Screen Gems Plots Young Adult Fantasy Novel 'Black City' Adaptation
by Ben Pearson
October 9, 2012
It seems like we hardly go a day without writing about Hollywood's latest hope to strike gold with a film series based on a popular young adult novel. And after the massive success of Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Hunger Games, can you really blame them? It's clearly not a "lightning only strikes once" scenario, and studios are racing into development with a ton of these projects in the hopes that one strikes a chord with young audiences with cash to burn. According to a press release, Screen Gems has acquired the rights to Black City, Elizabeth Richards' debut novel that will hit shelves in just a few weeks on November 13th.
As with most of these young adult phenomenons these days, this one has a love story at the heart of it. Here's the full synopsis from Amazon:
In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable--they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash's long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they're caught, they'll be executed--but their feelings are too strong.
When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.
It's a bit strange that they'd call the book Black City and then have a race called Darklings warring with humans, don't you think? I obviously haven't read the book yet, but that strikes me as pretty racist. Screen Gems is also betting on this property "based on the high level of anticipation for the property in the online community and other young adult circles," and as we all saw with Snakes On A Plane, sometimes the online community can be ravenous about something but that doesn't always turn into box office gold.
Black City joins Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, Neil Burger's Divergent, WB's The Planet Thieves, David Slade's Matched, DreamWorks' Shadow and Bone, and the upcoming Beautiful Creatures as the latest in the genre making its way to the big screen, and one thing's for sure: not all of these will be successes, and it's just a matter of time before we figure out if one can become the next big thing.