Duo plan franchise from Koontz bestsellers

Ralph Winter and Terry Botwick are developing a 21st century Frankenstein, acquiring feature rights to Dean Koontz’s “Frankenstein” through their 1019 Entertainment banner.

Project places the doctor — a socially prominent and successful businessman — and his super-human original creation Deucalion in modern-day New Orleans. Winter and Botwick are aiming to launch a franchise. “These books have enough twists and turns to keep the public coming back to the theaters for many years to come,” the duo said.

The story centers on a pair of street-smart detectives who encounter Deucalion while investigating a murder, leading them to a bizarre array of “engineered” humans.

Three titles in Koontz’s series have been published, with the fourth scheduled for release in June.

“Frankenstein” will be produced by Winter and Botwick along with 1019 Entertainment exec Whitney Thomas.

Prior to forming 1019 Entertainment, Winter had a first-look deal at Fox and produced the “X-Men” trilogy, Tim Burton’s “Planet of the Apes” and the “Fantastic Four” movies. Botwick was previously president of Vanguard Films and Animation and president of Big Idea Prods. He also did stints at CBS and the Family Channel.

The first title in the Frankenstein series, “Prodigal Son,” was published in 2005 by Bantam Books, followed by “City of Night” and “Dead and Alive.” The fourth book, “Lost Souls,” will be published June 22, with the fifth and sixth books to follow in 2011 and 2012.

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