OK folks.  This is the blog we’ve been waiting for.

Kevin MacDonald is going to direct the film version of How I Live Now — and I’m completely thrilled about the choice.

Though not a household name like, say, Steven Spielberg, Kevin is best known for directing The Last King of Scotland, which won two Baftas and an Oscar, Touching The Void, a superb documentary about mountain climbing gone horribly wrong, and the amazing One Day in September, which also won an Oscar.

Let’s put it this way, if you mention his name to people in the film business, their jaded haunted eyes shoot open and they look at you with new respect and want to be your friend. Which is nice.

The screenplay, nearly complete, has been written by Jeremy Brock (who also wrote Mrs Brown, The Last King of Scotland and Kevin’s soon-to-be-released film, The Eagle) and Tony Grisoni (who also wrote the screenplay for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and In This World), and though I haven’t read the final version, an earlier draft was fantastic — and considerably more coherent than the book. Oops. There’s something disorientating and thrilling about hearing new dialogue from the mouths of your own characters.

Casting has not yet begun, and I’m not even sure a casting director has been chosen. For anyone I’ve promised to inform about casting, I haven’t forgotten. Should be announced soon. I think shooting is tentatively planned for summer 2011.

It must be said that moviemaking makes me a little nervous — ever since I heard Deborah Moggach’s story about having the whole cast for Tulip Fever assembled on location, cameras ready to roll, 15,000 tulips at the ready — and then Gordon Brown changed the tax laws and they pulled the whole production on the spot.

So I’m not buying my frock for the Oscars just yet, but am quietly, privately, very excited indeed.


76 thoughts on “How I Live Now, soon to be a major motion picture

  1. Sarah Smith 8 years ago

    How much involvement did you have with the first film?

    1. Meg 8 years ago

      About the same as with this one. My lovely producers keep me informed, and have so far made a whole series of excellent decisions. Which is enough involvement for me….I guess when there’s final casting, I’ll get a look, but don’t think I’d say “Here’s your actor!” The great thing about having a wonderful director is that you trust them to make wonderful decisions.

  2. Em 8 years ago

    So interesting to hear that Kristen Stewart was considered. I could definitely see her being appropriate as Daisy (her face, her quietness). But like some of the other commenters, I’d a bit scared to think about seeing it! As the saying goes, ‘the book is always better than the film’. That’s nothing against it being made into a film, Meg, just that you’ve written a book that I truly love, and is one of my Top 5 (and I read a *lot* of books!).

  3. Holly 8 years ago

    I don’t know if I’m really really happy, or a little bit sad, or maybe both.

    I’m really really happy because now it means:

    1. Everyone will know about it (as long as they don’t pretend to be “real” fans, I hate it when people never even read the book and do that!)
    2. My friends now have to see it. Even the ones that don’t like books.
    3. It’s generally very exciting!

    I’m a little bit sad because:

    1. I don’t want them to change it.
    2. It was the first book I read that I think really meant something. Maybe it was because I was coming out of being a child and so as a teenager who pretty much knew nothing I learnt a lot from it.

    I don’t know. I am happy though, I guess I just don’t want them to change it!! It’s the first book that when someone says “I really need to read something”, I immediately suggest. I guess I don’t want people saying “yeah, I’ve seen the film”, because I always think that it’s just never the same.

    I wouldn’t like Kristen Stewart as Daisy though 🙁
    It’s good that you have people working on it that won’t screw it up, that makes me happy 🙂

  4. Anna. 8 years ago

    Kristen Stewart? :O 🙁

    1. Meg 8 years ago

      I think she’d have been great, but that was before Twilight. Now she’s forever Bella!

    2. Anna. 8 years ago

      I agree.: )

  5. reesegray 8 years ago

    Hi. Just have to say, you must be one of the absolute coolest authors ever. I have this weird ongoing tradition that when I finish a book, I read basically everything I can about it on the internet. When I found that it was to be a movie, I almost vomited I was so excited, (I didn’t actually, if you were wondering, but I had to get my excitement across somehow…) and then, here you are, just throwing your information at us. Thank you thank you thank you, and best of luck with everything!

    1. Meg 8 years ago

      Thank you Reese. Stay calm….!

  6. Thomy 8 years ago

    I absolutely adore ‘How I live now’ and when you came to my school and told us it was being made into a film, I turned to my friend the second you told us and said “Right, we’re seeing that the day it comes out”
    And THEN you said that there was still casting to be done and I thought, this is my favourite book and I just had to do my best to find out about the auditions and at least try and get a part, however small, in the film. So my two friends and I both asked you (if you remember 🙂 )
    Also, i never got the chance to thank you properly for talking to us, I was truley inspired and I think that made me even more determined to find out about the film. I wonder if the lady who told you to buy the hat knew how much it really would change your life…
    Thank you again 🙂

    1. Meg 8 years ago

      Hi Thomy
      I do remember you, of course….and you know, I never thought about the woman who told me to buy the hat! I bet she never thought about it again. I do love the idea that we’ve all made casual comments that have changed someone’s life, don’t you?
      I promise I’ll post something about the casting when it happens, so keep on eye on my blog over the next month or two.
      p.s. I really loved your school. It had such a great feeling and you all listened….so….hard.

    2. Thomy 8 years ago

      When i saw that you replied I couldn’t stop smiling! 😀 haha, and thanks, I check it everyday anyway to read you blog so hopefully I won’t miss it, thank you 🙂 x

  7. Phoebe 8 years ago

    For some reason, when reading How I Live Now, Edmond always looked like the young Billie Joe Armstrong in my head. (http://i51.tinypic.com/9ht2eq.jpg)

    If they cast someone that looks similar to that, I will adore this film more than I already expect to! I’m really excited for it.

    High hopes and best wishes. xo

    1. afra 8 years ago

      That is so right.

  8. rebecca 8 years ago

    For some reason, despite the fact that this has been my favorite book since I read it years ago, I never thought to find your site. I don’t know why I did today (perhaps because I haven’t read a really engaging fictional story in a long time, and was thinking about how much I liked yours) but I was really excited to see you’d written several more books. And then I saw this post! The first thing I felt was a surge of excitement at seeing this realized on screen, and the second thing I felt was the fear I’ve heard many friends hash out when their favorite stories are made into films. I feel that part of what made the story so great was your writing and seeing everything through Daisy’s eyes and unique voice. However, I am super excited to see who the director is–his films are great! And between that and the fact that you are happy with the screenplay so far, I am excited had how awesome this could be. Also, I am relieved to see on the comments here that Kristen Stewart will not be Daisy? It’s really just because I feel that she is so well known for the Twilight series (which I am not much of a fan of, to understate it) and I know many people who would have been turned off of the film by making a connection between those stories and this one that wasn’t there. Anyway, I can’t wait to see how this turns out and to see the film, and no matter what happens, just wanted to tell you that your novel How I Live Now has been my all-time favorite story for a long time and will continue to be. I can’t say what it is–friends sometimes have teased me about still occasionally reading young adult books, because of some of the connotations I guess, but I really think there are some quality stories and books out there that happen to fall into that “bookstore category” but that can be appreciated by all ages, and your story is one of them. Thank you!

  9. Barbara 8 years ago

    I am hoping that the movie will find its way to the US as well, I absolutely love this book and can’t wait to see Edmund, Daisy and Piper shown on the big screen. I have no worry that the movie is going to be amazing, but perhaps I have too much faith 🙂

    Thanks Meg!

  10. louise devlin 8 years ago

    Hi Meg – has the casting director been announced?

  11. Megan 8 years ago

    Haalllo There 🙂
    I actually read the book last week as my friend gave me it as I was ‘between books’. It was so heartfelt yet strong and really spoke to me. First thing to do that in a while!
    Then I began searching hoping for a sequel, and I found that its being made into a movie!
    Are you doing open auditions perhaps? An online talent search found Hailee Steinfield so that could be quite beneficial?

    Just again, thanks for the book, it was great 😉

  12. Nadia 8 years ago

    Are there going to be auditions for roles in this film?
    I am very interested and even as an extra I would love to be considered.
    Many Thanks



  13. Rose 8 years ago

    Hi Meg
    I have just started reading How I Live Now and it is amazing!!
    I can really relate well to Daisy and love the way it is written!
    Do think Kristen Stewart might play Daisy?
    Please let me know when the auditions are as I would love to audition for the part of Daisy?
    Thank you very much 🙂

  14. Nicky 8 years ago

    This is a really big coincidence, I had started reading your book a month ago (my friend said it was amazing and she was right) and just finished it on Thursday past, so then I somehow came across this website! 🙂
    And now I realize that Daisy hasn’t been cast yet (or any characters) and I can’t wait to find out when the auditions start because I think I could portray Daisy well, anyway please keep us informed about casting, or if you know his casting email or something.

    It’s been an Honor to talk to you.
    Thank you!

  15. may 8 years ago

    hi, just wandering if there was going to be an open casting for the part of Daisy, or whether it would just be done through agents?
    Many thanks

  16. Laura 8 years ago

    Could you perhaps shed any light on the casting process? When will it be taking place, will there be open auditions, looking for unknowns, going through agents… Thanks so much and good luck!

  17. Olivia 8 years ago

    Hi Meg!
    Any info on casting? I love your books and am an aspiring actress – aged 14…keep up the good work! v. excited for the film 😀 xxx

  18. Rhiann 8 years ago


    I can’t believe I have only just found your blog!! 😀 I’m a huge fan and in fact I auditioned for the role of Edmond (Eddie) last Saturday and couldn’t believe my luck at the opportunity! I hope I’m soomething along the lines of what you are looking for and certainly hope that you go for a person that you feel is Edmond and don’t let bossy producers choose. All the best for the film (even if I don’t get it as I will certainly go and see it) and all the best for the future! 🙂

    P.S. Good Luck for everyone who has gone to a casting I hope we may get to meet one day! 😀

    1. Meg 8 years ago

      THanks for being in touch, Rhiann. Good luck!

    2. Rhiann 8 years ago

      Thanks Meg. Wow, you replied. Cool. I just wanted to say…. I didn’t mean to use the words bossy producers..I just meant to say that on reading your blog comments I hoped that you got the type of people you had in mind to play the parts as i know it can be hard to get a book to translate onto film and the characters to be the same and it must be so difficult having someone else choose them for you when only you are so familiar with each one of the characters. That’s all. I dont want to offend anyone. 🙁

    3. Meg 8 years ago

      Tee hee. No one was offended. Promise.

  19. Madison 8 years ago

    I was so glad when I hear it was being made in to a movie, since its one of my favourite books! even gladder (if thats a word) when I found out I was being called to audition for the role of daisy!! XD I shall find out tomorrow if I get a call back! If I do get the role or whoever does I hope they do the amazing book and character justice!

  20. Nedk 8 years ago

    Any tips for someone auditioning for the part of Joe tomorrow evening?

    1. Meg 8 years ago

      Ummmm….act your heart out? Good luck….hope it goes well (i’d love to hear about it….) xxx

  21. Lilly 8 years ago

    I am in the middle of reading How I Live Now for the billionth time, and just today decided to type it in on Google. Imagine my shock when I came across this post! I quite literally screamed at the top of my lungs, because I had just been thinking what How I Live Now would look like as a film. I promise to force my parents to take me to the theatre the day it comes out!

  22. Roxxi Katelyn P. 7 years ago

    I just auditioned for Daisy. I read this book and loved the depth of the characters and relate to her as a teenager. I am so excited to see this made into a movie and I hope I am part of it.

  23. B.Elizabeth 7 years ago


    I loved the book and I was wondering if you can send a resume and headshots to the casting director if you cannot go to the open call? THANKS! 🙂

  24. Harris Dickinson 7 years ago

    i auditioned for the part of Edmund early this year and it was a wonderful experience, im dying to find out whos playing the part of edmund! and i must say what a wonderful read ‘how i live now’ is. Brilliant.

  25. Pingback: Hollywood is searching for it’s next hit in Young Adult Fiction |

Comments are closed.