According to Daily Variety, Tom Hanks and Playtone partner Gary Goetzman may follow up The Polar Express with another adaptation of a popular children’s book. The duo has reportedly purchased rights to Jeanne DuPrau’s young adult sci-fi fantasy novel, The City of Ember. Writer Caroline Thompson (Edward Scissorhands) is in negotiations to pen the screenplay for director Gil Kenan.
The City of Ember follows two teens with very different dreams in a futuristic world where Earth’s toxic atmosphere has driven the population underground. The acquisition also gives Playtone an option on the sequel that DuPrau is writing.
Director Kenan previously made a live-action/animated short titled The Lark, and is venturing into features with Sony’s upcoming toon, Monster House. Produced by Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis, Monster House will be created using the same performance capture technology Zemeckis and Playtone used for The Polar Express, which opens Wednesday, Nov. 10.