This sci-fi flop canceled two sequels and a Twilight-like universe

This film attempted to replicate the success of the “Twilight” saga – to no avail. And yet, the book it was inspired by was also by Stephenie Meyer…

The Twilight saga was a worldwide success and many films have tried to match its success. As SensaCine recalls, among them is another fantastic story adapted from a book by Stephenie Meyer – who not only wrote the novels telling the love story between the human Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and the vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). Indeed, the author also published in 2008 a sci-fi story that became a movie – and a flop that destroyed an entire universe with two sequels planned.

Les Âmes Vagabondes, released in theaters in 2013, nevertheless presented a beautiful cast led by Saoirse Ronan and Diane Kruger. Its story takes place in a future where humanity has been nearly wiped out by an alien invasion. These are called “souls” and reside in the bodies of their human victims, erasing their memories.

Melanie Stryder, the protagonist, is a young woman different from the others: captured by the enemy, she nevertheless miraculously retained her conscience and decides to rebel, which will make her the target of the Tracker, a soul who wants to convert all remaining humans. Mélanie then flees to find the man she loves, but when she finds out where he is, things get complicated.

Metropolitan Filmexport

As you can see, the history of Wandering Souls includes elements similar to those of Twilight : romance, fantasy – in this case, science fiction – and young protagonists in love. So why was this film not successful?


With negative reviews, the not-so-bad feature film only grossed just over $63 million worldwide against a starting budget of $40 million, making technically flopped at the box office. And although the novel itself had long been on the New York Times bestseller list, the plans for Stephanie Meyer were suffocated.

The author had at the time confirmed that she was working on the literary sequels and that it was more than likely that it would become a trilogy. The next two novels were to be titled “The Seeker” and “The Soul”. But she never wrote them.

Metropolitan Filmexport

When the film premiered in March 2013, writer-director Andrew Niccol told EW that he wanted to write the script for the sequel. “Show me the book, Stephenie. You shouldn’t be here. you should write“, had then joked the filmmaker.

I don’t know if it will be a trilogy. It depends if I get to an end. We’ll see where the story ends”, she replied. It is likely that the film’s poor box office results caused the film to lose Stephanie Meyer the desire to continue Melanie’s story. Thus, fans never got to know the fate of the heroine – both in print and on the big screen.

In 2020, Stephanie Meyer returned to the subject, telling The Guardian that the book she would like to be remembered for was Wandering souls.

If I never wrote another book, I think I would probably choose Les mes Vagabondes. I feel like this is my most important story in many ways. But I really hope my best book is still ahead of me. Let’s be honest, though. I will be remembered for Twilight.

Wandering Souls is currently available on VOD.

Check out an interview with Stephenie Meyer about the film below:

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