Cannes 2011: Andrew Niccol re-set to helm THE HOST

Kate Erbland

by: Kate Erbland
May 12th, 2011

Though this is not surprising news, it's certainly reassuring news. After penning the script for the adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's The Host, writer and director Andrew Niccol had to drop out of actually directing the film. For awhile, Susanna White was attached to direct, until she too dropped out. Now Deadline reports that Niccol is back in to helm the film, recently set to star Saoirse Ronan, bringing expectations for the project higher than they've ever been.

This news comes out of Cannes, where the film is being offered to buyers by Inferno Entertainment and producers Nick Wechsler and Steve Schwartz and Paula Mae Schwartz.

Meyer reportedly picked Niccol to script the book due to her liking his film GATTACA and his THE TRUMAN SHOW script. He had to originally back out of directing the film due to scheduling conflicts with his latest project, NOW. THE HOST will star Ronan in a dual role as both human Melanie Stryder and alien Wanderer, as the alien takes over the human's body, leading to a number of complications when Melanie won't just give over herself to the invading "Soul." Niccol's involvement with the script was already heartening, but now that he's back on board as director, I hope that the film will really embrace the interesting sci-fi elements of the book (elements that another director may have shunted aside in order to spend more time on the "love square" that also develops within the story).

When it comes to sales, Kimberly Fox, Inferno’s President of International Sales said, “Having Andrew at the helm for us is incredibly invigorating as he truly shares Stephenie’s vision on this film...We literally began sales this week and the response from the international community, and from domestic buyers, has been beyond our highest expectations. We expect to have every territory in the world sold out very shortly, and then it’s about getting to the exciting part of making the movie.”

With talent like Niccol and Ronan attached, Fox is definitely right. No word yet on further casting, but expect that to come out sooner rather than later.

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