EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has optioned the 1962 J.G. Ballard novel The Drowned World for Heyday Films. Harry Potter series producer David Heyman and Jeffrey Clifford will be the producers for Heyday, and Warner Bros’ Jon Berg is overseeing it.
The deal comes right after the 50th anniversary of the book, which is set during 2145 and imagines a terrifying world in which solar radiation has melted the ice caps. Jungles have overrun continental Europe, and London is for the most part left submerged under water. The protagonist is a biologist who lives on the 35th floor of a high-rise, where only two floors sit above the water line. He battles a savage environment, and primordial creatures that prowl the undergrowth. Oh yeah, and there are also the Mad Max-like anarchists who rule the city and terrorize its inhabitants. READ MORE »
Chase Novak‘s Breed: A Novel was published in September by Mulholland Books and centers on a couple that undergoes an experimental fertility treatment that turns them into bloodthirsty savages, leading them on a desperate quest to find a cure. Summit has acquired rights and hired Burr Steers to write and direct the horror thriller, which will be produced by David Heyman and Jeffrey Clifford of Heyday Films. A sequel novel is already in the works. The Breed deal marks the second partnership for the Lionsgate company and Heyday, after the studio acquired Erin Morgenstern’s novel The Night Circus and tapped Moira Buffini to write it. Last month, DreamWorks Studios was in exclusive talks to acquire M.L. Stedman’s debut novel The Light Between Oceans, which Harry Potter series producer Heyman will produce with Clifford.
Steers most recently directed Charlie St. Cloud and 17 Again, and his writing credits include How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days and Igby Goes Down, which he also helmed. He is repped by CAA and Gotham Group; CAA brokered the deal for Novak in conjunction with Janklow & Nesbit Associates. Read More »
BREAKING: DreamWorks Studios has acquired feature film rights to Leigh Bardugo’s young adult fantasy debut novel Shadow And Bone. Harry Potter producer David Heyman will produce alongside Jeffrey Clifford. The book was published in June 2012 by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, and is the first in a planned three-book series called the Grisha Trilogy. A young woman must learn to control her newly discovered power in order to save her country from the Shadow Fold, a creature-filled darkness that threatens to overrun the land. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Brothers has acquired screen rights to The Planet Thieves, an upcoming young adult novel by Dan Krokos that will be published next May by Tor/Macmillan. The film will be produced by Heyday Films and Benderspink along with Pouya Shahbazian. Heyday’s David Heyman is coming off the Harry Potter series, which seems somewhat appropriate since it was pitched to the studio as Harry Potter set in space. Read More »
Saoirse Ronan is returning to her period roots with the David Heyman-produced Testament Of Youth. The Atonement actress, who’s lately made a detour into action, has become attached to the adaptation of Vera Brittain’s World War I memoir. … Read More »
Michael Bond’s first Paddington book was published in 1958, but the film version will be a modern take. Harry Potter producer David Heyman and Studiocanal are teaming for the CGI live-action adaptation. Paul King (Bunny And The Bull) will direct … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has made a whopping deal to acquire screen rights to Unholy Night, the new novel by Seth Grahame-Smith. Grahame-Smith will write the script, and he and KatzSmith partner David Katzenberg will produce with Heyday Films’ David Heyman and Jeffrey Clifford. I’ve heard that the deal is in the vicinity of $2 million upfront for the rights to the book and for Grahame-Smith to adapt it. The studio got first look at the book, as both KatzSmith and Heyday are based at Warner Bros. That is where Heyman produced the Harry Potter film series and where Grahame-Smith scripted the Tim Burton-directed Dark Shadows. Unholy Night, an action/adventure surrounding the Three Wise Men of the Nativity, will be published in April by Grand Central.
Setting up a film based around the birth of Jesus Christ gives Warner Bros its third high-profile movie based on a seminal religious story. The studio has been discussing the possibility of Steven Spielberg directing Gods And Kings, an epic-sized film about the life of Moses scripted by Michael Green and Stuart Hazeldine. And Warner Bros recently set up a project being scripted by Joe Eszterhas and Mel Gibson (who has first option to direct) about the heroic story of Jewish warrior Judah Maccabee, who teamed with his father and four brothers to lead the Jewish revolt against the Greek-Syrian armies that had conquered Judea in the second century B.C. Maccabee’s triumph and struggle against tyranny and oppression where people gave their lives so that others would be free to worship is celebrated by Jews all over the world through Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Jeffrey Clifford, the former creative exec at Disney and Warner Bros who ran Montecito for Ivan Reitman and Tom Pollock for the last four and one-half years, will move back to the Warner Bros lot to run Heyday Films for David Heyman. The deal isn’t done but Clifford will … Read More »