I was surprised to read that Star Wars star Daisy Ridley has signed up to star in an adaption of the YA trilogy “Chaos Walking”, primarily because I didn’t think she would have time time and also because I thought the whole Young Adult trend was dead. Either through the death of a thousand cuts, a curse that seems to have been placed on the genre or the fact that they just aren’t making any money any more.
With the success of The Hunger Games trilogy, Hollywood thought that it had stumbled across a non-superhero licence to print money. Like comic-book films they came with their own built in fan-base and as they tend to be set in dystopian future, they tend not to be that expensive to make.
But I think we can all agree that The Hunger Games was a bit of a damp squib. With a hell of a lot of build up to not much of a pay off, still, I’m sure the inevitable prequels and sequels will make it righteous again.
And then came wave after wave of imitator.
Divergent was such an underwhelming series both critically and commercially that its final part is probably going to be released as a TV movie! And most likely without Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller.
Then you get to the probably cursed Maze Runner series. Not only have they been pretty thin on takings but the main actor Dylan O’Brien was almost killed in an on set accident resulting the film being pushed back by almost a year and being relegated into the wastelands of a January release date.
And I’m sure that there’s some god-awful mutilation of vampires that I’m repressing for good reason.
Hell, even The Giver a film based off of the 1993 book that arguably created the genre barely ticked over into profitability.
Oh, and don’t hold your breath for the The Fifth Wave sequel either.
But, to be honest, I can see why this genre appears to be on the ropes. For a start, every single story is the same (I know, I know, there’s only 7 stories but even so…) oppressive regime or adult figures that don’t understand, seemingly average teenager that turns out to be the special snowflake that’s destined to save the world, a usually platonic love triangle, final defeat of the villain, rinse and repeat.
And not only are people getting tired of it, but there’s the age old argument that the books are always better, and that people are staying away because Actor X isn’t my Character Y!
To my mind though, I think that it’s just over-saturation of a market which is fickle at the best of times, and whilst I wish ms. Ridley all the luck in the world, I think shes chosen to star in a film that’s chasing after a bandwagon that left town last week and isn’t coming back any time soon.