Warner Bros. Picks Up ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ Author Seth Grahame-Smith’s ‘Unholy Night’ in Seven-Figure Deal
Posted on Friday, December 2nd, 2011 by Angie Han
Lionsgate’s adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith‘s novel Pride & Prejudice & Zombies is still struggling mightily to get off the ground, and Fox’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, based on another Grahame-Smith book, won’t be out til next year, but that’s apparently not deterring the writer’s fans in Hollywood. Warner Bros. has just acquired the screen rights to Grahame-Smith’s forthcoming Unholy Night, in an impressive deal said to cost about $2 million. Grahame-Smith is set to pen the adaptation himself, with David Katzenberg, David Heyman, and Jeffrey Clifford producing. More details after the jump.
Like Grahame-Smith’s previous books, Unholy Night (which is due out in April 10 from Grand Central Publishing) is a revisionist take on a well-known tale. The novel reimagines the Nativity story as an action/adventure centered around the Three Wise Men, who in Grahame-Smith’s take are actually notorious thieves on the run after escaping Herod’s prison. Though the trio are initially reluctant to get involved with Mary, Joseph, and their baby, they decide to help when Herod begins executing all the firstborn children in the land. As they set out on their escape to Egypt, they encounter Pontius Pilate, John the Baptist, and a bevy of magical Old Testament creatures.
Though none of Grahame-Smith’s novels have quite made it to the big screen yet, the writer isn’t totally new to Hollywood. Grahame-Smith recently wrote the screenplay for the Tim Burton’s upcoming vampire flick Dark Shadows, and with Katzenberg, is one of the creators behind the MTV comedy series The Hard Times of RJ Berger. The former is scheduled to hit theaters May 11, 2012, one month ahead of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’s June 22 release date. In addition, he and Katzenberg are also set to write reboot (don’t call it a remake) of the 1988 horror comedy Beetlejuice, also at Warner Bros.