Paramount taps Morrison to work on film

Paramount Pictures has hired comicbook author Grant Morrison to pen the feature adaptation of vidgame franchise “Area 51.”

Christine Peters will produce through her Par-based CFP Prods. with Penn Station’s Dean Georgaris and Michael Aguilar, along with Stan Winston.

Par picked up to the film rights to “Area 51” from Midway Games in 2004. Game was released in April 2005.

Set in the U.S. government’s most top-secret military facility, storyline revolves around a hazardous materials specialist who is called in to investigate a viral outbreak that could be extra-terrestrial in nature.

Georgaris penned an earlier draft of “Area 51.”

Morrison is a bestselling comicbook and graphic novel author who has written runs for popular series including DC Comics’ “Justice League of America,” “Doom Patrol” and “Animal Man.” He’s also written for Marvel Comics’ “New X-Men” and “Fantastic Four.”

His revisionist Batman book, “Arkham Asylum” has sold more than 500,000 copies worldwide, while his most recent screenplay, “WE3,” is being developed at New Line.

Viacom topper Sumner Redstone owns a majority of shares in Midway Games.

A spinoff vidgame, “Blacksite: Area 51” will be released by Midway this summer.

Morrison is repped by Creative Artists Agency.

(Ben Fritz contributed to this report.)

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