A week after Deadline told you that upstart distributor Open Road had closed a splashy deal for the Andrew Niccol-directed adaptation of Twilight Saga author Stephenie Meyer’s scifi novel The Host, Open Road has confirmed the scoop. They’ve also dated the film for Easter weekend 2013 release, with the film opening March 29. The film stars Saoirse Ronan. Here’s the official confirmation:
Los Angeles, CA, June 27, 2011 – Open Road Films has acquired U.S. distribution rights to “The Host,” the big screen adaptation of Twilight series author Stephenie Meyer’s best-selling novel. As previously announced, “The Host” will be directed by Andrew Niccol (“Gattaca”), who also wrote the screenplay, and will star Saoirse Ronan (“Hanna,” “The Lovely Bones,” “Atonement”). Open Road Films has set a March 29, 2013 release date (Easter weekend) for “The Host.”
“The Host” producers are Nick Wechsler, Chockstone Pictures’ Paula Mae Schwartz and Steve Schwartz, and Stephenie Meyer. Marc Butan, Jim Siebel, and Bill Johnson of Inferno Entertainment, which is handling international sales, are executive producers. Claudia Bluemhuber of Silver Reel, which is providing mezzanine financing, is also an executive producer. Roger Schwartz and Lizzy Bradford are co-producers.
Principal photography is scheduled to being in February 2012 in Louisiana and New Mexico, in anticipation of the wide release on March 29, 2013.
“The Host” is a riveting story about the survival of love and the human spirit in a time of war. Our world has been invaded by an unseen enemy. Humans become hosts for these invaders, their minds taken over while their bodies remain intact. Most of humanity has succumbed.
When Melanie, one of the few remaining “wild” humans, is captured, she is certain it is her end. Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body, was warned about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the glut of senses, the too-vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn’t expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.
When outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off on a dangerous and uncertain search for the man they both love.
The Host, published in 2008, was Stephenie Meyer’s highly anticipated follow-up to the wildly popular and acclaimed Twilight series. The book was #1 on The New York Times Bestseller List for 26 weeks. The “Twilight” film franchise, based on Stephenie Meyer’s beloved and best-selling novels, has grossed over $1.4 billion in worldwide box office ticket sales to date.
Regarding Open Road Films, Stephenie Meyer’s stated, “I’m thrilled to be adding another fantastic partner to an already amazing group. Everyone involved has so much passion for the project. It really is a dream team.”
“We are privileged to partner with Stephenie Meyer and the rest of the filmmaking team for the release of ‘The Host,” added Tom Ortenberg, CEO of Open Road Films. “Nick Wechsler is a terrific producer and a long time friend and we are honored to be working with Nick and Stephenie – and the wonderful minds of Steve and Paula Mae Schwartz – to bring this epic story of hope to the big screen.”
Producers Nick Wechsler, Steve Schwartz and Paula Mae Schwartz commented, “We are excited about the passion that Tom Ortenberg and Open Road Films has shown for ‘The Host,’ and we think this is a great opportunity to be partnered with AMC and Regal at the beginning of their new joint venture.”
The deal was negotiated on behalf of Open Road Films by Ortenberg, General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Operations and Business Affairs, Elliott Kleinberg, and Senior Vice President of Acquistions Ben Cotner. Rena Ronson of UTA’s Independent Film Group and David Fox of Myman Greenspan Fineman Fox Light LLP, along with Philip Strina of Inferno, negotiated on behalf of the filmmakers.