Meridian buys ‘Ghost’ rights

Johnnie To set to produce planned trilogy

BEIJING — Shanghai’s Meridian Pictures Group has bought the rights to successful online novel “Gui Chui Deng” (literally “Ghost Blows Out the Light”) from online game operator Shanda for a planned pic trilogy.

Hong Kong helmer Johnnie To will produce the movies, about tomb raiders, and helm one.

“We’re at an early development stage. Johnnie will produce for Meridian, who is financing the project. The plan is there will be three films, which Johnnie will produce, and he will direct one as well,” a spokesman said.

The novel has attracted many filmmakers and top names have said they would like to adapt the story, including Stanley Tong and “New Police Story” helmer Benny Chan.

Author Zhang Muye is reportedly preparing prequels and sequels to satisfy the interest in the novel.

Novel was a big hit online when it was released on Shanda last year; it was subsequently published in October.

Earlier this year there were reports that New Line Cinema was interested in adopting the novel.

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