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What’s the next “Harry Potter”? How about the next “Twilight Saga”?

WIth Harry Potter set to conjure his last spell on the big screen next month and the last “Twilight” movie due later this year, the race is on for studios to transform the next young adult literary property into theatrical gold.

There are a number of young adult adaptations in the works: Lionsgate has its hopes pinned on “The Hunger Games,” a New York Times No. 1 bestseller due in theaters next year with Jennifer Lawrence in the lead role. Screen Gems is readying “The Mortal instruments,” first in a series of six popular books, with Lily Collins as its star.

Melissa Rosenberg, who wrote all five of Summit’s “Twilight” films, is writing and producing “Earthseed,” Paramount’s entry into the young adult novel-to-movie sweepstakes.

“‘Twilight’ did really well as movies and suddenly everyone’s like, ‘Let’s get the next of that,'” Rosenberg told TheWrap.

But it’s not easy. New Line had high hopes for “The Golden Compass” in 2007 – a bust at $70 million domestic box office on a $180 million budget.

“A popular book is no guarantee,” said Rosenberg. “What works is good storytelling.”

Here’s a look at the next crop of young adult adaptations:

The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Studio: Lionsgate

Story: In a dystopian future, the 12 districts of the North American nation of Panem are forced to send two teens — a boy and a girl — to the “Hunger Games,” an annual, televised fight to the death.

Stage of Development: Advanced. Lionsgate is betting a lot on the movie: Its cast includes Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Stanley Tucci, Woody Harrelson and Lenny Kravitz. Gary Ross is directing and rewrote the script with author Collins. The movie is now filming in Ashville, N.C., and has a release date of March 23, 2012.

Franchise potential: It looks bright. The book is one of a trilogy — and Lionsgate optioned the rights to make four movies.

The Mortal Instruments
Author: Cassandra Clare
Studio: Screen Gems

Story: A supernatural story about a girl whose mother is attacked by a mysterious creature and taken from her home in New York. When the girl, Clary Fray, tries to get her mother back, she learns unnerving truths about her own bloodline.

Stage of Development: Advanced. Screen Gems has cast Lily Collins, who also stars in Relativity Media’s untitled “Snow White” movie, as Clary, and Jamie Campbell Bower, a “Twilight” and “Harry Potter” alum, as a “shadow hunter.” Scott Charles Stewart is directing Jessica Postigo’s screenplay. Robert Kulzer is producing for Constantin Film and Michael Lynne and Robert Shaye are producing for Unique Features.




Warm Bodies

Author: Isaac Marion

Studio: Summit

Story: A zombie sparks a friendship with the girlfriend of one of his victims, triggering a chain reaction that could transform the world.

Stage of Development: Advanced. Jonathan Levine — who’s also to direct “Legend” — is attached and is adapting the film. Bruna Papanadrea is producing. Nicholas Hoult stars.

Franchise potential: The book is a standalone.





The Maze Runner
Author: James Dashner
Studio: Twentieth Century Fox

Story: A boy named Thomas wakes up in “the Glade,” an enclosed structure populated by other boys and surrounded by tall, stone walls that protect them from monsters called Grievers that live in a maze that surrounds the Glade. Every day, some of the kids venture into the labyrinth trying to map the ever-changing pattern of walls. Oh, Thomas has no memory.

Stage of Development: Early. Dashner is adapting the screenplay and the Gotham Group’s Lindsay Williams is producing.

Franchise potential: Reasonable. “Maze Runner” is the first of a trilogy.




Wicked Lovely

Author: Melissa Marr
Studio: Universal

Story: 17-year-old Aislinn has seen dangerous faeries her whole life but has avoided harm by following stringent rules. Now, she is torn between a seductive Faery king and the mortal she loves.

Stage of Development: Reasonably far. Mary Harron, who directed “American Psycho,” is directing. Caroline Thompson, who wrote “Edward Scissorhands” and “Corpse Bride,” is adapting the novel. Vince Vaughn, Valeri Vaughn and Peter Billingsley are producing for Wild West Picture Show Productions.

Franchise potential: Good. “Wicked Lovely” is a New York Times bestseller that has sold in 26 languages. It’s one of a series of five — the last of which “Darkest Mercy,” was released this past February.


Ender’s Game
Author: Orson Scott Card
Studio: Summit

Story: Our planet has been twice invaded by the Formics, an insectoid alien race. As Earth prepares for a third invasion, it drafts a boy, the brilliant Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, to train for intergalactic battle.

Stage of Development: Early. Gavin Hood, of “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” will direct. Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman are producing through K/O. Gigi Pritzker and Linda McDonough are producing through their OddLot, along with author Card and Lynn Hndee.


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