Big Hollywood movie studios are always looking for the next big thing when it comes to adapting young adult book series into a new film franchise. The success of The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, and Twilight opened the door for young adult authors to see their work on the big screen. However, for every successful YA film series, there’s a long list of non-starters like The Golden Compass, Beautiful Creatures, and The Spiderwick Chronicles. Veronica Roth’s Divergent series, starring Shailene Woodley, Miles Teller, and Kate Winslet, is a recent example of Hollywood trying to create “the next Hunger Games” film franchise, but now there’s yet another contender muscling into the genre.
According to Deadline, Twentieth Century Fox signed a deal for the film rights to James Frey’s Endgame. At first there was a bidding war with Warner Bros. over the post-apocalyptic tale, but Fox won out in the end. Details surrounding the deal are a bit murky, but it’s estimated to be worth $2 million and involve Google in the Internet company’s first venture into motion pictures.
Endgame takes place in a world that is not too dissimilar to Earth, but with only 12
Districts bloodlines, or races. Each bloodline chooses a champion between the ages of 13 and 17. Each champion is then trained as a warrior and is ready to fight at a moments notice. When the champions turn 18, a new teen takes the title as champion in (wait for it) a bloody winner-take-all battle. These battles “Endgames” have been going on for the past 100 years, but no one can remember why anymore.
The source material sounds a lot like The Hunger Games, but probably not as compelling or engaging as Suzanne Collins’ book trilogy or Lionsgate’s new film franchise. It’s unclear if Endgame will be a trilogy, but that’s almost always the goal with this sort of thing. It’ll be interesting to see if this is a case of Fox getting ahead of the curve with a new pop culture phenomenon, or if they’ll just be left with a dud.
James Frey is an author from Cleveland, Ohio. He was responsible for the young adult book and the franchise non-starter I Am Number Four. Frey also wrote the books Friend Leonard in 2005 and Bright Shiny Morning in 2008. Frey got into a lot of hot water in 2006 with his “memoir” A Million Little Pieces after it was revealed that many of the stories in the best-seller and Oprah Book Club selection never happened. It seems like James Frey is now on the good side of Hollywood, the book publishing world, and the general public.
Fox has yet to announce a release date for Endgame, but the film project is currently in development at the movie studio and Temple Hill Productions.