Giant sex-crazed mutant grasshoppers are on their way to Hollywood, as Sony Pictures has acquired rights to Andrew Smith’s “Grasshopper Jungle.”
A report from Deadline confirms that the recently released YA novel is set to be adapted for film. The book, which has earned accolades for its inventive apocalypse scenario and unique portrait of teenage angst, centers on the romantic entanglements and bizarre adventures of protagonist Austin Szerba.
Austin is a typically sex-obsessed 16 year-old — just about everything, by his own description, makes him horny — whose confused affections for both his girlfriend Shann and his best friend Robby come to a head just as, simultaneously, a plague is unleashed on his Iowa hometown that turns most of the unlucky residents into enormous mutant grasshoppers whose only goals are to mate with each other and eat everyone else.
The project was brought in by writer Scott Rosenberg, who is probably best known as the writer behind the highly entertaining hijacking thriller “Con Air,” and whose ability to interweave action with humanity and humor should serve the script well.
It remains to be seen who will act in and direct this surreal romp through Weirdsville, but as always, we’ve got some early ideas.
For the roles of Austin and Robby — whose relationship is important and complicated, to say the least — it could work best to get two actors who’ve worked together before on challenging material. Our picks: Logan Lerman and Ezra Miller, whose emotionally complex relationship was a delight to watch in “The Perks of Being a Wallflower;” and who can still easily pass for teenagers, at least for another few years.
And for Austin’s girlfriend Shann, who needs to project both vulnerability and sensibility in turn, Taissa Farmiga would be a great pick.
More important will be finding a director who can handle the sci-fi action of the story without sacrificing the human depth that’ll make it more than a monster movie. The man who comes to mind: Seth Rogen, whose directorial debut with “This Is the End” demonstrated an amazing capacity to interweave guy relationship dynamics and general hilarity with an end-of-the-world scenario.
Meanwhile, the film will likely need to secure a producer before any additional announcements are made. But if you want to check out what the fuss is all about in the meantime, “Grasshopper Jungle” is out in bookstores now.