Jonathan Levine Tapped to Direct CBS Films' 'Legend'

Legend Poster Art 2011
The studio is adapting the futuristic young adult book series by Marie Lu for the big screen.

CBS Films has tapped Jonathan Levine to direct Legend, the company’s bid into young adult franchise territory by adapting a futuristic book series by Marie Lu.

Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey (The Twilight Saga) are producing.

Legend, according to the company, “takes place in Los Angeles over a hundred years in the future, when North America is split into two warring nations. Legend focuses on Day, a Robin Hood figure who happens to be the nation's most wanted criminal, and June, a teenage prodigy who is hired to hunt him down. The pair are caught in a game of cat and mouse until an impossible truth about their totalitarian leaders forces them to work together.”

CBS picked up the rights in February. Penguin is releasing the first book this November.

Levine has been on a slow but sure upward trajectory ever since directing All the Boys Love Mandy Lane in 2006. He directed the well-regarded 2008 indie film The Wackness and is in post on 50/50, the dramedy formerly known as I’m With Cancer and starring Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anna Kendrick. The movie opens in September.

Levine, repped by CAA, the Nervik Company and attorney Todd Stern, is in pre-production on Warm Bodies, Summit’s zombie love story starring Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer, which shoots this summer.

The plan is for Levine to tackle Legend after he completes Bodies.

E-mail: borys.kit@thr.com