Since the end of Lionsgate's massively successful Hunger Games franchise, the world of YA film adaptations has come to a bit of a standstill. Even successful franchises like The Maze Runner or Divergent fizzled out with their last few outings. While fans' interests seem to have moved from YA franchises to the realm of superheroes, there's still quite a lot of material left for studios to turn into blockbuster films or television series. Here's a list of ten YA series that could be the next Hunger Games if adapted properly, and what format they'd be best suited for.
10 Percy Jackson and the Olympians- Television Series Remake
Percy Jackson has had a rough time in the realm of live-action. While his ongoing fantasy book series was a critical and commercial success, Percy's two feature films landed with a resounding thud. Not even Chris Columbus, director of the first two Harry Potter movies, could salvage the first outing, and its subsequent sequel was even more poorly received. However, there may still be some life in this Potter-esque tale of Greek Gods and mythological monsters. If Netflix or another streaming service were to pick up this property for a series, they could flesh out all of the grey areas from the film and more faithfully tell this tale of Gods and Monsters.
9 Alex Rider- Television Series Remake
Another character who flirted with a live-action franchise was Alex Rider, star of Anthony Horowitz's series of the same name. Following the exploits of the teen as he is recruited into MI6, the books dealt with realistic threats like international terrorism and chemical attacks, and also had a fair share of death. Unfortunately, the film adaptation suffered from many of the same problems as Percy Jackson: a lack of stakes, a film designed to appeal to young children, and a misunderstanding of why audiences responded to the character on the page. A television series could fix many of the same problems, allowing the filmmakers to more fully explore Alex as a character and ramp-up to some of his bigger, more explosive arcs as the series goes on. It seems the television gods agree, as an Alex Rider television series went into production in April.
8 The Demonata- Film or Television Series
Budding horror fans had more than a few spooky series to choose from in the early 2000's, but none were more gruesome and action-packed than author Darren Shan's Demonata series. Following a trio of characters in different time periods as they fight demons of all shapes and sizes, the novels were an endlessly entertaining mix of demonic gore, magical action, and apocalyptic mayhem. A television series would probably be the best route in adapting this title, but a feature film series with a decent budget would allow the makers to bring some of the monstrous demonic creatures to more vivid life.
7 The Wolves of Mercy Falls- Film Series
Who doesn't love a good supernatural love story? One of the best supernatural romances of late would have to be The Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater. Told from varying perspectives, the series most closely follows the exploits of Samuel K. Roth and Grace Brisbane, a werewolf and human respectively. After a wolf attack in their small town of Mercy Falls, tensions begin to rise between the werewolves and humans, just as their romance begins to fully materialize. It's a gripping series, primed for a big-screen adaptation, with a plethora of werewolf action and a romance that feels much more believable than Stephanie Meyers' Vampire/Human pairing.
6 Cirque Du Freak- Television Series Remake
Another success from "Stephen King for Teens" Darren Shan, is his most famous work, the Cirque Du Freak series. Yet another title that has already been saddled with a terrible live-action film, Cirque Du Freak follows the saga of teenager Darren Shan, a schoolkid turned into a half-vampire after stealing a rare spider from a traveling freakshow. But that's just the beginning, as Darren's journey into the dark world of vampires and monsters has him constantly facing perilous situations and moral quandaries. The series was so much better than it's live-action feature film, but as a television series, filmmakers could adapt Darren's tale more faithfully, exploring all the weird corners of this unique universe and tackling some of the more adult themes present in the novels.
5 The Power of Five (aka The Gatekeepers)- Film Series
Another Anthony Horowitz hit, The Power of Five (known as The Gatekeepers in the US) is decidedly more teen-oriented in its content, but in a world where The Hunger Games can become a phenomenon, this series should do just fine as a film franchise. It's not your typical YA series, reveling in themes of the occult, ritual sacrifice and all manner of the macabre. But the adventures of Matthew Freeman and "The Five" as they battle the forces of darkness are thrilling, and a dash of dark magic may be exactly what the YA film world needs right now.
4 Ashes- Television Series
If there's one horror trope that just won't die, it's zombies. Whether from infection, supernatural interference or, in the case of the Ashes novels by Ilsa J. Blick, an EMP, zombies have remained as entertaining now as they were when they debuted in George Romero's Night of the Living Dead over 50 years ago. Following a ragtag group of survivors living in an apocalyptic landscape, Ashes has more than a few tricks up its sleeve to differentiate it from other stories of the undead. Featuring humans with enhanced senses, a protagonist who's struggle with terminal illness gives her fight for survival extra weight, and zombies unlike any that have been seen before, Ashes could easily join The Walking Dead as the pinnacle of undead television.
3 Paper Girls- Television Series
With the success of Stephen Kings IT and Stranger Things, audiences of late seem drawn to the aesthetic of late-80's coming-of age-stories. The "Kids on Bikes Hunting Monsters" subgenre, if you will. Image Comics' Paper Girls fits right alongside the aforementioned titles, centering its story around the titular group of pre-teen paper girls who find themselves caught in the middle of a conflict between two warring factions of time-travelers. It's a fun, feminist spin on the coming-of-age story, the characters are unique and memorable, and the setting is familiar without feeling like a retread. Like Alex Rider, networks have already seen this title's potential, as Amazon announced in July that Paper Girls would be headed to the small screen.
2 The Inheritance Cycle- Television Series Reboot
2006's Eragon was one of the biggest misfires of the decade. A meandering mess of a film, cramming so much plot and lazy world-building into its 103-minute runtime that it's no wonder none of the central characters feel fleshed out. It's truly a shame too, because the book series it was based on, while hardly original, is a fun and fast-paced adventure through a passably interesting fantasy world. Should studios take another pass at adapting Christopher Paolini's Dragon Rider novels, this time as a television series, it could fill the void left by Game of Thrones and possibly lean harder into the darker and more violent action that pops up in later books. There's a great and highly cinematic story buried in The Inheritance Cycle, and with the right creative team behind it, it could excel to top-tier fantasy status.
1 The Underland Chronicles- Film Series
While everyone knows and loves The Hunger Games, author Suzanne Collins' previous series of fantasy novels, The Underland Chronicles, is criminally under-appreciated in comparison. The series follows young Gregor, who falls down his laundry chute into a subterranean world of giant bats, mice, rats, and other assorted creatures. It's a rich fantasy world, on par with Harry Potter as a coming-of-age series, and one that deals with some very adult themes once the conflict between the humans that dwell under the surface and the bloodthirsty rats comes to fruition. The cast is expansive, the Underland is filled with creepy creatures and unique locations that would keep audiences hooked, and the action is gripping and intense. A film series, given the same care and attention to detail as the Potter franchise, would undoubtedly connect with the modern movie audience. If any studio wants to take a gamble, this is one property that's primed to be the next great YA fantasy film series.