By now you’ve no doubt heard of “The Hunger Games,” even if you have no idea what it is or what it has to do with. Despite how it sounds, “The Hunger Games” is not a celebrity-endorsed charity to end starvation in Africa. Nor is it a sequel to the Oscar-nominated “Winter’s Bone,” even though it stars Jennifer Lawrence. It’s not even a movie that will come out this year. Filming hasn’t even begun. So why all the commotion?
The reason for the buzz, including that “Entertainment Weekly” cover above, is people believe it will be the next “Twilight.” At least, they desperately want it to be, since Bella, Edward and Jacob are calling it a wrap in “Breaking Dawn, Part 2″ in 2012.
While “Twilight”‘s imminent demise is good news for everyone tired of the celibate-teen-vampire craze, there’s a whole new roster of movies based on popular young-adult novels just waiting in the wings, ready to enjoy the same level of overexposure.
What follows is a cautionary list of the top 5 destined-to-be-annoying tween film franchises headed to a theater near you. Beware one, beware all.
“The Hunger Games”
Popular YA Books: “The Hunger Games,” “Catching Fire” and “Mockingjay” by Suzanne Collins
Outlandish Premise: In the distant future, teens are randomly chosen by an evil totalitarian government to battle each other to the death.
Sexy Young Stars: Jennifer Lawrence will star as Katniss. Liam Hemsworth, younger brother of “Thor” star Chris Hemsworth, and Joshua Hutcherson, the kid from “The Polar Express,” will be her “Edward” and “Jacob,” respectively.
Problematic Supernatural Love: The characters totally don’t have enough time to dry-hump because they’re fighting against an insane sci-fi government.
Why It Will Annoy You: This movie could be awesome; a futuristic “Gladiator” meets “Blade Runner.” However, since it’ll be written for teens, the characters will spend more time brooding than fighting and being awesome, frustrating any guy tricked into seeing it.
Popular YA Books: The James Patterson series include seven bestsellers with an eighth on the way.
Outlandish Premise: A group of young human-avian mutants, called The Flock, battle werewolves, global warming and pollution.
Sexy Young Stars: Dakota’s little sister Elle Fanning is rumored to be involved. Catherine Hardwicke (“Twilight,” “Red Riding Hood”) is directing, so hot teen stars will flock to the project.
Problematic Supernatural Love: A bird-human love triangle forms between the female lead, named Maximum Ride, and two of her Flock crew, Fang and Dylan. Of course there is a character named Dylan.
Why It Will Annoy You: They’re teenage mutant non-ninja birds with goofy names like Iggy, Gasman, Nudge and Angel. The story is part-”Twilight” and part-”Captain Planet.”
Popular YA Books: Cassandra Clare’s “City of Bones,” “City of Ashes,” “City of Glass” and “City of Fallen Angels”
Outlandish Premise: Young Shadowhunters hunt demons, which regular humans cannot see, and bum around with vampires, werewolves and warlocks.
Sexy Young Stars: Lily Eyebrows Collins (daughter of Phil) will star. Alex Pettyfer (“I Am Number Four”) is also rumored to be attached.
Problematic Supernatural Love: Female Shadowhunter Clary must decide between grizzled and scarred Shadowhunter Jace and her male best friend, Simon, who is a vampire.
Why It Will Annoy You: Director of the bombs “Legion” and “Priest,” Scott Stewart is ruining directing the project. Add that to a story that doesn’t know if it’s “Underworld,” “True Blood” or “Harry Potter” and you have a film series that will simultaneously confuse and irritate.
Popular YA Book: Aprilynne Pike debut “Wings”
Outlandish Premise: A 15-year-old vegan girl realizes she’s a faerie and is called upon to fight for Avalon and her hippie parents.
Sexy Young Stars: Disney is developing a movie for Miley Cyrus.
Problematic Supernatural Love: Faerie Laurel must decide between Tamani, a faerie, and David, a human vegan.
Why It Will Annoy You: The main characters are faeries and vegans. Need I say more?
Popular YA Book: “Warm Bodies” by Isaac Marion
Outlandish Premise: A teen zombie named R eats a guy’s brains and falls for the victim’s human girlfriend.
Sexy Young Stars: Teresa Palmer (“I Am Number Four”) is rumored to be Girl and Nicholas Hoult, the boy from “About A Boy” and Beast from “X-Men: First Class,” will be R the Zombie.
Problematic Supernatural Love: There is no prom for a teen zombie/human couple to attend. Plus, all the other zombies want to eat her.
Why It Will Annoy You: Zombies are kick-ass when they’re mobbing and eating people, but they make terrible lovers. “Twilight” studio Summit bought the story when it was just self-published online book entitled, “I Am A Zombie Filled With Love.”