Saoirse Ronan enters the Black Hole of Taste
Written by Sarah
I think you all understand my disdain for the Twilight Saga as “literature”, and that I hold the movies to be only slightly better at best. I have zero respect for Stephenie Meyer as a writer. One of the few times I’ve ever been in synch with Oprah was when she had Meyer on her show and proceeded to treat Meyer like a housewife who won the lottery (which, basically, she did). I maintain that the problem with genre writing, like young adult, is that the demand outstrips the supply and so subpar material is published to fill the gap. Thus, Twilight.
Did you know that Meyer has written a non-Twilight book? If you’re lucky, you might not know that, and if you don’t—good for you. Stay strong, withstand the influence! But there is a non-Twilight title on her resume and it’s called The Host. It’s basically Invasion of the Body Snatchers + The Puppet Masters except with lots of yearning and longing looks. Or so I assume. I admit to not reading it—I picked it up in the store once and just the dust jacket made me laugh out loud in the middle of Borders, so pass. Still, the slant of The Host is solidly sci-fi, with a plot involving invaders called “Souls” who take over a person and then wipe out their personality like a parasite. When a Soul called “Wanderer” attempts to overtake one of the last free humans, Melanie, she (it?) is foiled by Melanie’s mind bullets and ends up sharing Melanie’s body (personality?). Okay, sure.
Of course this is being made into a movie. Given Twilight’s success, it was inevitable that The Host would follow in its footsteps. The script is being developed independently and will be presented at the Cannes Marche for sale. Stephenie Meyer will be going to Cannes in support of the sale. Let that sink in. Stephenie Meyer, who has NO TASTE, will be at Cannes. The Depp will be at Cannes. Ryan Gosling will be at Cannes. Brangelina will be at Cannes. And Stephenie Meyer will be at Cannes. One of these things is not like the others. You know what though? I bet she still dresses less like a sister-wife than Angelina does.
The Host folks are going to Cannes with a big ace up their sleeve—Hanna star Saoirse Ronan has just signed on to play the dual role of Wanderer/Melanie. It’s not really that surprising that Ronan would take such a role at this point in her career. She’s already an Oscar nominee, she’s already considered one of the top young talents working, she’s already in demand with filmmakers. What she isn’t yet is worldwide famous, but a movie like The Host will change that. After all, the Meyer loyal will turn out in droves for this movie, and it will be a high-profile project going forward given the names involved in the post-Twilight expectations. Diversity is the key to longevity and being able to sell blockbusters is a nice way to diversify an arty portfolio like Ronan’s. It’s the same move Kristen Stewart made when she signed up for Twilight in 2007, then the same age Ronan is now, and though Twilight is crap, Stewart is now hugely famous. So it’s a proven career path.
Ronan may have a better shot at a decent movie, though, as the script was adapted by Andrew Niccol, who can be a bit erratic with his projects but he’s responsible for Gattaca and he wrote The Truman Show so he gets a pass for S1m0ne. Niccol was originally attached to direct but dropped out to make Now, which stars Justin Timberlake (HA), but that project has since wrapped and Niccol may be back on board. Hopefully, he does end up directing because The Host is going to need all the help it can get.
Why? Because Meyer, she of ZERO TASTE, has been closely involved in the development of this project and will remain so through production. The greatest mistake the Twilight producers made was allowing Meyer to have a say in anything to do with filming, as if dealing with her sh*t source material wasn’t bad enough. So despite Niccol and Ronan, yeah, I think The Host has an uphill battle. After all, Summit Entertainment was very proud of landing Catherine Hardwicke and Kristen Stewart for Twilight and that wasn’t exactly cinematic gold.
File photos from Wenn.com