Screen Gems may have scored the next “Twilight”-style young adult fantasy franchise with “Black City.”
The studio has has picked up the rights to develop a feature based on the upcoming first book in the series “Black City,” by first-time writer Elizabeth Richards.
It take place in a city where ordinary humans and the supernatural “Darklings” live in two adjacent areas separated by a fortified wall. Echoes of “Romeo and Juliet” (and, of course, “Twilight”) crop up when the half-blooded Darkling teenager Ash Fisher falls for the human teen Natalie Buchanan.
Screen Gems is currently searching for a screenwriter to adapt the material.
“Black City” will be released on November 13 on Penguin Young Readers Group’s Putnam Juvenile imprint. “Black City: Phoenix” will follow in 2013, with several more books planned after that, giving Screen Gems plenty of material for a franchise if the first film proves a success on the level of the “Twilight” saga, the “Harry Potter” films or “The Hunger Games.”