Amandla Stenberg to Star in Fox's YA Adaptation of 'Darkest Minds' (Exclusive)

Jennifer Yuh Nelson is making her live-action directorial debut with teen sci-fi project.
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Amandla Stenberg

In a major coup for a young actor, rising star Amandla Stenberg has nabbed the lead role in Darkest Minds, Fox’s adaptation of the YA trilogy by Alexandra Bracken.

Jennifer Yuh Nelson, best known for helming the Kung Fu Panda movies, is making her live-action directorial debut with the teen sci-fi project that is being produced by Shawn Levy and his 21 Laps banner.

Minds is set after a pandemic kills most of America’s children and teenagers. When some survivors develop various superpowers, they are deemed too dangerous for society, taken from their families and placed inside internment camps.

The first book tells of Ruby Daly, a 16-year-old with telekinetic powers who escapes her camp and joins a group of teens on the run from the government.

Chad Hodge wrote the script.

The casting signals several things, among them is establishing diversity among the leads of a major studio movie. The move follows the casting of mixed-race actress Storm Reid in Disney's adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time directed by Ava DuVernay.

It also highlights the continuing rise of Stenberg, who may be best known for playing the character Rue in The Hunger Games. Stenberg starred in As You Are, a drama that was awarded the special jury prize at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, and in July was cast alongside Nick Robinson in Everything Everything, MGM and Alloy Entertainment’s adaptation of the YA book by Nicola Yoon.

She is repped by UTA and Del Shaw.

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