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Universal has picked up Neal Shusterman’s macabre YA series with plans to adapt the first novel, Scythe.
Scott Stuber and Dylan Clark will produce for their Bluegrass Films banner, along with Trevor Engelson.
Scythe is set in the near future where mankind has eradicated all disease. In order to keep the population in check, people, called scythes, are tasked with killing others at random. The story follows two teens, Citra and Rowan, who are tasked with killing one another after both are chosen to be scythes’ apprentices — a position neither of them wants.
Simon and Schuster will publish the book this year, on Nov. 29.
Universal vp production Sara Scott will oversee the project for the studio, while senior vp Jay Ireland will oversee for Bluegrass, which is currently in postproduction on Matthew McConaughey’s Civil War drama The Free State of Jones and will release the Kevin Hart-Dwayne Johnson buddy comedy Central Intelligence on June 17.
Shusterman is a New York Times best-selling young adult author who is responsible for award-winning titles like The Shadow Club, The Schwa Was Here and the Unwind trilogy. He won the 2015 National Book Award for young people’s literature for his book Challenger Deep, which he is currently adapting for 20th Century Fox with The Chernin Co. and Engelson producing.
He is repped by APA, Underground and Katz Golden.