Columbia, Cross Creek and Doug Liman Team for Sci-Fi 'Unearthed' (Exclusive)

Jez and John Henry Butterworth ('Spectre') are writing the script for the project, which adapts the upcoming YA book by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner.
Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images (Liman)
Doug Liman

Columbia Pictures has picked up Unearthed, a sci-fi adventure that has Doug Liman attached to direct.

Jez and John Henry Butterworth are writing the script for the project, which adapts the upcoming YA book by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. Cross Creek Pictures’ Tyler Thompson will produce along with Liman.

The project was initially being developed by Cross Creek, which acquired the rights last year. The company is also behind Liman’s upcoming Tom Cruise movie, American Made. Cross Creek will co-finance under its deal with Columbia, which is eyeing the title as a potential franchise.

Set in a distant future where Earth has been undone by environmental disaster, Unearthed sees a scholar and a scavenger reluctantly team to venture to the planet of a now-extinct alien race. With the promise of a salve for Earth, the two must work together to explore an ancient alien temple and finds its life-altering secrets. But the deeper they go, the more the two discover they may not be help their own planet but rather hasten its destruction.

The book is set to be published in January and has been described as a space-bound Tomb Raider meets Indiana Jones.

David Beaubaire is overseeing for the studio.

Liman is currently prepping to adapt Chaos Walking, which will star Daisy Ridley, for Lionsgate.

The Butterworth brothers worked with Liman on 2014’s Edge of Tomorrow. Other recent credits include the James Bond movie Spectre and the crime movie Black Mass starring Johnny Depp.

Liman and the Butterworths are repped by CAA.

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