Top Dystopian Novel/Film Adaptations
One of the biggest blockbuster film franchises of all time revolves around a teenage girl trying to fight for her life in a societal revolution–and audiences of all ages are flocking to the theaters! Our book to film columnist Spencer Blohm explores the mysterious appeal of escaping into a dystopian world filled with heroism, action, and drama that we can’t seem to get enough of. Here are the best dystopian novel-to-film adaptations that will keep fans of the genre enthralled for years to come.
The Hunger Games
Katniss Everdeen’s ascent into a symbol of revolution is the dystopic fantasy that seemed to have started this young adult dystopian genre craze. There’s something undeniably inspirational about a poverty-stricken girl from one of the poorest areas in the country quickly becoming a national icon. As she maintains her will and integrity through this chaos and upcoming war, we find that The Hunger Games‘ themes of pageantry and sensationalized violence is incredibly relevant to today’s society and young people’s ideals.
One of the grittier forays into dystopian literature, Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy revolves around a strictly divided world and a girl who just doesn’t fit inside those boundaries. Tris Prior is a great example of a heroine who rises from an unsure teenager into a just and tough heroine. This series gives young girls the opportunity to learn how to overcome their fears and protect their families while still being allowed to fall in love. Both Divergent and Insurgent are currently available to watch on cable TV so make sure you watch to experience strong women and action-packed science fiction.
Lois Lowry’s The Giver is a childhood classic and recently hit the big-screen in an adaptation starring Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep. The novel’s story of a young boy fighting for freedom and knowledge in an unfeeling world remains an inspiring and eye-opening story, but the film adaptation didn’t seem to amaze audiences. Teenagers responded poorly to the fact that a romance was shoehorned into the plot, which showed that kids don’t just want mindless teenage love in their stories. They require heavier themes of devotion, secrecy, and moral dilemmas that the original novel provided.
Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game is a science-fiction classic and has been enjoyed by all ages for decades. The 2013 film adaptation was long-awaited and features a star-studded cast of new and favorite actors, but it underperformed for audiences and lacked the charm and sharpness of Card’s original story. However, the action and bravery of the young protagonists still managed to represent the themes of the novel.
The Maze Runner
The Maze Runner is one of the most recent novel-to-film adaptations of a dystopian world, and its wild popularity shows that the genre is here to stay. The twists and turns of James Dashner’s main character Thomas and his fight for survival with his friends has wowed audiences young and old. This series also shows that young men can handle high drama as well – not just fearless teenage girls.
With all of the above blockbuster adaptations, it is easy to see that audiences respond well to high-stakes drama involving younger characters in an entirely different world. These novels and films inspire us to be brave and take action, proving that the genre is an awesome fixture in popular culture.
Spencer Blohm is a freelance entertainment, film, and pop culture blogger. He can almost always be found with his face in a book or glued to the T.V. He lives and works in Chicago where the winters only serve to encourage this type of behavior.
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