Columbus nabs 'Thief' at Fox 2000

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Chris Columbus is in negotiations to direct Fox 2000's "The Lightning Thief," the first novel in a best-selling fantasy series that the studio bought for Columbus to produce through his 1492 banner.

The project, which is based on the first book in the "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" series by Rick Riordan, would mark Columbus' return to the family-fantasy genre. His directing credits include "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" and "Home Alone."

"Thief" centers on a young boy who discovers that he is the descendant of a Greek god and sets out — with the help of a satyr and a daughter of Athena — on a dangerous adventure to settle an ongoing battle between the gods. Along the way, he faces a host of mythological enemies determined to stop him. He also must come to terms with a father he has never known and an oracle that has warned him of betrayal by a friend.

The third book in the series, "The Titan's Curse," will be published May 1, with a first printing of 200,000.

No screenwriter is attached yet to develop the project with Columbus.

Maverick's Greg Mooradian is producing alongside Karen Rosenfelt.

Carla Hacken is overseeing for Fox 2000.

Columbus, who helmed "Mrs. Doubtfire," also produced "Night at the Museum" and "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban." He is repped by CAA.
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