Vincenzo Natali to dig into 'Tunnels'

Relativity turns to 'Splice' director for book adaptation

Relativity Media has tapped Vincenzo Natali to direct "Tunnels," its film adaptation of the first installment in the children’s book series by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams.

"Tunnels" follows the adventures of a 14-year-old boy, the son of an archaeologist, who while searching for his missing father discovers a subterranean world, dominated by a sinister race called the Styx.

Natali, repped by CAA, debuted his latest film "Splice," a sci-fi horror tale about scientist who combine human and animal DNA, at the Sundance Film Festival.

Relativity optioned "Tunnels" three years ago; its authors have since completed two sequel volumes "Deeper" and "Freefall," the later of which will be published this spring by Chicken House/Scholastic.

Simon Sandquist and Joel Bergvall have written a screenplay, and the film is being produced by Ryan Kavanaugh, Mark Canton, Danny Davids and Neil Canton.

"This first installment of the 'Tunnels' franchise will open up a whole new universe of excitement and adventure," Mark Canton said.