Fox, Temple Hill Brewing YA Franchise With 'The Young Elites' (Exclusive)

Marie Lu's fantasy novel centers on a group of teens who survive a deadly epidemic and discover they've acquired powerful gifts.

The studio and producers behind The Maze Runner franchise are teaming up on another book-to-film project, eyeing another YA franchise.

Fox and Temple Hill Entertainment have bought Marie Lu's fantasy novel The Young Elites. The book, which hit shelves in October 2014 via Putnam Juvenile, centers on the survivors of a deadly plague called the blood fever. Many of the teens that survive have been physically transformed and discover that they've acquired special powers. This secret group of gifted teens is called the Young Elites, and their lives are threatened by a group called the Inquisition Axis, which is seeking to destroy them.

Lu's book focuses a young woman, Adelina Amouteru, who, post-plague, has silver hair and only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. When a secret society that strives to protect the Young Elite finds Adelina, it discovers she has powers like they’ve never seen before.

The Young Elites, which has been doing strong sales since its release, is planned as a trilogy, which could be ripe for a film franchise. Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey of Temple Hill are producing.

Fox and Temple Hill are right at home in the YA world — they're behind the successful Maze Runner franchise, which is adapted from James Dashner's books. The first film earned $340.8 million worldwide, and the sequel, The Scorch Trials, will hit theaters on Sept. 18. Temple Hill and Fox also made the John Green adaptation The Fault in Our Stars ($307.2 million) and Fox 2000 will release the adaptation of Green's Paper Towns, also produced by Temple Hill, this summer.

Lu wrote the popular YA series Legend, a trilogy that's been optioned by CBS Films and Temple Hill. More than 2 million copies of her books have been sold. She's repped by UTA and Nelson Literary Agency.