Studio picks up dystopian jail tale

Fox 2000 has won a bidding war for the film rights to Brit author Catherine Fisher’s young-adult tome “Incarceron,” with an eye to spinning the dystopian fantasy into a franchise.

John Palermo will produce via Seed Prods., Palermo and Hugh Jackman’s Fox-based shingle.

“Incarceron” is a priority for Fox 2000 and Seed, with the project going out to directors and writers to adapt. At least two other studios were vying for the film rights.

Published just three weeks ago in the U.S., Fisher’s book immediately won a slot on the New York Times children’s bestsellers list. Tome was published in the U.K. in 2007.

“Incarceron” tells the story of a young boy who lives in a prison that is a complete society; outside the prison, the world is stuck in the 17th century and run by computers. The boy comes into contact with the warden’s daughter, who lives in her own sort of jail, and they find a key that can change everything.

Fisher’s sequel to the critically acclaimed “Incarceron” is “Sapphique,” due out in the U.S. next January.

Seed exec Allan Mandelbaum brought the project to Fox, with Fox 2000’s Rodney Ferrell flying to London to close the deal with Fisher’s reps.

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