2009: Catherine Hardwicke is set to direct the adaptation of Gayle Forman‘s young adult novel If I Stay. 2010: Hardwicke is out, Heitor Dhalia is in as director. Dakota Fanning enters talks to star as Mia, an accomplished 17-year-old cellist destined for Julliard before a car accident sends her into a coma. 2013: Dhalia and Fanning are no longer on board. Instead, Chloe Moretz is attached to star and RJ Cutler (Nashville) is in talks to direct his first narrative feature, according to Variety.
The book has a neat hook, using the out-of-body perspective and recollections of Mia while she’s in the coma. I don’t know if this is the iteration that will push If I Stay out of development, but keep your eye out for more casting announcements soon—particularly the “punk rock boyfriend.” Read the book synopsis after the jump.
While out on a drive with her family, 17-year-old Mia is suddenly separated from her body and forced to watch the aftermath of the accident that kills her parents and gravely injures her and her younger brother. Far from supernatural, this shift in perspective will be readily accepted by readers as Mia reminisces about significant events and people in her life while her body lies in a coma.
Alternating between the past and the present, she reveals the details and complexities of her relationships with family and friends, including the unlikely romance with her punk-rock boyfriend, Adam. An accomplished musician herself, Mia is torn between pursuing her love for music at Julliard and a future with Adam in Oregon. However, she must first choose between fighting to survive and giving in to the resulting sadness and despair over all she has lost. [Amazon]