Director D.J. Caruso (I Am Number Four) is attached to several projects at the moment, including Beat the Reaper, Walk Among the Tombstones, and most notably, Preacher. But first Caruso will move forward on an indie passion project, The Goats, after more than a decade in development. Step 1: casting the young leads, Chandler Canterbury (Knowing) and Annalise Basso (Bedtime Stories). Based on the young adult novel by Brock Cole, the story centers on two kids stranded on Goat Island after a summer camp prank: “Rather than face the humiliation of returning to camp, the duo decides to run away together and what follows is a three-day journey of self-discovery.” The premise is intriguing, but the translation to the screen will be tricky given the reliance on child acting. Put it this way: The Goats reminds me of The Hunger Games and Lionsgate cast 21-year-old Jennifer Lawrence (playing 16) in the lead. I’m not familiar with Canterbury or Basso’s work, and can’t vouch for Caruso’s ability to draw a good performance out of his young actors. But I wish them the best of luck in pulling it together in service of a premise that, again, I’d like to see work on screen.
According to Variety, production will begin in October in Georgia. The book synopsis is after the jump.
A boy and a girl are stripped and marooned on a small island for the night. They are the “goats.” The kids at camp think it’s a great joke, just a harmless old tradition. But the goats don’t see it that way. Instead of trying to get back to camp, they decide to call home. But no one can come and get them. So they’re on their own, wandering through a small town trying to find clothing, food, and shelter, all while avoiding suspicious adults–especially the police. The boy and the girl find they rather like life on their own. If their parents ever do show up to rescue them, the boy and the girl might be long gone. . . [Amazon]