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JUN
19
2 YEARS

Universal Picks Up 'Locke & Key' Comic (Exclusive)

Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, the writers on the "Star Trek" and "Transformers" movies, are producing the feature adaptation.

Locke and Key Poster - P 2013

Universal has optioned Locke & Key, the acclaimed supernatural comic book series by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez, to develop as a feature film.

Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Bobby Cohen will produce via their Universal-based K/O Paper Products banner. Ted Adams, the CEO and publisher of IDW Publishing, the company behind the comic, also will produce.

Locke & Key tells of three siblings who, after the gruesome murder of their father, move to their ancestral home in Massachusetts. They soon discover the house has magical keys that give the bearers a vast array of powers and abilities. However, a devious creature is also after the keys, forcing the family to make a stand against evil.

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The stories expanded to tell a bi-generational coming-of-age tale that encompasses heroism and tragedy and thrills and chills.

The graphic novel collections have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list multiple times, even hitting #1, while the comics have garnered Hill and Rodriguez multiple Eisner Award nominations.

Hill, who is the son of Stephen King and the author of such horror novels such as Heart-Shaped Box and the recent NOS4A2, won an Eisner for best writer, and the series has twice won the British Fantasy Award for best comic/graphic novel.

Hollywood has been trying to adapt Locke & Key for several years now. Dimension had the screen rights initially, and when they lapsed in 2010, Kurtzman and Orci, the superstar writers whose work includes Star Trek, Transformers and Fringe, jumped in.

The property became a TV series, with a pilot, produced by DreamWorks TV and K/O Paper Products, being shot for Fox TV, which ultimately passed on it. The producers tried to shop it around, but budgetary constraints were an issue.

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The hope is that the feature film model will give the story the ample canvas it needs.

Executive vp production Jon Mone and creative executive Jay Polidoro will oversee the project for Universal, while Ben Kim will handle development for K/O Paper Products.

Kurtzman and Orci are represented by CAA and Gendler & Kelly. IDW and Adams are represented by CAA, Circle of Confusion and Jackoway Tyerman.

Email: Borys.Kit@thr.com

Twitter: @borys_kit