The imminent end of the Harry Potter film franchise “ the final film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II is scheduled for release in 2011 “ has Hollywood types scurrying to secure other family friendly literary properties to fill the looming void . Steven Spielberg is working on a film version of the popular Tintin books, and Peter Jackson Guillermo del Toro is directing an adaptation of Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Other YA fare currently on Hollywood’s radar include R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series of ‘tween horror stories and Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times.
The Times reports:
All the movie studios are hunting for existing properties with tested concepts — at least as books — that can be turned into films, though none exist on the scale of J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter,” with its more than 400 million copies in print and vast cultural footprint.
But the films must hit a sweet spot that is deceptively difficult to find: They can’t skew too young or too old. And the marketing must clearly tell parents what to expect, studio executives say.
That elusive crossover appeal is what the studios most crave according to Alan Horn of Warner Bros., also quoted in the Times article: “There’s an attraction to having global interest and appeal to as many quadrants as possible, male and female, young and old.”
Quillblog isn’t sure which is more distressing: the ongoing infantalization of our culture, or the fact that, as audiences, we’re now being slotted into “quadrants.”
UPDATE: Quillblog’s nerd-o-meter apparently failed with the above post. It has been pointed out that Guillermo del Toro is directing the film version of The Hobbit, and Peter Jackson is producing. Quillblog regrets the error.