After kicking off the insanely popular, billion-dollar Twilight franchise, Catherine Hardwicke is set to return to the realm of hugely popular YA fiction with an adaptation of Ava Dellaira‘s Love Letters to the Dead. The book follows a young woman, Laurel, as she copes with her high school experiences and the death of her sister by composing letters to famous dead people like Kurt Cobain, Judy Garland and Amy Winehouse. Dellaira will adapt her own novel and write the script.
Hardwicke doesn’t get enough credit for the role she played in the foundation of the cinematic Twilight saga. Whether that’s a good or bad entry in her resume is a matter of taste, but Hardwick found the cast, pulling off the stunt of successfully casting Edward Cullen – a feat the ravenous fans thought impossible – and helped establish the surreal chalky-faced, obvious-wig vampire look that defined the entire series. Again, that might not be a good thing to you, but give the woman her due credit. The first Twilight film is also the most fun and least self-serious in the whole saga. Point is, Hardwicke knows how to adapt in a way that brings her own style to the proceedings while fulfilling fan expectations, making her a solid choice for the latest hot YA project.
Here’s the official synopsis via Dellaira’s official site.
It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May did. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to the dead. People like Janis Joplin, Judy Garland, Amelia Earhart, and Amy Winehouse—though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating the choppy waters of new friendships, learning to live with her splintering family, falling in love for the first time, and most importantly, trying to grieve for May. But how do you mourn someone when you haven’t forgiven them? And how do you find your true identity when so much of who you were died with the person you loved? It’s not until Laurel has written the truth about what happened to herself can she finally begin to accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was—lovely and amazing and deeply flawed—can she truly begin to discover her own path.