Joe Roth will produce Universal’s “Daughter of Smoke & Bone,” a potential young-adult franchise for the studio, it announced on Tuesday.
Laini Taylor's fantasy novel, the first in a planned trilogy, follows a 17-year old art student in Prague who is raised by chimera, a type of otherwordly creature. Universal acquired the rights in December of 2011.
It was one of Amazon.com's Top Ten Books of 2011 and one of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2011. The sequel to it, "Days of Blood & Starlight," is a New York Times bestseller and was named a Best Book of 2012 by Amazon.com.
The project is currently in development, still in need of a scribe to adapt the book. Roth wll produce and Palak Patel, president of Roth Films, will executive produce.
“Laini Taylor masterfully tells a story of identity and destiny that welcomes readers into a fantastical world with a unique mythology," Roth said in a statement. “It is very different than anything we’ve seen before and I look forward to bringing the fascinating characters to the big screen.”
Roth and Universal last partnered on “Snow White and the Huntsman," a revisionist take on the fairy tale starring Kristen Stewart as the eponymous leading lady. That film grossed just shy of $400 million at the global box office, enough to warrant a sequel that Roth is also producing.
The former head of both Fox and Disney, Roth is at work on a number of high-profile films, from the sequel to “Alice in Wonderland” to Sam Raimi’s “Oz: The Great and Powerful.”
Like "Snow White," this new project revolves around a female protagonist set apart from society by both circumstance and behavior. Karou, the protagonist, must collect teeth for Brimstone, the exacting chimera that raises her.
As Karou goes on missions for Brimstone, she encounters all sorts of magic and creatures unknown to her fellow classmates. She also meets Akiva, a seraph whom she falls in love with.
Maradith Frenkel, Universal's VP of production, is overseeing the project with creative executive Sara Scott.