EXCLUSIVE: CBS Films has acquired screen rights to Legend, the first of a futuristic novel trilogy by Marie Lu. Twilight Saga producers Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey will produce through their Temple Hill banner. The first book will be published this November by Penguin Group. UTA sold the movie rights.
This might signal that the film company is growing bolder in attempting to create a franchise. The book takes place in a dark future, when North America is split into two warring nations. Legend focuses on Day, a young Robin Hood figure, and June, a teenage prodigy who is hired to hunt him down. Along the way, the two of them uncover an impossible truth about their totalitarian leaders. The project was brought in by CBS Films prexy/CEO Amy Baer and COO Wolfgang Hammer, the latter of whom made this his first preemptive deal since taking that post. Lu will be involved in the scripting stage as an executive producer.
“The character of Day, a roguish teen outlaw on the run, has been in my head since high school,” Lu said. “One night, I was watching an old time detective movie when the idea of Day vs. the gifted teen June came to me.”
Said Hammer: “This project is a perfect example of theatrical content with enormous digital possibilities.”
Deal follows movement on the Stephen King novel The Stand, in which CBS had a longstanding stake dating back to the original miniseries and will try to turn the massive apocalyptic novel into a film in partnership with Warner Bros.