Can Susanna White make a success out of Stephenie Meyer’s “The Host”?

By Kim Palacios “Nanny McPhee Returns” director Susanna White may be the new director of Stephenie Meyer’s “The Host”; but can she whip the lackluster franchise into shape? “The Host” is no “Twilight”, and “The Twilight Saga” franchise was less than critically acclaimed. Further evidence that “The Host” movie project is not doing well (e.g., the abandonment of the project by original director Andrew Niccol) may be the final nail in Meyer’s coffin. So also is a slow casting process with no big stars confirmed.

In writing “The Host”, Meyer had certainly planned on riding out “Twilight Saga” success, yet the Twilight franchise has suffered since she sold movie rights to “The Host” in 2009. In addition to fans simply losing interest over the years (the final book in the vampire series is nearly three years old), “Breaking Dawn” was denounced by fans as hugely disappointing.

Also disappointing was “The Host” itself, which never achieved the momentum of “Twilight”. In fact, “Twilight” still outranks “The Host” on by some 5,000 places, despite being nearly six years old. Unlike other fantasy writers, who stick with the proven vampire theme, Meyer wandered into other (less successful) supernatural themes in writing “The Host”, alienating a large chunk of Meyer’s would-be base who moved onto series such as “The Vampire Diaries” and “True Blood”.

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