The YA Countdown: New 'Hunger Games' Footage, a 'Mortal Instruments' TV Show, and More

The YA Countdown: New 'Hunger Games' Footage, a 'Mortal Instruments' TV Show, and More

Oct 22, 2014

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

The Maze Runner


The Maze Runner just wrapped its fifth weekend in theaters and brought in another $4.4 million, bringing its domestic grand total to over $90 million. Tack on the film’s international income and that brings the worldwide total to over $250 million, a solid sum for a movie that reportedly cost just $34 million to make.

Naturally, 20th Century Fox is moving forward with the sequel The Scorch Trials, and with the film due to hit theaters in less than a year (September 18, 2015, to be exact) director Wes Bell is busy casting up. In addition to his surviving stars from the first film, Ball’s also got these folks on the roster:

1. Giancarlo Esposito as Jorge, leader of the Cranks

2. Justified’s Jacob Lofland as Aris Jones

3. Game of Thrones’ Aidan Gillen as Janson

4. Insurgent’s Rose Salazar as Brenda

5. Game of Thrones’ Nathalie Emmanuel as Harriet

If the first film, its upcoming sequel and all of the available Maze Runner books aren’t enough for you, author James Dashner also just told MTV about his plan to add a fifth installment to his series, a Maze Runner prequel called The Fever Code. Here’s what Dashner had to say about the endeavor: “I’ve always wanted to write a prequel about Thomas, Teresa, Newt, Minho, Alby and all the Gladers that leads up to the very moment Thomas enters the Box.” The Fever Code is expected to be published in 2016.



Production has begun on The 5th Wave! Check out what Chloe Moretz shared on Instagram at the end of her very first day of playing Cassie Sullivan:


Today was an amazing first day of filming on @5thwavemovie !! Went so well, :) #CassieSullivan is real!

A photo posted by Chloe Grace Moretz (@chloegmoretz) on

On top of that, according to THR, director J. Blakeson just added Ron Livingston to the cast as Cassie’s father, Oliver Sullivan. Just in case you need to do a little catching up, here’s the rest of The 5th Wave lineup:

- Chloe Moretz is Cassie Sullivan

- Nick Robinson is Ben Parish

- Alex Roe is Evan Walker

- Zackary Arthur is Sammy Sullivan

- Ron Livingston is Oliver Sullivan

- Liev Schreiber is Colonel Vosch

- Maika Monroe is Ringer

- Tony Revolori is Dumbo


The Mortal Instruments


Constantin Film and director Harald Zwart were busy working on the Mortal Instruments sequel, The Mortal Instruments: City of Ash, well before the first film even came out -- and when it finally did hit theaters, it didn’t do too well. 

However, that doesn’t mean Constantin has given up on the property entirely. As reported by Variety, the company is actually bringing the books to TV instead. Constantin has been doing TV production for years, but it’s looking to ramp up its small-screen efforts via The Mortal Instruments and a Resident Evil spin-off TV series as well. The Mortal Instruments one actually already has a showrunner, Ed Decter, and will go into production next year.

Does The Mortal Instruments have a better shot of hitting it big with this medium? Yes and no. One thing that really dragged the movie down was the need to sell this unique world with all these crazy creatures and rules in just a little over two hours. Not only did the filmmakers try to cram too much into that running time, but they also failed to convey the information in a dynamic, engaging manner. Hopefully the additional room to breathe that comes with the TV format won’t make the writers feel pressured to drown viewers in rushed world-building and suck the life out of the concept and characters in the process. Will you be tuning in?


The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1


Premiere Screenings: With The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1’s November 21 release date fast approaching, Lionsgate is gearing up for a global press tour including visits to Seoul, London, New York and Los Angeles. Lionsgate also announced these two prerelease screenings of the film:

November 10 – London, England (World Premiere)
November 17 – Los Angeles, California (Los Angeles Premiere)

Our Leader the Mockingjay App: Our Leader the Mockingjay 2.1 is still all about tagging walls, buildings and monuments with a Mockingjay or a District 13 logo, but now, in lieu of the new Doritos/Lionsgate partnership, there’s a special section of the app that can only be unlocked by scanning the logo on a specially marked bag of chips. Mazda is planning something similar so perhaps its portion of the app will pop up via the next update.

District Voices Series: Lionsgate just unveiled a new teaser video for its “District Voices” Web series. Beginning on Monday, October 20 and wrapping up on Friday, October 24, we’ll get one “District Voices” video a day all of which have been made by popular YouTube creators.  Here’s the release schedule for the week. If an episode is already available, you can click on the date to check it out.

Monday, October 20 - District 8:  Rob Czar and Corinne Leigh, c-helmers of the "Threadbanger" YouTube channel, show how to best make use of excess Peacekeeper armor.

Tuesday, October 21 - District 2: Shane Fazen, of the ‘"fightTIPS" YouTube channel, showcases the training and techniques required to be a Peacekeeper in Panem.

Wednesday, October 22 - District 5: Derek Muller, known for the mind-blowing experiments and scientific discussions on his YouTube channel "Veritasium," demonstrates new ways in which the Capitol may generate its electricity in the future.

Thursday, October 23 - District 9: Jimmy Wong and Ashley Adams, best known for their "Feast of Fiction" YouTube channel, demonstrate baking techniques from Panem’s Grain District.

Friday, October 24 - District 6: iJustine’s Justine Ezarik, gives a glimpse at the driving force that proudly supports the transportation needs of Panem’s vaunted Peacekeepers.

Soundtrack: "Yellow Flicker Beat" arrived a few weeks ago and now it's time to check out the full track list for the Lorde-curated album. Here's what we've got coming:

1. Stromae – “Meltdown” (ft. Lorde, Pusha T, Q-Tip, Haim)
2. Chvrches – “Dead Air”
3. Tove Lo – “Scream My Name”
4. Charli XCX – “Kingdom (ft. Simon Bon)
5. Various Artists – “Track 5″
6. Raury – “Lost Souls”
7. Lorde – “Yellow Flicker Beat” - LISTEN HERE
8. Tinashé – “The Leap”
9. Bat for Lashes – “Plan the Escape”
10. Grace Jones – “Original Beast”
11. Lorde – “Flicker” (Kanye West Rework)
12. XOV – “Animal”
13. The Chemical Brothers – “This Is Not a Game” (ft. Miguel) - LISTEN HERE
14. Lorde – “Ladder Song”

New Images: We’ve got a handful of new images to share. They’re all solid visuals, but the standouts are the shot of Cressida and Castor hanging out and the one of those Peacekeepers presumably hunting rebels in the forest. I’m looking forward to seeing all of the new cast members in action, but Katniss’ camera crew is going to be an especially pivotal part of the next two films, so I’m eager to get a sense of their big-screen dynamic. As for the image of the Peacekeepers, do you remember that sequence from the first teaser trailer where the Peacekeepers were gunning down rebels and some were escaping by scaling trees? Between that brief snippet and this still, I’d like to bet that’s going to be a particularly remarkable scene.  

Castor and Cressida in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1

Peacekeepers in in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1

Beetee in in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1

Effie in in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1

Evan Ross in in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1

Katniss and Alma Coin in in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1

New Teaser: Mockingjay – Part 1 just got a brand new promo and, per usual, it’s got a rock-solid sense of tone, spot-on music cues and the power to make one heck of a lasting impression. As I pointed out in Best Movie Trailers of the Week, it’s quite remarkable how the familiar dialogue can take on such a different tenor when paired with new visuals. And speaking of those visuals, District 12 looks great. Well, perhaps great isn’t the most appropriate word, but the set is remarkably detailed with loads of elements that we’ve grown accustomed to seeing during the last two films that are now reduced to rubble. And then of course there’s the rose. As if destroying District 12 wasn’t enough, President Snow’s got to find a way to make the devastation sting even more.

New TV Spot: “Whoever you are, whatever it is you’re doing, you are going to want to witness this.” Caesar Flickerman is right. This new Mockingjay – Part 1 TV spot is just 30 seconds long, but it is absolutely brimming with heart, emotion and suspense. Yet again, this is an incredibly well edited piece that rocks a stellar build and continues to prove that the Lionsgate marketing department isn’t just selling a movie, they’re using their campaign to build a world.

Minus some still artwork and those President Snow Capitol TV announcements, we haven’t seen much of Peeta yet, so when he pops up in this TV spot, he’s got this wild ripple effect that adds a whole new layer to the situation we’ve become familiar with. I am eagerly awaiting the November 21 release of the film, but Lionsgate sure knows how to hold a fan over with highly satisfying promotional material.

The YA Movie Countdown runs here on once a month.




blog comments powered by Disqus

Facebook on