In the wake of The Hunger Games dominating the box office, studios are rushing faster than ever to find more young-adult books to turn into movies. According to the Los Angeles Times, it’s become a feeding frenzy, to the point that Universal paid $1 million for the rights to a book that’s only sold about 23,000 copies since September.
And the list of YA novels that have been optioned in the past year is too long to reproduce. But our bet for the book series that has the best shot at capturing the audiences that swarmed to see Katniss kick ass? The Vampire Academy books by Richelle Mead.
I’ve read a lot of YA science fiction and fantasy books in the past few years, and it’s safe to say that they’ve been hit and miss. For every Hunger Games, there have been some duds, including some books that got major attention and huge movie deals. As Universal’s Peter Cramer tells the L.A. Times, “We’re seeing a million of them, but most feel like imitations or ‘Johnny-come-latelies.’”
In particular, I see a lot of cookie-cutter dystopian settings, which often lack any real menace, or an interesting means of social control. Or worse yet, contrived set-ups, which don’t seem like they would ever happen in real life. I’m also seeing a lot of bland main characters, who are too passive in the face of the challenges they face — which is the kiss of death for this type of novel, and especially for any movie. Oh, and then there’s the I Am Number Four problem, where the main character is just unlikable and kind of a brat.
The thing that was so great about Hunger Games, and resonated with so many people, was the fact that Katniss is seldom passive, and she has actual survival skills. She doesn’t get drawn into the Games because she’s picked randomly — she volunteers, to save her sister. And once she’s pulled in, she keeps making choices, and trying to use her skills to survive. She’s proactive and skilled, and also kind of pissed off at the world.
And that’s why I like Rose Hathaway as a potential heroine of a film series — she’s also a proactive character who makes rash, impulsive choices. The first VA novel begins with Rose and her best friend Lissa already having run away from the Academy, after Rose was on the verge of being expelled for destroying school property. Rose says things like “I don’t start fights where people can see them,” but she’s refreshingly violent nonetheless. She’s also training to become a vampire bodyguard, so there are lots of training scenes and fight scenes, and yet she’s not invincible or anything — she gets her ass kicked a lot.
And the world-building, featuring two races of vampires, the Moroi and the evil Strigoi, plus the half-breed dhampirs, is also engaging. As the books go on, we get sucked further into the intricacies of vampire politics and the Moroi get more and more desperate to survive in the face of the overwhelming Strigoi threat.
Could Vampire Academy Be The Next Hunger Games?I wrote a lot about the awesomeness of the first Vampire Academy book here. Suffice to say, it’s very different than The Hunger Games, but it’s also not really much like Twilight or Harry Potter either, despite the “vampires” and “boarding school” thing. Image by GiorRoig on Deviant Art
But what the series does offer is a strong female character — not in the sense of “bland action hero who happens to be female,” but in the sense of “female character who takes action and has real emotions and relationships.” The huge success of these books shows that they’ve already resonated with lots of people, and I really think that Rose could inspire the same kind of devotion on the big screen that Katniss now has.
But there’s also the fact that at least the first Vampire Academy book has a huge theme of slut-shaming, which is woven into the more dystopian aspects of the world-building. Rose lets her friend Lissa feed on her blood, which is something that only “blood whores” — the lowest of the low, dhampirs who live in disgusting brothels — ever do. And meanwhile, two of the guys in the school spread rumors that Rose had sex with both of them, which fuels the attempts by the school’s mean girls to ostracize her. The whole “Rose is a slut” theme finally culminates when — spoiler alert — someone gives Rose a cursed necklace that makes her unable to control her sexual urges.
When these books first started coming out a few years ago, slut-shaming was already a huge issue for teenagers — but now? Now, it’s a cultural emergency, for adults as well as teens, and it would be fantastic to see a movie that used supernatural tropes to talk about it, in much the same way the Hunger Games uses dystopian tropes to talk about class in America.
The other thing that’s great about the Vampire Academy books, that would be really nice to see on the big screen, is their exploration of female friendship — the relationship between Rose and Lissa is like a real teen friendship exaggerated through the lens of fantasy — they have a psychic bond and Rose can feel what Lissa is feeling sometimes. And Lissa can heal Rose with her magic powers. Not that the books don’t also have excellent male characters — including Rose’s mentor/hottypants, Dmitri and Christian, the outcast goth kid. Image by Emmav on Deviant Art.
These books provide a strong foundation for a movie series, and might help us avoid more I Am Number Four-style debacles. So what’s been happening with the books since they were optioned in July 2010?
We asked producer Don Murphy (who also produced the Transformers films and Splice), and here’s what he told us:
We’ve been working very hard over the last year on Vampire Academy with producer Mike Preger in order to get the perfect combination of screenplay and director. Some studios have reflexively turned us down because of Vampires being involved, which is strange- after the last Twilight do they think that audience disappears?
But realistically, we are staying focused on getting the right film made and on the characters. Every studio turned down Transformers. The great thing about the VA books is if you actually read them, they will obsess and absorb you. Richelle Mead created a world that we think is more seductive than either Twilight or Hunger. We aim to get that word to the screen intact.
Reading between the lines, it sounds as though the studios are afraid of vampire burnout after Twilight — plus other vamp movies, like Cirque du Freak, haven’t done that well. And it sounds as though Murphy and Preger are seeking to keep a lot of creative control over the project instead of handing it over to the studio to manage. It sounds like they also want some guarantees that the film will actually get made soon, rather than getting stuck in development.
So now that Hunger Games is a bona fide hit and everything has changed, will Vampire Academy get out of limbo? And can the movie really keep Rose, with all her toughness and her anxieties over people thinking she’s a blood whore, intact? Let’s hope so.
www.nola.com са пуснали онлайн анкета, в която питат коя ще е следващата поредица от книги, превърнала се във филми, която ще стане хит в Холивуд:
Hollywood has been working overtime as of late to identify the next “Harry Potter” or “Twilight” — that is, the next page-to-film superfranchise. With March Madness in full swing, we’ve decided to turn to the science of bracketology to help figure it all out. We’ve done the seeding, but the rest is up to you. Vote for your favorite four in each division. The top four will make it to the Elite Eight on Wednesday. So grab your mouse — and your popcorn — and get to work.
The “Twilight” division:
1. “The Hunger Games” — Well, it’s easily the hands-on favorite, given the excitement generated by the adaptation of the first book in Suzanne Collins’ dystopian trilogy, which opened Friday. But even a No. 1 seed sometimes stumbles … (Check out my review of the film.)
2. “Vampire Academy” — Richelle Mead’s six-book series of New York Times bestsellers, about girls training to hunt the undead, is something of a mix between “Harry Potter” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” with a little “Twlight”-style romance thrown in. So it’s got all of its bases covered, at least. Preger Entertainment is reportedly working to bring a movie version to the big screen.8. “Odd Thomas” — Based on the first of Dean Koontz’s books about a quirky short-order cook with the ability to see dead people, it’s already been shot and is expected in theaters this fall with a cast that includes Anton Yelchin in the title role, along with Willem Dafoe and Patton Oswalt. The only thing it’s lacking is a legion of screaming fangirls awaiting it.
3. “Beautiful Creatures” — It’s the first book in what is intended to be a four-book series, telling the story of a mysterious young girl who moves to a small Southern town. It’s got a leg up on many of the others on this list, as the first movie is already in the works: Shooting is set to start next month in New Orleans, and with Warner Bros.’ backing and an impressive cast that includes Viola Davis, Emma Thompson and Jeremy Irons.
4. “Divergent” — The first book in Veronica Roth’s proposed trilogy is about a teen girl in a dystopian future. (Sound familiar, “Hunger Games” fans?) It spent some time on the bestseller list, and now a film version is early in development at “Twilight” studio Summit Entertainment.
5. “Maze Runner” — “Twilight” helmer Catherine Hardwicke has reportedly been eyeing 20th Century Fox’s adaptation of this trilogy by James Dasher. It’s about a teenage boy who wakes up, with no memory of his past, only to find he is among a group of other teens trapped in a mysterious maze stocked with hideous creatures.
6. “Shiver” — It’s a trilogy with a decidedly “Twilight” style of romance, except here the human girl is entangled with a romance-hungry werewolf. The first two books spent time on the New York Times bestseller list, meaning there are more than a few fans out there. A big-screen adaptation is early in development at indie outfit Unique Features.
7. “Wake” — Miley Cyrus is attached to play the lead in this adaptation of Lisa McMann’s bestselling 2008 young adult thriller, about a girl with the power to enter other people’s dreams. It’s part of a trilogy, so franchise potential is there, although the start date has been pushed back a couple of times — and Cyrus’ star has only fallen in the meantime.
8. “Odd Thomas” — Based on the first of Dean Koontz’s books about a quirky short-order cook with the ability to see dead people, it’s already been shot and is expected in theaters this fall with a cast that includes Anton Yelchin in the title role, along with Willem Dafoe and Patton Oswalt. The only thing it’s lacking is a legion of screaming fangirls awaiting it.
Можете да гласувате – ТУК.
Източник: Bloodlines – The OFFICIAL global page
Източник: Bloodlines – The OFFICIAL global page
За тези, на които им е интересно, попаднах на видео за това как се печата една книга с традиционни методи:
Източник: Glen Milner
Корица на осмата книга:
Източник: ИК “Ибис”
Първата книга от поредицата излиза на 10-ти април 2012г., благодарение на ИК “Ибис”:
СИЛАТА НА КРЪГА Я ВЪРНА У ДОМА…
Принудена да се премести от слънчевата Калифорния в мрачната Нова Англия, Каси копнее за стария си живот. Но въпреки това чувства някаква странна близост със страховитата група от нейни съученици, които като че ли управляват училището. Скоро тя е въведена в сборището на вещици, които са владели Ню Салем в продължение на стотици години и става част от Тайния кръг – събитие, което е едновременно опияняващо и смъртоносно. Но когато се влюбва в загадъчния и тайнствен Адам, Каси трябва да избира дали да устои на изкушението или да използва тъмните сили, за да получи онова, което иска – дори и ако това й струва живота.
EW пуснаха онлайн първата глава от “The Golden Lily” – ТУК (намира се точно след интервюто), а интервюто им с Ришел можете да прочетете по-долу:
Last year, author Richelle Mead graduated from her popular Vampire Academy books and released Bloodlines, the first volume in a new six-part spin-off series. We got our hands on the first chapter of The Golden Lily (out June 12) and spoke to Mead about Sydney’s future in the series — and why fans might be throwing the new book across the room (in delight?) when they finish reading it. Read on for the exclusive excerpt!
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Did you know that the last line of Bloodlines would create such a stir?
RICHELLE MEAD: I kind of hoped it would, but some of the reactions surprised me! I had a few people say they threw the book across the room in happiness when they read that line, which is funny since a lot of people also threw Shadow Kiss across their rooms in frustration when they read the last line of that book. I guess my books are just destined to take a beating… but hopefully it’s a compliment. Something tells me The Golden Lily may see a few walls.
What can you tell us about Dimitri’s role in the second book?
Well, since Sydney, Adrian, Jill, and Eddie are our stars in this series, Dimitri’s in more of a support role here compared to the other series. That being said, fans can rest assured that he’s still doing plenty of what he does best: being hot, kicking ass, and dropping words of wisdom with a Russian accent.
How will the bond between Sydney, Eddie, Adrian, and Jill continue to evolve?
This group really is like a little family. Each of them grows and faces new challenges in the series, which then affects their relationships with each other. They have their dysfunctional moments but are ultimately close and supportive of each other. Angeline from the Keepers joins their circle in this book, which adds an even more unpredictable (and fun) element to it all.
Was it hard to get used to writing from Sydney’s point of view in the first Bloodlines?
Very difficult. In any series, whether it’s a spin-off or not, you have to really know your narrator well in order to pull off a good voice. A lot of that can only be learned “on the job,” after you’ve written a fair amount. I’m working on the third book in the series now, and I think I’ve got the hang of Sydney — though I’ll never be quite as smart as she is.
Will there be more romance in Golden Lily?
There’s romance everywhere in this book.
“The World of Richelle Mead” app just came out – what do you like most about this new way of connecting with your fans?
I love seeing where people are reading the books around the world. I get email from readers from all different places, but seeing it right there on a map takes it to a whole other level. It’s amazing and very humbling. I feel so lucky that my books have all that support!