Henry Joost And Ariel Schulman Touch A Nerve

Catfish directors set for YA adaptation


They first nabbed the filmmaking world’s attention with controversial Sundance film Catfish, and parlayed that into work on Paranormal Activity 3 and 4. For a new gig, Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost want to pull off an even tougher task: creating a successful young adult novel adaptation with Nerve.

Written by Jeanne Ryan, the book follows high school senior Vee, a girl more used to lingering on the edges of her class, never catching the eye of the popular set. To try to break out of her rut, she joins a global online game built around a provocative, amped-up version of truth or dare, which features an audience of “watchers” who vote for their favourites and comment on what’s going on.

Soon, Vee becomes a sensation, advancing higher and higher, until she discovers that the game at the upper levels becomes something quire different. And because it would be boring if that just involved water balloons or admitting you’ve got a crush on a classmate, that means life-threatening circumstances.

American Horror Story writer Jessica Sharzer worked on the script, which is likely to have to wait for the directors to finish work on an untitled thriller for low-budget specialist producer Jason Blum, which they’re now preparing to make.

Let’s hope they have more luck than, say, the producers behind The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bone**s, who’d hoped to ride the YA wave to a Hunger Games**-style success, only to see the first film flop. The sequel to that one is still on the way, but it’s going to be an uphill challenge.