War of the Worlds cover

Development: War of the Worlds updated; sewer monsters head for theaters; Potter producer acquires Prosper Redding

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Jul 21, 2018, 6:46 PM EDT (Updated)

The War of the Worlds gets a TV update, sewer monsters head to movie theaters in an adaptation of comic series Under, and demons and angels both get their chance to shine in planned movies based on the young adult novels The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding and Hush, Hush.

First up, H.G. Wells' sci-fi classic The War of the Worlds will get a contemporary update courtesy of a new television adaptation from Fox and France's Canal Plus. 

Howard Overman, who co-created the BBC TV series Merlin, is providing the script for the eight episode series, which relocates Wells' tripod-based Martian invasion of Earth to the present day. According to Variety, Overman says he wants to explore themes of racial superiority and ethnic conflict in Wells's novel in a modern setting.

This is the latest in a long line of adaptations of Wells's 1898 novel, with previous notable versions including Orson Welles' 1938 radio play, Jeff Wayne's 1978 concept album, and Steven Spielberg's 2005 movie, which also updated the action to the present day. The BBC is currently developing its own period adaptation of The War of the Worlds, starring Robert Carlyle and Rafe Spall. There is no US distributor currently attached for the Canal Plus/Fox production.


Credit: Titan Comics

French comic book series Under, about a near-future where mutated monsters dwell in the sewers beneath America's cities, is being adapted for the screen by writer/producer Anthony Alleyne and co-writer Brennig Hayden.

Created by author Christophe Bec and artist Stefano Raffaele, Under follows the story of a disgraced detective in the subterreanean police force trying to maintain order in a sewer society populated by mutant crocodiles and warring factions. Partnered with a young scientist, he's charged with stopping the chaos of the sewers from reaching the surface world.

Originally published in French by Le Lombard, Under was adapted into English by Titan Comics, and Variety reports that both publishers are part of the movie production team. Anthony Alleyne is best known for the British indie horror movie Sunburn, which currently has no US distributor.


Credit: Disney Hyperion

Former Warner Bros. senior vice president Lionel Wigram has acquired the film rights to The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding, a young adult paranormal fantasy novel by bestselling author Alexandra Bracken. Wigram was an executive producer on several of the Harry Potter movies, as well as on the current Fantastic Beasts spin-off series.

The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding centers on the titular teenager who becomes possessed by a vengeful demon that his family trapped generations earlier to ensure their good fortune. Prosper must find a way to break the family curse without giving up his life. According to Deadline, Wigram Productions is currently looking for a screenwriter for the adaptation.

Bracken's other works include the young adult series Passenger and Darkest Minds . A movie adaptation of Darkest Minds, starring Amandla Stenberg, is heading to theaters on August 3. The second novel in the Prosper Redding series, The Last Life of Prince Alastor, is planned for a February 2019 release.


Credit: Simon & Schuster

Another supernatural young adult novel is edging closer to the screen with the news from Variety that television director Kellie Cyrus will make her feature debut with the adaptation of Becca Fitzpatrick's bestselling novel Hush, Hush.

The first novel in a four book series, Hush, Hush tells the story of Nora, an average Maine teenager who develops an attraction to her moody classmate Patch, only to learn that he's a fallen angel trying to acquire a human host body so that he can learn to feel again. The novel was followed by three sequels, Crescendo, Silence, and Finale.

Cyrus's directing credits include episodes of The CW shows The Vampire Diaries and The Originals. She previously worked as a television script supervisor. Hush, Hush has been adapted for the screen by Peter Hutchings.

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