Hollywood isn’t getting out of the Stephenie Meyer business anytime soon, as there’s been movement on an adaptation of a non-Twilight book of hers, The Host. The young adult sci-fi novel sounds like it’ll be different from her other works, and now Saoirse Ronan has just joined the movie in the lead role.
Deadline says that the Irish actress has been cast as Melanie Stryder, who is one of the last human beings yet to be taken over by the invading alien force known as the Souls. They’re said to “invade human bodies, fuse to each person’s consciousness and systematically erase their personalities,” and when a legendary one called Wanderer tries to take over the resistant Melanie, this causes a problem. She’s “unique in her unwillingness to surrender her consciousness,” and soon Wanderer reconnects with Melanie’s old life.
The movie will have Ronan playing both parts, which seems like a wise choice; this could serve as a way of giving the character a larger sense of completeness, as opposed to feeling like two actors playing what’s likely to at certain points basically be the same person. Developed by Nick Wechsler and Steve & Paula Mae Schwartz (who adapted The Road), the script has been written by Gattaca and Truman Show screenwriter Andrew Niccol.
While he originally intended to direct, he left the project for Now, which stars Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried and Cillian Murphy, but that movie’s finished, so he could join this as director. It seemed like Nanny McPhee Returns director Susanna White would take on the job, but she’s now said to be gone. I’d much rather see Niccol direct, as he’s someone whose work I trust much more (not that I think this will be good). Produced by Inferno, the movie will be seeking buyers at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Not that I’m excited for the film itself, as Meyer‘s work mostly seems to be nonsense, and this doesn’t come off as much different. Ronan is a very talented actress, but bad material is bad material, and you can only do so much with that. I’ll go so far as to say that if it weren’t for her massive fanbase, this story wouldn’t have ever caught the attention of readers. I mean, does anything about this story sound particularly innovative? Then again, there’s no point in complaining, as I’m sure it’ll make plenty of money, while critics get ignored. I love you, Hollywood.
Have you read the original book, and do you think Ronan is good casting for the lead?