20th Century Fox is throwing its hat into the young adult series game. Casting for the adaptation of Alexandra Bracken’s series, The Darkest Minds, is complete and filming is slated to begin this month.
The series is described as a combination of superhero conventions with coming-of-age tones. When Ruby awoke on her 10th birthday, she woke to find she had changed, possibly for the worse. Whatever the change was scared her parents enough to lock her in the garage and call the authorities, who sent her to Thurmond, a brutal “rehabilitation camp” run by the government. She may have survived a mysterious disease that killed most of the children in America, but something worse has happened to those who lived: frightening abilities they are unable to control.
Now Ruby is 16 and considered one of the dangerous ones. She escapes the camp to find the only safe haven for kids like her. In her journey, she joins a group of other kids who have also escaped. Once they arrive to their destination, they find it is not what they expected. Ruby finds that she may have to make decisions that could mean giving up a life she wants.
Currently there are four books: The Darkest Minds (2012), Never Fade (2013), In The Afterlight (2014), and Through the Dark (2015). According to reviews, part of the uniqueness of the story is the willingness to face some of the darker elements characters have to face, most specifically the anxiety that develops within the community when the children begin to experience the supernatural abilities. Family members turn on each other, fearing what could happen to them if they keep the kids around rather than the well-being of their offspring.
The cast includes:
- Amandla Stenberg as Ruby. Best known for her memorable role as Rue in the first Hunger Games movie, she also appeared in the drama As You Are, which received the special jury prize at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
- Harris Dickinson plays Liam, the leader of the group of other escaped children. His last project was Beach Rats, but also has directed and written several shorts.
- Mandy Moore recently earned a Golden Globe nomination for her work on This Is Us. She will play an altruistic doctor at Ruby’s camp, crusading against the government’s persecution but may also have ulterior motives.
- Patrick Gibson, whose breakout role was in the Netflix series The OA as a troubled teen. He also had roles in the miniseries Passing Bells and The Tudors.
- Skylan Brooks, who portrayed Ra-Ra in the Netflix Original Series The Get Down and starred with Jake Gyllenhaal and Rachel McAdams in Southpaw.
- Miya Cech in her first feature role, having recently been in both American Housewife and American Horror Story: Roanoke.
The Darkest Minds is filming in Atlanta Georgia. Helming the project is Jennifer Yuh Nelson. This will be her live-action directing debut after hits Kung Fu Panda 2 and Kung Fu Panda 3, and the HBO animated adaptation series of Todd McFarlane’s Spawn. The script is written by Wayward Pines’ Chad Hodge and will be produced by Shawn Levy and his 21 Laps Entertainment.