Producers Nick Wechsler, Steve Schwartz, and Paula Mae Schwartz acquired the film rights to The Host in September 2009, but Open Road Films later acquired the film rights, and made Stephenie Meyer, Nick Wechsler, Steve Schwartz, and Paula Mae Schwartz the main producers. Andrew Niccol was hired to write the screenplay and to direct the film. In February 2011, Susanna White was hired to replace Niccol as director, but he later resumed the role in May 2011. Saoirse Ronan was also cast in May as Melanie Stryder/Wanderer. On June 27, the release date was set for the film for March 29, 2013, and it was also announced that principal photography would begin in February 2012, in Louisiana and New Mexico. The film received a PG-13 rating from the Motion Picture Association of America for "some sensuality and violence."
Universal Studios Home Entertainment announced that a digital version of the film will be available for purchase on June 25th, 2013 as well as on Blu-Ray Combo Pack with DVD and Digital on July 9th, 2013. The combo pack will allow fans to watch The Host on any platform of their choosing. It includes Deleted Scenes, a making-of featurette titled "Bringing The Hose To Life", and commentary from Stephanie Meyer, director Andrew Niccol, and producer Nick Wechsler.
The Host has been panned by critics, currently holding a 10% 'rotten' rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 104 reviews. The consensus states: "Poorly scripted and dramatically ineffective, The Host is mostly stale and tedious, with moments of unintentional hilarity."
IGN gave it a "mediocre" score of 5/10, stating that the movie is "unintentionally laughable" and "frustratingly absurd".
The Host was the penultimate film to be reviewed by film critic Roger Ebert before his death on April 4, 2013, and the last to be published in his lifetime (his last reviewed film was of Terrence Malick's To the Wonder which was published a few days after his death). He rated the film 2.5/4 stars, saying "The Host is top-heavy with profound, sonorous conversations, all tending to sound like farewells. The movie is so consistently pitched at the same note, indeed, that the structure robs it of possibilities for dramatic tension."