Write a young adult novel, get a movie deal before the book even comes out. At least that seems to be the prevailing logic these days. Every studio is looking for the next Hunger Games or Twilight, a property they can string out into a profitable franchise. If Columbia Pictures has anything to do with it, the next big thing will be an adaptation of Arwen Elys Dayton’s upcoming YA work Seeker, and they’ve picked up the adaptation rights.
A mixture of science fiction and dark fantasy, Seeker is the first book in a proposed trilogy. Delacorte Press won’t publish the book until 2015—the book deal didn’t get done until last week—but Heat Vision reports that veteran producer Mark Gordon, who has worked on movies like The Day After Tomorrow, 2012, and Source Code, has already climbed on to steer the picture.
Seeker follows the story of Quin Kincaid, a young girl who has spent her life training to become a “seeker,” what she believes is a noble pursuit. Things are not all as they seem, however, and she realizes too late that she’s been trained to be an assassin. Over the course of the book, she travels around the globe, from the Scottish countryside to a futuristic Hong Kong.
There are definite echoes of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games series, but you can’t help but be reminded of the 2011 film Hanna, which features a young girl, trained by her father for years for a mission of revenge.
Hannah Minghella, Columbia’s president of production, says, “Arwen has created a cast of characters and world that transcends the Young Adult genre and offers a rich cinematic opportunity.” She goes on to add that, “The best science fiction and fantasy stories are a metaphor for a grounded universal truth,” and that one of the tenants of growing up is that the young have to learn that the world is not composed of absolutes, and learning that adults are fallible.
Though Seeker is Dayton’s first foray into YA territory, she wrote the more adult-themed sci-fi novel Resurrection.