Summit Entertainment acquired the rights to adapt The Night Circus – a young adult fantasy novel – about a year ago.
The studio finally found its screenwritter in veteran Victorian romance penner Moira Buffini, who is responsible for the film adaptation of Jane Eyre. She also wrote the upcoming Byzantium, another drama with gothic elements.
The Night Circus is yet another attempt to capitalize on the film-going audiences’ current fascination with young adult, urban fantasy novels, which began with the Harry Potter franchise, and continued through the Twilight films, both of which are now finished.
The Hunger Games is definitely another contender for the niche, and several others, like the His Dark Materials franchise – for which The Golden Compass was intended to only be the first of three films – have failed to capture the audiences’ attention.
This one is about a pair of teenaged magicians who run with Le Cirque des Rêves, a magical circus which appears for only one night at a time.
The story feels perfectly formulated to appeal to the current obsession, taking strong plot elements from each of three the most successful franchises. It has wizards, like Harry Potter; star-crossed lovers, like Twilight; and a fight to the death, like Hunger Games.
Here’s the synopsis for the novel:
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.
True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.
No production or release dates have yet been announced for The Night Circus.