Fox Franchise? Studio Buys Rights To ‘The Bone Season’ For Andy Serkis, Peter Chernin

Sci-fi novel starts a 7-book series

Making a move into a potential film franchise, Fox has acquired movie rights to supernatural sci-fi novel “The Bone Season” and set it with Andy Serkis’ Imaginarium Studios and Peter Chernin’s Chernin Entertainment.

Set in a dystopian world and written by Brit author Samantha Shannon as her first novel, “The Bone Season” was published in August by Bloomsbury Publishing as the first of a seven-book series.

Imaginarium acquired the movie rights and has sold them to Fox and Chernin. Serkis and Imaginarium partner Jonathan Cavendish will produce with Peter Chernin and Jenno Topping.

“The Bone Season” follows a 19-year-old clairvoyant who is called a dreamwalker and is able to move into the minds of other people. She is later taken to a secret penal colony at Oxford.

Fox has also made a first-look producing deal with The Imaginarium, giving the studio a total of 24 such pacts. Serkis has starred as Caesar, the leader of the apes, in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and the upcoming “Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes”– both produced by Fox-based Chernin Entertainment.

The Deadline.com site first reported the news.

The Bone Season takes place in a futuristic London society, where a 19-year-old girl works in the criminal underworld. She is a dreamwalker, a rare clairvoyant who can break into people’s minds and see what they are thinking. She is kidnapped and whisked away to Oxford, an otherworldly place where dreamwalkers are used as soldiers and where she is held captive by a warden with mysterious motives. The intention is for her to remain incarcerated her whole life, but she tries to find a way into captor’s mind.

Serkis won’t act in it or direct it, and he and Cavendish optioned it early at a book fair, and helped the young author move it along. It hit the bestseller lists and the author became something of a sensation, as she is just 22.

Serkis and Cavendish came to Hollywood last week to pitch, and several studios were interested before Fox closed the deal.

Imaginarium is repped by CAA and Larry Taube of Principal Entertainment LA.

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