'Wicked' book series picked up by DW

5:18 PM PST 10/22/2009 by Jay A. Fernandez, AP

Sibling writers Aaron and Matthew Benay sell pitch

Something "Wicked" this way comes.

Sibling scribes Aaron and Matthew Benay have sold a pitch to DreamWorks based on the five-book series "Wicked," written by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie. DreamWorks co-president of production Mark Sourian preemptively grabbed the adaptation for mid-six figures and optioned the rest of the series.

The Gotham Group's Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Lindsay Williams and Michael Prevett are producing.

Described by one person involved with the project as "'Twilight' meets 'Wanted' with witchcraft," the young-adult "Wicked" novels include "Witch," "Curse," "Legacy," "Spellbound" and "Resurrection." The books detail the struggle of Holly Cathers, who moves in with an aunt after her parents die and becomes drawn into a dark world of secrets and magic.

The Benays will build the script from the first two books in the series.

DreamWorks is also developing an adaptation of the children's book series "The 39 Clues," written by Rick Riordan, into a potential franchise. Steven Speilberg is a possibility to direct the script being penned by his "Terminal," "Catch Me If You Can" and "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" collaborator Jeff Nathanson.

The Benay brothers, who are repped by WME and Gotham, co-wrote the Pixar film "1906," which Brad Bird is directing for a 2012 release. They also have "Yakuza Bullets" set up with Brian Grazer at Universal.

Gotham reps the "Wicked" books and their authors as well.
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