EXCLUSIVE: Short stories have definitely caught the fancy of Hollywood movie studios. Fox has just made a splashy deal for the rights to Epoch Index, a short story/novella by Christian Cantrell that had six studios in the mix. Brad Peyton (Rampage and San Andreas) is attached to direct, Justin Rhodes (Terminator Reboot and Fantastic Voyage) is attached to write, and War for the Planet of the Apes‘ helmer Matt Reeves and his 6th & Idaho banner will produce. Peyton and producing partner Jeff Fierson also will produce through their ASAP Entertainment. Adam Kassan will also produce while Rafi Crohn will oversee for 6th & Idaho. Fox senior vice president Matt Reilly will shepherd the film.
Their deals are being finalized but that is quite a creative team to align for a 36-page novella that was self published in 2010. Here’s the logline: A CIA analyst is tasked with tracking down a flashy assassin whose targets are seemingly random. Connected only by a series of numbered tags left on each victim, Quinn Mitchell comes to a mind-boggling discovery: the targets are being sent to the assassin from the future – by her. Deal was for low against high six figures.
This comes after Netflix beat out eight bidders for the Matthew Baker short story Life Sentence, with Reeves attached to produce that one as well. Sources said that Amblin, Sony, New Line, Paramount and Imagine were also in the mix.
For Fox, it puts the studio back in business with its Apes filmmaker Reeves, and strengthens the relationship with Rhodes, who scripted Fantastic Voyage for Oscar-winning The Shape of Water helmer Guillermo del Toro to direct, and Terminator, on which Fox has international.
Peyton is repped by CAA; WME and Madhouse Entertainment rep Rhodes; Reeves is repped by CAA and 3 Arts; Cantrell is Gersh and Tantillo Entertainment.