The Best YA Adaptations You Probably Haven’t Seen

maze runner

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition, we take a look at the best adaptations you haven’t seen of young adult novels.)

Young adult (YA) adaptations typically fall into two categories – those featuring characters named Harry Potter, Katniss Everdeen, or Bella Swan, and those that don’t. The movies in the latter group aren’t as well known and haven’t made nearly as much money, and if we’re being honest, a healthy percentage of them deserve that fate. There are plenty of other good ones, though, from The Perks of Being a Wallflower to The Outsiders, but I’m here to tell you there are also some great ones you’ve probably missed.

One such solid YA movie is 2015’s Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials which in addition to featuring some fun 28 Days Later-like “zombie” assaults also includes some kick-ass action sequences. It’s good! You can skip the dull first installment – teens are forced to run out of a maze, there, now you’re all caught up – and just jump to this second film. Once you do that you’ll be ready for the trilogy’s concluding chapter, Maze Runner: The Death Cure, which opens this week. You’re welcome.

In the continuing spirit of identifying YA movies that are deserving of more love, I’ve done what I do best, or at least what I do bi-weekly, and selected a handful of good to great titles that were released and quickly forgotten to time.

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Stuart Beattie's Tomorrow When The War Began

Paramount Pictures International has released the full length movie trailer for Stuart Beattie‘s directorial debut  Tomorrow When The War Began. You might recognize Beattie’s name as he is a big Hollywood screenwriter behind such films as Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Collateral, Derailed, 30 Days of Night, Australia, and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

The action adventure drama is based on John Marsden’s critically- acclaimed novel, and tells the story of “eight unlikely high school teenagers band together to fight when their country is invaded and their families are taken.” It’s basically Australian’s answer to Red Dawn. The movie stars Caitlin Stasey, Rachel Hurd-Wood, Lincoln Lewis, Deniz Akeniz, Phoebe Tonkin, Chris Pang, Ashleigh Cummings, Andy Ryan, and Colin Friels.

Watch the trailer now embedded after the jump. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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tomorrow_tarzan_halo

Stuart Beattie is starting to promote G.I Joe: The Rise of Cobra, but he’s got a lot more projects to talk about. Beattie was recently announced as the writer/director who would adapt the Australian book series that begins with Tomorrow, When the War Began, and he’s got a Tarzan script and a Halo spec that he’s trying to get off the ground. SciFiWire parceled all the info from their interview over a series of articles (here, here and here), and we’ve collected it back together for you. Read More »

Tomorrow when the war_CD_TD12.indd

Who knew that Australia had it’s own Red Dawn? According to THR, Australia screenwriter Stuart Beattie (who also wrote Collateral, GI Joe and the story for Pirates of the Caribbean) is going to write and direct an adaptation of the novel Tomorrow, When the War Began. The film, which he calls “coming of age in a war zone,” will be his directorial debut. The book is the first in a seven-novel young adult series by John Marsden which has become quite popular in Australia. The basic story follows an insurgent band of Australian teenagers who fight against an enemy invasion and occupation of their land. So, yeah, kinda like Red Dawn, not that the John Milius picture and its remake have any lock on the idea of kids fighting the guerrilla fight for their country. Read More »