With the “Twilight” series’ end set to leave a massive hole in Summit Entertainment‘s slate and bottome line, the studio has been scouring the globe for adaptations in an attempt to retain the loyal young adult/teenage market it has garnered. One particular upcoming adaptation though — which the studio picked up earlier this year — looks to be bringing in all the right talent to attract that very market. Author Stephen Chbosky‘s adaptation of his own novel, “The Perks Of Being A Wallflower,” has ‘Harry Potter‘ star Emma Watson and ‘Percy Jackson‘ star Logan Lerman in the lead roles with Mae Whitman (“Arrested Development”) also on board.
The adaptation has now added Nina Dobrev, star of CW‘s ‘Twilight’-esque series “The Vampire Diaries,” to its cast in a “much sought-after lead role” with comedy vet Paul Rudd also confirmed for a supporting role following earlier rumors.
The story of ‘Wallflower’ isn’t exactly family-friendly but centering on a shy, unpopular teenager who, through a series of letters to an anonymous person, explores his awkward adolescence including drug use, abuse and sexuality in 1991 Pittsburgh. Its touchy subjects have even seen the novel placed sixth on the American Library Association’s list of the top 10 most frequently challenged books of 2008 though we imagine this might even help its box office causes rather than hindering them. Here’s a full synopsis via Amazon:
Charlie is a freshman. And while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it. Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But Charlie can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.
Chbosky’s second directorial effort (after 1995’s “The Four Corners Of Nowhere“) will, interestingly, be Watson’s first major role outside the ‘Harry Potter’ series. The actress has been focused on the aforementioned fantasy series and often contemplated retirement after its conclusion but it looks like the Chbosky adaptation was a big enough drawcard. Watson will play Sam, an older friend of Lerman’s Charlie; Whitman will portray Mary Elizabeth, a tattooed vegetarian; Dobrev is reportedly playing Candace, Charlie’s sister; while Rudd is rumored to playing Charlie’s English teacher, Bill.
Lensing is set to begin next month in Pittsburgh with thespian John Malkovich producing through his Mr. Mudd shingle along side Lianne Halfonand and Russell Smith.