Parkes/MacDonald options 'Earthbound'

Producers are in partnership with Imagenation Abu Dhabi

Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald are putting together quite an eclectic slate.

The veteran producing duo has just optioned the rights to the Richard Matheson novel "Earthbound." This comes fast on the heels of acquiring feature-film rights to two other properties: the forthcoming child-rearing guide "Eat, Sleep, Poop: A Common Sense Guide to Your Baby's First Year" and the Web site the Museum of SuperNatural History.

Parkes/MacDonald Prods. is working in partnership with Imagenation Abu Dhabi, which pacted with the producers in October to fund development of feature projects. "Earthbound" is the first acquisition done outside of DreamWorks Studios, where the producers have a first-look deal.

"Earthbound" centers on a married man who starts an affair with a young stranger, only to realize that she may actually be the ghost of a long-dead woman driven by something much more than earthly passion.

Ronnie Christensen ("Passengers," "Locked In"), who is repped by ICM and Intuition Films, will write the screenplay. Matheson's work has previously been adapted into the movies "I Am Legend," "A Stir of Echoes," "What Dreams May Come" and "Hell House."

"Richard Matheson's novels and short stories have been adapted into some of the most memorable science fiction and fantasy films ever produced -- from Steven Spielberg's landmark 'Duel,' to the elegant time-travel romance 'Somewhere in Time,' to last year's mega-hit 'I Am Legend,'" said Parkes. "We're excited to have the opportunity to work on one of this extraordinary author's most intimate and suspenseful novels."

Parkes, MacDonald and Keri Selig are producing "Earthbound." Lindsay Devlin is an executive producer. Parkes/MacDonald exec Marc Resteghini brought the project in to the company.

Parkes/MacDonald is working with DreamWorks on "Dinner for Schmucks" and "Motorcade."

Imagenation Abu Dhabi's upcoming features include Peter Weir's "The Way Back," Doug Liman's "Fair Game" and Jodie Foster's "The Beaver."