Just as J.J. Abrams is a brand and industry unto himself, if things go according to plan, the same will be true of Seth Grahame-Smith. Wait, who? The name might not be familiar, but you’ve likely heard of his stuff and more importantly, Hollywood just loves this guy. He’s the author of both “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” and “Pride And Prejudice And Zombies” with the former headed to theaters next year and the latter coming along in development (although with quite a few bumps along the way). He’s penned the screenplay for Tim Burton‘s “Dark Shadows” and because of that he was hired on to write “Beetlejuice 2.” In short, he’s a fresh voice in the genre game even though none of the movies based on his material or that he’s written have hit theaters yet, the studios are banking on this guy.
That’s why Warner Bros. have just forked over $2 million for the screen rights to Grahame-Smith’s soon-to-be published book “Unholy Night.” Just like his other material it’s a mashup of genre and history, this time taking the nativity story and turning it into an action packed tale about the three wise men. Boo-yah! Grahame-Smith will pen the screenplay with his writing and business partner David Katzenberg, with David Heyman — one of the producers behind the ‘Harry Potter‘ franchise — taking on those duties here. So yeah, there is no doubt this will be shaped into a tentpole release.
And while one may wonder the folly of chasing Grahame-Smith before audiences have voted with their dollars, $2 million dollars is the kind of vote of confidence that refutes any arguments at least for now. And this isn’t even all that Grahame-Smith has going. Along with Katzenberg under their KatzSmith shingle, they are also working on “From Mia With Love” described as ” ‘Weird Science‘ for the modern age and “Night Of The Living,” which is a stop-animation project they’re producing with Tim Burton.
So, is this guy the next big thing or has his star burned too bright, too early? Time will tell, but Hollywood hopes they have a phenom on their hands. [Deadline]