Should Chloe Grace Moretz Go the YA Route? Too Late!

By  · Published on April 16th, 2014

Universal Pictures

Rising starlet (or, in this case, “starlette” might be more appropriate ‐ like a little tiny star, just beginning to shine) Chloe Grace Moretz hasn’t always made the most traditional of choices in her film career, though that’s not to say they’ve been bad choices. Yet the next segment of Mortez’s career, one that is now set to include starring in a multi-film YA adaptation about a girl in some terrible futuristic settings and situations, looks to be going in a direction that’s not just traditional ‐ it’s expected ‐ and that’s not necessarily a good thing.

Moretz certainly started off in an expected enough way, as her younger years were spent with small appearances on television shows and a series of horror films (including The Amityville Horror and Wicked Little Things), before turning her charms on for something a little offbeat. Moretz co-starred as the sassy younger sister in (500) Days of Summer, but the romantic comedy really took that sass to a new level ‐ Mortez’s Rachel was a wise-beyond-her-years tween who served as the central voice of reason. Sure, “sassy younger sister” sounds standard, but the role of Rachel was not.

From there, Moretz started making some bold (and, frankly, brave) choices.

Post-(500) Days of Summer, Moretz took on a pair of demanding roles: as Hit-Girl in the Kick-Ass series and as Abby in Let Me In, the American remake of the beloved Let the Right One In. As had been the case with Rachel, both roles remanded a level of maturity from Moretz that not every teen actor possesses (she was just thirteen when both films came out in 2010).

After those films, Moretz peppered her resume with a mix of both the darling (Hugo) and the unsettling (Hick), with a recent turn into darker territory. Last year, Moretz took on the lead role in the Carrie remake, before signing on for a bevy of tough material like Olivier Assayas’ Clouds of Sils Maria, the big screen version of Gillian Flynn’s “Dark Places,” and the remake of The Equalizer. (The one lighter feature in the mix is Laggies, a Sundance premiere about regressive tendencies that certainly sounds fun, but which is a bit strange and just plain worrisome in execution.)

But Moretz, for all her mature choices, is apparently not beyond signing up for the same type of thing that many of her peers have already done: the YA adaptation.

This week has already brought the first trailer for Moretz’s next outing ‐ a big screen adaptation of a beloved YA book, albeit one that doesn’t involve any sort of dystopian future or battles of the bloody kind ‐ R.J. Cutler’s If I Stay, a cinematic version of Gayle Froman’s novel of the same name. The August release isn’t in the same realm as The Hunger Games or Divergent ‐ it centers on a teen girl (Moretz) who falls into a coma and must decide for herself if she will return to the world of the living. It may sound like an easy enough choice, but oops, her parents died in the car crash that injured her, and Mia is struggling.

The book may sound like a good fit for Moretz and a departure from the genre ‐ which is why it’s so strange that it’s actually the first in a series, as the book was followed by a sequel. Should If I Stay be a hit, Moretz might be on the hook for another film.

And that’s not even the only YA series she’s roped to, as the actress just signed on for the lead role in the big screen version of Rick Yancey’s bestselling novel “The 5th Wave.” The alien invasion thriller is (of course) the first of a planned trilogy, one that (of course) centers on a special and strong teen girl on a mission. Is there a romance? Of course. Does this sound like a new version of every other teen-centric, future-set YA series out there? Yeah, a lil bit.

The box office is currently flooded with a bevy of YA adaptations that all sound basically the same ‐ and I say this as someone who is a fan of both The Hunger Games and Divergent, but willingly embraces their similarities. Jennifer Lawrence has obviously managed to juggle her non-Hunger Games career quite well (Oscars!) and it remains to be seen if Shailene Woodley can make a similar leap (Woodley’s next film is yet another YA adaptation of a beloved book, this one The Fault In Our Stars), but is Moretz already boxing herself into the genre? And, for someone who has so far managed to make some unique picks, why is she aiming for something so expected? [via ComingSoon]