Studio acquires film rights to kids' book

In its hunt for a new fantasy kids franchise, Warner Bros. Pictures has acquired the film rights to Irish author Derek Landy’s debut novel “Skulduggery Pleasant,” as well as future titles in the planned nine-book series.

Peter Czernin and Graham Broadbent of U.K. Blueprint Pictures are attached to produce the comic-horror adventure.

Landy, who has penned several horror films, will adapt.

Warners’ newly launched London-based production arm brought in the project, its biggest acquisition to date.

Book, set in contemporary Dublin, follows a wise-cracking skeleton detective and his young female accomplice, who together try to stop the return of the evil Faceless Ones.

Warners beat out several other studio suitors for the film rights.

“We’re looking forward to collaborating with our London creative team to bring Derek’s darkly witty book to the bigscreen,” Warners prexy of production Jeff Robinov said. “Skulduggery,” published by HarperCollins, hit the stands in the U.K. and U.S., among other English-language territories, in early April. It’s being translated into 25 languages.

Landy’s previous film credits include “Boy Eats Girl” and “Dead Bodies.”

Blueprint Pictures (“Becoming Jane”) produced the upcoming release “In Bruges.”

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