose between the Light or the Dark side.
In an interview with USA Today, director Richard LaGravenese said he was concerned at first about comparisons between Beautiful Creatures and Twilight. After much thought, he concluded: “When you see the movie, you’ll know it’s not Twilight.”
Playing the main characters are actress Alice Englert (daughter of The Piano director Jane Campion) and Alden Ehrenreich. Their co-stars include Jeremy Irons, Viola Davis, Emma Thompson and Emma Rossum.
> The Host (April 4): Not to be mistaken for the South Korean film about an amphibious monster that terrorises a city or the horrific The X-Files episode featuring a “Flukeman” on a rampage in the sewers of New Jersey. This one is based on Twilight creator Stephenie Meyer’s other novel. It stars Saoirse Ronan as Melanie Stryder, a woman whose body becomes inhabited by a member of a parasitic alien race called Souls.
Unlike other body snatchers that take over their hosts completely, this Soul has to be content with Melanie’s voice inside its head as the teen refuses to be erased. Something profoundly changes when the alien is shown Melanie’s memory of her loved ones.
Co-starring Jake Abel, Max Irons, Diane Kruger and William Hurt.
> Warm Bodies (April 11): Actress Teresa Palmer looks an awful lot like Kristen Stewart, except she’s blonde and doesn’t come off like an awkward girl every time she appears on screen. In Warm Bodies, she plays Julie, a human girl who ends up with a zombie boyfriend. Yes, you read right. This is based on a book by Isaac Marion, in which a mysterious plague has left the human population low and the undead ranks high and growing.
Both the book and the film are narrated by an undead youth known as R (Nicholas Hoult). Looking for brains to eat, R ends up at an office and goes for one Perry Kelvin; Perry just happens to be Julie’s former boyfriend. The aftermath of this has R developing feelings for Julie and taking it upon himself to protect her from other zombies. Guess zombies are the new vampires.
> The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones (August): This film starring Lily Collins is based on the first book of the bestselling The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. Fifteen-year-old Clary Fray (Collins) is out for a good time at a nightclub when she witnesses a killing that goes unseen by everyone else. After a personal tragedy, she learns that there is more to her than meets the eye (which also explains why she can see things that others can’t). With the help of a boy named Jace (Jamie Campbell Bower), Clary discovers exactly who and what she is.
In the process, Clary develops a romantic interest in Jace. At the same time, Clary’s best friend is also in love with her.
City Of Bones co-stars Aidan Turner, Lena Headey, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Robert Sheehan.
> Divergent (2014): This trilogy written by Veronica Roth has been compared to The Hunger Games rather than Twilight as it is set in an oppressive future with a young girl as its protagonist. In the far future of Chicago, the land is divided into five different factions, each with unique cultural values, religions and behaviours. One 16-year-old girl, Beatrice Prior, discovers that she cannot adhere to the set of behaviours assigned to her and makes her own choice, much to everyone’s surprise. Actress Shailene Woodley (Oscar nominated for The Descendants) plays the lead role.