Framelight, Uslan pump 'Trueheart'

To adapt the children's book trilogy into films

Framelight Prods. and David Uslan are set to adapt the "Tom Trueheart" children's book trilogy into a series of feature films.

Production on a first live-action pic, based on the 2007 book "The Secret History of Tom Trueheart," is targeted for a mid-2010 start on a planned $60 million budget. Producers expect to have distribution in place before production.

Framelight's Jeffrey D. Erb and Robert L. Robinson Jr. will join Uslan in producing the film, with the series' British author, Ian Beck, on board as exec producer. A screenwriter will be hired shortly.

An adventure fantasy, the "Trueheart" series follows a young boy and his older brothers in the Land of Stories. The original "Trueheart" was published in 2007, and a second book, "Tom Trueheart and the Land of Dark Stories," was published last year.

Beck is working on a third literary adventure, "Tom Trueheart and the Land of Myths and Legends." Framelight and Uslan acquired rights to the three books last week.

"It is rare that, when reading a story to my son, I feel the power that this tale has," Erb said. "I knew then and there that a personal mission for me would be in making this book into a film, and Bob and David had complete faith in my judgment and supported me on this quest."

Robinson said the story is aimed at kids but "also appeals to the fortysomething in me as well -- and that is a great sign."

Added Uslan: "It could have easily been a wonderful comic book series or graphic novel. When I look at a property, I not only look for a great character-driven feature film but a video game, a toy line and a digital series as well. 'The Secret History of Tom Trueheart' hits all those platforms, along with having great international appeal."