William Hurt Eyes Stephenie Meyer’s ‘The Host’ Adaptation

Published 2 years ago by , Updated July 31st, 2013 at 3:08 pm,

Oscar-winning writer/director Bill Condon’s adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 is (at the time of writing this) the most popular film playing in theaters around the U.S.; another respectable filmmaker in the form of Andrew Niccol (Gattaca), is in the process of bringing another one of the author’s popular novels to life – namely, The Host.

Niccol has already secured an excellent young actress (Saoirse Ronan) to headline his Host adaptation; now, he’s looking to bring an Oscar-winner onboard for one of the film’s pivotal supporting roles.

Inside Movies is reporting that William Hurt has begun talks to appear in Niccol’s adaptation of The Host. Hurt, of course, is a highly-decorated actor whose resume includes turns in noteworthy dramas such as Kiss of the Spider Woman, Broadcast News, Sunshine, A History of Violence, and Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood, among many others. He has also made memorable appearances in sci-fi fare like Dark City, the 2000 Dune TV mini-series, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, and The Incredible Hulk.

Meyer’s The Host revolves around an alien invasion, where humans are taken over by parasites that insert themselves into their brains – and, in the process, cure diseases, end wars, and bring peace to Earth. 20-year-old Melanie Stryder (Ronan) is among those people who refuse to accept the extraterrestrial-controlled paradise; she even manages to resist her own “host” (name Wanderer) and convinces the creature to go look for her missing loves ones.

Hurt is in line to portray Jeb, Melanie’s eccentric uncle and a leader of the human resistance against the other-worldly invaders. Additional important players in the film include Max Irons as Melanie’s boyfriend, Jared Howe, and Jake Abel as Ian O’Shea, a young man who eventually develops feelings for Wanderer… even though the alien, because of her (bizarre) connection to Melanie, is physically forced to love Jared instead.

On that note – Irons and Abel are no strangers to films that include Twilight-inspired young adult romances (see: their respective parts in Red Riding Hood and I Am Number Four). Take that as you will.

stephenie meyer the host1 William Hurt Eyes Stephenie Meyers The Host Adaptation

Andrew Niccol-scripted projects tend to vary from very good (The Truman Show, Gattaca) to passable (The Terminal, In Time); likewise, when he also directs, the results can vary. Although his films always revolve around thought-provoking scenarios and concepts, it’s the execution that Niccol sometimes has problems with.

So, while Niccol’s involvement with The Host adaptation makes sense, it could be construed as a mixed blessing. That the filmmaker has to partially work within the confines of Meyer’s source material doesn’t help matters, especially since that book (like Twilight) is a work that people seem to either love or hate (sometimes just on principle).

That said – Meyer’s Host novel doesn’t inspire the sort of passionate negativity that her Twilight series does, and some of the ideas it broaches are fairly intriguing. If Niccol is on his A-game as a filmmaker and manages to bring out the best (acting) in people like Ronan and Hurt, then the tale of Melanie Stryder could go over better with non-Meyer fans than the tale of Bella Swan has managed to.

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The Host is slated to hit U.S. theaters on March 29th, 2013.

Source: EW

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TAGS: the host, twilight

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  1. theres already a monster movie called the host…done. goodbye
    P.S. nobody wants to see the twilight writer do aliens, its a perversion of cinema.

  2. At first I thought this was an American remake of the Korean horror movie, “The Host”, and was moderately excited. I enjoy William Hurt, but the moment I saw Stephanie Meyers name, some part of me died inside.

    • died ? Grow up.

  3. On being weary on Andrew Niccol: The Host is part science fiction and he does science fiction better than most working directors, if not being THE director for scripted science fiction. Although penning a book to screen is confining, there is enough material that lends itself to Niccol’s strength as a director. What he failed to execute in IN TIME (it’s obvious that the studio heavily edited it and/or Niccol let his politics get in the way of storytelling) can be resolved in THE HOST for a several of reasons.

    1) There is no politics, at least in the traditional sense, in THE HOST.
    2) OpenRoads (distributor) & Inferno Productions (finances) are new start-up companies. Just by the names involved one can tell this project is being handled differently.
    3) You’re putting too much emphasis on the THE TERMINAL. It was storied (partly) by Niccol, his first venture into a rom-com, was one more unique storylines for its genre. I don’t see how that can go against him since the director was Speilberg.

    I sense THE HOST can be for OpenRoads as BATMAN BEGINS was for Warner Bros.

  4. I can’t stand twilight but I have read the host and it was quite good, nothing original but entertaining enough. I like The casting of Ronan and Hurt however the other 2 actors leads me to believe that they want to turn this into the twilight of sci fi films which would be disappointing

  5. You know what a lot of people love Twilight and lots don’t BUT this is a whole different story and you closed minded people need to give it a chance because it’s actually great ! I actually love Twilight but that’s me SO PLEASE DON’T TURN YOUR NOSE DOWN AT ME I love it SO WHAT ? I hate that people hate Twilight because their not into it.

  6. I don’t mind the casting of Irons and Abel, while Saoirse will carry the film it doesn’t take a genius to know that the casting of the boys is to appeal the Twilight audience aka female audience, which is what’s made Twilight such a BO cash cow. Saoirse, and William will bring in the acting chops, the boys are there for the looks.

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