February 23, 2010


Fox, who had previously attempted to stop the release of Watchmen, have given the co-writer of that film, Alex Tse, the keys to adapt reclusive science fiction author John Twelve Hawks’ Fourth Realm Trilogy, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The book trilogy is described by THR below.

“Set in a U.S. society run by a secret organization seeking to control the population via constant observation. Seeking to rebel against these constraints are an almost extinct group of people called Travelers, who can project their spirit into other dimensions, and their protectors, called Harlequins.”

For more on the book series, including a description of the first book, the mysterious author who uses a “voice scrambler” to communicate with his editor and agent, and screenwriter Alex Tse, hit the jump.

fourth_realm_trilogy_book_spines_01.jpgThe first book in the series is called The Traveler, and was published in 2005 in the U.S. THR says the book “centers on a reluctant Harlequin named Maya who must protect two naive Traveler brothers.” The Traveler was met with wide critical and commercial success, going on to become an international bestseller. The next two books in the series, The Dark River (2007) and The Golden City (2009), were also well received.

With comparisons to Star Wars, The Matrix, and Dan Brown (eh?), according to THR, the book series seems ripe for an enormous production. With Fox reaping the benefits of the juggernaut known as Avatar, it is likely they will be aiming this for 3D as well. The premise certainly is intriguing enough to raise some eyebrows. However, the author might be even more interesting.

John Twelve Hawks, which is not his real name, reportedly lives “off the grid,” according to Random House. In fact, neither the editor nor his agent has even met the man, who communicates mainly through the internet and a satellite phone using technology to scramble his voice. Obviously, little is known about him, and whether or not he will be involved in the adaptation is unknown.

Meanwhile, Tse is best known for co-writing last year’s Watchmen with David Hayter, which had a legendarily long production process as it bounced from studio to studio. The graphic novel adaptation, based on perhaps the most celebrated comic book ever created, was directed by Zack Snyder (300) and garnered a polarizing response from fans, critics, and audiences alike. Tse has continued his relationship with Snyder, providing the adaptation for Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man, which Snyder is attached to direct for Warner Bros., and also adapted the upcoming Ninja Scroll for Warners, based on the Japanese manga of the same name.

No director or actors have been attached at this moment, as Fox is likely to wait for at least a finished draft of the script to move forward. Gil Netter (The Blind Side) and Andrew Tennenbaum (The Bourne Identity) are producing, with Joe Regal executive producing.

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