Even before Twilight and The Hunger Games hit the big screen, we all had that one book we wished would be made into a movie. Thanks to the success of those two films, as well as the Harry Potter franchise, it’s become more common to hear about YA books being made into films. It’s not hard to see why Hollywood is after these books; aside from having compelling plots, dynamic characters, and intriguing hooks, there’s a big readership with a solid interest in seeing these stories on screen. There’s also no denying the movie industry is hoping to find that next Hunger Games to bring in cash.
The process of taking a book from print to film isn’t cut and dry. Many books are optioned for film rights, which means that either a studio, a producer, or a director pay to have “first dibs” on it. They have a set period of time to do something with the option, either moving forward with the project or not. When the period of time expires, they can either option it again or let it go, which means either another interested party can have at it or nothing will happen at all. So while you might hear about a book being optioned for film, it doesn’t always mean the actual film will happen.
Keeping that in mind, a number of YA books have been getting a lot of buzz lately, either as full-blown projects that are being pursued or as options for film.
K. L. Going’s Fat Kid Rules the World (a 2004 Printz honor book) is out now in theaters, after making its debut at this year’s SXSW in Austin, Texas. Directed by Matthew Lillard–his first time as director–the film follows Troy, whose weight makes him want to commit suicide, as he is “saved” by punk rocker Marcus. The contemporary drama garnered audience praise at SxSW, and while it’s a limited release, it’s one worth keeping an eye out for.