Trio sees '2012' future

Bay, Orci, Kurtzman adapt book

Director Michael Bay and writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman -- the creative team behind the summer's "Transformers" -- are reuniting to bring sci-fi author's Whitley Strieber forthcoming novel "2012: The War for Souls" to the big screen for Warner Bros. Pictures.

Talks are in the preliminary stages, but it is known that Bay intends to direct, while Orci and Kurtzman will produce via their company Kurtzman/Orci.

Strieber's story centers on an academic researcher who discovers that multiple versions of Earth co-exist in different dimensions, but all are threatened by an apocalypse to occur in 2012 prophesied by the ancient Mayans. By opening a portal into a parallel universe, he makes contact with his double to stop the prophecy from being fulfilled. The book is due in the fall by St. Martin imprint Tor.

A search for a writer to adapt is under way.

"We've been looking for a way to have the kinds of thrillers that we are interested in that still take into account the latest theories and discoveries in Egyptology and in quantum mechanics and all those things that Mr. Strieber is so knowledge about," Orci said.

"The idea of a man teaming up with himself to solve a cosmic mystery was way too good for us to pass up," Kurtzman said.

Kurtzman/Orci execs Steven Puri and Mandy Safavi brought the book into the company at the same time as Bay's producing partners Andrew Form and Brad Fuller got it via their exec Matt Smith. When Bay heard that the scribes had it, he called them up and suggested a team-up.

"2012" will be the third teaming for the trio, who first got together when the writers came on board to rewrite Bay's "The Island."

"It's been a great partnership," Kurtzman said. "I think we trust each other for what we all bring to the table. No one is better visually than Michael; the way he blocks out action is like no other director out there, and I think he trusts our story sense."

Greg Silverman oversees the project for the studio.

Strieber is known for such novels as "The Wolfen" and "Communion." His most recent novel, "The Grays," is being adapted by Ken Nolan for Sony, while "The Hunger" is in development at Warners. He is repped by Innovative Artists, Paul Canterna and attorney Lawrence Rose.

Bay is repped by WMA.

Kurtzman and Orci are repped by CAA.