Michael Grant’s GONE novels are in the early stages of a television adaptation. How long could the potential show last for?
Written by Michael Grant, GONE is a six-part series of young adult science-fiction thriller novels released between 2008 and 2013.
The stories take place in a Californian beach town named Perdido Beach, which experiences strange anomalies when every resident older than fourteen disappears under mysterious circumstances.
Furthermore, those left behind are enclosed by an impenetrable dome, creating what later becomes known as The FAYZ.
Considering the success of other young adult novels adapted for the screen – Harry Potter, Twilight and The Hunger Games to name just a few, a television series based on GONE has been ruminating for a while, with little results.
More recently, UK-based production company Engage announced that they had acquired the rights to GONE and were working on producing it for television.
Without thinking too far ahead to viewership or potential audience, GONE’s lifespan as a television series is a natural question to think about.
After all, on a practical level, how long can the show last? What major alterations need to be made, if any?
Based on Michael Grant’s books, the events took place in approximately a year with the main character, Sam, starting at days from his fifteenth birthday to being sixteen years old at the end.
In late 2019, a marketing teaser was shot, using a well-known scene from Hunger, the second book in the series. The casting choices and selection of that scene may offer some insight into what will happen on the production side going forward.
Firstly, it would be impossible to tell the story on television as it was written in the novels. If authentic teenagers were cast, they would be visibly in their twenties by season six, following the number of books.
Additionally, as is custom with book-to-screen adaptations, changes may also need to be made to the story to make the transition easier. Using a scene from Hunger ties into this – the only pitfall is not to condense too much so that useful scenes are lost.
Assuming the quality of acting and writing (there should be no worries on the latter) are up to scratch, there is no reason why GONE can’t have a long, successful run.
However, it is looking likely that the length of time that the characters spend in The FAYZ would have to be extended, in order to make the series work should it get picked up.
That being said, LOST ran for six seasons, the first four of which took place primarily on the Island. While four years passed in real time, it was only just over one hundred days for the characters. A similar technique could be employed in this case.
How long do you think GONE will last for?
You can follow Michael Grant on Twitter @MichaelGrantBks and Engage Productions, @ajriach.