Fox 2000 and Ridley Scott's production company have snagged the (pricey) rights to Jordan Ainsley's as-yet-unpublished vampire trilogy -- but the concept sounds pretty dang cool. Described by Variety as a cross between 28 Weeks Later and The Stand, Ainsley's The Passage won't hit book stores until next year -- but that hasn't stopped the studios from mounting a hefty bidding war for the three-part property.

Seems that Mr. Ainsley (who is actually the award-winning author Justin Cronin) received about $3.5 million for film rights on his three books. And get this: That paycheck was based only on a partial manuscript and an outline! Here's how the trade paper describes the story: "When terminally ill cancer patients get healthy after being bitten by bats in South America, the government conducts secret tests with human subjects to see if a virus can cure illness. Instead, it unleashes a swarm of bloodthirsty vampires out of the test subjects, which include death row inmates."

Awww yeahhh. Now that sounds like a book I'll want to read before seeing the movie. (Usually I wait till after. I know. I'm weird that way.) Although the project will be guided to the screen by Fox 2K and Scott Free Productions, it's not yet clear if Ridley (or Tony) will direct the first film. Although as a huge Ridley Scott fan, I really hope he does. That way it'll be a hardcore horror epic that's made for grown-ups. Plus it'll look real neat. Sir Ridley's good that way. As mentioned earlier, The Passage won't hit book stores until next summer ... but I'll be waiting.
CATEGORIES Movies, Cinematical