Maria Millage ’17/ Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
It’s no secret that Hollywood’s new obsession is adapting novels into films. Over 25 were released in 2013 alone. These have come from a variety of genres, but some of the most notable have been members of the young adult genre. Ever since the success of series like J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight, studios have been searching in earnest for the next blockbusting earner of millions. 2013 brought us The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, Ender’s Game, The Book Thief, The Host and several others all striving for this elusive title. 2014 introduces even more book to movie offerings with an army of young adult novel adaptations.
Februrary 14 – Vampire Academy
Author: Richelle Mead
Directed by: Mark Waters
The first in a series of six popular novels in the ever-growing vampire sub-genre, Vampire Academy is the story of Rose Hathaway, Dhampir (half-human, half-vampire) tasked with the job of protecting her best friend and Moroi (peaceful, mortal vampire), Lissa Dragomir. Her job is complicated by feelings of love for her mentor and the growing realization that their enemies are stronger than they thought.
March 21 – Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Directed by: Neil Burger
Beatrice Prior, a teenager with a special mind, finds her life threatened when an authoritarian leader seeks to exterminate her kind in her effort to seize control of their divided society.
June 6 – The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Directed by: Josh Boone
Boasting the tagline “one sick love story,” this is the first of prolific author John Green’s novels to be adapted for the silver screen. It’s the story of two teenagers, Hazel and Gus, who meet and fall in love, their relationship complicated by Hazel’s other constant companion, an oxygen tank, Gus’s jokes about his prosthetic leg, and the fact that they met at a cancer support group.
August 15 – The Giver
Author: Lois Lowry
Directed by: Phillip Noyce
Lowry’s classic tale about the “perfect” community, one without war, pain, or suffering and the one boy who is chosen to learn from an elderly man about the true pain and pleasure of the “real” world.
September 19 – The Maze Runner
Author: James Dashner
Directed by: Wes Ball
In a post-apocalyptic world, young Thomas is deposited in a community of boys after his memory is erased, soon learning they’re all trapped in a maze that will require him to join forces with fellow “runners” for a shot at escape.
November 21 – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
Author: Suzanne Collins
Directed by: Francis Lawrence
The Hunger Games franchise is widely considered by many to be the biggest and most successful young adult franchise behind Harry Potter and Twilight. 2014 brings to the screen the first film installment of the third novel, chronicling the fight that Katniss and her allies will stage against The Capitol in search of a better world, free of the Hunger Games.
December 17 – The Hobbit: There and Back Again
Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
Directed by: Peter Jackson
The final installment in The Hobbit film franchise, prequels to the popular Lord of the Rings movies, this film will answer of the questions posed by the second released just last month: can Bilbo and the dwarf company take back their treasure from the dragon Smaug? And can they keep the vengeful dragon from harming anyone else in the process?
There is no doubt that Hollywood has found a working formula to draw in a big audience with adapted novels from the young adult genre, and we can definitely expect to see more and more of them in the coming years. However, there is a common trend with these adaptations. The studios tend to not stay true to the novels they were derived from. Hollywood has taken this route on many young adult novel adaptations (the most significant that come to my mind include Eragon, last year’s Beautiful Creatures, and the two movies based off of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series) using the books as more of a template that can be fussed with and changed.
However, it seems as though this trend is beginning to change: the second Hunger Games film was much closer to the original book than the first and the script for The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes was rewritten before production began because of its inaccuracies. Though the trailers for the first two releases this year (Vampire Academy and Divergent) make it appear as though Hollywood hasn’t learned from its past mistakes, trailers can be misleading and they might be some of the best adaptations from the young adult genre as of yet.