In just one month, The 5th Wave hits theatres worldwide (January 22nd 2016). Following in the footsteps of Harry Potter, Twilight, The 100 and The Hunger Games, The 5th Wave looks destined to become the next big book-to-screen adaptation. Adapted from the bestselling smash hit novel by Rick Yancey, the big screen adaptation stars Chloe Grace Moretz, Nick Robinson, Alex Roe, Maika Monroe and Liev Schreiber.
When the world has been ravaged by four destructive waves that were set in motion by "the Others", Cassie Sullivan (Moretz) must do all she can to not only survive but find her younger brother Sammy, all while waiting for the dreaded Fifth Wave to begin. The alien invasion has not just taken place... it has succeeded. The film will center on Cassie's journey: her rescue mission to save her brother, her previous adoration of classmate Ben Parish (Robinson) and her run-in with the mysterious Evan Walker (Roe), as she tries to survive in a world where she could possibly be the last human being alive.
Like other recent book adaptations, this movie will appeal to a wide variety of audiences. For starters, the book is a Young Adult novel. And Cassie: the strong female heroine character, is reminiscent of other young heroine characters such as Katniss Everdeen (from The Hunger Games) or Clarke Griffin (from The 100). These young ladies are ordinary people who know how to be strong in an extraordinary situation and thus, they are able to lead the rest of the characters throughout their respective books. Cassie is no different and is portrayed as a strong, independent woman. Like all major characters, she isn't perfect and is simply doing what she can to survive. But in doing so, Cassie Sullivan is up there with the great heroines of modern literature. Furthermore, just like Jennifer Lawrence and Eliza Taylor do phenomenal jobs at portraying their literature counterparts, Chloe Grace Moretz is more than capable of delivering a powerful, believable performance in the upcoming movie. For someone so young, she boasts an incredible repertoire of films such as Carrie and If I Stay. She is already known by name alone and her star power and presence will help The 5th Wave usher in the next generation of female led big screen adaptations.
Speaking of the cast: it heavily features young actors in prominent roles. Nick Robinson portrays Ben Parish/Zombie. Robinson has had an extraordinary 2015. From starring in one of the biggest movies of all time in Jurassic World to successfully wrapping four years on a popular TV Series (Melissa & Joey), he also starred in the emotionally deep Being Charlie which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and created quite a lot of buzz. Robinson is a perfect fit for the role of Ben Parish: the trademark smile, the brooding, the heroics. His acting chops were highlighted in his amazing performance as Joe Toy in The Kings of Summer and are certainly going to be on display once again in The 5th Wave as he portrays arguably the most complex character in the book. Zombie is a multi-dimensional character and given the actor portraying him, I have no doubt that we will see this resonate in the film. Nick Robinson is one of the bright young talented actors in Hollywood at the moment and if you'd like to read what I think the future holds for him, you can read my previous article on Robinson here.
The cast also features veteran actors such as Liev Schreiber in the role of Colonel Vosch. Schreiber has delivered solid performances throughout his career and this shouldn't be any different. Vosch is an authoritative character throughout the novel and Shreiber is more than capable of pulling this off. The snippets we see of him in the trailer really do highlight his capability to do so. Moreover, Vosch may not appear in the novel as constantly as other characters but his role is of great importance and in my humble opinion, Liev Schreiber is a fantastic choice to personify this character.
Another important factor to take into account is that The 5th Wave is first and foremost, a Science Fiction novel. The previously successful book-to-screen adaptations all have a hook: something that makes all these ordinary people stand out in extraordinary situations. Wizards, Vampires, Apocalypses, Hunger Games, Dystopias...these have all contributed to the success of many of respective screen adaptations. This time, it's aliens! When done right, aliens have been very lucrative and successful on film and TV. Look at the examples: Independence Day, V and of course...Alien and it's sequels. The 5th Wave deals with an intelligent alien force erasing humanity from the planet at all costs and is using their 5 Waves to do it. Much like The Hunger Games, these are dark themes and will hopefully resonate in the film version. The book itself is more mature than other Young Adult novels and does a great job at maintaining the darker tone throughout. Yancey's ability to keep us enthused but horrified at the Others' activity is nothing short of brilliance. I have no doubt that this will resonate on the big screen.
As always, there is romance in the novel. Young Adult novels are rife with romance. But yet again, Yancey does a brilliant job at maintaining balance in the novel. It's not a love story. It doesn't even pretend to be. However, there are feelings and emotions and yes, love throughout. Between Cassie's past and present...and the actors chosen, I can already see the audience choosing "ships". However, I have enough faith that the film version will replicate it's literature counterpart's ability to incorporate balance between the romance and the other themes. The romance will take a back seat to the plot just like in the novel.
It is integral that there is enough balance to incorporate everything. That way, all audiences will be pleased -- there will be something for everyone.
With a vast amount of big time movies hitting theatres next year, make sure you check out The 5th Wave. With a stellar cast, a phenomenal storyline and an invasion that features every type of domination possible: The 5th Wave could very well be a resounding success at the Box Office!
Having read the book, I can't wait to see it on the big screen.
The 5th Wave arrives in theatres on 22 January 2016. Be sure to check it out!