Universal Pictures acquired rights to Josh Malerman’s manuscript Bird Box in February, and now the studio has set writer Eric Heisserer to adapt the upcoming book. Mama director Andy Muschietti is set to direct the pic, which will be produced by Scott Stuber, Chris Morgan and Barbara Muschietti. Heisserer is a genre specialist whose credits include the screenplay for The Nightmare On Elm Street reboot in 2010, and 2011’s Final Destination 5 and The Thing. He just wrapped production on Hours, which stars Paul Walker and Génesis Rodríguez and which he wrote and directed. Heisserer also wrote the screenplay adaptation for Story Of Your Life based on the short story by Ted Chiang which is being developed by 21 Laps, Lava Bear Films and FilmNation. He will also serve as executive producer on Bird Box.

HarperCollins’ Ecco label acquired Malerman’s debut novel in August in a six-figure deal to publish it in 2014. The novel seems ripe for Heisserer’s talents: the story follows a woman and two children — all of them blindfolded — who make their way down a river in a seemingly post-apocalyptic setting. Universal EVP Production Jon Mone and creative executive Jay Polidoro will oversee on behalf of the studio. Michael Clear will oversee on behalf of Stuber’s Bluegrass Films.

Heisserer is repped by UTA, Art/Work Entertainment and attorney Marcy Morris.