“Soon, there wouldn’t be any kids, anywhere.” So begins the tantalizing first trailer for Jennifer Yuh Nelson’s upcoming big screen adaptation “The Darkest Minds.” Based on Alexandra Bracken’s novel of the same name, the film offers up a teen-centric dystopian vision that’s mostly been missing from the movie marketplace since the last “Divergent” film didn’t even make it in into theaters. It’s no surprise then that the book series — which now includes three novels and three novellas — was first published at the height of the YA dystopian craze, and perhaps the movie version can reignite interest in turning the fertile literary category into big box office bucks.
Yuh Nelson’s film has at least one big ace up its sleeve: star Amandla Stenberg, who first broke out in the original “Hunger Games” film as darling competitor Rue. The “Everything, Everything” actress now has her very own YA feature to lead, which comes complete with a timely edge about the power of the youth.
Of course, it’s wrapped up in a very big idea. Bracken’s novels pick up in a future world where a vicious illness has either killed off the youth or ignited strange powers inside them. Stenberg’s character, Ruby, has been a victim of the latter, and while it sounds good to be alive when so many others have passed away, in the world of “The Darkest Minds,” it’s worse then death. Shipped off to a rehabilitation camp after her powers did something bad, Ruby eventually breaks loose in hopes of joining up with what might be the last free group of teens (including “Beach Rats” breakout Harris Dickinson), but running can only take them so far.
Per the film’s official synopsis, “Sixteen-year-old Ruby, one of the most powerful young people anyone has encountered, escapes her camp and joins a group of runaway teens seeking safe haven. Soon this newfound family realizes that, in a world in which the adults in power have betrayed them, running is not enough and they must wage a resistance, using their collective power to take back control of their future.” The film also stars Mandy Moore and Gwendoline Christie.
Check out the first trailer for “The Darkest Minds” below.
“The Darkest Minds” opens on August 3.