It's not even released yet and already Nicola Yoon's YA debut Everything, Everything is one of the biggest buzz books of the year. And that buzz just got a whole lot louder with the announcement of the Everything Everything movie adaptation.
MGM was the lucky production company that optioned the rights to what is sure to be a young adult smash hit, a book that had already garnered comparisons to The Fault in Our Stars and Eleanor & Park — and it deserves it, too. The novel follows the newly 18-year-old Madeline "Maddie" Whittier who suffers from "bubble baby" syndrome — meaning, she is allergic to pretty much everything in the outside world and she must be kept safely inside her carefully sterilized house with only her doctor mother and nurse to keep her company. Maddie mostly takes this life in stride, happily playing games with her mother and forming a bond with Carla her nurse. That is, until a new family moves next door and the teenage son Olly captures her attention. She becomes overwhelmed with the desires to want not just Olly, but so much more for herself in this one lifetime she has been granted.
So much of Yoon's YA novel is told through journal entries, instant message conversations, and medical charts, so it will be doubly interesting to see how the novel is portrayed on the big screen. It's in capable hands, though, with J. Mills Goodloe writing the script and Les Morgenstein and Elysa Dutton of Alloy Entertainment Features producing. Goodloe has already adapted one romantic novel: Nicholas Sparks' The Best of Me, starring James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan. The production team is behind several YA hits, like Pretty Little Liars, The Vampire Diaries, and The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, so rest assured they know what they're doing.
In case the Everything, Everything movie adaptation team needs a little help, though, I've dream casted the parts of the four main characters.
Maddie: Sydney Park
In the book, Maddie is from a half-Asian and half-black heritage, and that should absolutely be mirrored in the movie adaptation. Comedian-actress Sydney Park not only checks those boxes, she's an up-and-comer who proved her chops in That's So Raven, Nickelodeon's Instant Mom, CSI: NY and other parts. She's more than ready to bring her hilarious charisma into a more-dramatic role that needs a bright, vibrant leading lady.
Olly: Douglas Booth
The young Brit actor Douglas Booth can grab our attention just like Olly did Maddie's. He's a rising star, coming out of a successful turn in the British mini series And Then There Were None and Jupiter Ascending and lining up several big projects for 2016, including Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Everything, Everything should nab him before he becomes far too famous and expensive. Plus, can't you just picture him dressed in all black and scaling the walls?
Dr. Whittier: Yunjin Kim
Lost's Sun and Mistresses' Karen is absolutely perfect for Maddie's overprotective but loving mother. She's got the grace and charm to be best pals with Maddie, but she's also got the smarts to play an educated, no-nonsense doctor. I'd want to make Yinjin Kim proud if I were her daughter, too.
Carla: Judy Reyes
Maddie's nurse Carla has the spark and pep that gives Maddie a bit more understanding in her crush on Olly than her mother has. Devious Maid's Judy Reyes funny enough has already played a nurse named Carla in Scrubs, so that part we know she can handle. She's got the big, warm smile and the friendly demeanor, but she also has the tough, whip-smarts that this part needs to work.
So Everything, Everything producers: If you want to hire me as casting director, I'm available. Otherwise, I'll definitely see you the first night this movie hits theaters.
Image: Nicola Yoon/Goodreads