For me, the title says it all. What's the holdup? What exactly is keeping Ally Condie's bestselling series from becoming the next heartwarming teen phenomenon? Has it been overlooked? Was it forgotten about? I'm demanding answers at this point because I, like so many others, have been waiting for this extraordinary novel to become a movie for six years!
Matched moved me in a way that almost every other dystopian novel I've read didn't. Unlike most other young adult books, the Matched trilogy isn't dependent on brutal violence or sappy romance or even twisty surprise events and cliff hangers to hook you to the story and keep you turning the pages. It doesn't rely on the next attack or the next kiss or the next shocker; that's not what this novel is famous for. It's not a thriller, it won't have you biting your nails or gripping the book tightly or falling out of your chair. It will, however, have you completely awed and mesmerized. It will captivate you with words and thoughts, not plans and actions. It will dazzle you with poetry and songs and riddles all painted with watercolors of green, blue, and red in your mind. It's a beautiful story, a complete reflection of a beautiful writer. Maybe that's the reason we haven't seen this story journey to the big screen?
It's true that this particular series isn't as addicting as other well-known pulse-pounding novels, nor is it as exciting, but it is beautiful. It is a work of art (in every literal way) and if done right, it could be a masterpiece as a film. It could be bright and colorful and inspiring. Not only that, the story does include the ever so popular love triangle between three characters that are actually all wonderful and enduring and likable, it takes place in the future which seems to be an instant win in the movie world, and it's overrun by a controlling government. If you ask me, it already has the perfect setup and it should be an easy project to put together. With the right cast, director, and screenwriter, Matched could be the next Hunger Games. Matched could splash as the next teenage blockbuster if it were simply given the chance.
So, why hasn't a production company jumped on it? Why has Matched been published for six years and still not been made into a movie? No one can be sure whether the novel's absence from the theater is due to its writer's refusal, but according to my research, Ally Condie has never had a problem with her work being made into a motion picture. In fact, I've dug up rumors from 2012-2013 stating that Disney (of all productions) had signed on to the three part project. I even read interviews from Entertainment Weekly discussing a dream cast with Ally Condie. Well...what happened to that?
It's true that Disney would not be my first pick for putting Matched, Crossed, and Reached together, but a Disney movie is better than no movie, right? Besides, Disney didn't do so bad with films like The Chronicles of Narnia. It doesn't seem to matter though, because it's been a good four years since those rumors surfaced and there's still no evidence that a Matched movie is in the works anywhere.
Matched fans, it looks like our fandom has died before it was even born. So, I ask again, why hasn't this series been made into movies? It doesn't make sense to me, because the Matched trilogy is really just such a great read and it doesn't get nearly enough publicity. I suppose we'll add it to the shelf of old, forgotten gems that will never get recognized for its brilliance.
On another note, however, maybe it's a good thing that Lionsgate or Summit or Disney hasn't gotten a hold on this treasure, our treasure. If no one ever touches it, no one will ever mess it up. Matched will continue to stay beautiful and loved deeply by its readers. Likewise, it will always be one of my favorite pieces, even if it's never acknowledged in the industry.