One of the most buzzed about films at this year's Sundance Film Festival had to be indie filmmaker Drake Doremus' "Like Crazy." Touted as the next "Blue Valentine," the mostly improvised film about a long-distance romance won the Grand Jury Prize and was bought by Paramount for the sum of $4 million. The drama stars Anton Yelchin, features a breakout performance by Felicity Jones and has "Katniss Everdeen" Jennifer Lawrence in a supporting role, so with the right marketing push the film should have no trouble being a modest hit for the studio. Our reviewer called it "a familiar tale, well told" and this writer has to agree. (The film doesn't make it clear why Jones might fall for Yelchin but if you can get past that, it really nails the pain of separation.)
Though that film won't be out until later this year, co-writer/director Doremus along with co-writer Ben York Jones and producer Jonathan Schwartz are already eyeing their follow-up. According to The LA Times, Paramount and Montecito Picture Co. have acquired the rights to a forthcoming sci-fi teen romance novel "Through To You" which the trio will adapt for the studios.
The young adult novel, by first time author Emily Hainsworth, centers on "a grieving teen who discovers a parallel world in which his girlfriend is still alive." As the Times points out, the premise bears certain similarities to another of this year's Sundance hits, "Another Earth" (which we recently reviewed at SXSW). Hainsworth's bio says she counts F. Scott Fitzgerald and Christopher Pike among her influences, so even if sci-fi grief isn't a sure thing among teens, young love certainly never goes out of style.
One of the most remarkable things about "Like Crazy" was how polished it is despite the fact that it was mostly improvised, so it will be interesting to see whether the filmmakers will set out to truly adapt the book or just use the premise as a jumping off point. Our guess is that the studio will want something a little more structured especially considering that the novel will presumably have fans when it is released and you do not want to piss off YA readers. Can you imagine if they had improvised "Twilight"? The book will be released by Harper Collins sometime in 2012 and "Like Crazy" will be out later this year. You can read the full synopsis (via the authors blog) below:
Emily Hainsworth’s debut THROUGH TO YOU, about a grieving teen who discovers a parallel world where his girlfriend is still alive, only she’s harboring some dangerous secrets, and the devastating choices he must make, and a second, untitled book, to Alessandra Balzer at Balzer & Bray, in a good deal, in a two-book deal, at auction, for publication in Fall 2012, by Mary Kole at Andrea Brown Literary Agency (NA).