Director Doug Liman will take his sci-fi/action genre senses into the young adult genre, as his adaptation of the unreleased YA book Unearthed moves to Columbia Pictures. After three years without a film, Liman has two releases set for 2017 in the Aaron Taylor-Johnson war film The Wall and September’s real-life drama American Made with Tom Cruise.
Unsurprisingly, Liman will continue to churn out films, as he’s attached to three additional projects beyond the ones mentioned above. The busy director added a fourth project to his to-do list last October, when he signed aboard the planned adaptation of Unearthed, written by Amie Kaufman and Meaghan Spooner.
According to Variety, Columbia Pictures recently acquired the rights from Cross Creek Pictures, who will co-produce the project after purchasing it last year. Liman hops aboard a script by Jez and John-Henry Butterworth, who have helped co-write major releases like Get on Up, Black Mass, and Spectre. This will be their third time working with Liman, as they also wrote Fair Game and Edge of Tomorrow for him.
Unearthed follows scholar Jules Addison and scavenger Amelia Radcliffe as they reluctantly team-up to explore an extinct alien planet with the hopes of keeping humanity alive. The two dig deeper and deeper into alien tombs and temples, looking to find a key to humanity’s salvation. What they find instead could doom the species forever.
Liman has had a solid career as a primarily action/drama director, showing his reliability with hits like The Bourne Identity and Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Seeing his name behind the camera seems to be a mark of consistency for studios and audiences alike.
The young-adult craze that dominated the late 2000’s and early 2010’s seems to be reaching its twilight (no pun intended). Aside from the Harry Potter, Twilight, and Hunger Games franchises, no property have really been able to get off the ground. Meanwhile films like Beautiful Creatures, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, and The Host were all box office disappointments. The move of the moderately successful Divergent series to TV movie felt like a nail in the coffin for the genre, but there’s a chance that films like Unearthed and Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One could give it a much-needed boost.
Unearthed will be available on book shelves in January of 2018. Liman’s The Wall is still in some select theaters now. We’ll keep you updated on further developments on Unearthed here at Screen Rant.