Universal rides Dark Horse’s ‘Secret’

Duo to bring graphic novel to bigscreen

Universal Pictures and Dark Horse Comics are gearing up to tell “The Secret.”

The two companies have partnered with Scott Stuber to produce an adaptation of Mike Richardson’s graphic novel that Scott Milam will adapt.

“The Secret” is the second project that Dark Horse has set up at Universal since the two inked a three-year first-look pact for pics last year.

Book, illustrated by Jason Shawn Alexander, treads down familiar territory, revolving around a group of high school students involved in a prank that goes horribly wrong, but puts a spin on the teen horror thriller.

Richardson is founder and prexy of Dark Horse, the third-largest comicbook publisher behind Marvel and DC.

“People have a sense what a comicbook movie is, but at Dark Horse, we’re trying to defy some of those cliches and expectations,” Richardson said. “None of our books are the same.”

Universal and Dark Horse are also developing an adaptation of superhero book “Umbrella Academy” that Stuber is producing through his U-based shingle.

Richardson will produce “The Secret” with Stuber.

Pam Abdy and Jared Pfeifer will oversee the project for Stuber Prods., with Keith Goldberg and Chris Tongue shepherding for Dark Horse, while U’s senior VP of production Scott Bernstein and creative exec Dave Targan will handle for the studio.

Milam was recently tapped to pen a redo of horror pic “Mother’s Day” for Twisted Pictures that Darren Lynn Bousman will helm. He’s also written a remake of scarer “Bedlam” for RKO.

Dark Horse has been keen on adapting its books into movies, with pics based on Richardson’s “The Mask” and “Timecop” having helped launch the company’s film arm in 1994. Credits include “Sin City,” “300,” “Alien vs. Predator” and “Hellboy.” Universal distribbed sequel “Hellboy: The Golden Army” last year.

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