Fox's 'The Passage' Adaptation Lands Pilot Pickup

From writer Elizabeth Heldens and exec producer Matt Reeves, the vampire drama is based on the New York Times best-selling book trilogy by Justin Cronin.
Courtesy of Penguin Random House

Fox is ready to go on the hunt for vampires.

The network on Thursday handed out a pilot order to an adaptation of Justin Cronin's book The Passage, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

The New York Times best-seller, published in 2010, was the first in Cronin's book trilogy. Here's the description of the Fox drama: The Passage begins as a character-driven government conspiracy thriller and morphs into a post-apocalyptic saga with vampires. The potential series spans over a century and focuses on a young girl named Amy who must save the human race.

The Passage landed at Fox in November with a pilot-production commitment. It will be written by Elizabeth Heldens (Friday Night Lights), with Felicity grad Matt Reeves — who wrote and directed the U.S. remake of Swedish vampire drama Let Me In — attached to executive produce alongside Scott Free's Ridley Scott and David W. Zucker. Cronin co-exec produces the drama. Reeves' 6th and Idaho Productions executive vp Adam Kassan also is attached as an exec producer. The drama is being produced by 20th Century Fox Television, where both Heldens and Reeves' banners are under overall deals.

The Passage arrives as the vampire genre continues to be mined for new stories. This season, The CW is developing a reboot of  The Lost Boys as the younger-skewing broadcaster prepares to say farewell to The Vampire Diaries this season. (A verdict on the future of Vampire Diaries spinoff The Originals is still to be determined for next season.) NBC, meanwhile, is exiting the supernatural genre this season when Friday staple Grimm comes to an end. (TNT also recently passed on its attempt to reboot the original Swedish vampire drama Let the Right One In, on which Reeves' Let Me In was based.)

For Fox, The Passage is the network's third drama order of the season, all produced in-house at 20th Century Fox TV. It joins an untitled X-Men drama from Matt Nix as well as Seth MacFarlane's live-action dramedy Orville, which landed at 13-episode straight-to-series order. 

Keep track of the latest news and castings at THR.com/PilotSeason and bookmark THR's handy guide.

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