EXCLUSIVE: Arnold Rifkin’s Cheyenne Enterprises has optioned screen rights on Soul Seekers, the young adult book series by bestselling author Alyson Noel. Rifkin, the former head of WMA who had this deal brokered by WME, sees the series as a potential franchise on the order of Twilight and The Hunger Games.

There are four books in the series: Fated, Echo, Mystic and Horizon. Fated is currently in stores; Echo comes out in November 2012; and Mystic and Horizon will both be available in 2013.

The Soul Seekers series follows a rebellious 16 year-old, Daire Santos, who is plagued by strange happenings: crows mock her, glowing people stalk her, time stops without warning, and a beautiful boy haunts her dreams. Sent to live with her grandmother in the small town of Enchantment, New Mexico, Daire’s visions and reckless behavior are recognized for what they truly are – the call to her destiny as a Soul Seeker: one who navigates between the worlds of the living and the dead. As she learns to use her powers, she meets identical twins she’s dreamed about. They hold the future of the world in their hands. There is Native American lore involved in the series, and Rifkin is determined to cast the films with Native American actors when appropriate.

“I did a lot of research into Shamanism and Native American spirituality to create the world of The Soul Seekers series,” the author said. “In using these ancient practices and ideas as a jumping off point for the mystical world of the books, I tried to portray them in an authentic way and to do so with reverence. After meeting with producer Arnold Rifkin, and learning first hand of his personal passion for these themes, I have no doubt that he will do the same.”

Noel’s earlier 6-book series The Immortals was optioned by Summit/Lionsgate for a TV series and Fly Me To The Moon was optioned by Scott Free, with Sharon Maguire directing the script she wrote. While WME repped Rifkin, Noel’s repped by Bill Contardi at Brandt & Hochman.