As teens rise up to march for their lives in the real world, teens are sparking a revolution on the big screen.
The first trailer for The Darkest Minds showcases YA movie star Amandla Stenberg in a dystopian world based on the bestselling novel by Alexandra Bracken. It’s a world where the majority of children died in a plague, while the ones who survived emerged with superhuman abilities.
Teens are therefore rounded up into camps and treated as threats to the state — and Ruby (Stenberg) is one of the most powerful of them all. “I will fight for all of us,” she says, thrusting her hand into the air as she leads a rebellion.
“Why does [the plague] take out kids? What is this thing? How do you cure it?” director Jennifer Yuh Nelson told EW. “How do you fight it? Do you want to fight it? All these things are, I think, a metaphor in many ways for how kids can feel, or even adults can feel, like outsiders in their own selves. They don’t know how to find a place in the world. How to find a self-acceptance?”
Ruby is classified as “orange” by the government, meaning she can control people’s minds. She breaks free from her internment camp and goes on the run with a band of other enhanced individuals. There’s “blue” Liam (Harris Dickinson), who can move things with his mind; “green” Chubs (Skylan Brooks), who’s highly intelligent; and “yellow” Zu (Miya Cech), who has an affinity for electricity. There’s one other color-coded super-teen we see in the trailer: “red” for fire starters.
“Ruby’s a pretty normal kid before the plague hits. She has a very loving relationship with both of her parents. But, when it hits, something happens at her own hands that greatly changes her life,” Stenberg, who’ll also be seen in the politically charged YA film The Hate U Give, explained to EW. “Like all of the other kids, she is placed in a camp. And, she’s placed in Camp Thurmond, where the kids are forced to mundane activities like make boots and are just really mistreated.”
Shawn Levy (Stranger Things) and Dan Levine (Arrival) produce The Darkest Minds, which is based on a screenplay by Chad Hodge (Good Behavior).
The film will open in theaters on Aug. 3.