It is an angst-ridden time for fans of young adult books and their movie adaptations: We’ve seen Breaking Dawn Part 1 too many times, the March debut of The Hunger Games seems eons away, and they still haven’t announced the rest of the Mortal Instruments cast. That’s why we here at TheFABlife have teamed up with our friends at Hollywood Crush and NextMovie to bring you Dystopian Week! A week of interviews, movie updates reviews and guest blogs all about these dark fictional depictions of the future is sure to cheer us all up about the present, right? First up, we’ve got Delirium author Lauren Oliver.
Delirium poses a scary question: What if the world decided that love is the root of all of our problems, and scientists discovered a way to cure us all of this terribly destructive “disease” (amor deliria nervosa) on our 18th birthday? Lena Haloway can’t wait to get the cure, after seeing it kill her mother and nearly destroy her sister. But then, of course, she meets a boy named Alex.
Shortly after the book, part one of a trilogy, hit shelves in February, it was snatched up by producers Paula Mazur and Mitch Kaplan and is now slated for movie adaptation by Fox 2000.
“I know that we’re trying to move forward and put directors onboard, think about casting,” Oliver told TheFABlife last week. “I love the producers, and I love the script writer, with whom I’ve met. I’m definitely very much in touch with the producers, and I will read and comment on the script eventually. One of the reasons I really wanted to work with them specifically was that they got on the phone with me from the start, explained their vision, and it really felt like a collaboration from the start.”
What makes Delirium stand out from other hyped dystopian novels like Matched and Divergent is that this dark future is about control over people’s inner lives more than their physical ones (that’s not to say the book doesn’t have its share of violent police attacks and chase scenes). But removing the ability to love also weakens people’s family bonds and their ability to empathize with others, making them easily manipulated. Oliver acknowledged that this is going to be difficult for actors to portray on the screen.
“They need to convey that without seeming really static or robotic. They’re not robots, they can feel other things. It’s not like a Stepford Wife thing.”
Naturally, we wondered if she has casting ideas for Lena, Alex and their spirited friend Hana. “It’s ironic, because I see about one movie every year, so I’m literally the last person to ask,” she laughed. “[The producers] sent me their wish list of casting for all the main characters and asked me if I agreed or whether there was anybody who wasn’t on there. I got to do research at that point. I trust them. But I see one movie per year, so I don’t know who’s famous now!”
Even more ironic: Oliver actually has two books in the adaptation process. She’s seen the script based on her first novel, Before I Fall, and loves it. “Hopefully, one of these bad boys will get some cast and a director attached to it, and we can move forward. And I can go eat from the craft services table, so we’ll see. Everyone makes fun of me. They’re like, ‘Are you going to see your own movies?’ I’ll have to make an exception.”