Neighbors‘ Dave Franco and American Horror Story‘s Emma Roberts have signed on to star in Lionsgate’s young adult adaptation, Nerve. Based on the novel by Jeanne Ryan and adapted by Jessica Sharzer, the feature will be directed by Catfish duo Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost.
In a synopsis offered up by The Wrap, the movie “follows good-girl Vee (Roberts), who breaks out of her shell after plunging into an online game of truth-or-dare called “Nerve” with the sexy and mysterious Ian (Franco). However, Vee quickly finds the initial thrills turn dark as the stakes grow increasingly higher and the game turns personal – ultimately revealing just how far she will go to win Nerve.”
Both Roberts and Franco seem to have the clout and experience to instil their characters with the necessary fear and menace to make this adaptation worthwhile. It has to be said, the young adult phenomena has left practically no novel geared at teens out of multiplexes, so we’ll have to see if their performances lift Nerve from the crowded genre pool.
Taking stock of the talent at play behind the scenes, Schulman and Joost seem to be the perfect candidates to shepherd this to the big screen. Their breakout hit, the mockumentary Catfish, exposed the perils of online dating and how a seemingly beautiful young woman can actually turn out to be a bored housewife. Still, in spite of that film’s pedestrian ending, it was packed with a series of tense moments that ventured briefly into horror territory. Here’s hoping they can muster that same sense of unease once more.
As for the studio, Lionsgate is no stranger to the young adult genre. Having found extraordinary success with the Hunger Games franchise, they’ve got what it takes to market any concept to teenagers and rake in billions to boot. We’ll just have to wait and see how they fare with Nerve.