TriStar Pictures has acquired the movie and interactive rights to Alexander Besher’s “Rim: A Novel of Virtual Reality” for an undisclosed sum. The property is set up with Robin and Marsha Williams’ Blue Wolf Prods.

The futuristic thriller will have a pre-sold appeal when (and if) it heads into production because it will be the first work of fiction to be serialized on the Internet’s World Wide Web. Starting in January, HarperCollins West and Wired magazine’s newly launched online magazine Hotwired will serialize “Rim” in four or five segments of several thousand words each.

Set in 2027, “Rim” portrays a world where the borders between reality and virtual reality have vanished. The story’s action is set in motion when a global computer system crashes and the hero-a “consciousness detective”-must rescue real people trapped in cyberspace. In typical buddy-movie fashion, the hero pairs up with a Tibetan lama to face down some corporate bad guys.

The author, a former journalist, once covered the Pacific Rim and high-tech industries.

One unique component of the Internet serialization is that the text includes supplementary music and video images. Online readers also can stop at a key word and tap into commentary from the author himself.

-Dan Cox, Beth Laski and John Brodie contributed to this report.

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