Now that she’s finished her rather rigorous studies at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Emma Watson will try her hand at being a more regular troubled adolescent in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, based off the popular (and often banned) novel by Stephen Chbosky.
The Harry Potter actress has been attached to the project since last year and now Summit Entertainment looks to pick up the teen life tale, which already has actor John Malkovich onboard as an independent producer.
Vulture broke the story about Perks of Being a Wallflower, which is told from the perspective of a troubled teenager who identifies himself as Charlie – a role that Percy Jackson & the Olympians star Logan Lerman will tackle. Charlie recounts his experiences as a high school freshman living in Pittsburgh circa 1991 through a series of diary-like letters to an anonymous figure (i.e. the reader) – so yes, for those who are wondering, Perks of Being a Wallflower is an epistolary novel in the vein of Twilight. Moving on…
Watson is set to play Samantha (Sam), a senior who, along with her step-brother Parick, befriends the intelligent but socially awkward Charlie. Perks of Being a Wallflower tackles many a controversial (and messy) issue including teenage sex, drug use, abortion, molestation, struggles with homosexuality, and the difficulties of high school life in general. Chbosky’s novel pays homages to J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye and could be considered an updated version of that classic coming of age tale.
Chbosky himself has a background in screenwriting and was responsible for scripting the cinematic adaptation of the acclaimed Broadway rock musical Rent. He is set to both write and direct the Perks of Being a Wallflower adaptation as well.
While Watson will be playing another adolescent in Perks of Being a Wallflower, her character will be far removed from that of the brainy, brave, and beautiful Hermione in the Harry Potter franchise. Watson will get to show off her acting chops with a part that requires her to be far less self-assured, capable, and overall more confused about her direction in life – in other words, just your average young person.
Perks of Being a Wallflower features a whole lot of teen angst and more drama than (by and large) the majority of individuals endure during their high school years. It stands to be seen if Chbosky will deliver a harrowing account of one male youth’s rite of passage into adulthood, or an adaptation that comes off as too melodramatic and soapy for most moviegoers’ tastes.
Assuming Summit Entertainment does pick up the project, filming on The Perks of Being a Wallflower could begin this June.