Were you a fan of last year’s sweeping epic Australia? OK, not many of you were, but that’s not stopping the film’s co-writer from stepping it up a notch. According to THR, Stuart Beattie will make his directorial debut with an adaptation of the Australian young adult novel entitled Tomorrow, When the War Began. The book is the first of seven installments of a popular series that ran from 1994-1999. They were written by famed author John Marsden and are typically referred to as “The Tomorrow Series”

Beattie is going all out for his first directing gig by tackling Tomorrow. The series is immensely popular down under, especially with the coveted teen demographic. In the midst of Twilight’s success, Tomorrow is looking to target the same audience. “The main character is a teen named Ellie Linton, who struggles to become a fierce leader even while navigating relationships with the seven other teenagers in her group.” The series is so popular in Australia that they actually teach it in schools. I haven’t heard of Twilight getting the academic treatment.

There’s another movie Tomorrow shares some similarities with that aren’t so welcome. Beattie’s a little concerned about the comparisons that may be made between his film and the eighties action flick, Red Dawn (which is currently being remade).

“I don’t want to make ‘Red Dawn,’ ” said Beattie, though he admits to liking the movie that MGM is in the process of remaking. “Do you remember when ‘The Full Monty’ and ‘Striptease’ were coming out together? They came out within months as the exact same premise — the parent strips for money so they can see their kid. But completely different. One was all flash and rockin’ body, and the other was completely the opposite, of total insecurity about getting up onstage. We’re more like the ‘Full Monty’ version.”

The filmmaker is also doing his part to make sure his first film is produced and shot in his native land.

 ”Australia hasn’t made an action movie, I think, since ‘Mad Max,’ ” he said. “So it’s the opportunity to do something in the biggest sense. And it’s only doable because there is this great property out there that everyone in Australia knows.”

He’s a little wrong with that statement, Wolverine was an action movie shot in Australia just last year. The movie was horrible  but it was still shot there. Don’t try to sweep it under the rug Beattie! I’m going to assume that he’s referring to an action film that’s actually set in Australia, that makes more sense.

It looks like we’ll have another teen-centric film saga coming our way. They plan on making a trilogy off of the first three books and if those are successful they’ll turn the other four into a spin-off series.

What do you think of Beattie’s idea to make a youth oriented film franchise similar to Twilight? Do we need more of these types of films in theaters?