Ashleigh Powell to Adapt YA Fantasy Novel ‘The Hazel Wood’ for Columbia Pictures (Exclusive)

Powell previously wrote “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” for Disney

Ashleigh Powell The Hazel Wood

Ashleigh Powell has signed on to adapt the YA fantasy novel “The Hazel Wood” for Columbia Pictures, TheWrap has exclusively learned.

Powell previously wrote “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” for Disney.

Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher (“Divergent,” “The Great Gatsby”) at Red Wagon are producing. VP Lucas Wiesendanger is overseeing for Red Wagon.

“The Hazel Wood,” a novel written by Melissa Albert, has been on the NY Times Young Adult Bestseller list for seven weeks and is currently at Number five. Flatiron Books publishes in the U.S. and the book is available in 20 additional foreign territories.

“The Hazel Wood” is a grounded YA fantasy novel that reads as “Pan’s Labyrinth” meets “Alice in Wonderland.” Opening in modern day, the story follows teenage Alice, who lives a life on the road with her mother, incessantly pursued by bad luck. Alice’s mother has always forbidden her from having any contact with her grandmother — even banning Alice from reading her grandmother’s mysterious classic book of pitch black fairy tales, “Tales from the Hinterland.” But when Alice’s mother is kidnapped, Alice discovers that the Hinterland is not just a story, and that its strange supernatural forces lie behind her mother’s disappearance. To save her mother, Alice must journey into the Hinterland where she discovers how her own story went so wrong.

Sony Pictures previously pre-emptively acquired rights to the book, which was a hot title at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Lauren Abrahams, Columbia Pictures SVP of Production is overseeing.

Powell is repped by The Gersh Agency, manager is Daniel Vang at Good Fear, attorney is Eric Feig.