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'Mama' Director to Helm Adaptation of 'Bird Box' (Exclusive)

The upcoming book by rocker Josh Malerman has been optioned by Universal, with Scott Stuber and Chris Morgan attached to produce.
Andy Muschietti   |   Getty Images
The upcoming book by rocker Josh Malerman has been optioned by Universal, with Scott Stuber and Chris Morgan attached to produce.

Universal has optioned the rights to Bird Box, a manuscript written by Josh Malerman, the frontman to rock group The High Strung.

Andy Muschietti, who directed the surprise horror hit Mama, is in negotiations to helm the adaptation, which would be produced by Scott Stuber, Chris Morgan and Barbara Muschietti.

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Ecco, a HarperCollins imprint, bought North American rights at auction for six figures in August. The book is set to publish in 2014.

According to Publisher’s Weekly, which wrote about the book deal, the story centers on “a blindfolded threesome comprised of a woman and two children who make their way down a river in a seemingly postapocalyptic setting.”

Sources have described it to HV as being in the vein of Children of Men and The Others.

A search for writers is now underway.

The project was brought in by Michael Clear, director of development at Stuber’s Bluegrass Films banner. Ryan Lewis is in negotiations to serve as executive producer.

Stuber is coming off the success of Universal’s comedy hit Identity Thief, while Morgan, best known for penning a good chunk of the studio’s Fast & Furious movie series, set up an adaptation of Julie Kagawa’s new book series earlier in the month. 

Mama, made for only $15 million, scared up more than $70 million domestically when it was released in January. Muschietti made his directorial debut on the movie after directing a Mama short, which impressed Guillermo del Toro, who boarded the feature as executive producer. (Barbara Muschietti was a producer on Mama.)

Universal executive vp production Jon Mone and creative executive Jay Polidoro will oversee the project.

Malerman is repped by Ryan Lewis of Stone Canyon Media, Kristin Nelson of Nelson Literary Agency and attorney Wayne Alexander of Alexander Lawrence Frumes & Labowitz, LLP.

The Muschiettis and Morgan are repped by ICM Partners.

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