EXCLUSIVE: Sony has acquired the Gideon Sterer children’s book The Night Knights, with Ben Lustig and Jake Thornton writing the script. The scribes pitched the project, and Sony won it in a competitive situation. Ian Bryce is producing through his Ian Bryce Productions banner alongside Escape Artists partners Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch.

Illustrated by Cory Godbey, The Night Knights was published this week by Abrams Books for Young Readers. The logline: Nighttime can be scary. Every bump, thump or scratch could be a monster lurking under the bed or in a closet. But if that’s the case, then why haven’t we ever seen a monster? You might think that’s because monsters don’t exist. But maybe monsters do exist . . . but so do something else: The Night Knights. And when night falls, they take their place, protecting us all from the terrors lurking in the dark.

Lustig & Thornton sold the spec Winter’s Knight in a seven-figure deal with Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg attached, and followed with The Wells Initiative, a pitch based on the life of writer H.G. Wells, and the pitch 40 Thieves, with Bryan Singer and Andrew Lazar — all at Sony. They most recently adapted the comic book seriesThunder Agents for Huayi Brothers. Bryce produced Saving Private Ryan, World War Z and War Machine, and Escape Artists has upcoming Equalizer 2, The Intouchables remake The Upside and the Viola Davis starrer Troupe Zero.

Irene Yeung and Aimee Blank will oversee The Night Knights for Ian Bryce Productions. Paradigm repped the book on behalf of Stephen Barr of Writers House; Lustig & Thornton are repped by ICM Partners, Circle of Confusion and Ziffren Brittenham; Bryce is repped by UTA.