Mandalay Picks Up Rights to Joe Hill's 'Twittering From the Circus of the Dead'

Joe Hill Author Headshot 2011
<p> Joe Hill</p>
Todd Lincoln is in talks to direct the film, based on a story by Stephen King's son.

Joe Hill is following the footsteps of his frightman father Stephen King in more ways than just being a best-selling author. Seems like Hill is also following a similar Hollywood path, with another tale being targeted for adaptation.

Mandalay has picked up the film rights to Hill’s short story Twittering from the Circus of the Dead. The company is moving fast putting the creative pieces together, tapping Chris Borrelli to write the adaptation and is in negotiations with Todd Lincoln to direct.

Cathy Schulman will produce via the Mandalay banner. Hill will serve as an executive producer.

The short story, written entirely as tweets from a teenage girl, follows an American family on a cross country road trip that goes horribly wrong. The tale appeared in The New Dead, an anthology of zombie stories, published earlier this year.

Mandalay, Lincoln and Borrelli don't want Twittering to be the latest entry into the zombie genre, which is threatening to become ubiquitous and to jump the undead shark, and are planning a few surprise changes. Hill has given his blessing to the new approach and will be involved in its development.

Mandalay’s vp Adam Stone will oversee the project and also serve in a producer capacity.

Hill’s first novel, Heart Shaped Box, was a New York Times best-seller and is set up at Warner Bros. His comic book book series Locke & Key was a hot commodity this past pilot season and was adapted by Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Josh Friedman, and directed by Mark Romanek. This is Mandalay’s second team-up with Hill; the company picked up his novel Horns last year.

Lincoln, repped by CAA, Caliber Media and attorney Bob Wallerstein, is an up-and-comer creating buzz in genre circles. A co-founder of the Overground Film Festival in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Lincoln wrote and directed the upcoming Dark Castle/Warner Bros supernatural thriller The Apparition. The movie stars Ashley Greene and Sebastian Stan and is due to open in 2012.

Borrelli, repped by UTA and H2F, wrote the Gold Circle/Universal horror movie Whisper. Other credits include The Vatican Tapes, in development at Lionsgate, and the indie thriller Edge.