Peter Jackson’s Weta will create visual effects for a filmed adaptation of Wake the Dead, a bestselling graphic novel by Steve Niles (30 Days of Night). According to Daily Variety, rights were acquired by Holding Pictures, which has Jay Russell (The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep) set to direct from a script by James V. Hart (August Rush, Bram Stoker’s Dracula). Holding Pictures’ Charlie Lyons will produce and finacne the supernatual thriller.
Illustrated by rising star artists Milx and Chee, Niles’ Wake the Dead is described as a reinvention of the Frankenstein story for a new generation. The story follows what happens when Victor discovers a way to reverse the death process. IDW published the five-issue miniseries in 2003 and later put out a full color, 128-page trade paperback collection with a special die-cut cover. Released in time for Halloween in 2003, the first issue quickly sold out, even though the publisher felt it had overprinted.
Lyons tells Variety that all involved plan to make a classic horror film, and that he’s eager to see what Russell does with a genre he’s been wanting to tackle for some time. The director previously worked with Weta on The Water Horse, a moderately successful supernatural family film released during the 2007 holiday season.
Rights to Wake the Dead were previoulsy acquired by Weinstein Co. offshoot Dimension Films back in 2003. The project went into turnaround while Sony Pictures, producer Sam Raimi and Dark Horse Ent. adaptad Niles’ 30 Days of Night. The brutal vampire flick hit theaters last October and earned approximately $75 million worldwide.