If you've ever seen a film at NYC's Angelika Film Center, you know the auditoriums are in its building's basement, down where you can feel and hear the 6 train beneath you. But what you probably didn't see -- unless you worked there like I did -- is the hallway that leads from the basement lobby to the concession stockrooms and beyond, to the secret passageway that leads to an underground world. OK, I don't know where the passageway really continued; it likely could take you to the subway tracks, but with my imagination and my intrigue for NYC folklore, I assumed it led to the mythically legendary subterranean community. Maybe I read too many X-Men comics, or saw Ghostbusters II (no community, but there are secret tunnels of goo!) too many times. Surprisingly, I still haven't yet seen Dark Days, the documentary about NYC's underground squatters.

Anyway, I would love to go on and on speculating about who or what might be living far beneath the sidewalks, but instead I'll tell you what got me all excited about the topic: The Night Tourist, a young adult book that Universal has just bought the rights to. Written by Katherine Marsh and released last month, the book is about a ninth-grade prodigy from Connecticut who, during a visit to the city to see a doctor, is introduced to an underground world beneath Manhattan, which is reached by way of Grand Central Station. From what I can gather, the dwellers of this underground place are the ghosts of all the city's dead, including the kid's mother. According to Variety, The Night Tourist will be produced by Universal's new animation and family banner, which plans to make two to three animated and live-action films a year. However, the trade doesn't specify in which medium this adaptation will be. Either way, the most important issue is whether or it will have to compete with the in-works adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere?