It seems like every fantasy book series being picked up by studios these days, think they are going to be the next Harry Potter franchise. If you look at every film that has come out thinking it would be the next Harry Potter, they've all failed -- The Golden Compass and Percy Jackson to name a couple. The success of a franchise like Harry Potter can't be forced, it's gotta come naturally. But I guess they can try.
Now Fox 2000 thinks they have the next big thing. They recently won a bidding war for the film rights to British author Catherine Fisher's young-adult book Incarceron. The book was released in the UK in 2007. Just a few weeks ago it made it to the U.S. and is already on New York Times' Bestsellers List.
Fox is hoping to turn this book series, which is just getting started into a franchise, hoping this will be the next big fantasy film series like Harry Potter.
The book tells the story of a young boy who lives in a prison that is a complete society; outside the prison, the world is stuck in the 17th century and run by computers. The boy comes into contact with the warden's daughter, who lives in her own sort of jail, and they find a key that can change everything.
Here's the official book description:
Incarceron is a prison so vast that it contains not only cells, but also metal forests, dilapidated cities, and vast wilderness. Finn, a seventeen-year-old prisoner, has no memory of his childhood and is sure that he came from Outside Incarceron. Very few prisoners believe that there is an Outside, however, which makes escape seems impossible. And then Finn finds a crystal key that allows him to communicate with a girl named Claudia. She claims to live Outside—she is the daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, and doomed to an arranged marriage. Finn is determined to escape the prison and Claudia believes she can help him. But they don’t realize that there is more to Incarceron than meets the eye, and escape will take their greatest courage and cost more than they know. Because Incarceron is alive.
Imagine a living prison so vast that it contains corridors and forests, cities and seas. Imagine a prisoner with no memory, who is sure he came from Outside, even though the prison has been sealed for centuries and only one man, half real, half legend, has ever escaped. Imagine a girl in a manor house in a society where time has been forbidden, where everyone is held in a seventeenth century world run by computers, doomed to an arranged marriage that appals her, tangled in an assassination plot she both dreads and desires. One inside, one outside. But both imprisoned. Imagine a war that has hollowed the moon, seven skullrings that contain souls, a flying ship and a wall at the world’s end. Imagine the unimaginable. Imagine Incarceron. It sounds like it has potential to be a great film, but will Fox 2000 be able to pull it off properly?
It sounds like a pretty big story and setting, one that can easily get screwed up by the studio trying to make it. Fisher's sequel to the critically acclaimed Incarceron is titled Sapphique, which due out in the U.S. next January. Here is a little trailer for the book that you can watch below.