Now that the Twilight series has officially run it’s course a number of new young adult adaptations are rushing to take it’s place. The Hunger Games was the first contender hoping to take over the market established by Harry Potter and the Stephenie Meyere series. While that series has done pretty well for itself the future crop of movies based on young adult novels will have higher expectations to live up to than Twilight. And they will face some pretty intense competition. Word on the street is that some sixty books have been optioned for the big screen. That’s a lot of teenage angst right there.
Among these adaptations is Beautiful Creatures, a book series originally co-written by authors Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. The series follows the budding relationship between Ethan Wate, your perfect Southern gentleman yearning to leave his small hometown, and the new girl Lena Duchannes, who brings with her troubled past. Lena (Alice Englert) comes from a long line of Casters – essentially witches- and on her sixteenth birthday she will either be claimed by the dark magic or by the light. After her mother and cousin (Emmy Rossum) fell to the darkness her remaining family – including her reformed dark caster uncle, Macon (Jeremy Irons) – have tried to protect her. But she has no choice in the matter and as her birthday edges ever closer her fate seems to be catching up to her. If the dark magic claims her she’ll no longer be the person she is now and though he should probably stay way for his own safety, Ethan isn’t about to let her go that easily. Does it sound a little corny? Sure. Maybe a little.
I actually got to see Beautiful Creatures at a pre-screening a few months back which I won’t necessarily talk about now. But after seeing the movie, I read the book and though we still have a while to go before the movie comes out I did want to take the chance to say that people really do need to give Beautiful Creatures a chance. Though the premises may seem similar to Twilight – teen romance with a flare of supernatural – they are very different stories. Garcia and Stohl have written a much better, much more in depth plot and they developed their characters far more than Meyer ever attempted to develop hers. Don’t just discount it as a Twilight clone. Ethan and Lena are likable characters and you can find yourself actually invested in their relationship if you let yourself just enjoy it. Plus, c’mon. It’s a movie with hot guys. Alden Ehernreich (who plays Ethan) is definitely an actor to watch – the sort of heartthrob whose poised to make a name for himself in the genre. And, honestly, I’ll watch anything with Thomas Mann or Kyle Gallner in it.
We’ll post a more in depth review as the premiere date comes closer. But until then, check out the trailers for yourself and catch Beautiful Creatures in March 2013! Or, heck, crack open a book or boot up your Kindle and read the book!