LAS CRUCES, NM, September 11, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The phenomenal success of the Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Hunger Games series proves that the connection between young adult books and Hollywood films has never been stronger.---
"Every single studio wants to capitalize on a young-adult franchise," said Josie Freedman, co-head of the book-to-films department at talent agency International Creative Management. "It's what's selling on the publishing side and on the film side."
The Twilight series has grossed more than $3.6 billion worldwide with four films so far—not to mention hundreds of millions more in DVD/Blu-ray sales and other merchandising, Forbes.com reports.
Hollywood's interest in YA books is on fire, reports the Los Angeles Times, with filmmakers bidding on unpublished books and paying as much as $1 million for the rights to relatively modest sellers, particularly those featuring science-fiction, fantasy and dystopian themes.
"YA novels are a golden ticket for both publishers and movie production companies," says L.A. Miller, author of the science-fiction and fantasy YA book series Quests of Shadowind, which includes "Sky Shifter," "The Grounding Stone," and "Veil." "YA novels' characters and plots are easily translated and adapted to the big screen and, more importantly, young adult novels generally come with already-generated fan bases that can create early buzz and a solid promotion foundation for a movie."
Quests of Shadowind is the story of a group of teens who are abducted to an alien world called Shadowind, which is inhabited by ghostly creatures, cyborg animals, and virtual humans—a land where anything is possible, including being downloaded into a cryptic, evil role-playing game. In order to survive, the youths band together as they search for a way back home.
Even existing Hollywood franchises have turned to books. For the fourth installment of their mega-successful Pirates of the Caribbean series, producers turned to the Tim Powers novel "On Stranger Tides."
"If you set stories in different worlds with unique protagonists and an element of wish fulfillment, I don't think people will ever be tired of it," said Erik Feig, president of production at Lionsgate, the studio behind "The Hunger Games" and "Twilight."
Here are some examples of favorite YA novels turned into blockbuster movies:
* The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
* "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins
* The Twilight saga by Stephenie Meyer
* "The Lord of the Rings" by J.R.R. Tolkien
* "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" by Brian Selznick
* "The Dark Is Rising" by Susan Cooper
* "The Golden Compass" by Philip Pullman
* "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" by Ann Brashares
* "I Am Number Four" by Pittacus Lore
* "Harriet The Spy" by Louise Fitzhugh
"Today Hollywood has more choices than ever before, and there are more opportunities to cash in, as YA novels remain the hottest growing genre in the publishing industry," says Mr. Miller. "Who would have thought that YA stories with very dark themes would become so successful, boosting not just the publishing industry but the movie industry as well? Every time you read a book, it can be the movie you watch tomorrow."
L.A. Miller has been writing for more than forty years. His backgrounds in science fiction, astronomy, technology, and classic literature inform his work, which has included novels, short stories, and music. He is the owner of Wood n Nails Music and lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico, with his wife and two dogs. He is the author of the Quests of Shadowind series, which includes "Sky Shifter," "The Grounding Stone," and "Veil."
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