Coming Soon: GEOGRAPHY CLUB, the Movie!

Cameron Deane Stewart

Those of you who follow me on Twitter or Facebook already know that there’s a movie version of my 2003 novel Geography Club in the works, filming just wrapped, for a 2013 release.

I spentĀ  some of June down in Los Angeles on the set, and I know I’m biased, but I can’t tell you how impressed I am with the project and the talent involved in making it happen.

But I have to confess: it was all a little surreal. I watched the filming of one scene that had 1000 extras, and I thought, “You’re kidding! All this for a little book I wrote more than ten years ago?” I imagine it’s a little like what the pharaohs felt like when the pyramids were being built (I’d like to think I lack their delusions of grandeur, but who knows?).

Justin Deeley

I think people will be really pleased with the cast. Russel and Kevin are played by Cameron Deane Stewart, who’s done a few things but is still pretty unknown, and Justin Deeley, who is currently on 90210.

I know everyone always says about young actors, “He’s going to be a big star someday!” But I really do think they’re both going to be big stars someday. Plus, they’re both fantastic for the parts (and they also seem like really nice guys, which counts for a lot).

The rest of the cast includes Hairspray‘s Nikki Blonski (Terese), Ten Things I Hate About You‘s Ally Maki (Min), Transformer‘s Andrew Caldwell (Gunnar), Glee‘s Alex Newell (Ike), Hannah Montana‘s Teo Olivares (Brian Bund), and Joyful Noise’s Dexter Darden (Jarred).

Those of you who look at the picture of Ally and think, “Wait, she doesn’t look like Min is supposed to look!” Rest assured that when she’s in hair-and-make-up, she looks perfect (sounds perfect too).

Ally Maki

There weren’t any adults in the book, but there are few in the movie: Scott Bakula (Kevin’s dad), SNL’s Ana Gasteyer (the health teacher), and Two and a Half Men’s Marin Hinkle (Kevin’s mom).

As for the director (Gary Entin), screenwriter (Edmund Entin), producers (Michael Huffington and Anthony Bretti), and executive producers (Frederick Levy and Bryan Leder), they all treated me like royalty. A movie is a totally different thing than a book — this is a movie based on and inspired by the book, not a film of the book.

Even so, I was touched and honored and humbled how important the project (and the book) seemed to be to them.

I’ve always heard the Hollywood cliche about how horrible they treat writers there, but that hasn’t been my experience at all. So far, I couldn’t be more pleased.

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34 Responses to “Coming Soon: GEOGRAPHY CLUB, the Movie!”

  1. octobercountry 3 July 2012 at 3:06 am #

    Congratulations! You must be so excited, and I'm looking forward to seeing the picture.

    I'm assuming you've read the screenplay and are happy with it?

    • Brent Hartinger 3 July 2012 at 5:48 am #

      I did read the screenplay, and as movie adaptations go, it's quite faithful. They'd changed some things, added a few more, mostly opening it up and updating. It all makes sense, especially now that I've seen the filming and cast and have more of a sense of the "tone."

      • octobercountry 3 July 2012 at 1:56 pm #

        It's good to know you're pleased with the screenplay. Heck, sounds like this experience has been pretty good for you—you're quite lucky! (Think of the unfortunate experiences of other authors; poor Susan Cooper, for example—all those years waiting for "The Dark is Rising" to be made into a film, and then when it finally was, the picture was terrible—had almost no relationship to her original story.)

        Anyway, I hope the film gets a wide release and I'll definitely see it—suppose it's about time for a re-read of the book as well.

  2. @JHTrumble 3 July 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    Congratulations, Brent! Can't wait to see the movie.

    • Brent Hartinger 3 July 2012 at 6:47 pm #

      Thank you Janet!

  3. Rebecca 3 July 2012 at 4:50 pm #

    I've been looking forward to this for ages!! I do hope they keep somethings like the Cabin, the Nightclub (LOL) and the uphill struggle on the bikes ahha :D

    • Brent Hartinger 3 July 2012 at 6:48 pm #

      My lips are sealed! (But you'll be happy.)

  4. Debby Garfinkle 3 July 2012 at 5:08 pm #

    That's so cool! Can't wait to see the movie!

    • Brent Hartinger 3 July 2012 at 6:48 pm #

      Thanks, Debby. :-)

  5. Kyle 3 July 2012 at 6:50 pm #

    So when is book four of the Russ series coming out?

    • Brent Hartinger 3 July 2012 at 6:54 pm #

      Ah, yes. Well, it was supposed to be next month. But then, um, this movie thing happened (and some other stuff).

      Now it's looking more like November.

  6. Von Deux 4 July 2012 at 10:19 pm #

    are the stars going to be 20-something actors playing teenagers? hmmm…

    • Brent Hartinger 5 July 2012 at 6:54 am #

      Cameron (Russel) is 20, the others are all older teens or early 20s. Kevin, who plays Kevin, is the oldest, at 26 (but that sorta makes sense given the character).

      • Brent Hartinger 5 July 2012 at 6:55 am #

        I mean Justin, who plays Kevin…

      • Von Deux 5 July 2012 at 1:54 pm #

        i suppose it's ok, as long as they still look like they're teenagers… and hot =)

  7. Gwen 5 July 2012 at 2:30 am #

    Congratulations! This is wonderful news. Both those guys are cuties and the fact that you've read the screenplay and are happy with it is a relief. Getting the tone right is (to me) more important that making sure every detail in the film is EXACTLY the same as it was in the book.

    Looking forward to it! 2013'll be here soon!

    • Brent Hartinger 5 July 2012 at 6:56 am #

      Yes, that's my take too. They definitely didn't water it down. The changes were necessary for the film.

  8. Sierra 8 July 2012 at 7:38 pm #

    The excitment is overwhelming! Great casting choice! I knew when I clicked on the link and first saw Cameron's face that he had to be Russel, so that's a great indicator ^.^ He has the same lovable vibe. Is Geography Club going to theaters? Are you allowed to say whether it is or not? I think the series deserves a midnight showing =) I'd go! Even if the nearest theater is in another town ;)

    • Brent Hartinger 9 July 2012 at 3:24 am #

      Ha! I'm not allowed to say very much at this point, but yes, it should be in theaters if all goes right. And I agree both about the casting at the midnight showings! :-)

  9. Patricia B. 9 July 2012 at 1:42 am #

    wow! congratulations! My sister and I cant wait to see this movie. ~0.0~
    I like the person cast for min, even if she looked the way she does in that picture i think she would play a good min. she looks like she has the right attitude. They rest of the cast is wonderful as well :)

    • Brent Hartinger 9 July 2012 at 3:24 am #

      That's nice of you to say, and I agree with you about Ally (the actress who plays Min). She looks smart and decent — a perfect Min (and the actress IS smart and decent, which helps!)

  10. Alex Moreno 9 July 2012 at 3:46 am #


    Awesome news! I am SO happy for you!
    NOt only is the story evolving into film but YOU are happy with what's being produced!

  11. Daniel 18 July 2012 at 2:13 am #

    OMG This so great! I read the book not a few weeks ago. I really like the cast, especially Min (I always imagined her Asian looking) I'm looking foward to it.!

    • Brent Hartinger 20 July 2012 at 6:17 am #

      Thank you! I'm pleased too. :-)

  12. BookChic 26 July 2012 at 11:21 pm #

    Congrats on the movie release! I will definitely see it opening day. :) Also, that is awesome news that Ana Gasteyer is in your movie- I LOVE her!

    And yay for book 4 being out later this year!

    • Brent Hartinger 27 July 2012 at 5:51 am #

      Ah, thank you! :-)

  13. Excited Extra 10 August 2012 at 8:03 am #

    Congratulations on the movie version of the book! I was among the extras on set, and I had loads of fun during the filming! I read the book a week before the filming, when I heard that the movie was inspired by the book, and I loved it. Hope the movie is just as good as the book. I'm so excited to see it!

  14. Brent Hartinger 11 August 2012 at 8:26 am #

    Ah, very cool! Thanks for the kind words — and I had a great time the days I was on the set too (I have a cameo!).

    I'm very, very excited to see the finished product too. :-)

  15. Mick 15 October 2012 at 8:02 am #


  16. Brent Hartinger 19 October 2012 at 11:53 pm #

    Thanks! :-)

  17. Thomas G. 5 November 2012 at 4:41 pm #

    Not to long ago I read Geography Club and The Order of the Poinson Oak, I was really entertained with the characters you created and I felt alot of chemistry with each of them. I already fell in love with Russel Middlebrook. He is so funny, smart, sweet and has a good heart. I just turned 28 and I still love to read coming of age novels because they make stories interesting and entertaining. I am really looking foward to the film version of the book and firmly believe it will come out really great! Congratulations on getting the rights for the movie!

    • Brent Hartinger 13 November 2012 at 7:17 pm #

      Thank you very much! :-)

  18. Gibbs 7 February 2014 at 10:13 am #

    just seen the movie. it really moved me. :)

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