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'Smashed' Director James Ponsoldt Goes Franchise, To Write & Direct YA Adaptation 'Pure'

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist January 17, 2013 at 7:04PM

James Ponsoldt is on a tear right now. A year ago, he was high on the Sundance buzz meter with the alcoholism drama "Smashed," which brought him acclaim and showed audiences a whole new side to lead Mary Elizabeth Winstead. He wasted (ha) no time in getting a follow up going, and he's back in Park City this year with "The Spectacular Now." But even before that film has had a chance to premiere, Ponsoldt has taken the next big career move -- he's getting a YA franchise.
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Pure James Ponsoldt

James Ponsoldt is on a tear right now. A year ago, he was high on the Sundance buzz meter with the alcoholism drama "Smashed," which brought him acclaim and showed audiences a whole new side to lead Mary Elizabeth Winstead. He wasted (ha) no time in getting a follow up going, and he's back in Park City this year with "The Spectacular Now." But even before that film has had a chance to premiere, Ponsoldt has taken the next big career move -- he's getting a YA franchise.

Ponsoldt has been snagged by Fox 2000 to write and direct an adaptation of Julianna Baggott's "Pure." The book, which ranked on our 15 Young Adult Fiction Properties That Could Be The Next 'Twilight' Or 'Hunger Games,' takes place after a devestating nuclear disaster, where the world has split into two: the "pures," who survived untouched inside The Dome, and the "wretches" who were fused to whatever object they were touching at the moment of detonation. Partridge, a pure, and Pressia, a wretch with a doll's head instead of a hand, are drawn together as the former searches for his mother's killer. 

With the second book in the series, "Fuse," in stores on February 19th and a third entry planned (yes, trilogy!) we'd wager Fox 2000 want to get the ball rolling. Ponsoldt, who has shown a nice sensitivity in writing for women, is a pretty adventurous choice all around, but we also like that the people behind this are rolling the dice on him to step up. Can Ponsoldt succeed, especially with so many other YA franchises on the way ("Divergent," "Mortal Instruments," "Beautiful Creatures," etc)? If we're rooting for anyone, it will be for him. Have you read the book? Is he a good choice? Tell us below. [THR]

This article is related to: Pure, James Ponsoldt


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