Classic Dan Simmons horror novel getting feature film treatment

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Sep 18, 2017, 8:10 PM EDT

Didn't we tell you that you'd start to see more horror novels getting turned into movies in the wake of It's massive success?

Now Deadline reports that Dan Simmons' 1991 book Summer of Night has been picked up for adaptation. The book is in many ways similar to Stephen King's It in that it deals with a group of children -- five 12-year-old boys and the outcast girl they befriend -- who live in a small town and are tasked one summer with fighting an ancient evil awakening under their now-closed school.

Sci-fi fans should know the name Dan Simmons well -- while he has written in numerous genres, including horror, the author is best known for his masterful Hyperion Cantos that's set in the far future. Also familiar is one of the film's producers, Ehren Kruger, who has written several Transformers movies, as well as Scream 3, The Ring, and others.

Lesser known are screenwriter Ben Poole and director Isaac Ezban. Poole doesn't seem to have any produced credits to his name at this point, while Ezban has worked mainly in his native Mexico (although he does have an English-language sci-fi movie called Parallel in post-production).

Dan Simmons Summer of Night

Summer of Night all of a sudden getting a film deal comes as no coincidence after the new film version of It has shattered box office records and Stranger Things -- made from the same coming-of-age/horror template -- has become a pop culture phenomenon. While the Simmons project seems to have been in the works already, it wouldn't be surprising to learn that the studio involved (Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions) jumped on it much faster now.

Best of all, from the studio's point of view, is that Summer of Night is the first book in a loosely connected series. Simmons used adult versions of the characters from the book in his subsequent novels Children of the Night (1992) and Fires of Eden (1994), eventually penning a direct sequel as well in A Winter's Haunting (2002).

He's also a hell of a writer who has seen none of his work come to the screen yet, although his historical horror novel The Terror is slated to become an AMC series. But Summer of Night, with its surface resemblance to It, might be the first Simmons tale to make it into theaters.

Have you read Summer of Night and do you think it will make a good movie?