‘Twilight Saga’ Author Stephenie Meyer’s ‘The Host’ Lands Saoirse Ronan To Star

EXCLUSIVE: Saoirse Ronan has been set to star in The Host, the screen adaptation of the bestselling novel by Twilight Saga author Stephenie Meyer. Scripted by Andrew Niccol, the film figures to be one of the hot titles when Inferno launches sales at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival next week. Niccol, who was originally set to direct, might resurface as the filmmaker.

Ronan, the Oscar-nominated star of Atonement, The Lovely Bones and most recently Hanna, will play Melanie Stryder, one of the last humans putting up a fight against an alien species called Souls. These parasites invade human bodies, fuse to each person’s consciousness and systematically erase their personalities. Melanie is captured by the aliens and implanted by a Soul called Wanderer, something of a legend because of all of the “hosts” she has attached to on numerous planets. Wanderer’s goal is to get Melanie to give up the remaining pockets of humans, but instead the alien finds Melanie to be unique in her unwillingness to surrender her consciousness. Wanderer is so overwhelmed by Melanie’s memories and feelings, the alien is driven to reconnect with Melanie’s old life.

The concept is more of a visual challenge than Meyer’s Twilight Saga books, but one thing they plan is for Ronan to play both Melanie and Wanderer. Meyer’s book has an enormous fan base, and the author had long resisted offers to sell it. She finally made a deal two years ago with producers Nick Wechsler and Steve and Paula Mae Schwartz, who’d done the adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road together. They deliberately developed the script outside the studio system, and invited the author to be very hands on in the adaptation. Meyer was involved down to choosing Niccol because she was such a fan of his films Gattaca and his script for The Truman Show. Niccol wrote the script to direct, but left to direct Now with Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried and Cillian Murphy. Nanny McPhee Returns director Susanna White was briefly attached, but that isn’t happening. Niccol, now done with his film, is once again in the mix as possible helmer. Inferno’s Marc Butan, Jim Seibel and Bill Johnson are exec producing and Roger Schwartz is co-producer. The film’s being funded by the producers and Inferno.

Meyer and Wechsler will attend the festival to present the project to buyers with the Inferno team.

Comments (98)

  • loved the book, love this choice. good get.

    Comment by STOKED — Tuesday May 3, 2011 @ 10:55am PDT  
  • This is perfect casting and a really cool project. Can’t wait to see the movie!

    Comment by Alex — Tuesday May 3, 2011 @ 10:55am PDT  
  • I love love this book ! Awesome choice and it’s not going to be disappointing like the Twilight books.

    Comment by Sia — Tuesday May 3, 2011 @ 11:06am PDT  
  • such a great get!

    Comment by George — Tuesday May 3, 2011 @ 11:08am PDT  
  • This is going to be HUGE!!!!

    Love the books!

    The next big trilogy! I CANT WAIT!!

    Comment by TeamEdward — Tuesday May 3, 2011 @ 11:23am PDT  
    • The Next Big trilogy?? Which was the first big trilogy?
      Star Wars? Lord of the Rings? Bourne?

      Comment by Kabbe — Tuesday May 3, 2011 @ 12:28pm PDT  
    • books? It is one book! And twilight was better

      Comment by lora — Tuesday May 3, 2011 @ 12:54pm PDT  
      • Another source stated that Meyer’s is following up with a sequel to The Host. I hope not. Trilogies based on well-written books have the greatest chance to survive the adaption, but we all know Meyer isn’t capable of such a feat. Ronan, some advice: do this movie and forget about potential sequels. The only book franchise worth attaching yourself to is The Hobbit. Meyer is not Tolkien.

        Comment by John — Tuesday May 3, 2011 @ 8:04pm PDT  
      • The Host is the first in a planned trilogy, with the next two books being titled “The Soul” and “The Seeker”. I can’t wait for the movie, because for once I actually agree with the casting choice!

        It’s all opinion, but I feel that The Host was written much better than Twilight. *shrug*

        Comment by Liss — Wednesday May 4, 2011 @ 1:46am PDT  
  • So this movie is for the crowd that’s not familiar with The Body Snatchers and Heinlen’s The Puppet Masters?

    Comment by Captain Awesome — Tuesday May 3, 2011 @ 11:26am PDT  
    • +1 Captain Awesome. My thoughts exactly.

      Comment by iDuckie — Tuesday May 3, 2011 @ 2:10pm PDT  
      • +1 Does Meyer have any original ideas? Or she just assumes (correctly) that her teenage girl fanbase doesnt know squat about the scifi classics.

        Comment by Kabbe — Wednesday May 4, 2011 @ 12:09am PDT  
        • Teenagers??this series has broken all age barriers….twimoms and over 40 groups are everywhere in love with Twilight…the Host is just as good if not better…Stephanie Meyer knows how to spin a tell an make you fall in love with her characters

          Comment by TwiGirl — Friday May 6, 2011 @ 10:32am PDT  
          • Just b/c all these tweens and moms are stupid, doesn’t mean that Meyer isn’t ripping off her stuff from often FAR superior source material. In this case, she is smart enough to know most of these chicks have never read good sci-fi.

            Thank goodness I had a great dad who was is very into sci-fi. I don’t have to stoop to Meyer’s drivel (yes, I am a chick).

            Comment by Lala — Friday May 6, 2011 @ 1:17pm PDT  
          • News flash to some people almost every idea has been done in some way or another the key is doing it your way(which she does). The resaon why Stephenie says it is sifi for people who don’t like it is because the whole alien taking over a human body is only a story line to speak about human emotions and what it means to be in love. This is a movie about characters and i really hope all the acters and actrists they choose can act.

            Comment by Anonymous — Saturday November 5, 2011 @ 5:41pm PDT  
        • I have seen the classics.. I found the Host to be more about relationships and what someone would do to help, save and get back to the people she loves. the sci-fi part was soooooo small its almost irrelevent.

          Comment by amy — Thursday May 12, 2011 @ 5:41pm PDT  
  • Sucks. It will bomb for sure. Meyers without her charismatic intense love story vampire and human girl….is nada. No one cares. Mainly because shes a terrible writer. The only thing she got was the very visceral teen angst love story between bella and edward. Seriously. Wait and see.

    Comment by Yawn — Tuesday May 3, 2011 @ 11:35am PDT  
    • Uh, the Host is a love story. The reason the alien is drawn to the human’s life is because she was intensely in love with one of the survivors, and it becomes a love triangle between the human and the alien for the guy.

      Why did you think she would give up her formula?

      Comment by dan — Tuesday May 3, 2011 @ 3:35pm PDT  
    • you’re joking. Twilight was crap teenagers spoke like they were in 19th century Victorian era (I don’t mean the vamps) N o21st century teenager uses the word irrovocably

      Comment by Anonymous — Tuesday May 3, 2011 @ 4:03pm PDT  
      • Seriously, do you think teenagers are simply braindead?

        Comment by shabail — Tuesday May 3, 2011 @ 11:25pm PDT  
        • oh, i don’t just think it…

          Comment by haha — Friday May 6, 2011 @ 1:18pm PDT  
      • Well, she WAS a classic lit fan…

        Not disagreeing with you though. I enjoyed Twilight, but it was pretty badly written.

        Comment by Liss — Wednesday May 4, 2011 @ 1:47am PDT  
    • no way will this bomb….if they stick to The Host the way it was written this will be a box office hit….suspence, romance,lovable characters, and forget a love triangle you get a love a square— you gotta read it—good love stories are Meyers specialty…meyers books are like Lays potato chips they are so good you cant read it just once…you want to devour her love stories over and over again

      Comment by TwiGirl — Friday May 6, 2011 @ 10:58am PDT  
  • Wohoo!! Another amazing movie about strong and independent women on quests for self-discovery. Stephenie Meyer is an icon and one of the strongest feminist voices in contemporary cinema with really iconic strong, empowered and sexy female heroines in all of her masterful novels – Kristen Stewart and now Saoirse Ronan.

    Comment by Carly Jameson — Tuesday May 3, 2011 @ 11:36am PDT  
    • ….Are you for real?

      Comment by Richard — Tuesday May 3, 2011 @ 11:42am PDT  
    • Do you know what feminism is? Do some research, then think about this again. Probably doesn’t fit.

      Comment by Ashley — Tuesday May 3, 2011 @ 12:21pm PDT  
    • Female protagonist is not the same thing as feminist. Meyer’s female leads don’t even fit a conservative definition of feminist.

      Comment by Anonymous — Tuesday May 3, 2011 @ 12:52pm PDT  
    • First of all, if Meyer is a voice of anything, it’s contemporary young adult literature – not cinema. She writes books; she doesn’t make movies. Secondly, I think you’re confused about the meaning of feminism if you think Meyer is at all a proponent of it.

      Comment by Anonymous — Wednesday May 4, 2011 @ 11:13am PDT  
    • you cannot call be a strong feminist and devout Mormon at the same time. Just isn’t possible.

      Comment by what — Friday May 6, 2011 @ 1:19pm PDT  
  • No Edward and Bella = stephenie who?

    Comment by Please — Tuesday May 3, 2011 @ 11:38am PDT  
  • I like Ronan, but she’s not exactly box office. Her last big wide released movie, ‘hanna’ bombed – no one saw it.

    Comment by Interesting — Tuesday May 3, 2011 @ 11:41am PDT  
    • 12 mil opening weekend and a #2 is hardly a bomb dude, it’s pushing 40 mil domestic…way to make proclamations without having any facts. I’d wager if you asked anyone involved in Hanna they would say they were quite pleased with the domestic bo. It was a tricky genre and focus did a nice job of marketing it.

      Comment by double take — Tuesday May 3, 2011 @ 12:24pm PDT  
      • nobody wants to see a story about a female teenage assasin. that’s what sunk kick ass (although i actually like the film).

        stephenie meyer’s films sell based on her name, not the actors who populate her films. her fans will even support her films even if the films blow big chunks. this has been proven repeatedly since the first twilight movie came out.

        The Host was a huge book. it doesn’t matter whose cast in the film. this chick was picked so they can tap into aussie money.

        Comment by dudette — Tuesday May 3, 2011 @ 1:11pm PDT  
        • Why the aussie money? Saoirse Ronan is Irish?? or am i not getting something here? lol

          Comment by Lizzie — Tuesday May 3, 2011 @ 3:18pm PDT  
        • You’re just as uninformed as the OP who said Hanna bombed. Whoever did the casting took notes on Twilight and decided to have their lead actress NOT suck at acting. They could’ve gone for an unknown who looked the part, but everyone knows half the battle into making a memorable film is acting. They succeeded so far in landing Ronan.

          Comment by John — Wednesday May 4, 2011 @ 9:00am PDT  
        • Both Kick-Ass and Hanna did well; somebody wants to see a female teen assassin film.

          Comment by roddymartindale — Friday May 6, 2011 @ 11:16am PDT  
        • Kick-Ass and Hanna both did well. Someone wants to see such a film.

          Comment by roddymartindale — Friday May 6, 2011 @ 11:27am PDT  
    • What do you want, Miley Cyrus?

      Comment by B — Tuesday May 3, 2011 @ 12:37pm PDT  
    • Actually, Hanna did not bomb.. It’s still in the top 10 of the current running movies. I’ve seen the movie 3 times. First time was 2 weeks after it’s release, and the theaters have been packed each time.

      Comment by Bryce — Tuesday May 3, 2011 @ 1:08pm PDT  
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