Posted on Friday, July 25th, 2014 by Russ Fischer
While Edgar Wright is set to make the relatively mysterious Baby Driver as his next film, the director has also set up another project to develop as a potential Baby Driver follow-up. Wright has come on board Grasshopper Jungle, which will adapt the YA novel by Andrew Smith.
The book centers on a teenage kid who somehow conjures up a plague that sets an army of six-foot-tall praying mantises on his town. Actually, make that hungry, horny six-foot tall praying mantises. Which, as you can imagine, might be a problem.
Deadline reports that Scott Rosenberg is scripting from the novel, and that he’s producing with Sony’s Matt Tolmach and Wright’s frequent producing partner Nira Park.
The book is a weird one; the main character is right in the middle of his own problems with sexual identity (and trying to manage his constant horniness) and the giant rampaging insects turn out to big something like a giant manifestation of his own urges. At the very least, the kid looks at the big bugs with a bit of admiration.
Note: I had originally described Baby Driver as an “action/comedy,” but I’m told the project really isn’t a comedy. So we’ll clarify that now.
As for Grasshopper Jungle, here’s the synopsis of Smith’s novel:
Simmering within Ealing, Iowa, is a deadly genetically engineered plague capable of unleashing unstoppable soldiers—six-foot-tall praying mantises with insatiable appetites for food and sex. No one knows it, of course, until Austin and his best friend Robby accidentally release it on the world. An ever-growing plague of giant, flesh-hungry insects is bad enough, but Austin is also up to his eyeballs in sexual confusion—is he in love with Robby or his girlfriend, Shann? Both of them make him horny, but most things do. In an admittedly futile attempt to capture the truth of his history, painfully honest Austin narrates the events of the apocalypse intermingled with a detailed account of the “connections that spiderweb through time and place,” leading from his great-great-great-grandfather Andrzej in Poland to Shann’s lucky discovery of an apocalypse-proof bunker in her new backyard. Smith (Winger, 2013) is up to his old tricks, delivering a gruesome sci-fi treat, a likable punk of a narrator, and a sucker punch ending that satisfyingly resolves everything and nothing in the same breath.