When The Hunger Games novel first became a bestseller in 2008, a flood of dystopian young-adult series followed: Divergent, Delirium, The Maze Runner, and more. And while many of those have already had their moment in the cinematic sun, another YA bestseller appears to finally be heading towards the big screen after several false starts: The Selection series by Kiera Cass.
Yahoo Movies hopped on the phone with Cass to get the latest on the adaptation process and to help us unveil the cover for the fifth and final book in the series, The Crown (see below).
For those not up on their dystopian teen series, The Selection — which started with the first novel in 2012 — is pretty much a futuristic version of The Bachelor. Sure, there’s unrest in the novels’ reformed society based on an awkward caste system. But instead of high action, there are really pretty dresses and loads of nasty, Gossip Girl-style backstabbing as lower-caste heroine America Singer — who already has a boyfriend — is forced to battle with 34 upper-crust ladies to win the heart of Prince Maxon. In other words, it’s decidedly lighter than other YA series, which might explain why it’s on its third — and hopefully final — attempt at an adaptation.
In 2012, The CW attempted to turn the books into a television series, even getting so far as to shoot two different pilots (one starring Friday Night Lights alum Aimee Teegarden as America). That, Cass confesses, was a bad idea. “For me, it’s all about the characters. So when I got the final incarnation of the TV script, and those characters had been made unrecognizable, I was crushed,” she says. “I feel much more confident in the team this time around, and I’m looking forward to seeing where everything goes.”
Cass has even bigger news about the team behind the new attempt at an adaptation. In April, Warner Bros. announced they were developing the first book as a film, and had hired Black List writer Katie Lovejoy to adapt it. “I have read the first draft of the script, and I’m very happy with the direction they’re heading in,” Cass says. “[Katie and I] had a long conversation about the story and points that we thought the fans would consider must-haves. I tried to casually ask around about that, and everything they mentioned were things Katie was already taking into account. It’s one of those things that can fall apart at any minute, but if it makes it to the screen, I think the readers will be happy.“
Perhaps Cass will have more updates for us when she goes on tour to promote the final book in the series, The Crown, which hits shelves on May 3, 2016. This fifth novel will pick up where The Heir left off: 20 years after Prince Maxon’s Selection and disbanding of the caste system. Now his daughter, Princess Eadlyn, faces her own slew of suitors while her country is on the brink of civil war. Here’s our exclusive cover reveal:
"I think the purple of The Crown goes well with the gray of The Heir, making the two stories look like they go together,” Cass says. “I also really like Eadlyn’s pose. I think she looks super strong, which suits her. She’s one tough girl.”
As you might expect, authors don’t often have much say in how their covers are going to look, but Cass is still gushing about how her series has turned out. She just wishes, as many of us do, that she could see some of those stunning dresses in person.
See the other previous covers below:
“The closest I’ve ever come to seeing one of the dresses in real life is catching the gown used for the cover of The One on an episode of Say Yes to the Dress. It’s, like, a $25,000 Pnina Tornai wedding dress that some football player was going to buy for his sister. It was so funny. She just kept saying it was too heavy to move in, so they went in a different direction. But that dress is gorgeous, and I’d be happy to just stand still in it.”
As she prepares for The Crown’s release, Cass admits she’s sad to bid adieu to the inhabitants of the fictional country of Illéa. That is, until she gets to start stumping for the first Selection movie (hope, hope).