Cross Creek Pictures has purchased the pre-release rights to the sci-fi adventure novel Unearthed, looking to have Doug Liman develop. The production company and Liman have already teamed up for September 2017’s release of American Made, the Tom Cruise biographical criminal drama thriller film about Barry Seal, a former TWA pilot turned drug smuggler in the 80s and recruited by the DEA.
Unearthed is the first of a 2-book series by authors Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner and will be published by Disney’s Hyperion imprint next year. Kaufman and Spooner are the bestselling authors of the Starbound Trilogy: These Broken Stars, This Shattered World, and Their Fracture Light.
It is a young adult thriller described as Lara Croft meets Indiana Jones, set in deep space. The book follows Jules Addison and Amelia Radcliffe as they join forces in a tomb-raiding race on a newly discovered planet. While unraveling of the secrets of an ancient civilization, they discover a revelation that could be the end of humanity.
The authors are fans of Liman, which led them to sell the rights to the book before its 2017 release. Liman is known for his work on The Bourne Identity franchise, both directing and producing. His other projects also include Jumper, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and Swingers. In August, it was announced that he had been tapped to direct Warner Bros DC film Justice League Dark.
This will be Cross Creek Pictures’ thirteenth production since its formation in 2009. Their first production was the 2010 acclaimed American psychological thriller film, Black Swan, staring Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, Mila Kunis, and Winona Ryder. Other films include The Woman in Black and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. In 2011 they signed a deal with Universal Pictures where the studio would release at least six of Cross Creek’s productions over the following three years. This will be the sixth Universal release.