Sony Riding 'Wave' of Stories for Young Women29 Feb, 2016 By: Stephanie Prange
There is a new 'Wave' joining such popular series for young women as "Twilight," "Hunger Games" and "Divergent."
Sony Pictures has rolled out The 5th Wave, based on the first in a trilogy of science-fiction books for young adults by Rick Yancey. The film follows 16-year-old Cassie Sullivan as she tries to survive in a world suffering from waves of alien attacks that have decimated Earth's population. Following alien-instigated loss of electricity, earthquakes, tsunamis and disease, Cassie is headed to a “training” camp established by the military to save her 5-year-old brother, Sam, who has been abducted.
Like the successful young heroine series before it, The 5th Wave features a typical young woman who discovers inner strength in unusual circumstances.
“Cassie Sullivan is a great heroine — but she’d never describe herself that way,” says Chloë Grace Moretz, who plays Cassie. “She’d say she’s just a girl who has lost her brother, and will do whatever it takes to get back to him.”
“I like how the strong female character is portrayed,” added series fan Kainoa Pawasarat, 17. “She’s strong in that she has to go through mentally and physically trying situations and does it all on her own.”
Cassie’s struggle is wider than just her experience. The book’s author, Rick Yancey, says that the book focuses on the universal themes that we all face.
“All my books, not just The 5th Wave, have to do with what makes us human,” Yancey says. “The thing that really appealed to me about this story was, when everything else has been stripped away, what are we left with? What are the important things? In the 21st century, we now have so many trappings, with so much technology, that take us one-step back from the human connection. In The 5th wave, all those things are taken away, and each character confronts in their own way, how do I deal with this new world? What are the things that really matter?”
The story is ultimately about love “in all its permutations,” Yancey says. Cassie is trying to reunite with family.
“The core of the film is really the breakup of one family and how they put it back together,” adds producer Graham King.
There are also romantic interests in the characters of Ben Parish and Evan Walker. Ben (played by Nick Robinson of Jurassic World) is the big man on campus who Cassie has a crush on, while Evan (newcover Alex Roe) is the serious, smart kid outsider studying mechanical engineering.
The film also stars acting veterans Liev Schrieber, Ron Livingston and Maria Bello, among others.
J Blakeson, who directs the film, says the science-fiction elements of the story are a device to get to deeper truths.
“I wanted to make this movie because it allows us to create this big concept with scope — like an alien invasion — and use it to tell a story about the emotions and problems of everyday life in a more interesting way,” he says.
“The story has all these incredible elements, but the thing that put it over the top for me was that it was set in a very understandable reality with a lead character that we all know,” says producer Matthew Plouffe. “At the start of the story, our hero, Cassie Sullivan, is the girl that sits next to you in high school and lives in Anytown, America.”
It’s a character with which fans of the series connect.
“I can relate to her because like me she is stubborn and independent, and she has to figure stuff out on her own,” young fan Pawasarat says.
The 5th Wave will be available soon on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital.