It's been a few years since Edgar Wright told San Diego Comic-Con about his plans to direct Grasshopper Jungle, an adaption of Andrew Smith's YA novel that deals with teenage sexual confusion and the apocalyptic insects that can unleash. But now we're finally getting some forward momentum, as New Regency is in final negotiations to pick up the film.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, New Regency outbid a slew of competing production companies for the project, which was set up at Sony with Wright directing, Matt Tolmach (Spider-Man: Homecoming) producing, and Scott Rosenberg (Con Air) writing. Wright is apparently hot right now, as his upcoming film Baby Driver is buzzing after successful previews at SXSW and Cinema-Con. While Wright already seems quite popular to me, THR notes that he's "poised for a mainstream breakthrough" with the action thriller due out this June.
So perhaps that's what prompted the bidding war for the project.But it's likely also got a lot to do with just how well suited Wright feels for Smith's YA coming-of-age tale about sexual awakening and entomology, two great themes that go great together. But it's about more than that... like a whole lot more: "Good books are always about everything," says Austin Szerba, as quoted in the book trailer below (which seems like more of a book teaser).
Austin Szerba is the book's main character, a curious teen growing up in a half-abandoned town in Iowa. As if being named Austin in Iowa isn't confusing enough, here's what else he's contending with, according to Smith's website.
In the small town of Ealing, Iowa, Austin and his best friend Robby have accidentally unleashed an unstoppable army. An army of horny, hungry, six-foot-tall praying mantises that only want to do two things. This is the truth. This is history. It’s the end of the world. And nobody knows anything about it. You know what I mean. Funny, intense, complex, and brave, Grasshopper Jungle brilliantly weaves together everything from testicle-dissolving genetically modified corn to the struggles of recession-era, small-town America in this groundbreaking coming-of-age stunner.
I may be avoiding the popcorn for this one, but otherwise, count me in; this could be right in Wright's wheelhouse. Don't you think?