Author Rick Yancey reflects on ‘The 5th Wave’ adaptation

Highly anticipated science-fiction thriller “The 5th Wave” is set to hit theaters this Friday as young science-fiction fans burst with excitement. Based on the novel by Rick Yancey, a Miami native, the major motion picture follows Cassie Sullivan (Chloë Grace Moretz) as Earth’s population is decimated by increasingly deadly alien attacks.

The film tells the story of a 16-year-old determined to survive, holding onto the hope that she can rescue her five-year-old brother Sam (Zackary Arthur) from the foreign invaders.

“I wanted to write a story that was big in the sense that this is a worldwide phenomenon that’s happening, but also very intimate and human at the same time,” Yancey said.

The transition from text to film was a relatively seamless one, Yancey explained, as his writing style is easily adaptable to the big screen. The author has an extensive background in visual arts that influences his vivid prose, often called “cinematic.” An avid member of theater in high school and college, Yancey wrote, directed and acted, drawing him into the world of story creation. He later picked up writing screenplays, which eventually evolved into story writing.

“What really sets this story apart is the heart of it,” Yancey said, “and the characters, and what drives them as ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. [The filmmakers] worked really hard to capture the essence of that.”

Yancey noted that readers of the novel will be happy with the translation onto the big screen.

“[The film] pretty much stays true to the spirit of the novel … I think that fans of the book will be very pleased with how the filmmakers captured those core stories and what they’ve done with the characters,” he said.

Full of stunning post-apocalyptic environments and impressive special effects, “The 5th Wave” promises to be a visual masterpiece, but goes far beyond that as well, Yancey said.

“For me, the deeper message is about the bonds that bind us together as a human family … love and the ability to sacrifice our own personal wants or needs for somebody else, which is remarkable,” he said.

Featured image courtesy Stewart Butterfield via Flickr.