The YA Countdown: ‘The 5th Wave,' 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay,' a 'Vampire Academy' Sequel and More

The YA Countdown: ‘The 5th Wave,' 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay,' a 'Vampire Academy' Sequel and More

Jul 04, 2014

Welcome to the YA Movie Countdown, our resident expert’s biweekly guide to young-adult book-to-film adaptations.

With The Fault in Our Stars still holding on at the box office and The Giver and If I Stay creeping closer to their big debuts, there’s quite a bit of YA book-to-film promotional material floating around out there. That said, there are three standout news items that deserve the bulk of our attention. You can check out some links to new posters, stills and other miscellanea below, but then it’s on to the key components of this week’s edition of the YA Countdown: The 5th Wave, Vampire Academy and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.

Quick YA News:

     New poster for The Giver.
     Suki Waterhouse shows off a cool stunt while prepping for Insurgent.
     Paramount to bring John Green’s Looking for Alaska to the big screen.
     Lots of new images from If I Stay.
     Three new images from The Giver


The 5th Wave is Coming

The 5th Wave

Remember that book-to-film adaptation The 5th Wave we told you about back in October? Now it’s worth looking out for more than ever because director J Blakeson just locked two more key cast members, one of whom actually made our dream cast list.

What It's About:

Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave takes place just before the fifth wave of an alien invasion. During the first wave, the mother ship arrived, people freaked out and then an EMP strike wiped out all the power. During the second wave, the Others generated a devastating tsunami and then a plague marked the third wave. For the fourth, only one thing mattered – trust no one. Now the fifth wave is right around the corner and poor Cassie Sullivan (Chloe Moretz) is on the run, all on her own. Even though going solo is the surest way to avoid detection, Cassie can’t ignore the fact that there’s a chance her little brother might still be alive and need her help.

Who's in It:

We’ve had our Cassie for a few months now, so it’s about time Blakeson and co. got around to casting our other two main characters – Ben Parish (also known as Zombie) and Evan Walker. Even though Cassie insists on finding her brother solo, after running into Evan she’s left with no choice but to go after Sammy with Evan’s help. Just the other week, the official The 5th Wave Facebook page revealed that Alex Roe will play Evan. Roe’s got a small handful of TV credits to his name, but The 5th Wave will mark his very first role in a high-profile project.

Alex Roe's 5th Wave Casting Announcement

Our Ben Parish is The Kings of Summer and Jurassic World’s Nick Robinson.

The Kings of Summer was Robinson’s very first feature film, but his work in that does suggest he’s got the ability to tap into all of Zombie’s layers. Prior to the invasion, Ben’s your typical high school golden boy, but the Others ruined all that. Now, at just 17 years old, he’s brimming with remorse, out for vengeance and being trained to fight.

Nick Robinson's 5th Wave Casting Announcement

With Ben and Evan locked, there’s a good chance the team behind the film could be moving on to little Sammy next. Maybe I’ll go two for four and Looper’s Pierce Gagnon will snag the part.


Vampire Academy

Even though Vampire Academy only managed to secure a mere $3.9 million its opening weekend and just $15.4 million for its full worldwide run, there’s still interest in continuing the franchise and making the sequel, Frostbite, happen. This message recently popped up on the film’s official Facebook page:

Well now, over 355,000 fans on Facebook and our last post got over 1000 likes! Now that's what I'm talking about, #‎VAFamily. Our twitter followers are slacking a little behind, but they'll catch up. Maybe they just need a little inspiration. What do you think?

We are pleased to announce that we are implementing a plan to bring #‎Frostbite to life! BUT...and this is a big BUT...we are going to need your help.

To take a page out of the Guardian handbook - it's time to get training! We have to get a larger percentage of our followers ACTIVE. What does this mean? It means that we have a strong 1000 fans on here who participate, A LOT, and about 12k fans who engage us weekly...but we need to bump that number up. So over the next 2 weeks, we are going to work on waking everyone up, making sure they set their notifications to get our updates and rallying the troops.

You want FROSTBITE? This is step one. The power is in the hands of the fans. May the odds be ever in your...oh wait, I mean: "Things die. But they don't always stay dead." #Frostbite

That’s a nice, empowering message, but even as someone who actually enjoyed the first film, all I’m thinking is, really? The second book in the series is especially cinematic and would make a great film, but after the first film tanked so hard, what chance does it really have? 


The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

On June 20, The Hunger Games franchise wrapped principal photography on Mockingjay, and the whole series of book-to-film adaptations for that matter. Even though Mockingjay – Part 2 doesn’t hit theaters until November 20, 2015, it was filmed back-to-back with Mockingjay – Part 1, so that’s that. It was a bittersweet moment for everyone involved, but we’re the lucky ones because wrapping means more promotional material for us!

Less than a week after finishing up, we got our very first Mockingjay – Part 1 teaser, an official address from President Snow:

Admittedly, it's a stretch to call this piece a teaser trailer, but it's a strong start to the film’s video promotional campaign. Per usual, Donald Sutherland’s voice is commanding, rousing and packs the power to suck you right into a video that’s really just a single shot and some title cards.

The reveal of Peeta marks some brilliant editing and shot composition as well. Even having read the books, it took me a moment to process what was beside President Snow. The instant there’s enough texture to figure out that that’s a person next to him, the tone shifts and that helps make the reveal especially powerful.

Hopes are high that this is a strong start to yet another top-notch Hunger Games promotional campaign.

The YA Movie Countdown runs here on every other Wednesday.




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