Alex Proyas' Tripods movie will be the first of a trilogy of films

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Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

Director Alex Proyas (Dark City, I, Robot) told SCI FI Wire that his upcoming film adaptation of John Christopher's young-adult SF series The Tripods will be the first of an envisioned trilogy of films.

"We've done a draft; we're basically at the first-draft stage of Tripods, and we're about to go into our second draft," Proyas said in an exclusive interview on Monday. "Pretty happy with the script; I think it's come a long way. ... We're only doing the first book, The White Mountains, and the notion is, obviously, that it will hopefully be a trilogy. But we'll probably just be shooting the first movie independently."

The film is based on the first of three Tripods books by Christopher, the pseudonym of Samuel Youd (the other two are The City of Gold and Lead and The Pool of Fire), about a post-apocalyptic world ruled by giant three-legged alien machines who place a mind-controlling "cap" on children when they near the age of 14. Proyas is co-writing the adaptation with Stuart Hazeldine, with whom he also worked on the upcoming sci-fi thriller film Knowing.

"That's something that I read when I was exactly the right age, which was about 11 or 12," the Egyptian-born, Australian-raised Proyas said, adding: "It's virtually a coming-of-age story with alien invaders. So that really struck a nerve with me as a kid, and it's haunted me: the notion of these creatures sort of capping us and putting these kind of mind-control probes on us to kind of indoctrinate us into the world of adults. I always found that a really powerful notion, so that's always been something that I've wanted to explore in those stories."

Knowing is set to open March 20.