Warner Bros. has picked up rights to "Bone," the acclaimed independent comic book series from artist Jeff Smith. Dan Lin will produce.
The fantasy series followed three cousins from the Bone family who are small, white and bald humanlike creatures with big noses. The trio are run out of their hometown and find themselves in a mysterious valley where they are separated and hunted by other creatures. They are taken in by a girl named Thorn and her grandmother, and find out that the valley is threatened by an evil force called the Lord of the Locusts.
The series ran irregularly from 1991-2004. Scholastic has been publishing the collected stories in graphic novel format since 2005, selling more than 1 million copies so far.
Smith, who will executive produce, was influenced by classic cartoonists Walt Kelly, Charles Schultz and Will Eisner on the series, which won several comic awards. Smith went on to become a noted artist whose work will be exhibited in the spring at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Ohio.
A decision on what kind of format "Bone" should take -- live-action or animated or both -- will be based on filmmaker meetings.
An animated version was in development at Nickelodeon Films but fell through, partly because Smith was displeased that the studio was aiming it for kids and wanted the film to include pop songs.
Jon Silk at Lin Pictures brought the project in and is a co-producer. Jessica Goodman is the studio executive. Smith is repped by Rabineau Wachter Sanford & Harris Literary Agency.
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