We reported a couple weeks ago that FOX ordered a pilot for the adaptation of popular YA dystopian novel, Delirium. Well, now producers have found the actress to star as the lead in the TV show. Emma Roberts will play Lena, a girl who falls in love with a boy in a society where love is illegal and is eradicated through a medical procedure.
This isn’t Roberts’ first foray into television. She starred on the hit Nickelodeon show, Unfabulous. She also was in a handful indies, including The Art of Getting By and Celeste and Jesse Forever. Still, Roberts has yet to prove that she’s not just nabbing roles because of her famous aunt. To be honest, seeing that I like Delirium, I am disappointed with this casting choice.
However, I will remain open to it, just like I’m trying to remain open to the numerous changes that the show has made from the book. Oh wait? You didn’t hear about that? According to someone who has read the pilot script at Zap2It, these are the 4 major changes:
1. Julian Fineman. In the novels, Julian is a character introduced in the second book, “Pandemonium.” His father is a public figure, leading the DFA — Deliria-Free America — cause against the Invalids. In the proposed television series, Julian is introduced right off the bat, as a sickly young man who lives next door to Lena’s best friend, Hana, and is confused by his powerful attraction to her, though she’s not particularly interested. Yes — Julian and Hana.
2. Lena’s mother. In the novels, Lena’s mother’s suicide makes Lena long for the cure and fear the dangers of love. In the pilot, it’s actually Lena’s father who she believes died because he was infected with “Deliria.” When she learns some shocking revelations about what actually happened to him, she’s driven to take drastic measures.
3. Ren. The pilot introduces a new character, Ren, another Invalid who is Alex’s best friend. Though Alex falls hard and fast for Lena, he’s oblivious to the fact that Ren’s feelings for him go beyond friendship. She’s a key part of the Invalid’s plan to resist the DFA, and ultimately goes undercover to infiltrate the government she’s planning to revolt against.
4. Pacing. The first episode of the TV series actually covers the entire plot of the first book, in addition to including information about Julian and the DFA that readers didn’t learn until the sequel. Of course, in order to cram all of that into 42 minutes, there are certain moments that are lost — particularly key bonding moments between Alex and Lena, like when he took her to his home in the Wilds, and the first time she was introduced to poetry. We’re hopeful that those things will come into play later.
I must admit that this recent casting announcement and the adjustments to the story above have me worried. I don’t mind change as long as I can see it going somewhere… good. What do you think of Emma Roberts as Lena? Will you watch Delirium if it gets picked up for the Fall 2013 season?