'Flock' takes flight with producers

Don Murphy, John Wells option novel

Producers Don Murphy and John Wells have teamed up to option "The Flock," a novel by James Robert Smith.

Murphy is producing with Angryfilms partner Susan Montford while Wells will produce with his company's president, Claire Polstein.

The book tells the story of a group of highly intelligent giant prehistoric birds discovered in the Florida Everglades who are intent on protecting their ancient home when faced with encroachment by theme park developers.

Murphy, a producer on "Transformers" with Tom DeSanto and Lorenzo DiBonaventura, discovered Smith and his book by chance. Murphy was on the blog of Eddie Campbell, the artist of "From Hell," an Alan Moore graphic novel whose big-screen translation was produced by Murphy.

Smith was posting comments critical of the film, putting Murphy on the defensive. Eager to find out more about the poster, Murphy discovered Smith had written a book. He quickly ordered it, expecting to hate it and ready to trash it. To his surprise, he fell for it.

Murphy and partner Montford then brought it to Wells, with whom Angryfilms was already developing an adaptation of the independent comic "The Forgotten."

The producers, who see the project as a summer tentpole film, are now out to writers.