Drew Barrymore is sticking with book-to-film adaptations in the directing department. She made her directorial debut in 2009 with Whip It, based on Shauna Cross’ book Derby Girl and now she’s back for more, bringing Ally Carter’s Heist Society to the big screen.
The book focuses on Katarina Bishop, a teen born into a family of thieves. In an attempt to leave her life of crime behind, Kat enrolls in a boarding school. When her old friend Hale pulls a nasty prank the school pins it on her and Kat is left with no choice but to pack her bags. Turns out, Hale is looking for more than just some laughs as he knows Kat’s father is in some serious trouble. The wicked Arturo Taccone is missing five priceless paintings and he’s ready to pin the crime on her father unless Kat can track them down herself.
This really is the perfect sophomore venture for Barrymore as it keeps her in familiar territory. Yet again, she’ll be working with a Shauna Cross script, and Barrymore seems to have a head for this young adult fare. Heist Society also provides her with the chance to expand, as the tale isn’t set in a simple Texas town like Whip It, but rather spans the globe.
Even beyond Barrymore’s involvement, Heist Society has big time big-screen potential. While it is on the juvenile side, Warner Bros. is opting to up the age of the main characters, making them all in their 20s rather than their teens, which could actually improve upon the source material as, at times, it feels as though the characters are a bit too young to be committing such complicated crimes, whether they were trained from birth to be doing so or not.
While I wouldn’t say Heist Society has the potential to follow in the footsteps of something like The Hunger Games, it does have a shot at being a more modest version. Then again, that also depends on how much cash the producers plan to funnel into this one. I’d much prefer to see Heist Society come to life on a more modest budget, keeping the focus on texture rather than emotionless material used to show off exotic locations.
Another reason Heist Society could find itself on the Harry Potter, Twilight and Hunger Games track? There’s more than one book. So far, it’s only Heist Society and its sequel, Uncommon Criminals, but in this industry, there’s always room for more.