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film news

Writer sinks his teeth into The Passage

Posted by Patrick Sauriol on Wednesday, September 16, 2009

One of the many possible directing and/or producing projects that director Ridley Scott has in creative orbit around him is The Passage, a horror tale that puts a different spin on the vampire mythos. It's taken Fox 2000 two years to get from purchasing the screen rights to Jordan Ainsley's book (the pseudonym of Justin Cronin) of the same name to hiring a screenwriter to start adapting the book into screenplay format but it's finally happened.

The man who was hired for the job is screenwriter John Logan. He's worked with Scott before on Gladiator, for which Scott was nominated for an Oscar for Best Directing and the picture won both Best Actor (Russell Crowe) and Best Picture honors. Logan's one of Hollywood's A-list writers and has a very impressive resume of past work including credits on Oliver Stone's Any Given Sunday, Martin Scorsese's The Aviator and Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd. His work on Star Trek: Nemesis, the 2002 remake of The Time Machine and 1999's Bats...well, not so much.

The Passage isn't being published until next year, the first novel in what's planned to be a trilogy. In it a group of dying patients and volunteers are used in a trial experiment that uses the secretions from bats living in South America. At first it looks like a medical miracle has been discovered as the patients used (some of who were death row prisoners) are seemingly healed -- and then they start exhibiting frightening symptoms where they crave human blood.

When the publishing rights to The Passage were sold it was a big story: Ballantine Books ponied up $3.75 million for the rights to Ainsley's entire series and under contract. When Fox won the movie rights for $1.75 million they had to wait until the book was completed before proceeding ahead with development on their movie.

-Variety.

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