‘Legacy’ to live on at UA

United Artists has acquired rights to the sci-fi thriller “Legacy,” an adaptation written by Rob Moreland based on the 1958 book “The Legacy of Heorot.” John Williams (“Seven Years in Tibet”) is producing the project under his Vanguard Films banner.

The project is one of the first set up under UA president Lindsay Doran. “Legacy,” described as Beowulf in space, is about how the first Earth expedition becomes a fight for survival when the colonists disturb the planet’s ecosystem and unwittingly create a race of genetically altered Grendel-type creatures.

The book, written by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle and Steven Barnes, was optioned by Williams about a year ago and together with Moreland, they developed the script. The two recently set up the comedy “Pink Slip” together at DreamWorks. Moreland gained acclaim in 1993 as the first winner of the UCLA film school’s Lew Wasserman Fellowship award.

Williams and UA’s VP of production James Middleton began discussions about three weeks ago and the deal was sealed last week. “I didn’t expect Lindsay Doran, the woman who produced ‘Sense and Sensibility,’ to be interested in a sci-fi thriller, but I’m glad she was,” Williams said.

In fact, Doran is working on another sci-fi project, the previously announced “SuperNova,” which was set up as the first directorial effort of former MGM/UA marketing exec Joe Nimziki.

Jon Levin at Creative Artists Agency repped both Williams and Moreland in the deal.

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