Welcome to the YA Movie Countdown, our resident expert’s biweekly guide to young-adult book-to-film adaptations.
With one 2014 young-adult book-to-film adaptation out and doing quite well and four more on the way, there’s an abundance of promotional material and news flooding the Web. There’s loads to sort through and quite a bit that’s worth knowing and seeing in the mix, so we’ve narrowed it down so that you can check out the best of the best.
DVD and Blu-ray Release: Divergent is still killing it at the box office, but it’s already gearing up to rock the home-release charts, too. On August 5, Lionsgate will make the film available to own. If you’re gunning for a copy, you’ll have three options - purchasing it digitally on VOD, picking up a DVD or going big and snagging a Blu-ray combo pack. Of course the combo pack is the pricier of the bunch, but you get the most stuff. Not only does it come with the film on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital HD, but it also includes the making-of documentary “Bringing Divergent to Life” and the featurette “Faction Before Blood” in addition to the deleted scenes and two audio commentaries featured on the DVD. You can preorder a copy right here, but if you just can’t wait, Lionsgate will unleash Divergent on Digital HD two weeks earlier on July 22.
Insurgent to Shoot Soon: March 20, 2015 isn’t that far away so it’s time for the Divergent cast and crew to get back to work. Shortly after wrapping up quite a bit of The Fault in Our Stars promotion, Ansel Elgort tweeted the following, “Guess what time it is already!? This week heading to atlanta for Insurgent!!!” Even though the first film was shot in Chicago and that’s where the story is set, it’s likely that they will remain in Atlanta for the bulk of the shoot. When asked about the location change back in March, Veronica Roth told the Chicago Tribune, “We have to wait and see. I think it's because of boring reasons like something about tax credits. I don't know.”
Octavia Spencer Is Johanna: It’s sad to leave behind certain characters as we move into the sequel, but it does mean that there’s now room for new talent to join in and in this case, it’s Academy Award-winning talent nonetheless! Summit Entertainment recently announced that Octavia Spencer will join the cast of Insurgent as Johanna, the leader of Amity. She’s a Candor transfer whose most striking feature is a brutal scar that extends from her eye to her chin, and stripped her of her sight in that eye. As the person responsible for speaking on behalf of her faction, Johanna is expected to always say what the faction decides together, but that doesn’t mean her personal sentiments comply.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
Cannes Report: Even though the film didn’t screen, The Hunger Games franchise returned to Cannes for another year of partying and press. Lionsgate Motion Picture Group cochairman Rob Friedman told THR, “We're a worldwide company, and it's a big opportunity for our international distributors to actually hear what the worldwide plans are for the film, which opens in November. Cannes is the best publicity opportunity from an international penetration perspective.”
Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Sam Claflin, Julianne Moore, Donald Sutherland, Francis Lawrence, Nina Jacobson and Jon Kilik all came out for the event. The gang posed for pictures and participated in a slew of red-carpet interviews before heading into an extravagant party at a $340 million mansion owned by a Russian oligarch. The Wall Street Journal described the event as “an imaginary party thrown by the story’s character, Effie: lavish and large-scale. It fit the spirit of the Cannes Film Festival, but not that of the film’s message of rebellion – despite the mockingjay symbol projected on every surface and pinned to each guest’s lapel.”
New Motion Poster: What’s a new Hunger Games movie without a new motion poster to go along with it? Click here to check out the latest in the series.
New Stills and Website: Lionsgate just launched a brand new website for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 and it’s already loaded with material including our very first look at Julianne Moore as Alma Coin, the president of District 13 and the leader of the rebellion. There’s also a fairly extensive filmmaker roundtable with director Francis Lawrence, screenwriter Peter Craig and producer Nina Jacobson that’s well worth checking out along with a page from the actual Mockingjay – Part 1 script. Click here to catch it all.
New Stills: We’ve got four new stills from The Giver making the rounds and one has our very first look at Taylor Swift as Rosemary, the Receiver of Memory before Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) who doesn’t make it through training process. We’ve also got a shot of Katie Holmes and Alexander Skarsgård as Jonas’ parents, one of Thwaites and Odeya Rush as Fiona, and a new one of Thwaites alongside Jeff Bridges’ The Giver.
The Maze Runner
New Promotional Images: Fox has been busy releasing stills and promo images for The Maze Runner for quite a while now, and we just got a few more to add to the collection. This runner-themed shot’s got Dylan O’Brien as Thomas, Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Newt, Ki Hong Lee as Minho, and Chris Sheffield as Ben. The next shows what happens when Ben opts to break an important rule and gets punished for it and then we’ve got the most recent image below, which offers a sense of what the Gladers are up against. Be sure to keep an eye on The Maze Runner’s official Twitter account because more promotional items are bound to pop up as we get closer to the film’s September release.
The Fault in Our Stars
New Clips: With just a little over two weeks to go until the Fault in Our Stars debut, Fox is unveiling quite a few clips from the film. We’ve got one from HBO that shows off a scene between Hazel (Shailene Woodley) and her parents that pops up in the middle of this interview with Sam Trammell and Laura Dern and then there’s another revealing a particularly unforgettable scene from the book, the one during which Hazel and Gus (Ansel Elgort) help Isaac (Natt Wolf) get back at his ex by blowing off some steam with a few eggs. This last one comes from Yahoo! UK and offers a sample of Hazel and Gus’ first official date, a fancy dinner with unlimited Dom Perignon in Amsterdam.
The YA Movie Countdown runs here on Movies.com every other Wednesday.
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