EXCLUSIVE: Fox has acquired Joe Hill’s forthcoming novel The Fireman, and has attached Louis Leterrier to direct. He’s the Transporter helmer who last directed Now You See Me. It would be easy to call this a hot package, about a worldwide pandemic of spontaneous combustion that will reduce civilization to ashes unless it can be stopped by an improbable group of heroes led by an enigmatic man known as The Fireman. It’s no simple blaze: the condition starts as an inky stripe on a bodypart, looking like a tattoo. It’s a highly contagious deadly spore that eventually causes the sufferer to burst into flames. Millions are infected; among them is a nurse who treated numerous sufferers until they eventually perished, with the hospital burned to the ground. Pregnant, she finds herself infected with the spore. Knowing infected mothers have birthed healthy babies, she too is in a race against time. The book will be published May 17 by William Morrow. Temple Hill partners Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen are producing.

the firemanHill just made a deal at AMC to develop a supernatural series based on his bestselling novel NOS4A2. His fantasy thriller Horns was made into a 2014 feature directed by Alex Aja that starred Daniel Radcliffe. Heart Shaped Box, bought originally by Warner Bros for producer Akiva Goldsman and writer/director Neil Jordan, is currently being redeveloped at Warner Bros. by Langley Park Productions. Hill’s supernatural comic series Locke & Key was first developed for TV, landing a pilot order at Fox, and then as a feature at Universal. It is currently being eyed again as a TV series. Last season, Hill wrote and executive produced Tales From The Darkside, a remake of the 1980s fantasy/horror anthology series, which was piloted by the CW.

Steve Asbell is the exec at Fox. Hill was repped in the deal by Sean Daily at Hotchkiss and Associates on behalf of The Choate Agency. Leterrier is repped by CAA and Management 360.