YA Dystopian Book to Film Trends

Anyone who loves movies would be hard pressed to miss out on the current trend of turning young adult (YA) novels into films. Though this has been done for years, the success of the Harry Potter films kicked off a new trend in making the transition from the page to the silver screen. Here are a few recent and Upcoming YA Books that have been translated to Film:


1) The Hunger Games: Yes, this is a series but they all belong in a category together. No YA book to film list would be complete without putting this one at the top. It deserves this prestigious position because of the overwhelming success of the films. The first film was released in 2012 and became a hit overnight, breaking through the box office with expected success but overwhelming reception. The success of the film was eclipsed by the release of the sequel, Catching Fire, in 2013.


Part 1 of Mockingjay is due out soon, and fans are chomping at the bit to fall in line. After watching the new Hunger Games trailer, who wouldn’t be excited? It promises to be even more exciting than the previous two films, even if we have to swallow it in small doses.


2) Divergent: The success of this YA dystopian fantasy is not expected to touch that of the Hunger Games, but it is much anticipated either way. Some critics are skeptical about how well the series will translate to the screen because the series felt terribly flat on the page. Producers are hopeful that the series will be visually stunning and that the plot will drive the audience back for more. The outlook is hopeful overall for this series, and the trailer makes it look promising as well.


3) The Uglies: Another YA dystopian fantasy where one person fights against the system for the sake of everyone (and herself). The film rights were purchased in 2011, but the production was continually pushed back. This could be in part due to the overwhelming failure of producer John Davis’ adaptation of the YA novel Eragon years before that. Regardless of what the reason for delay was, the success of YA dystopian films has put this adaptation back on the table. No news yet on a release date.


4) The Giver: The novel was published in 1993, and only in the last few years has the film adaptation been proposed, developed, and eventually filmed. Unlike some of the others, The Giver starts as more of a Utopian society, and it isn’t until the film dives into the deeper plot that the truth is revealed. The film was released in August, and while it wasn’t a smash like the Hunger Games, it grossed $45 million in the box office.


5) The Queen of Tearling: Not much information is officially released about this book to film adaptation; however, actress Emma Watson is signed on to star in and executive produce the film. The Queen of Tearling is a YA dystopian novel actually set in a fantasy background. Critics say that it is akin to a female version of Game of Thrones. Regardless of what they call it, the film will be anticipated much like the Hunger Games, thanks to the star of the film.

This trend of YA dystopian books to film is in full steam, and the end is not clearly visible yet. More books are purchased but not yet slated for production. They may never be, but the trend will stand as long as the films continue to succeed.

Published by Larry Fire

I write an eclectic pop culture blog called THE FIRE WIRE that features articles about books, comics, music, movies, television, gadgets, posters, toys & more!

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