Stephenie Meyer's money-makin' mojo isn't just limited to massive book sales. She's also four for four on resultant box office pillages, and the folks at Open Road Films would love nothing more than for her first non-"Twilight" book-to-screen adaptation, "The Host," to become the next focal point for the rabid attention of her fan base. Rumor has it, Meyer's currently tapping out the long-overdue sequel to her sci-fi novel, too, so there's definitely some franchise potential at play with this story.
As for the first post-vamp adaptation, here's an all-inclusive guide to what we know about the movie so far.
March 29, 2013
Festival sweetheart Diane Kruger has garnered a faithful indie fan community (though many may be keeping tabs to observe her ever-amazing fashion choices), and she's had her turn with big-budgeters like "National Treasure" and "Troy." Kruger definitely brings some notoriety into play, while Oscar winner William Hurt imbues some serious credibility to the line-up. Of all the names, though, story writer and producer Stephenie Meyer is by far the biggest on the block.
Oscar-nominated Saoirse Ronan, fresh off her back-to-back leads in "The Lovely Bones" and "Hanna," is widely considered a star in the making. While some people still don't know how to pronounce the Irish native's first name ("SEER-shuh"), others curiously await the direction this youngster's career goes next. Meanwhile, Brit Max Irons, who's still very new to the game, has his own fellowship circle that has demanded he be considered for high profile projects like "The Mortal Instruments." With both of these kids on the cusp, they've got a real shot here at catapulting into the big leagues. Other youngsters with potential to boost are Boyd Holbrook and Chandler Canterbury.
Behind the Camera
Oscar-nominated writer and director Andrew Niccol's intrigue is undeniable. Niccol's early career choices ("Gattaca," "The Truman Show") earned him a firm foothold in the sci-fi biz, but he's got some ground to make up after the critical shunning of his latest, "In Time." Stephenie Meyer has lauded Niccol's prowess with "character-driven science fiction," indicating it's exactly what "The Host" aims to be.
"Invasion of the Body Snatchers" + "Twilight" - "Aliens" = "The Host."
Meyer released "The Host" in 2008, shortly before the conclusion of her "Twilight" tetralogy, "Breaking Dawn." The book was both her first non-vampire release and her first adult title and spent 26 consecutive weeks at the number one spot on the New York Times Bestseller list. The book was optioned in September 2009 by producers Nick Wechsler, Steve Schwartz and Paula Mae Schwartz, who tapped Niccol to pen the script. After a brief invasion by would-be director Susanna White, Andrew Niccol reclaimed his director's chair for the film and Open Road Films acquired distribution for the project, brought Saoirse Ronan on board to star and set the release date for the picture. Production subsequently commenced in February 2012 in Louisiana and New Mexico.
In a Nutshell
In the not-so-distant future, Earth has become overrun by alien souls that inhabit human bodies for a lifespan and will move on to the next life-wielding planet after they're done. Few humans remain unaffected and exist in hidden communities, like within the desert caves of Arizona. Wanderer, a well-traveled soul who has existed in eight prior forms, finds that the consciousness of her host body — Melanie Stryder — still strongly lingers in her mind. Through the shared memories and affections, Wanderer finds herself drawn to Mel's old stomping grounds, and her loyalties are tested. This results in a cat and mouse game with the alien seekers who wish to punish her for her desertion and one wicked love quadrangle.
While "The Host" as a book property has become rather cold in the four-plus years since its release, interest is at least lukewarm for the long-awaited movie version. Absent a full trailer and with only a handful of production stills released so far, though, things are far from full gear at this stage. Even still, with Meyer's faithful following and Niccol's respect at hand, things are sure to heat up in the coming weeks, especially once "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" closes out that series this November.
Why We're Psyched
As Stephenie Meyer once explained, "this could be the first alien takeover movie where you could argue the aliens are kind of the good guys." Sure, the souls rip every shred of humanity away from the host bodies, but those aliens sure are eco-friendly. Plus, who wouldn't want to see a multiple-personalitied lead grapple with the complexities of life, liberty and love with a dash of twisted sci-fi lore in the mix? Not to mention that this'll be a great chance to discover whether Meyer's place in the cultural zeitgeist will carry forward past "Twilight."