Brian Oliver, President of Cross Creek Pictures, Simon Oakes, Vice-Chairman of Exclusive Media Group and President & CEO of Hammer Films and Guy East and Nigel Sinclair, Co-Chairmen of Exclusive Media Group (“Exclusive”) announced today that Hammer has acquired the rights to the novel “Boneshaker” by Cherie Priest for adaptation to the big screen. The project will be co-produced by Hammer and Cross Creek Pictures and co-financed by Exclusive and Cross Creek Pictures.
John Hilary Shepherd, a 2010 WGA Award nominee for his work on the first season of the Showtime series, “Nurse Jackie,” is writing the screenplay. Tobin Armbrust, Head of Production is overseeing the project’s development for Hammer Films.
An example of “steampunk” science-fiction, which incorporates futuristic innovations into a Victorian setting, Priest’s novel is set in an alternate version of 1880s Seattle, where the city has been walled in and a toxic gas has turned many of its remaining residents into “Rotters,” more commonly known as zombies. A young widow hunts for her teen son in the Seattle underworld, while dealing with airship pirates, a criminal overlord and heavily armed refugees. “Boneshaker” was nominated for a 2010 Hugo Award for Best Novel, and won the 2010 Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel.
The novel, published in 2009 by Tor Books, is the first in a series set in the same Civil War-period, alternate-world Priest has dubbed “The Clockwork Century.” The series’ second novel “Dreadnought” was published in 2010 and the third novel titled “Ganymede” was recently released online and in bookstores on September 27th.
Tor Books is releasing the fourth novel in the series in 2012 titled “Inexplicables,” and last week announced a deal with Cherie Priest for her to write a fifth novel in “The Clockwork Century” series. The fifth book will be called “Fiddlehead.”
“First and foremost this is a great story. Bringing a steampunk style novel to life on the big screen is going to be very cool, very unique,” said Tobin Armbrust.
“‘Boneshaker’ is a classic zombie movie with a modern twist which is quintessentially Hammer so it’s a perfect fit for us,” said Simon Oakes. “Cherie Priest’s steampunk series are fantastic with a distinct, unique style and were really looking forward to bringing her ‘Rotters’ to the big screen.”
“It’s like Jules Verne meets ‘Resident Evil,’ and we’re thrilled to have such a fun, commercial potential franchise in ‘Boneshaker,'” says Oliver. He continues: “John’s an exciting screenwriter and we see this being a real crowd pleaser.”
This is the latest in a number of projects Cross Creek Pictures and Exclusive have teamed on, including George Clooney’s The Ides of March, which opened nationwide on October 7th through Sony Pictures, the upcoming The Woman in Black starring Daniel Radcliffe, which CBS Films has set to release February 3rd, 2012 and Ron Howard’s Formula 1 film Rush starring Daniel Brühl and Chris Hemsworth with production partners Imagine, Revolution Films and Working Title.