James Wan to Produce 'Boy Who Drew Monsters' Movie Adaptation (Exclusive)

New Line muscles up to preemptively nab the movie rights to Keith Donohue's 2014 book.
Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP; Picador Publishing

In a competitive situation, New Line has preemptively picked up the movie rights to The Boy Who Drew Monsters, a horror novel by Keith Donohue, for an adaptation to be produced by The Conjuring and Furious 7 filmmaker James Wan.

Ian Goldberg and Richard Naing, who penned Emile Hirsch’s recently wrapped indie horror film The Autopsy of Jane Doe, are on board to write the adaptation.  

The book, published in 2014 by Picador, centered on a 10-year-old boy who suffers from Asperger’s as well as agoraphobia. But he also develops the ability to bring to life whatever he draws, which unfortunately happens to be monsters.

The boy’s best friend, his parents and a priest’s housekeeper figure into the story as they all try to help the boy in a book that is described as part drama, part ghost story and part creature feature.

Wan will produce with Michael Clear, who heads production at Wan's Atomic Monster and brought the book into the label. Atomic Monster has a first-look deal with New Line, but that is for low-budget horror projects. This project falls outside of the deal.

Richard Brener, Walter Hamada and Dave Neustadter will oversee.

Wan is currently in production on The Conjuring 2 and is also developing Aquaman. He is repped by Paradigm, Stacey Testro International and David Fox at Myman Greenspan.

Donohue, who broke through as a novelist with 2006’s The Stolen Child, was repped in the deal by UTA on behalf of Peter Steinberg at Foundry Literary + Media.

Goldberg, who worked with David Goyer developing the Superman-based Krypton television show, and Naing, who was an associate producer on the Sam Rockwell indie Better Living Through Chemistry, penned a recent draft of a Friday the 13th reboot.

Goldberg is repped by WME and New Wave Entertainment while Naing is repped by APA and Circle of Confusion.

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