In the latest bid to discover the next Harry Potter, Fox 2000 has bought rights to the best-selling U.K. kid lit series, Chronicles of Darkness. According to Daily Variety, acclaimed director Ridley Scott (Alien, Gladiator) is attached to produce the first film under his Fox-based Scott Free Prods. shingle.
Brittish author Michelle Paver’s Chronicles is planned as a six-part saga set 6,000 years in the past. The series follows the adventures of a 12-year-old boy named Torak and his pet wolf. The first book, Wolf Brother, has the duo tracking down a ferocious, demon-possessed bear that killed Torak’s father. At present, it is the only installment optioned under the deal, said to be worth $250,000 against $1 million.
Orion holds U.K. publishing rights to Chronicles of Darkness, while U.S rights go to HarperCollins Children’s Books. Wolf Brother is set to hit shelves in North America on Feb. 15, in conjunction with an audio version recorded by Sir. Ian McKellen of X-Men fame. A second book, titled Spirit Walker, should arrive in 2006, following its U.K debut this September.