Focus Features has come onboard to develop the YA adaptation of The Scorpio Races, based on Maggie Stiefvater‘s popular book.
English screenwriter and playwright Jack Thorne is writing the screenplay based on the 2011 book, which was published by Scholastic.
David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith’s KatzSmith Productions is producing, while Jay Ireland will executive produce. The story is set on the fictional island of Thisby where, every November, a deadly race is held on mystical and dangerous water horses — only one person will win, and some will die.
The project was originally set up at Warner Bros. in 2011 but went into turnaround, and Focus picked it up.
Thorne wrote A Long Way Down and TV miniseries This Is England ‘90, and served as EP and writer on Glue. He’s currently working on The Last Panthers for the U.K.’s Sky Atlantic and France’s Canal Plus. Repped by WME and Casarotto, Thorne also wrote scripts for The Scouting Book for Boys and War Book, and the stage adaptation of Let the Right One In.
The Scorpio Races was named to the best of the year lists for 2011 at Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, The Horn Book and Kirkus Reviews, and was also named a 2012 Michael L. Printz Honor Book by the American Library Association and a New York Times Notable Children’s Book. Steifvater’s other books include The Shiver series, a trilogy with more than 1.7 million copies in print in the U.S., and The Raven Boys series. Stiefvater is repped by WME and the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.