5:00 PM on 02.04.2013
Educated guesses from myself, a 12 year old girl, and a Magic 8-Ball
What exactly made The Twilight Saga so special? So special that is spawned off five multi million dollar films, fifty shades of pretenders, and left a gash on the industry now that it's gone. Executives have figured out that Twilight phenomena somehow tapped into a demographic that no one really believe existed, or at the very least believed they could see it blurry and walking sideways like Bigfoot.
You could try and argue that a current scramble to find a replacement isn't happening, but it if weren't happening, we wouldn't have films like I Am Number Four, a flick created with a new "write a book for the explicit reason of becoming a Twilight movie" process. After the release of Warm Bodies last Friday, which was oddly being compared and fronted as a new version of Twilight, it got me thinking.
What exactly is the next Twilight Saga? What's Young Adult/Teen/Tween/Tweensies book series gets the crown and all of the money and glory that comes with it? I have a few guesses with a little bit of special "commentary" from my 12 year old cousin and a Magic 8-Ball with whom I asked, "Could it be just like Twilight?"
The Caster Chronicles
My 12 year old cousin: "What's wrong with her mouth?"
Magic 8-Ball: "Outlook good"
The first of the Caster Chronicles series, Beautiful Creatures, releases a week or so from now and tries reeeeally hard to hit the Twilight quotas (love story, otherwordly stuff, a bad guy/good guy dynamic). The problem is, you can tell BC is trying too hard. Sure there'll be plenty of young women who go to see the flick, but the greater populace will recognize its overreaching nature and the buzz will most likely burn out after a month or so.
My 12 year old cousin: "There's too much going on."
Magic 8-Ball: "Yes- definitely"
The Divergent series is a trilogy set in a Hunger Games-y dystopian future. The difference here is the main character, Beatrice, takes a test to figure out which of the five main factions society has broken up into she can join (which represent a single ideal like peace or aggression). She then finds out she doesn't fit neatly into any of the factions. And through shenanigans has to go through an initiation test. Divergent has been picked up by Summit Entertainment, the Twilight guys, so it looks like it's going to go the same route. As for me, I believe Divergent has a good chance of becoming the next big thing. It's got a good message, it won't release for quite awhile (which gives enough time for the Twilight scar to heal), and it sounds pretty neat.
The Hunger Games
My 12 year old cousin: "I liked the action. [Josh Hutcherson] looks like a nerd."
Magic 8-Ball: "My sources say no"
The Hunger Games series is a behemoth for sure, but it won't catch the attentions of the Twilight demographic. For one Twilight didn't finish until after the first HG came and went, and secondly, the tones of the franchises are far too different. While HG seems to have a central love triangle, the romance is not the focus of the story. In fact, it's sort of shoehorned into the film far more aggressively than it was portrayed in the text. Also, Katniss has far too much of a personality for anyone to project themselves onto her. And that's a HUGE part of why Twilight was as big as it was.
My 12 year old cousin: [she just indiscriminately shook her head here]
Magic 8-Ball: "My reply is no"
The Host, Stephanie Meyer's follow up work, is an obvious attempt to catch post-Twilight fever. In fact, it's far too obvious. You could argue that The Host isn't a series, but Meyer dubiously wrote three other Twi-books when the first book flew off the shelves. I'm expecting The Host to spawn its own series, but I don't see many flocking to it.
The Mortal Instruments
My 12 year old cousin: "She's got thick eyebrows."
Magic 8-Ball: "Without a doubt"
The Mortal Instruments series, and its first film City of Bones, has a good chance of catching the Twi-demographic. It's got an angel/demon lore, a love triangle (which will probably be changed from the text due to...um...its questionable nature), and the main character seems bland enough for projection. Also, it also seems the most interesting to watch for myself tweensies and the parents who're dragged to it.
Vampire Academy series
My 12 year old cousin: "Sounds too fake."
Magic 8-Ball: "Outlook not so good"
Now the Vampire Academy series is most likely going to be beloved in its cult status. It's got the most promising writing team out of any of the films of this list, I see the premise thriving as more of a Vampire Diaries style television show which bodes well for a series of films, and Vampire Academy could potentially play up its schlocky sound nature for laughs. It also sounds like Buffy, and that show was super cool. It's just no Twilight contender.
My 12 year old cousin: "My brother likes zombies."
Magic 8-Ball: "Concentrate and ask again"
There's no way Warm Bodies will have any kind of lasting power. It's an average film with a cute but stretched premise, and the only way the books continued was through a prequel. While it did well at the box office this past weekend, expect that to change as the weeks move on. Sorry.
My 12 year old cousin: "Sounds too boring."
Magic 8-Ball: "Ask again later"
Wake is the first book of an admittedly interesting series. It follows a girl who can wander through the dreams of others. Unfortunately, the adaptation of the film seems to be going through issues as the last casting rumor (they were looking at Miley Cyrus) did not spell good things. There's no way Wake could be a Twilight contender if it never even gets off the ground.
While this list is by no means comprehensive, I hope it gets the ball rolling. And to be completely honest, this article is written with the assumption that Twilight will fade into obscurity as new shinier things come into view. Its shadow looms over the rest of the industry since now everyone wants to discover the next money making machine. The only thing is, no one really understands how to do it. Was Twilight lightning in a bottle with its near perfect demographic catering? Nope. If it were, we wouldn't have pornography at the top of Amazon's Best Seller list.
All any of us can do from now on is sit, wait for the next big thing (Is it zombies? Vampires? Mummies? Creatures from the Black Lagoon?), and make wacky predictions with a Magic 8-Ball.
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