forest of hands and teeth movie

I don’t know anything about the book The Forest of Hands and Teeth, but the title is so weird and awesome that I might have to buy it today. Or I could wait until the movie version comes out, and that might be pretty good, too, because Maisie Williams of Game of Thrones is in talks to lead the cast. This move does make me wonder about the future for Williams and the in-development film adaptation of The Last of Us, however, for reasons I’ll go into below.

First, here’s how Amazon describes the novel:

In Mary’s world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power. And, when the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. Now, she must choose between her village and her future, between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?

So Variety reports that Williams will play Mary in the film version of Carrie Ryan’s novel. The film is being written and directed by Kate Maberly, who moved from acting into writing and directing with the short Charlie’s Supersonic Glider. Doug Liman is producing this film, and has been guiding the development over the past year.

Maberly said,

I am so incredibly excited to be stepping into the ‘Forest’ and collaborating with such a brilliant creative mind as Doug’s. We can’t wait to bring Ryan’s fantastical world to life and are absolutely thrilled to have Maisie on board.

Some of the basics here, like the “unconsecrated” which are basically undead cannibals who prey on humans in the wake of a disaster, and the village in which Mary lives as a safe haven, are basically YA boilerplate.

But those elements are also just similar enough to The Last of Us — a world in which a disaster has created fungal zombies that prey on humans — that I wonder if Williams would really get involved with this potential franchise and then also do the video game adaptation. There are many differences between the two, and in the end I imagine the similarities between Forest and Last of Us is more superficial than anything else, but that might be enough to keep Williams away from that film, assuming it is even ready to shoot any time soon.

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