Amandla Stenberg as Ruby Daly and Harris Dickinson as Liam in The Darkest Minds.
Image: Fox

Fox’s upcoming adaptation of Alexandra Bracken’s YA series The Darkest Minds might seem like an epic, action-oriented X-Men kind of a story, but the film’s latest trailer is a powerful reminder that romance is ultimately what drives everything forward.

The Darkest Minds is set in a world where most of the country’s children suddenly die as the result of a mysterious plague. Those that survive the natural disaster soon begin to manifest a variety of superhuman abilities like telekinesis and pyrokinesis, something that scares the adult population so much they round up the kids in camps, where they are experimented on. Of course Ruby (Amandla Stenberg), the movie’s heroine, is far from content with her life in the camp for special children--and in time she realizes that it’s up to her to help lead her fellow captives to freedom.

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Also, she falls in love along the way because, well, YA.

It’s difficult to say whether The Darkest Minds will be able to make itself stand apart from the litany of other live-action YA adaptations that are all about the social anxieties kids develop in response to being categorized by society. But at the very least, it’s good to know that one of the more comic book-y movies hitting theaters this year will have an earnest, emotional heart beating at the center of it.

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The Darkest Minds, directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson, drops on August 3.