Monday, October 31, 2011

A Slew of Young Actors Test for 'The Host'

With the beginning of the end in sight for "The Twilight Saga," author Stephenie Meyer is turning her attention to the casting search for "The Host," Andrew Niccol's feature adaptation of her sci-fi novel.

Saoirse Ronan ("Hanna") is attached to star as protag Melanie Stryder, whose body is invaded by an alien named Wanderer, who will also be played by Ronan. In the coming days, producers will begin testing actors for the pic's two male leads.
Liam Hemsworth ("The Hunger Games"), Kit Harington ("Game of Thrones"), Jai Courtney ("One Shot") and Max Irons ("Red Riding Hood") will test for the role of Jared, Melanie's boyfriend. Dane DeHaan ("In Treatment"), Thomas McDonnell ("Prom"), Augustus Prew ("The Borgias") and Ronan's "Lovely Bones" co-star Jake Abel will test for the role of Ian, a menacing young man who brutalizes Wanderer before falling in love with her.
Chockstone Pictures principals Steve Schwartz and Paula Mae Schwartz are producing with Nick Wechsler and Meyer. Inferno's Marc Butan, Jim Seibel and Bill Johnson will exec produce, while Roger Schwartz will co-produce. "The Host" is being financed by the producers and Inferno, which is handling sales.

Yay or nay? Sound off below.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Is Andrew Niccol That Special Someone?

Movie Fanatic: Lastly, I interviewed Stephenie Meyer when she released The Host. I told her I would really love to see this as a movie and she said, “I don’t know how it would be done. It would have to be one special filmmaker.” What are your thoughts as you’re diving into adapting it and bringing it to the screen?

Andrew Niccol: I love the subversive nature of this movie. I don’t know why aliens are always portrayed as the enemy. I love that in her book maybe they could be better for our planet. They could co-exist with us. Do you realize right now, there is more bacteria in you and me than there is us. We already co-exist with other species. So, from their point of view, they would ask, “Why are you so individualistic? Why are you all about self?” We can co-exist.

Check out the entire interview here. Niccol's latest, In Time, is out Friday.

Andrew Niccol Says Working on 'The Host' is "Liberating"

You often use science fiction as the means to pass your social commentary. What is it about the science fiction genre that appeals to you?

NICCOL: I think it was Sam Goldwyn who said ‘if you want to send a message, call western union.” So my first obligation is to entertain but as far as science fiction goes, it’s much easier to comment on today from another time because people then aren’t focused on ‘did you get the details right?’ It’s sort of a Trojan horse approach to ideas because it’s wrapped in the future, it’s wrapped in action, thriller and Oh look – suddenly an idea popped out.

The next thing you’re working on is The Host, which you’re adapting. What is the process when you’re working with original material vs. adapting a pre-existing novel?

NICCOL: This is the first time I’m going to be directing someone else’s story and it’s quite liberating actually because I don’t have to make it up. It’s there. It’s very freeing. If you write and direct it, it’s all your fault. There’s no one you can blame.

Check out the entire interview here

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Saoirse Ronan Says Stephenie Meyer Will Be "Very Hands On" with 'The Host'

According to star Saoirse Ronan, The Host author Stephenie Meyer will be "very hands on during" the production of the movie.

Meyer has become increasing more involved with the Twilight series, taking on a producer credit for both parts of Breaking Dawn. 

Click here for Ronan's interview with Xpose.  Besides The Host, Ronan discusses The Hobbit that was and Byzantium, which she will film before The Host.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

More Interviews from 'In Time' Premiere - Director Andrew Niccol Talks 'The Host'


Is There a Sequel (or Two) in the Works?

His next project will be as director and writer of The Host, adapting the best-selling novel by Twilight author Stephanie Meyer about aliens inhabiting human life forms.

"It's a liberating feeling that I'll be directing something I haven't had to make up. It'll be fun. But I have to say, Stephanie gave me her 650-page book to adapt. That's a workout to start with but I've managed to get it down to a script and there are two more movies coming after the initial movie," he says. Clearly, he enjoys a challenge. "Well, yes. At first I thought, 'this is going to be impossible'."

Despite his a resume full of altered realities or futuristic ideas, he doesn't see himself as a sci-fi fan. "I wasn't a sci-fi buff growing up, although my dad is. I didn't even know I was making science fiction when I started my career. I just thought I was telling stories. I didn't know which shelf my movies would end up on in the video shop," he says. "And now that I know, video stores are a thing of the past."

Check out the entire article here.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Andrew Niccol Talks 'The Host'

Direct Andrew Niccol talked a bit about The Host and star Saoirse Ronan at the premiere of his upcoming movie, In Time.

Saoirse Ronan has been hailed as "one of the best talents we have" by the director of the forthcoming Stephanie Meyer adaptation.

In Time director Andrew Niccol has revealed he can't wait to get down to work with Saoirse on the movie adaptation of The Host. The Irish teen is set to play both Melanie Stryder and Wanderer, an extraterrestrial "soul" who takes over her mind, in the film. "It's very early in the process, but she's one of the best talents we have, so I'm really looking forward to working with her," Niccol said.

Niccol was also full of praise for Meyer, who penned the best-selling Twilight novels. "She's a genius," he said. "She made vampire stories for people who don't like vampires, and now she's making sci-fi for people who don't like sci-fi movies.

17-year-old Ronan first attracted attention for her role in 2007's Atonement, and has since starred alongside Colin Farrell in The Way Back and Cate Blanchett in Hanna.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Saoirse Ronan: Trusting Her Killer Instincts

Impact: Played the titular teen assassin in "Hanna"; trekked across India as a Polish orphan in Peter Weir's "The Way Back."

Next: Prepping to play a vampire in Neil Jordan's "Byzantium."

Causes: Ambassador for the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children; supports animal welfare group, Irish Blue Cross.

At age 17, Saoirse Ronan has already worked with Peter Jackson, Peter Weir and Joe Wright. For her pivotal role as the younger sister in the celebrated period epic "Atonement," Ronan found herself an Oscar and Golden Globe nominee -- and you get the feeling that it's all just a warm-up act for this young Irish actress.

"It's been a little bit of luck that these projects have come along and great directors have been attached to them," Ronan says. "If you're a fan of their work, you can have confidence that you might be part of something special."

The logline for Ronan's latest movie, "Violet & Daisy," may sound an awful lot like "Hanna," and yet this dark comedy, which debuted at the Toronto Film Festival, takes a very different approach to the concept of an underage assassin. Next, Ronan will join the teen vampire phenomenon, playing a bloodsucker in Neil Jordan's horror story "Byzantium." "There's a bit of romance, but it's definitely not 'Twilight,'" she says.

Not that Ronan has anything against "Twilight" or its creator, Stephenie Meyer. In fact, after finishing "Byzantium," she'll segue straight to "The Host," also written by "Twilight's" Meyer, playing a strong-willed Earth girl in the sci-fi romance. Andrew Niccol will direct, adding to Ronan's list of celebrated collaborators.

For career advice, Ronan looks to her actor father, Paul, a man with a keen eye for good material.

"It's handy to have him, that's for sure," Ronan says. "If I don't feel passionate about something, then obviously I won't do it. But I treasure his opinion."


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Why 'The Host' Is Better Than 'Twilight' - Do You Agree?

From a hypable contributor:

A lot of people have likely given this incredible book a miss simply because of its association with the overly hyped Twilight franchise. But now there’s a movie coming out, and I’m hoping that interest in The Host as an individual story will pick up, as I can honestly say that it is one of my favourite books of all time (an honour which no book in the Twilight saga shares).

Twilight fans, before you light up your torches and sharpen your pitchforks, know that I am not saying that The Twilight Saga is a bad series. I’ve read and enjoyed the books and am anxiously awaiting the Breaking Dawn films. But in my own personal opinion, The Host is a far, far superior piece of literature, and I’ve found most readers not scared off by its gargantuan size tend to agree. And here’s why:
There’s a lot of things I like about Twilight and a lot of things I don’t, but I suppose in a way The Host is everything I do like about Stephenie Meyer’s writing. Sometimes I think that as an author, Meyer is (as strange as it sounds) underrated, her actual talent lost in a sea of screaming Team Jacob/Edward fangirls who care more about R.Patz and co. than the stories she crafts. But in The Host, there are no smoke and mirrors in the form of shirtless werewolves and eternal devotion. There is only the story. And it is layered, beautiful and original, and the depth of themes and characters is mindblowing. This time, Meyer’s true writing talent really shines through, and I am hard pressed to find an “excuse” for why this book is so good, like haters seem to have no shortage of for Twilight. It’s just a good book. And this is despite the fact that is consists of something like 80% inner monologue; it doesn’t get boring, it doesn’t get repetitive, and it captivates you to the very last, 700-somethingth page.
Of course, there are mixed opinions about the quality of this book. Another reason it took me so long to get around to reading The Host was because of how most of the Twilight fans I know have written it off: “It’s dull,” they told me. “It’s slow.” And “After 60 pages you just have to give up” seems to be the most recurring reason I’ve heard not to read the book. Well, all I can assume is that the sheer volume of the tome puts most of them off, while the rest might simply not be inclined to like intense backstory building – which I can’t really fault them for as that’s the nature of our three-second-attention-span-society. But if you are like me and don’t shy away from a little sci-fi, and if the character of Melanie/Wanderer grips you, you’ll forget the length of the book – and even wish it was longer! You’ll forget it has anything to do with Twilight whatsoever, and that it is considered the dark horse of Stephenie Meyer’s creations. You’ll realise that this is her true masterpiece.
Read the entire article here

Do you agree with their assessment? Which do you prefer?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Saoirse Ronan Talks 'The Host'

“The story is still set in our world but it’s a perfected version of our world, which I think is good becuase it means we’re not going to be completely detached from it.  I think that’s why it might be a bit more touching because it is actually our world.”

When speaking about director Andrew Niccol, Ronan states “he has a very specific vision and it’s a cool concept.”

There hasn't been much noise from The Host, but hopefully that will change when Niccol starts doing press for In Time, which is out later this month.