The latest young adult novel to get a feature film adaptation is none other than ‘The Darkest Minds’ of Alexandra Bracken. The first novel of the series will be showing in movie houses soon, thanks to the producers behind Netflix original series ‘Stranger Things’ Shawn Levy and Dan Levine, as well as Dan Cohen and John Starke. Joining them as director is Jennifer Yuh-Nelson, known for ‘Kung Fu Panda 3’.
In the last decade or so, YA novels-turned-blockbuster movies has become a sort-of genre of its own. Best selling book series turned into movie franchises like ‘Twilight’, ‘The Hunger Games’, and even ‘Maze Runner’ (though, this particular example struggled to complete itself) have become regular summer blockbuster fodder. These franchises are responsible for launching the careers of Hollywood megastars like Kristen Stewart and Jennifer Lawrence, proving how powerful their audience appeal is. ‘The Darkest Minds’ is just the latest in this long line of sci-fi youth fiction.
The film follows a group of teenagers coming of age in a dystopian future where 98% of American (and presumably the world’s) children have died from a disease. The children who survived are regarded as dangerous and are hunted by authorities, thus forcing them into hiding. Despite the leap from reality, producer Dan Levine feels the message of the story is relatable to all audiences. “I think this story had a timeless theme,” he says. “And it’s so universal, in that it’s about kids growing up into teenagers and discovering that they they’re different, which people don’t understand, especially adults and the government.
The cast of the movie are young, but in no way inexperienced. Some notables are Amanda Stenberg (practically a vet of the YA genre who was also part of The Hunger Games), Miya Cech (who was on American Horror Story), Lidya Jewett (from Hidden Figures), and Gwendolyne Christie (of course, known for her role in Game of Thrones).
‘The Darkest Minds’ will hit Philippine theaters on August 1. The film is by 20th Century Fox. Watch the trailer below.