Director Doug Liman digs into Unearthed for Columbia Pictures

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Jun 8, 2017, 9:48 AM EDT (Updated)

Fresh off the announcement that he would vacate DC's Justice League Dark feature titled Dark Universe, director Doug Liman is dipping his creative shovel into Unearthed, an adaptation of the yet-to-be-published YA novel by Amie Kauffman and Meagan Spooner.

The Hollywood Reporter just announced that Columbia Pictures has acquired the rights to this sci-fi adventure tale, often described as "Tomb Raider meets Indiana Jones in space." Liman (Edge of Tomorrow, Jumper) has signed on to the project and will captain the production using a screenplay by Jez and John Henry Butterworth (Spectre, Edge of Tomorrow). No casting decisions or release date have been set, as Liman is currently working on Chaos Walking with Daisy Ridley for Lionsgate.

Here's the official Goodreads description for Unearthed :

When Earth intercepts a message from a long-extinct alien race, it seems like the solution the planet has been waiting for. The Undying’s advanced technology has the potential to undo environmental damage and turn lives around, and Gaia, their former home planet, is a treasure trove waiting to be uncovered.

For Jules Addison and his fellow scholars, the discovery of an alien culture offers unprecedented opportunity for study… as long as scavengers like Amelia Radcliffe don’t loot everything first. Mia and Jules’ different reasons for smuggling themselves onto Gaia put them immediately at odds, but after escaping a dangerous confrontation with other scavvers, they form a fragile alliance.

In order to penetrate the Undying temple and reach the tech and information hidden within, the two must decode the ancient race’s secrets and survive their traps. But the more they learn about the Undying, the more their presence in the temple seems to be part of a grand design that could spell the end of the human race…

That certainly sounds like an appealing premise, but it remains to be seen what sort of casting can be assembled and whether a solid script can be developed. The novel Unearthed is due to be published in January 2018.

Do you think this outer-space story has franchise potential, and is this a good career move for Liman after exiting DC's superhero flick?

unearthed, doug liman

(Via Coming Soon)