Movie News: Underland Chronicles

April 1st, 2014 by

Gregor the OverlanderWith all the hype around the Hunger Games movies, it was surely just a matter of time before Hollywood would make a film of Suzanne Collins’ other book series, The Underland Chronicles (aka the Gregor books).

Well, the big announcement has finally come: no word on the release date yet, but an adaptation of the first book in the series, Gregor the Overlander, will definitely be hitting theaters at some point in the future!

But they’d better hurry up and shoot the movie fast because Josh Hutcherson and Jennifer Lawrence have been cast as the leads, Gregor and Luxa!

It certainly seems like a strange choice because the characters are 11 years old, whereas the actors are both in their 20s. But the movie studio that’s doing the adaptation addressed their casting decision in this way:

“Whenever you cast iconic book characters, there will be some backlash from the fans. It seemed a natural fit to ask Josh and Jennifer to take on the roles of Gregor and Luxa because they’re already a known quantity to Suzanne Collins’ readers. Not only that, they’re two of Hollywood’s brightest young stars who have already proven their acting chops and their appeal in the Hunger Games movies.”

Makes sense, we suppose… And we can only imagine that same logic applied to the rest of the casting, plus a few surprises:

  • Woody Harrelson as Ripred
  • Elizabeth Banks as Solovet
  • Donald Sutherland as Vikus
  • Willow Shields as Lizzie
  • Sam Claflin as Henry
  • Liam Hemsworth as Boots

It is quite puzzling that Liam Hemsworth was cast as Gregor’s 2-year-old sister, Boots… but we’re so excited about the film we’re willing to just go with it.

In addition, how the Underland’s fantastical creatures will be represented will be a fresh new take, a source close to the Art Director stated:

“Well, elaborate state-of-the-art computer generated creatures has already been done in movies like The Hobbit, and while hand puppets were considered, I know for a fact that they started rehearsals on interpretive dance. So, none of the fliers will actually fly, but you’ll really see them fly through the magic of imagination!”

What about you? Do you agree with the casting? Leave a comment and let us know who you would cast if you had the choice. Also, leave a comment and tell us whether you believed a single word that we said because guess what —

April Fools!

(In other words, this is all fake! Did we getcha?)


— Karen and Nancy

P.S. — We do really want to see movies of this series some day. So if you’re like us, well, sorry if we got your hopes up!

Above Us, Olympus. Below Ground, the Underland.

August 9th, 2009 by

The first book in The Underland Chronicles

In my last post, I railed against the claim that Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series is a rip-off of Harry Potter. But I have to admit that when I read PJTO, I did notice some similarities to a different series: the Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins.

Don’t get me wrong — I am in no way suggesting that PJ is a copy of Underland, or even that one is better than the other. The truth is, PJ and Underland currently tie for my second favorite series (after HP, of course).

But I bring this up because I think Underland doesn’t get nearly the attention it deserves, and so there’s a good chance you’ve never read the books. Well, fear not — Kidsmomo to the rescue! I’m here to tell you that if you’re a PJTO fan, you should definitely give Underland a try.

What, my word’s not enough to convince you? Well, here’s a side-by-side comparison to entice you:

PJTO Underland
Regular kid who’s thrown headfirst into a crazy adventure Percy Gregor
Important prophecies (usually annoyingly difficult to interpret) From the Oracle Carved into stone by Bartholomew of Sandwich
Feisty love (like?) interest Annabeth Luxa
Creatures not of our world Minotaur, Sphinx, centaurs, and hellhounds, just to name a few Giant roaches, bats, mice, and rats (all perfectly capable of talking with humans)
Tension that turns into all-out war Gods vs. Titans Humans vs. Rats
A “friend” who betrays the hero at the end of Book 1 Yeah, right — I can’t tell you everything!

So, what are you waiting for? Go underground and give Gregor a chance! (And after you read The Underland Chronicles and love it, please remember that I accept thanks in the form of cash and/or chocolate.)

— Karen