Saoirse Ronan Will Become Stephenie Meyer’s ‘Host’

Published 3 years ago by , Updated August 13th, 2013 at 9:26 pm,

The mere phrase “adaptation of a Stephenie Meyer novel” is more than enough to send shivers rippling down the spine of many a Twilight hater out there. However, there’s no denying the popularity of Meyer’s supernatural romance series – and now another one of her popular works, The Host, hopes to have similar success as a cinematic vehicle.

Meyer’s Host is a sci-fi tale being adapted for the big screen by screenwriter/director Andrew Niccol (The Truman Show, Gattaca) – and now the film has found its leading lady in the form of Oscar-nominee Saoirse Ronan.

Here is an official description of Meyer’s original Host novel:

In this tantalizing SF thriller, planet-hopping parasites are inserting their silvery centipede selves into human brains, curing cancer, eliminating war and turning Earth into paradise. But some people want Earth back, warts and all, especially Melanie Stryder, who refuses to surrender, even after being captured in Chicago and becoming a host for a soul called Wanderer. Melanie uses her surviving brain cells to persuade Wanderer to help search for her loved ones in the Arizona desert.

As Deadline – which confirmed the news about Ronan – pointed out, Meyer’s novel does not immediately lend itself to an adaptation in a more visual medium; a good chunk of the book is primarily devoted to the literal psychological battle between Melanie and Wanderer. Then again, Danny Boyle managed to turn the story of a man with his arm stuck under a rock (127 Hours) into a captivating and energetic drama – so maybe Niccol can do likewise with Meyer’s source material.

Ronan has already proven herself to be a powerful and versatile actress in many a moviegoer’s eye; she’s done credible work, portraying characters ranging from an imaginative but jealous child (Atonement) to an efficient killing machine (Hanna). Combine her presence with Niccol penning the script – and possibly directing as well, since he’s completed work on his new sci-fi film, Now – and there’s good reason to actually be excited about a film adaptation of The Host.

Hanna international movie trailer Saoirse Ronan Will Become Stephenie Meyers Host

Ronan in ‘Hanna’.

This does, however, bring me to what doesn’t sound so appealing about a Host movie – namely, Meyer’s source material. It sounds as though the book (and fans, feel free to correct me) essentially boils down to a Garden of Eden allegory, as told through the framework of a story about a teenage girl who wants to be reunited with her family – and (more importantly, I suspect) her boyfriend, who loves her unconditionally (*cough*).

Now the metaphorical side of The Host plot is all good and fine – it’s been explored well enough many times before in the sci-fi genre. All the same, do we really need another sappy tween romance tale that panders to the same crowd as titles like I Am Number Four or Twilight? Film of that ilk have yet to feature fully-developed male or female lead characters, and have so far proven to be mediocre, at best.

On the other hand: I would say that Ronan has so far proven herself to be a much more capable actress than Kristen Stewart – who, admittedly, does better in non-Twilight movies – and Niccol is very adept at crafting clever sci-fi stories. So, for the time being, I’m still listening.

We’ll keep you posted on the status of The Host as more information is released.

Source: Deadline

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  1. Wohoo!! Another amazing movie about strong and independent women on quests for self-discovery. Stephenie Meyer is an icon and one of the strongest feminist voices in contemporary cinema with really iconic strong, empowered and sexy female heroines in all of her masterful novels – Kristen Stewart and now Saoirse Ronan.

    • Are you serious? Bella/Kirsten Stewart does nothing but whine and sook. She cant be alone for 5 minutes without popping a blood vessel. There is not a moment when she is alone in the whole series that she isnt miserable. Don’t get me wrong I love the books/movies but maybe you need to watch them again.

    • Please don’t compare Saoirse Ronan with Kristen Stewart, they are in totally different leagues…

  2. Oh good, I though they were gonna gonna Americanize the great Korean movie “the Host”. Let me in was ok but we dont need more American remakes

    • I assume you’re relieved now… as it is not a remake of any movie. ;]

    • Oh, and btw was “Let me in” really that good?
      I’ve only seen the 1st adaptation – the swedish one, and read the book.

  3. Just say yes to domestic violence, ladies. If you can’t take a beating from your man, it’s not really love.

    Sarcasm aside, though, the filmmakers are going to have to revise the themes of this material, at least exploring them in a more complex and critical way, or enjoy the same amount of scorn as Twilight engenders, only without the idealized male heroes.

    • Well equal rights, right?

      • Your lady regularly beat the crap out of you? She your size? Let’s think a bit about what that word means.

        As for your comment below, well, there is an audience with handfuls of Daddy’s cash lining up for anything with Meyer’s name on it. It would be naive to suggest Hollywood overlook a key audience with disposable income. One that probably doesn’t give GGD about Indiana Jones. They want fresher meat. Respectfully, you obviously are not the intended audience, so it makes sense, but your suggestions should at least try to aim at the mark if you want them to be taken seriously.

        • I think what “Patrick” wrote was also meant as a sarcastic remark…

  4. They should just stop making these kind of movies and instead make really really good Indiana Jones sequels.

    • Indiana Jones without Harrison Ford is no more the same…

  5. I’m wondering though if since this novel doesn’t have the equal amount of devoted fans as the Twilight series, maybe it would be alright if Niccol did some liberties with this, specifically by getting rid of the love story since it seems the story seems alright with the psychological battle between the alien and the Ronan character.

    • Yes Niccol DEFINITELY should take some liberties…
      As much as I’m concerned the book’s plot is predominantly dealing with the love triangle. And the inner battle between the alien and the main character (though it seems like the main character is the alien…) have a major love background.
      I hope the movie will become more like a psychological struggle, than this reversed triangle thing I expect Stephanie Mayer’s book is about. But however you look at it the love motive can’t be avoided.

      To specify, the Plot of “The Host” from some other source [GR]:
      Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. Our world has been invaded by an unseen enemy. Humans become hosts for these invaders, their minds taken over while their bodies remain intact and continue their lives apparently unchanged. Most of humanity has succumbed.
      When Melanie, one of the few remaining “wild” humans, is captured, she is certain it is her end. Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body, was warned about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the glut of senses, the too-vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn’t expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.
      Wanderer probes Melanie’s thoughts, hoping to discover the whereabouts of the remaining human resistance. Instead, Melanie fills Wanderer’s mind with visions of the man Melanie loves – Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body’s desires, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she has been tasked with exposing. When outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off on a dangerous and uncertain search for the man they both love.

      Just btw “The Host” is a trilogy, just like “Twilight”.

  6. I think my older brother (in his mid 50′s) read this novel and actually liked it. If I recall correctly, he said it was considerably more “adult” than the Twilight films might lead one to think. I don’t think this particular novel was aimed at the same crowd as the Twilight series.

    • Maybe it’s aimed at Stephanie Mayer’s fans.
      And if one liked Twilight, why not trying to watch another movie based on the same author’s books?

  7. Another Stephanie Mayer adaptation?
    Why don’t they choose “Abithica” by Susan Goldsmith instead?
    It has a similar plot to “the Host” and moreover it sounds much better.

    “Abithica”:
    What if you knew you were about to be torn from your body and replaced by an imposter in a seamless switch forever separating you and the one you love? Would you do whatever it took to stay? Even if YOU happened to be the imposter?
    Abithica must borrow all that she is from others: names, lives, even bodies. When she switches into the troubled life of Sydney Turner, she breaks the rule that has sustained her, the one thing in her control—never get attached. Lane Riley has no idea he’s fallen for Abithica, wearing Sydney Turner’s body and that a future with her is impossible. Desperate to stay with him, Abithica uncovers the mystery of what she is, only to learn she’s a pawn in a battle over souls, and that she’s probably one of the “bad guys.” What will happen if she refuses to leave Sydney’s body?

  8. It’s so obvious that the studio heads figured this would bring in all the Twilight fans. It’s math. It’s basically printing money, no matter how bad it is.

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