EXCLUSIVE: In a whopping pre-holiday deal, Fox has made a preemptive acquisition of screen rights to Avtomat, the next novel by Robopocalypse author Daniel H. Wilson. The deal closed late Friday, with Hutch Parker and Dan Wilson (not the author) producing through Hutch Parker Entertainment. They are shepherding an adaptation of Wilson’s novella Small Things with scribe Cole Haddon. The deal is high-six against seven figures if the movie gets made.

roboWilson is best known for his sci-fi novels Robopocalypse, to which Steven Spielberg remains attached as director at DreamWorks, and How To Stop A Robot Uprising. All parties are keeping quiet on the logline to Avtomat, which sold on a 100-page proposal on which Doubleday has first crack to make a deal as the publishing rights get wrapped up this week. It is Wilson’s first novel since Robogenesis, and I’ve heard that it has the world building elements of films like Highlander and Interview With The Vampire.

emma wattsWilson is separately in business with Gaumont on The Executor, a story that he has adapted into a TV series pilot and Bible which has Alex Young and Lucas Foster aboard as producers and Tron helmer Joseph Kosinski. Titled Succession, it’s described as the sci-fi answer to Game of Thrones. Fox president Emma Watts and exec Mike Ireland spearheaded this deal for the studio, and the author was repped by literary manager Justin Manask, lit agent Laurie Fox, and CAA.