A best-selling novel based on the captivating love story of a mismatched pair deserted on an uninhabited island of the Maldives is to be made into a feature-length film.
According to reports, leading Hollywood production company Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) has optioned the rights to Tracey Garvis-Graves‘ best-selling castaway novel “On the Island”, a five-week inhabitant of the New York Times bestseller list.
Film website Cinema Blend compared the novel to a cross between Hollywood blockbuster Cast Away, featuring Tom Hanks, and Fifty Shades of Grey, a runaway hit on the New York Times bestseller list made infamous for its explicit descriptions of bondage, domination and sadomasochism.
According to the website Variety, MGM is in negotiations with Temple Hill Productions, producers of the teenage blockbuster “Twilight”, to produce “On the Island”.
“Perfect location for book”
The story centers on Anna Emerson, a 31-year-old English teacher who signs up to tutor TJ Callahan, a 16-year-old recovering from cancer at his family’s vacation home in the Maldives.
On the way to family’s vacation home, the sea plane carrying the pair crash lands in the Indian Ocean, leaving them stranded on an uninhabited island.
The book synopsis describes: “Now Anna and TJ just want to survive, and they must work together to obtain water, food, fire, and shelter. Their basic needs might be met but as the days turn to weeks, and then months, the castaways encounter plenty of other obstacles, including violent tropical storms, the many dangers lurking in the sea, and the possibility that TJ’s cancer could return. As TJ celebrates yet another birthday on the island, Anna begins to wonder if the biggest challenge of all might be living with a boy who is gradually becoming a man.”
According to the author of the novel, Maldives was the “perfect location” for the book.
“I needed an uninhabited island and when I did a Google search, the Maldives came right up. It was a perfect location for the book,” Garvis-Graves told Minivan News.
Although Tracey has never been to Maldives, she adds: “I did extensive online research. I looked at hundreds of images and I read everything I could about the plants, animals, climate, marine life etc.”
“I have never visited the Maldives but hope to be able to someday,” she said.
The Maldives is an upmarket tourist destination in the Indian Ocean with a population of nearly 350,000 inhabiting only 200 of its 1,192 low-lying islands.
Perfect location for a movie?
As reports of converting the compelling love story into a movie brings exciting news to its fans, the possibility of filming the movie in Maldives has sparked “special interest”.
“It is great news for the Maldives that it has been mentioned as a country in a best selling novel, and the idea of the story being converted into a movie is even more interesting,” Mohamed Maleeh Jamal, Deputy Tourism Minister said.
As the story speaks of the Maldives as the desert island-set where the romance begins, Jamal contended that “the Maldives would make the best setting to shoot the movie.”
“We are more than happy to assist in anyway to get the shooting of the film done in Maldives. We welcome any project that would generate positive coverage to Maldives,” he added.
The Deputy Minister welcomed the authour and MGM productions to consider the Maldives as a shooting location: “I invite the author and the producers to the Maldives. We will communicate with the tourism industry, resorts, tour operators, and make a collaborative effort to facilitate the production of the movie here. I’m sure we can broker a deal,” he said.
When Minivan News asked Garvis-Graves whether the Maldives would be chosen as a location, she responded “I don’t have any information on possible shooting locations as the film is only in the option stage. But the Maldives would be a beautiful location for filming for obvious reasons!”