Andrew Niccol Adapting Stephenie Meyer's Novel 'The Host'
by Alex Billington
September 23, 2009
Now this is a very interesting combination of talents. Gattaca and Lord of War director Andrew Niccol has been hired to write a screenplay and direct an adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's first adult novel titled "The Host", which just hit bookshelves last May (Amazon). Producers Nick Wechsler, Steve and Paula Mae Schwartz have used their own money to acquire the screen rights. Apparently it was tough getting the rights. "We wanted Stephenie to be involved in the adaptation and have her endorse and be part of the creative decisions," Wechsler told Variety. Twilight has "proven she knows more about what works than most."
Meyer's novel is a love story (like Twilight) set in the near future on Earth, which has been assimilated by an alien species of benevolent parasites that call themselves "Souls." One such soul, the Wanderer, is fused with a dying human named Melanie Stryder, in an attempt to locate the last pocket of surviving humans on Earth. I haven't read the novel so I can't comment on it, but from that description it honestly sounds like a very intriguing kind of sci-fi novel (probably with lots of romance) that someone like Andrew Niccol or Alex Proyas would be absolutely perfect to bring to the big screen. I'm glad they got one of those directors.
The backstory is that Meyer has been fielding offers for "The Host" left and right (following the success of Twilight) and has been denying most of them. But the producers continued lobbying her and her reps "with a significant offer, a strong vision for the project and a collaborative spirit." Meyer eventually said yes to them. She was heavily convinced because two of her favorite sci-fi films are Gattaca and The Truman Show, which were both written by Niccol (and, as we know, Gattaca was directed by him as well). I still have a lot of faith in Niccol and will be looking forward to seeing what he does with this big adaptation. Thoughts?