According to Deadline, newcomer Matt Sobel (Take Me to the River) is set to helm The Scorpio Races for Focus Features.
Jack Thorne (War Book), who has written for several British TV series, is adapting the screenplay from Maggie Stiefvater’s bestselling fantasy/coming-of-age tale focusing on two youths who take part in the annual Scorpio horserace competition on the windswept island of Thisby. Riders hoping to win the grand prize must keep control of their horses – wild and bloodthirsty water horses – until the finish line. However, the race is fraught with obstacles and is potentially violent and deadly.
The Scorpio Races is only the recent in a wave of Hollywood Young Adult adaptations that caught on with J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, and continued with adaptations of Twilight, The Hunger Games, Divergent, Percy Jackson, The Fault in Our Stars, The Maze Runner, along with many others. The trend shows no sign of slowing down either, with upcoming projects including Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, The 5th Wave, and Red Rising all slated to be released in the coming years.
Seth Grahame-Smith and David Katzenberg are producing via KatzSmith Productions, and Jay Ireland is executive producing.
This will be Sobel’s first studio film. The writer-director’s debut indie feature, the aforementioned Take Me to the River, is still making festival rounds following its premiere at Sundance early this year, and is set for theatrical release in January 2016.