It was just announced that Hammer Films (The Woman in Black, Let Me In, Wake Wood) has acquired the rights to the novel Boneshaker by Cherie Priest for adaptation to the big screen. 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.
“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.
Project will be co-produced by Hammer and Cross Creek Pictures and co-financed by Exclusive and Cross Creek Pictures.
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.”
“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 we’re 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.”