Update on the Uglies Movie

As I mentioned in my last post, I spent part of Friday afternoon on the phone with the Uglies movie production team. It was great to go into that conversation armed with all the suggestions you guys have been making, both here and on my Twitter feed.

So thanks for all your input. Now here’s what’s going on:

Uglies is currently optioned to be a movie, or possibly a series of movies if the first one does well. To “option” a book is Hollywood-speak for buying the exclusive right to make a movie based on it. But the buyers don’t have to make a movie. Most options never go anywhere, in fact. But it certainly means that these producers are interested.

(What happens if this group doesn’t make the film(s)? In a couple of years I have the right option the book to someone else. In other words, options have time limits.)

Where are we now? Well, there’s no script, director, or actors lined up yet. So be patient and stop asking me about casting! If there are open auditions, you’ll see it here first.

So this phone call was mostly us getting to know each other and talking about what makes Uglies special to us. Most of the conversation was me talking, which was interesting. Sometimes Hollywood folks seem compelled to tell me all about my books. But these folks listened. And when I told them about my previous post, they were dying to shoot over and read your comments. So keep them coming!

Here are some of the things I told them:

Most of you guys want unknown actors for Tally and Shay, but maybe someone famous for Dr. Cable. The producers get that, and they also understand how important casting is, given that you could break the whole theme of the film by putting the World’s Most Beautiful Actress in the starring role.

I also told them how important setting is to you guys. How the world-building, tech hoverboards, etc., have to be real. This movie should look good, and more importantly, it should look right. Excellently, it turns out that one of the producers has read Bogus to Bubbly. She also sends it along to the screenwriters they’ve been approaching. That is a Good Thing.

I told them you guys want a faithful adaptation, and they said definitely, because, as one of them put it, “The book is a movie already.” In other words, the story doesn’t have to get completely reshaped to fit the screen. (I doubt there will be any of this putting-all-three-books-into-one-movie crap.)

So what are the chances of the movie happening soon? Well, movies cost tens of millions of dollars, and nothing that requires that much money plus human creativity is ever easy to predict. But the producers did say that there’s lots of support for this project at their studio, where certain execs have been known to speak in bubble-talk. This seems like a very good sign to me.

Anyway, that’s everything I know. Watch this space for further developments. So you can stop asking me about casting calls. Seriously.

(Oh, and if you’re one of the producers reading this, don’t worry, I won’t blog every darn thing you say to me. It’s just that a lot of fans have been asking about this for a long time, and I figured it was time to give them a major update. Normally I am a master of discretion, and will only twitter what you say to me.)

2,172 thoughts on “Update on the Uglies Movie

  1. If this movie comes out (I am crossing my fingers :)) then I will do the following:
    1.SCREAM MY HEAD OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    2.Tell my parents they need to take me to it!!!!!
    2.5 If my parents say no, BEG them to take me!!!!!!!!!
    3.Go to the premier!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Ping to Scott-la: I am so excited for the movie!!!!!! And I know that movie people will pull thru for the ugly/pretty transition. HULLO? CAP AMERICA ANYONE? Look what they did to Chris Evans! They can just find GORGEOUS actors/actresses and work their magic to turn them “ugly.”
    PS I recommend India Eisley for Shay, at least google her. I do think her cheeks are not quite right for shay, but its not something a little movie magic can’t fix. And I wish it had been true that Lucas Till was David!!!!

  3. I read somewhere that the rights to the book had been bought already, so i think that they’re just waiting to have better tech to make it exactly like the book and not some cheap ass shit like twilight. Great books but horrible movies.

  4. As soon as i read this book, my first thought, this is going to be an awsome movie, my only concern, the book is set in the future i hope this movie can pull that off with out looking completely fake.

  5. Can’t wait until the casting (if it happens)! Really hoping for open auditions! how insane would it to be in one of my favorite books?!?! Totes Bubbly ;D

  6. Do you intend to pass many casting around the world? Because I’m french and I would try to convince you to let me a chance (for I have this kind of uglyness wich stick to my skin and this strange power in the inside)!

  7. Although the thought of and uglies movie does excite me, I must say that it it one of my favorite series of books and as soon as I finished reaing it my first thoughts were along the lines of “somebody sure as hell better not screw up trying to make a movie of this”

  8. The Uglies series are my favorite books ever! After i finished the first book, I went to my local bookstore and bought the 2nd book! Anyways, the Uglies have to become a movie or else i will die! seriously… if they become a movie, Scott Westerfeld will become one of the richest men alive

  9. OMG!! I just wanted to thank Scott Westerfeld for writing these SERIOUSLY AWESOME BOOKS!!!!!!!!! This is like a huge deal- coming from me- considering the fact that I never even READ science fiction untill now!! The UGLIES SERIES IS LIKE TOTALLY ICY!! Whoever wouldn’t make this a movie is crazy because it is an AWESOME series and would be an awesome movie!!


  10. Scott Westerfeld, you magnificent bastard, I don’t like your Uglies series; I love it. I hope that a very safe space-time anomaly happens that allows the movie to be filmed and released in the next two days. One can hope.
    Did I mention that I love the Uglies series? I did? Well, I haven’t yet re-stated it thrice. I love the Uglies series. I LOVE THE UGLIES SERIES. I LOVE THE UGLIES SERIES!
    Thank you so much for bringing it into existence.

  11. Okay, so its been a few years since this blog page was posted so I’d like to know when the heck they’re going to get this show on the road! I know there’s a chance it’ll never happen but Hollywood would have to be insane not to turn these miracles of literature into movies.

    I have never found my mind so immersed into a story before. This series isn’t just another “Back to the Future”, boring, same- old same- old, let us predict the future type of idea. It actually creates a whole new perspective into humanity’s flaws and how it affects our entire world. I love how it really shows how vulnerable humans really are even in a so- called “perfect” society.

    There are plot twists and love triangles and drama and action at every turn and thats exactly the type of stuff that makes movies soar beyond the average and reach the level of box office hit… beyond a good movie, reaching greatness. I think this series could rival the Harry Potter movie series, and even the Lord of the Rings trilogy easily if done correctly. Hollywood, if you’re reading this, I’m telling you that if you atleast try to make this movie well, you will be rolling in money after it hits theaters. I myself, will be sitting among the rest proudly watching movie history unfold!

  12. i loved this series it was great i hope it does come out as a movie so i can go an watch.I have hopes it will be better than any other movie(of that year) i like watching good movies.B ut hopefully it will be awesome.

  13. i know in your post you were saying stop helping with the casting calls but i just need to say this. while i was reading the book pretties i always imagined laura ashley samuels <- not super famous but drop dead gorgeous! and i think she would be perfect for the pretty-headed tally

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  15. I have to say I’m your biggest fan ever. I’m super exited for this movie, I think you should use unknown people for all actors, for Tally, Shay, David, Zane, But all the specials should be famous like Dr.cable but maybe Aya should be unknown too the outfits should be the most wonderful things ever in Uglies should be plain but no dull maybe have Tally and Shay should wear brighter more out there clothes and pretty clothes should be glittery and flashy smokey should be earthy and stuff not trying to push any thing but I have so many ideas.

    ?You should really make Tally stand out be diffrent male her be like no one else?

  16. I have to say I’m your biggest fan ever. I’m super exited for this movie, I think you should use unknown people for all actors, for Tally, Shay, David, Zane, But all the specials should be famous like Dr.cable but maybe Aya should be unknown too the outfits should be the most wonderful things ever in Uglies should be plain but no dull maybe have Tally and Shay should wear brighter more out there clothes and pretty clothes should be glittery and flashy smokey should be earthy and stuff PLZZ just take my ideas in hand think about them really????

    ?You should really make Tally stand out be diffrent male her be like no one else?

  17. I do hope the series gets to be a movie 🙂 That would make the whole series a whole lot bubblier than it already is. Thanks a lot 🙂

  18. i truly do love all three books and would be super excited if this movie did come out but is it going to i would really like to know???

  19. I just finished re-reading the Uglies trilogy for about the bajillionth time!
    So I just want to say if a movie is ever made… (you should let me know about auditioning actors!) ^-^
    Good luck!

  20. I love your books and have read them many thimes over. I like how your books are like watching a movie in your mind. Congraulations on the movie as well, i will surely watch it in the movie theater adn buy each one that comes out.

  21. My friends and I all love these books and have been talking about how good of a movie this would be but yet we haven’t heard about the movie happening for a long time and would like to know if its still going on thanks that you r thinking about making it into a movie but we would all really like to know if its actually happening
    ~Christine and friends

  22. Uglies is the series that really got me hooked into reading. So i think that unless the movie turns out like the lord of the rings in the way that both movie and book reflect the blood sweat and tears that has already been put into the book then i believe that there shouldnt been a movie.

  23. I honestly wouldn’t care if the movie would be a little off but they have to make one!! This is the best book series by far and I’m so curious as to what the locations and pretties would look like!

  24. i think they should really make the movie it would be one of the greatest things in the history of the world

  25. I think someone new should play Tally! A fresh face for a main character is always good!! I’m free!
    Sorry I love the books so much!! I really relate to Tally and I think she is an amazing character!

  26. it would be amazing if it became a movie, ive been waiting for it for a few years now and will wait as long as it takes for it to come out 🙂

  27. I absolutely LOVE this book series and it needs to be made into a movie. Thank you for righting something so awesome. I just love reading your books, this would make an EPIC movie.

  28. I always saw myself when reading the books as playing the part of shay. My friends say it was like watching a character come to life , when reading dialogue from the book Uglies.

  29. I think a movie for uglies would be a really successful and profitable movie. loads of people like it and with how realistic the idea of that society existing it can really relate to the current society we live in. I personally would be satisfied with anime graphics at this point so long as its 4 seperate movies with the whole plot. Definately press these people to make this movie I swear ill buy 50 tickets myself

  30. Hi Scott,
    Huge fan here.
    I read the uglies series when I was younger, having struggled then with body issues it was a great escape.
    Im 21 now and beginning my journey in acting, fingers crossed however success is earned not gained through luck.
    Im more than interested in absolutely any part in the making of this series towards tv or screen.
    If you do get the go ahead finally id love to be involved.

    Kind regards,

  31. OMG! I LOVE THE UGLIES SERIES. Having I read it a bajillion times! I’m a bookaholic at heart and I have to say this series tops all the book series I’ve read. I’ super late on this, but I do hope a movie is made. I agree that it can have tiny, TINY differences than that of the book. But still it would be great. The only thing I’m worried about is famous celebs playing the parts of Tally and Shay. If they end up making a second movie, I don’t mind the celebs. But Uglies is much more of being normal/you despite the flaws. Don’t you think? That’s my opinion. Kay, bye. 😀 Oh! Please tell me if there is any auditions coming up. Thanks!

  32. The book uglies is amazing I love it, and scott is a great writer you should read other books of his if you have not. Its just I hope they find actors that can play the characters right. Cause in other books they have strong characters but in the movie the actor is not the image the book gives.like I don’t know how to really explain, but I hope that they find the right person to play the characters

  33. My friend finished the book uglies she says that I should go to the audition
    Because I’m a natural strawberry blond and she says that me and the character tally have a ginger connection.lol So I hope that I can make the audition cause playing tally would be amazing and wish everyone good luck I hope if I don’t make it that you will.

  34. OHMYGOSH!!!! If the casting calls come out to San Francisco, I have to make my parents take me. I hope you can take someone who isn’t 16 for the role!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  35. So ever since I’ve read this book I’ve tried to find information as to how to audition to be in it! I understand you would have thousands of people going up for it and I don’t care because I want to be one of them 😀 please hold open auditions for all of us hopefulls!

  36. Shoot. I love these books. I want to act in it… If it happens I wanna know if I could, some how, some way… Would love being Tally, although that’s shooting pretty high. Been acting my whole life… I don’t know. Just really really want to. Freaking love acting. Freaking love these books. Can’t wait!

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