‘Lightning Thief’ strikes Maverick

Kids book due next year from Miramax/Hyperion

Madonna’s Maverick Films has set up children’s book “Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief” as a feature at Fox 2000 Pictures.

Penned by high school English and history teacher Rick Riordan, book is due out in 2005 from Miramax/Hyperion Books. Maverick-based producer Greg Mooradian and Maverick principal Guy Oseary will produce, and company prexy Mark Morgan will exec produce the pic.

Story follows the Greek god Poseidon’s 12-year-old half-human son as he embarks on a fantastical quest across modern-day America to save his mother, return Zeus’ stolen lightning bolt and prevent a deadly war between the gods.

Fox 2000 executives Carla Hacken and Erin Lindsey oversee the pic for the studio. Mooradian and Hacken previously collaborated on the Fox 2000 sleeper hit “Drumline.”

Maverick is developing “Charlie Bartlett” at Fox Searchlight Films, “Rodeo Girl” for 20th Century Fox, “My Sassy Girl” at DreamWorks and a remake of the Korean horror hit “Phone” for Focus Features.

Riordan’s adult fiction has won the top three national awards in the mystery genre — the Edgar, the Anthony and the Shamus.

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