What movie will be the next Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone? That's what all of Hollywood is wondering as each studio gobbles up the rights to every series of youth-oriented fantasy novels it can. Warner Bros. is likely one the most desperate to find out; the Potter movies have been a big cash cow for the studio, and come 2010 there won't be any more to distribute. One hopeful franchise to take Potter's place is Skullduggery Pleasant, a comedic, kid-friendly, horror-mystery novel about a skeleton detective and the 12-year-old girl who helps him out. WB has just beat out other studios to acquire the rights to Skullduggery, as well as sequels -- so far there is only one book published, but there are expected to be nine in total.

The Dublin-set books are written by Derek Landy, who has been hired to pen the adaptation of the first film himself. Landy does have some prior screenwriting experience with the non-kid-friendly horror films Boy Eats Girl and Dead Bodies. The movie will be produced out of London by Peter Czernin and Graham Broadbent, who last gave us the little seen horror pic Wind Chill. As for casting, we can assume there will be a brand new face sought out for the part of 12-year-old Stephanie, while the title character will probably be computer generated (he's the skeleton). With a non-human protagonist, the Skullduggery movie will have to be something really special to be a sub for the Potter pics, with their lovable trio of relatable teens. But there's a chance that if Warners markets the thing well, by having the young girl appeal to female audiences and the skeleton somehow appeal to the male audience, then the studio could at least have a minor hit. Otherwise, I feel like this could be the next Lemony Snicket instead.