With The Hunger Games over and done with, Divergent petering out the rest of its life span as a TV movie, and Twilight leaving the door open for some necromantic resurrection, the battle to be the next YA sensation still wages on. Not satisfied with The Maze Runner being their only stake in the game, Fox has just started putting together a team for a film version of Alexandra Bracken's The Darkest Minds trilogy. And taking the lead actor's slot is someone who's had some experience in the business herself: The Hunger Games' Amandla Stenberg.
Better known as Rue, the fallen tribute from District 11 who befriended Katniss Everdeen in 2012's The Hunger Games, Stenberg has taken the role of Ruby Daly, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Ruby's powers come from an epidemic that kills off the majority of the children and teenagers in the Darkest Minds universe. Much like the other surviving young people who survived the mass wave of illness, Ruby is incarcerated in an internment camp for super powered teens, and naturally attempts to escape. The Darkest Minds was the series' 2013 debut, with Never Fade releasing in 2014 and In The After Light obviously closing off the series in 2015.
This latest gig is only a further signal of Amandla Stenberg's rising career, as she's also been on TV in shows like Sleepy Hollow and Mr. Robinson. Her film career hasn't slumped though, as she's been heard as a voice in Rio 2, and also has As You Are and Everything Everything in the pipeline for release within the next year. Of course, as many other YA franchises have discovered over the past decade plus of their feature film existence, it's easier said than done predicting the next big teen flavored hit.
Reading through the brief mentions of the viral apocalypse that created the world The Darkest Minds takes place in, we're already reminded of The Maze Runner franchise, which also used a killer bug and entrapped young folks to spin a web of post-apocalyptic heroism. It's not exactly a one-on-one match, but it's similar enough to make us wonder why Fox would pick this franchise as its next foray into the YA blockbusters. It's still early days for The Darkest Minds, and Amandla Stenberg's casting is the start of what we assume will be a fast and frenzied casting process, so as to make the transition between this project and The Maze Runner as smooth as possible.
The Darkest Minds has no release or production schedule set as of yet, but as soon as we have any sorts of updates, we'll update you as soon as possible. Meanwhile, The Maze Runner: The Death Cure is scheduled for a January 12, 2018 release date.