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Lionsgate, already in production on the high-profile adapation of book sensation The Hunger Games, has picked up the feature rights of another award-winning young adult novel series, Chaos Walking by Patrick Ness.
Doug Davison, the one-time partner at Vertigo Entertainment whose credits include How to Train Your Dragon and The Grudge, will produce via his new label, Quadrant Pictures.
The trilogy is set in a dystopian future against a backdrop where humans are colonizing a distant Earth-like planet. When a phenomenon called the Noise allows everyone’s thoughts to be heard, wiping away all privacy, the corrupt mayor of the colony makes a play to seize power and wipe out the indigenous alien race, with only a young man being the only one to stop him.
The books, published by Candlewick Press in the US and Walker Books in the UK, have won critical praise and numerous awards; the series was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, one of the highest honors in the kidlit world, with the final book winning the prize this past June. Some critics have compared the dark tone to Hunger Games, something not lost on Lionsgate.
“Apart from the story elements, the world in the stories is so vividly imagined,” said Lionsgate co-COO and motion picture group president Joe Drake. “These are books, much like The Hunger Games, that we feel truly beg to be brought to life on film.”
Ness, an American who lives in the UK, is repped by Michelle Kass Associates in London and Berh Abramson in LA.
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