Saoirse Ronan Set to Star in Adaptation of ‘Twilight’ Author’s ‘The Host’

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I haven’t run a news piece related to the adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s post “Twilight” novel, The Host, since September 2009 when Andrew Niccol (Lord of War) signed on to rewrite the feature. At the time Susanna White (Nanny McPhee Returns) was attached as the director, but has since dropped off and Niccol may still decide to direct as he has completed Now starring Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried and Cillian Murphy.

However, today’s news is a big one for the adaptation as Deadline reports Saoirse Ronan, star of 2011’s best film thus far, has signed on to play the lead role of Melanie Stryder. The film is a love story set in the near future on Earth, which has been assimilated by an alien species that call themselves “Souls.”

“Souls” are benevolent parasites that subsume the conscious of humans and take possession of their bodies. One such soul, The Wanderer (so named because she has wandered among so many different worlds) is fused with a dying human named Melanie Stryder, in an attempt to locate the last pocket of surviving humans on Earth. The Wanderer cannot subsume the forceful Melanie, and they battle for the girl’s memories and her spirit.

Apparently the goal is for Ronan to play both Melanie and The Wanderer.

The film is being produced outside the studio system with sale of the project set to launch at the Cannes Film Festival next week. No word yet on a production start date.

As for Ronan, she starred in Hanna earlier this year and will next be seen in Violet & Daisy for the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Precious, Geoffrey Fletcher in which she will once again play a teenage assassin opposite Alexis Bledel. She is rumored to have the role of Itaril in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit, and is also rumored to be part of Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina opposite Keira Knightley.