Sony Pictures Acquires BZRK for Sam Raimi; Davis Films Picks Up Teen Fantasy Series HOUSE OF NIGHT

     November 2, 2011

Studios continue the search for the next great teen franchise to fill the void left behind by Harry Potter and Twilight. Today, two novel series have been picked up for film adaptations. BZRK, by author Michael Grant, has been acquired by Sony Pictures as the first of a trilogy for Sam Raimi and Josh Donen at Stars Road. The premise pits a team of guerilla-group teenagers against supervillain conjoined twins, with both sides battling it out through the use of nanobot warriors.

The wildly successful House of Night series by mother-daughter authors P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast has been acquired by Samuel Hadida of Davis Films. Firmly entrenched in vampire mythology, the series follows teenager Zoey Redbird as she journeys to the House of Night boarding school where she is trained to survive as an adult “vampiyre.” Hit the jump for more on both projects.

sam-raimi-imageAs Deadline reports, though BZRK is due out for publication early next year, the novel elicited a strong response at the recent Frankfurt Book Fair. Author Michael Grant knows a thing or two about the book market for young readers, having co-authored the Animorphs series as well as the series Gone, in which all the adults in the world have disappeared. (How long until Hollywood scoops that one up?) Check out the synopsis for BZRK below:

Set in the near future, a conspiracy is afoot to create a perfect and perfectly controlled world. The Armstrong Fancy Gift Corporation is a front for the conjoined Armstrong twins, Charles and Benjamin, and the plot to create their own version of utopia.

A shadowy guerilla group known as BZRK form a nascent resistance movement. Both sides develop sophisticated nanotechnology to achieve their goals:

-The Armstrong twins develop the nanobot, a stealth device that latches onto the brains of unsuspecting citizens

-BZRK’s DNA-derived biots are deployed to search out and destroy the insidious bots.  If biots are destroyed, the brain cells of their DNA-donor also die. [Amazon]

Having just released the ninth book in the House of Night series and the fact that over 12 million copies have been sold in the US with the series earning a spot on The New York Times best-seller list for a record 140 weeks, I think it’s safe to say that Davis Films has a potential blockbuster on their hands. The company is the same one behind both the Silent Hill and Resident Evil franchises (For the record that puts them 1-and-1 in my book.) Samuel Hadid had this to say about the acquisition:

“We are thrilled to bring P.C. and Kristin’s stunning series of books to worldwide film audiences. They have created a world of adolescent growth against a backdrop of supernatural suspense that resonates around the world with young readers immersed in Twilight and Harry Potter. House of Night connects on a profound level — what growing up means today.”

marked-book-coverCheck out the synopsis from Marked, the first book in the House of Night series:

Enter the dark, magical world of the House of Night, a world very much like our own, except here vampyres have always existed.

One minute, sixteen-year-old Zoey Redbird is a normal teenager dealing with everyday high school stress: her cute boyfriend Heath, the school’s star quarterback who suddenly seems more interested in partying than playing ball; her nosy frenemy Kayla, who’s way too concerned with how things are going with Heath; her uber-tough geometry test tomorrow.  The next, she’s Marked as a fledgling vampyre, forcing her to leave her ordinary life behind and join the House of Night, a boarding school where she will train to become an adult vampyre.  That is, if she makes it through the Change—and not all of those who are Marked do.  It sucks to begin a new life, especially away from her friends, and on top of that, Zoey is no average fledgling.  She has been chosen as special by the vampyre Goddess, Nyx.  Zoey discovers she has amazing powers, but along with her powers come bloodlust and an unfortunate ability to Imprint with Heath, who just doesn’t know how to take “no” for an answer.  To add to her stress, she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers: when she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school’s most elite group, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny—with a little help from her new vampyre friends. [Amazon]

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