New Regency is developing a feature adaptation of Emma Berquist’s debut novel Devils Unto Dust, which is described as a cross between True Grit and 28 Days Later, the company announced Monday.
Devils Unto Dust tells the story of 17-year-old Daisy Wilcox and her journey through West Texas in the 1870s — a Reconstruction period plagued by a deadly virus infecting thousands with a rabies-like disease that turns people into murderous “Shakes.” When Daisy’s father disappears, she hires two Shake-hunters who specialize in killing the infected, and sets off into the terrorscape of the western frontier to find him.
New Regency’s Arnon Milchan will produce alongside Nira Park of Big Talk Pictures, whose Rachael Prior will executive produce the film. Sam Hanson will oversee the project for New Regency, and HarperCollins will publish the novel under its Greenwillow imprint in April 2018.
“Very occasionally, you read a piece of material that stops you in your tracks. Devils Unto Dust is just such a piece and we’re thrilled Emma’s trusting us with adapting,” said Park. “Daisy is an utterly compelling heroine — a young woman who does not and cannot give up. The stage Emma has set for her story is distinct and highly evocative. We’re delighted to be partnering with New Regency on this project, who fell for it as fast and hard as we did.”
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief