How does a writer follow an international bestselling series of novels that spawned a record-breaking film franchise? If you're Stephenie Meyer, you try doing it again.
Stephenie Meyer published "The Host" in 2008 in between the releases of the "Twilight" books "Eclipse" and "Breaking Dawn." The book hit #1 on the "New York Times" Best Seller list, where it spent 26 weeks on the chart. But where "Twilight" has its roots in the fantasy genre, "The Host" is Meyer's take on science fiction.
In "The Host," the Earth has been invaded by alien "souls" which enter human bodies and take over their minds. An alien called Wanderer inhabits the body of 21-year-old Melanie Stryder, but "Mel" has other ideas. Wanderer discovers she retains Mel's memories, emotions, and desires, and they often come in conflict with her own. Melanie loves Jared, one of the humans fighting the alien invasion, but Wanderer develops feelings for another man, Ian. Together, Mel and Wanderer must discover if there is a way their two races can coexist on our planet.
The teaser trailer gives us just a glimpse of Melanie/Wanderer, played in the movie by Irish actress Saoirse Ronan. Ronan is a few weeks away from her eighteenth birthday, but she has already racked up some very impressive credits. She was only 13 when she earned a Best Supporting Actress nomination for 2007's "Atonement." She followed it with leading roles in "The Lovely Bones," "The Way Back" and last year's "Hanna."
Stephenie Meyer wrote on her blog that she and the other producers of the film worried that they would not be able to find one actress who could play the two distinct roles of Melanie and Wanderer. Then, she said, "Saoirse came along and we all quit worrying." Meyer also expressed her pleasure with the writer/director of "The Host," Andrew Niccol, who also made her favorite sci-fi movie, "Gattaca."
"The Host" has only been filming for just over a month, which is why there isn't much footage in the trailer. But among the faces in the teaser are six fans of the book who won a contest to be included. The four young women and two men had their photos spliced into the trailer, and you can learn more about them on the movie's Facebook page.
"The Host" will descend into movie theaters on March 29, 2013.