Few film categories have become more densely populated in recent years than the Young Adult genre. Seriously, we can only watch the same, sanitized, dystopian world before all of these films start to blend together. It's a hard world to stand out in, but that's exactly what Paul Haggis intends to do. The legendary director recently opened up and provided some insight into his upcoming adaptation of Paolo Bacigalupi's Ship Breaker, and it sounds like it's going to be one of the most intense YA adaptations ever.
Director Paul Haggis recently spoke to THR and provided more information regarding his upcoming adaptation of Ship Breaker. It seems that he found himself drawn to the $100 million film (the first installment in a planned trilogy) because he wanted to take on a project that would take a hard look at environmental issues and the topic of global warming. At its core, the story of Ship Breaker centers on a future version of human society that has no real knowledge of the events of the 21st century, and such an idea resonated with Haggis and his concerns about these real world issues.
The overarching premise of the Ship Breaker story sounds far more intense than the average YA adaptations that we typically see these days. Taking place hundreds of years in the future, the story centers on a dystopian version of our world in which global warming has wreaked havoc on the environment. Sea levels have risen due to shifts in worldwide temperature, and major cities have vanished as a result of rising sea levels. The story follows a young boy named Nailer who tries to survive by scavenging derelict ships for supplies, while also coping with an abusive, alcoholic father at home.
For Haggis, the ultimate appeal seems to be the opportunity tackle a story about major ecological issues in a way that audiences might actually respond to. This isn't his first foray into the realm of topical drama -- his wholly underrated 2007 film, In the Valley of Elah similarly took a hard-hitting look at the mentality of soldiers returning from Iraq -- but he thinks Ship Breaker could really be a chance for him to frame this particular issue properly.
What makes the prospect of a Ship Breaker film so interesting is the fact that it's a generally much darker story than the average YA adaptation. Sure, projects like The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner broach some dark topics, but Ship Breaker is one of the darker Young Adult novel series in recent memory. Much of this has to do with the fact that writer Paolo Bacigalupi is actually known for writing adult oriented material, and Ship Breaker really represents his first major foray into the YA world.
CinemaBlend will bring you any and all relevant details related to Paul Haggis' upcoming Ship Breaker adaptation as more information becomes available to us. At this point only one thing is certain: Ship Breaker could be exactly what the Young Adult genre needs right now.