While the Twilight series has brought much (admittedly, sort of deserved) scorn to the “popular young adult literary adaptation” genre, franchise screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg has honestly done as good a job as anyone could have, loyally translating Stephenie Meyer’s not-plot-driven novels into cinematic vehicles.
The point being: Rosenberg’s efforts have earned her additional work, which includes the job of penning a Highlander reboot, and now an adaptation of the popular 1983 sci-fi young adult novel Earthseed as well.
Here is an official description of the book Earthseed by Pamela Sargent:
Ship hurtles through space. Deep within its core, it carries the seed of humankind. Launched by the people of a dying Earth over a century ago, its mission is to find a habitable world for the children–fifteen-year-old Zoheret and her shipmates–whom it has created from its genetic banks.
To Zoheret and her shipmates, Ship has been mother, father, and loving teacher, preparing them for their biggest challenge: to survive on their own, on an uninhabited planet, without Ship’s protection. Now that day is almost upon them…but are they ready to leave Ship? Ship devises a test. And suddenly, instincts that have been latent for over a hundred years take over. Zoheret watches as friends become strangers–and enemies. Can Zoheret and her companions overcome the biggest obstacle to the survival of the human race–themselves?
If that description sounds like a futuristic variation on Lord of the Flies – set in the unexplored terrain of outer space instead of a remote island – don’t worry, it’s not just you who thinks that.
Rosenberg spoke with Risky Business about her signing up to script the Earthseed movie for Paramount, and had the following to say:
“[‘Earthseed’] really talks about the debate of nature vs. nurture, what is innately human and what can be bred in or out of someone. There’s a ‘Lord of the Flies’ element to it. It involves a young woman who starts off as someone who is content with playing by the rules and being a “good girl,’ and then has to realize that the rules are malleable and that she has to step forward as a leader. It’s really about coming into one’s own power and embracing one’s own strength and individuality.”
Sargent wrote a sequel titled Earthseed: Farseed back in 2007, and released a third chapter (Seed Seeker) just last year as well. While the Earthseed series is less likely to become the successor to Twilight than, say, The Hunger Games, Paramount must be pleased to know that there is franchise potential there.
If nothing else, Rosenberg’s thoughts about Earthseed make the project sound interesting and promising – and hopefully it will be a far cry from yet another forgettable literary adaptation that mixes sci-fi and/or fantasy genre elements with broody teen angst and drama (I Am Number Four, looking at you).
How does Earthseed sound to you?
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