The Host: Meet The New Twilight
Published on November 19th, 2012 | by Chris Suffield
As the first trailer for The Host arrives online, will the latest adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’ work fill the Twilight shaped gap.
Love it or loathe it there is no denying the box office success and impact the Twilight saga has achieved, the final part -Breaking Dawn Part 2 is out now in cinemas and has already made an estimated $340M worldwide.
The film rights for author’s Stephenie Meyer latest book The Host were snapped up no sooner than the first edition hit the shelves. Set in the not too distant future, Earth has been invaded by a parasitic alien species called Souls, they quietly took over the human race by taking over the mind of their host.
Rebel human Melanie Stryder has been on the run with her brother for the last two years, her luck runs out when she is captured and a Soul named Wanderer is implanted into her body, but due to the hurried nature something goes horribly wrong.
Wanderer (or Wanda as she is later known) has had eight hosts before and has yet to find one she feels at home with. Unlike the previous hosts, Melanie’ consciousness is still alive but trapped inside her own body, the two beings live in tandem. After sharing her memories with Wanda, the alien begins to develop feelings and emotions of its own.
The rebel humans led by Jeb Stryder begin to mount a resistance, but with a powerful alien commander known as The Seeker in pursuit of Wanda the final stand for mankind hangs in the balance.
In the right hands this could make for a compelling trilogy, thankfully the opening installment is written for the screen and directed by acclaimed science fiction writer Andrew Niccol. His previous work includes sci-fi thrillers Gattaca and last year’s In Time, he also received an Academy Award nomination for his screenplay for The Truman Show.
Saoirse Ronan (Hanna, Lovely Bones) stars as Melanie, another strong female figure for the talented actress and a role young audiences will certainly relate to. Screen legend Jeremy Irons’ son Max (Red Riding Hood) plays Jared Howe, boyfriend to Melanie who believes his love is lost after she is taken. Newcomer Jake Abel (Percy Jackson, I Am Number Four) plays Ian O’Shea who is Jared’s rival for Mel.
Even if the Twilight Saga wasn’t for you The Host has an intriguing set up and all the potential for a intelligent well made science fiction movie is there, a post apocalyptic setting, strong characters, romance and an epic scope. The love triangle might put off hardcore sci-fi fans, but complex narrative and unique angle might just win them back.
Taking a leaf out of The Hunger Games’ book, the producers of The Host have given Andrew Niccol the time he needs to crack the script. Stephenie Meyer (who also produces the movie) is said to be working on the follow up as her next book, The Soul and The Second Seeker and the vision of a trilogy is shared by Andrew Niccol as he spoke to The New Zealand Herald last year before filming started;
“It’s a liberating feeling that I’ll be directing something I haven’t had to make up. It’ll be fun. But I have to say, Stephenie gave me her 650-page book to adapt. That’s a workout to start with but I’ve managed to get it down to a script and there are two more movies coming after the initial movie,”
It remains to be see if The Host will fill the Twilight shaped void with fans, whilst it’s almost impossible to speculate at this stage Andrew Niccol is a skilled filmmaker who brings integrity and intelligence to all of his work.
Also starring William Hurt, Francis Fisher and Diane Kruger, The Host is released on March 29 2013,
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