Amandla Stenberg has certainly become a much-wanted actress, booking a handful of high profile studio projects in the last year alone - and just about all of them are headlining roles, including a film adaptation of Nicola Yoon’s debut novel, “Everything, Everything,” set up at MGM studios, with Stella Meghie directing (it'll be out first, scheduled for release this spring); there's also the WWII-set romantic drama "Where Hands Touch" which Amma Asante is helming (likely out later this year); and then there's another Fox project Stenberg is attached to star in, also an adaptation of a novel - this one from Angela Thomas, her debut novel titled "The Hate U Give" (inspired by the #BlackLivesMatter movement) which George Tillman Jr. is directing.
In addition to a busy acting career, Stenberg is also a filmmaker in her own right; we've featured 2 short films she directed in recent years.
Her latest acting attachment is a film adaptation of YA sci-fi dystopian novel "The Darkest Minds" by author Alexandra Bracken, which is currently set up at Fox studios, with Jennifer Yuh Nelson ("Kung Fu Panda 2," "Spawn" the TV series) directing. This will be Nelson's live-action directorial debut, after working primarily in animation, both for the big and small screens, over the last 15+ years in the business.
Chad Hodge penned the script. Shawn Levy is producing via his 21 Laps shingle.
The story: When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government "rehabilitation camp." She might have survived the mysterious disease that's killed most of America's children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control. Now sixteen-years-old, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she's on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her: East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.
The novel was first published in 2012 as a hardcover.
Stenberg will of course star as Ruby.
"The Get Down's" Skylan Brooks and Mandy Moore are also cast members.
And announced today, Golden Brooks has also been cast in “Darkest Minds," playing Stenberg's mother.
Filming on "The Darkest Minds" is underway in Atlanta.
Brooks is best known for her role on the the TV series “Girlfriends.” She recently appeared on Starz’s “Blunt Talk” in a recurring role.
If you'd like to pick up a copy of "The Darkest Minds" (which is actually part of a series of novels by author Alexandra Bracken), click here. If you've read the novel, enlighten those of us who haven't in terms of what we can expect.
Variety was first to report the news on Brooks' casting.