One of my favourite book series is the Unwind series by Neal Shusterman. The books are set in a dystopian world where children over the age of 13 can be ‘unwound’: in other words, their bodies can be taken apart piece by piece and the government decides who to give them to; people who need them most. The books specifically follow three characters, Connor, Risa and Lev, as they are sent to a ‘Harvest Camp’ (gross, I know) to be unwound. The books are written so well and I love the characterisations and the setting.
It was news to me a couple of days ago when I saw on Neal Shusterman’s Facebook page that he shared a link to some news about an Unwind film adaptation – and I don’t know if I’m excited or nervous…
It’s always a bit nerve-racking when one of your favourite book series is going to be adapted, especially when you’ve got a perfect image of the characters and the settings in your head. However, there are a few details which fill me with a little more confidence than I had when I first heard that an adaptation was a possibility.
The film is written and directed by Roger Avary, known for working on huge hits such as Reservoir Dogs (1992), Pulp Fiction (1994) and Beowulf (2007). Hopefully this means that the film will be great visually, and hopefully he’s taken the dark, gritty, almost gruesome details from the book and included them in the script. It won’t be the same without it – the last thing a story like Unwind needs is a family-friendly PG rating!
The next positive thing for me is the casting of the three main characters. Casting is, apart from a great screenplay, one of most important things when adapting a book series. I hate it when I read a book and the characters in the film are nothing like how I pictured them to look. The casting for this, though, seems pretty good! Ian Nelson is cast as Connor (left), Kiernan Shipka is cast as Risa (centre) and Percy Hynes White is Lev (right).
I’m still nervous though, of course. I just hope the cast and crew can pull it off and not make the films an awful version of the books (I’m looking at you, The Maze Runner). I guess we just have to wait and see!