Scott Westerfeld’s 2005 YA novel Uglies—and its several sequels—seemed like an obvious book to get optioned amid the big YA dystopian boom. But while Divergent, The Maze Runner, and others joined screens alongside the dominating The Hunger Games, Westerfeld’s series, despite being bestsellers, didn’t make it to a multiplex near you.
But that’s finally changing: Deadline reports that The Kissing Booth star Joey King is set to executive-produce and star in a Netflix adaptation of Uglies that will be directed by McG.
Uglies is set in a dystopian world where everyone undergoes an operation at the age of 16. The drastic surgery turns Uglies into Pretties, perfect manifestations of the world’s beauty standards. Pretties live dreamy existences, partying endlessly without a care in the world. Tally Youngblood can’t wait to be a Pretty—but what she doesn’t know is that the transformation comes at a considerable cost. When her friend Shay vanishes after warning against the surgery, Tally is recruited by Special Circumstances to find her and the rebel camp Shay has run off to.
Netflix and freak out.https://t.co/Yi9fX2vNPQ
— Scott Westerfeld (@ScottWesterfeld) September 29, 2020
Westerfeld’s series is a fun, page-turning read set in a dire world destroyed by previous generations. With hoverboards, hidden forest camps, vicious Specials, wild escapes and dark secrets, it’s full of cinematic potential, though McG (Charlie’s Angels; The Babysitter) doesn’t seem the obvious choice to direct (apart from the fact that his recent films have been with Netflix). Krista Vernoff, a TV producer whose credits include Bryan Fuller’s criminally underseen Wonderfalls, is on board to write the adaptation. There is no word on when production will begin.