Fox 2000 has pushed forward a seven-figure deal with screenwriter John Logan to script a movie based on the Jordan Ainsley (pen name of Justin Cronin) vampire novel, The Passage. The project is being developed as a possible directing vehicle for Ridley Scott, which would re-team him with Logan, who co-wrote the script for his Oscar-winning epic, Gladiator, with David Franzoni and William Nicholson.
The book is part of a three-book series that Fox 2000 purchased for an equally large sum a couple of years ago. This leads to the potential for a trilogy of films if the first finds success. The real challenge lies in the length of the first book, which runs 1,200 pages. Though Ainsley did sell the book based only on the first 400 pages and an outline, so it must have really impressed some people.
The Passage is of the vampire genre, which some may feel is too over-done, but to its credit, the story is a fairly unique and fresh take. It tells of a group of terminally ill people who are bitten by bats in South America, and miraculously recover from their sickness to full health. The unheard of miracle leads to the government conducting multiple tests to see if a cure for many of the world’s worst diseases has been found — but as it turns out, the miracle is actually a vampire virus, and before long, a swarm of the creatures is growing larger every day and raining down mass violent chaos on the world.
Again, Mr. Scott isn’t a guarantee for this project yet; he’s just a possibility. The great director has many projects on his table, including his return to the franchise he created with an Alien prequel.
Logan has been keeping very busy since helping to write Gladiator. Just recently, he wrote the script for Rango, the Gore Verbinski directed animated film that stars Johnny Depp; he also wrote the script for Michael Mann’s Empire, and even the former Verbinski mega-project currently being directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo: BioShock.