David Slade’s talent has a director has been spread across various genres and mediums. In addition to directing The Twilight Saga: Eclipse he also directed an episode of Breaking Bad and the pilot episode of the unfortunately short-lived NBC drama Awake. And then, of course, there’s the 2005 film Hard Candy, a creepy thriller starring Ellen Page, which easily makes my list of movies I’d recommend to those who can handle dark material and don’t have a weak stomach, but doubt I’d ever be able to watch again. That’s actually meant as a compliment. Coming up for Slade is the pilot episode of NBC’s upcoming series Hannibal, and then it seems he’s headed back to young adult territory.
According to THR, Disney has tapped Slade to direct the adaptation of Ally Condie’s young adult novel Matched, based on a script written by Michelle and Kieran Mulroney. Condie’s novel is set in the future in a world where various aspects of people’s lives are dictated by a group called The Society. This includes having a Matching ceremony to determine a person’s ideal mate. The lead character is Cassia, a young woman who doubts her Match and considers choosing her own path.
Slade’s experience directing the third Twilight film supports the idea that he can handle the young adult genre, but Hard Candy might be a better evidence of his ability to direct a story focused on a female lead. I doubt Cassia is quite as intense as Ellen Page’s Hayley (and considering this is a Disney film based on a YA novel, it seems unlikely that the content will be nearly as dark as the 2005 pedophile-focused thriller), but Hard Candy showed us what Slade could do with a talent like Page, back before movies like Juno and X-Men: The Last Stand earned her more mainstream attention. On that note, I’ll be interested to see who’s brought in to star in this adaptation.