Fox 2000 lighting up ‘Darkness’

Scott, Upson attached to pic

Fox 2000 has acquired the film rights to the six-part children’s series “Chronicles of Darkness” for Fox-based Scott Free Prods., with Ridley Scott and Erin Upson attached to produce.

While reps for Brit author Michelle Paver suggested she could receive nearly $4 million from the deal, Fox insiders said that only the first book of the series, “Wolf Brother,” has been optioned — for $250,000 against $1 million — with the option fees on the other five tomes still to be negotiated.

Nonetheless, HarperCollins Children’s Books, which holds the U.S. publishing rights to the series, called the deal one of the biggest book-to-film pacts of the past six months, but it declined to give specifics. (HarperCollins and Fox are both owned by News Corp.)

“Wolf Brother,” a bestseller in the U.K., where publisher Orion holds the rights, is skedded to hit the U.S. market Feb. 15.

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Novel sold more than 100,000 copies within a few weeks of its bow in September. Second book in the series, “Spirit Walker,” is due out in the U.K. in September and the U.S. in 2006.

Paver, who is being touted as the next J.K. Rowling, let a draft manuscript languish on a shelf for more than two decades before writing it up as a children’s story last year.

Series is set 6,000 years ago and follows the 12-year-old Torak as he and his wolf companion try to save the world from evil forces.

In a statement released by HarperCollins, Scott called “Brother” “an enchanting book” with “a world that we have not seen before in any previous film.”

Thesp Ian McKellen recently recorded a “Wolf Brother” audio edition for HarperAudio that will be released simultaneously with the book Feb. 15.