Fox 2000 is paying seven figures for John Logan (“The Aviator,” “Sweeney Todd”) to adapt “The Passage”, a 1,200 page novel by Jordan Ainsley about a group of terminally ill patients who are cured after being bitten by South American bats. Ridley Scott is in talks to direct, which would be epic as Scott and Logan haven’t worked together since “Gladiator.” More on this pairing and the project after the jump.
According to Variety, Ainsley’s novel sold to publisher Ballentine on an incomplete manuscript and an outline, which Fox 2000 then snatched before anything hit book stands–and they still haven’t. Ainsley is the pen name of Justin Cronin, who has written two prior novels and previously won the PEN/Hemingway award for his work. “The Passage” the book is set to release next summer.
As for the Fox film, the mad dash to claim the rights is clearly a response to the recent vampire craze. The popularity of “Twilight” and “True Blood” hasn’t gone unnoticed by the studio, as evidenced by the serious cash they threw down for a largely unfinished property.
It’s nice to know the book is done with, so Logan has a complete work to work with, and I, for one, am excited to see him partnered with Scott again. I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re looking at our first vampiric Oscar contender. Most recently, Logan finished penning “Rango” for Gore Verbinski, “Bioshock” for Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, and “Empire” for Michael Mann, so quality (and range) is no question. I’ll just be excited to see what other names become attached to the project, when all is said and done.