20th Century Fox is advancing on their YA sci-fi adventure ENDGAME: THE CALLING, as emerging director Brad Parker has entered talks to helm the adaptation. Temple Hill Entertainment, known for hit YA fare like The Maze Runner, is producing the adaptation of the James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton book of the same name, which debuted as the first installment of a trilogy. The Tracking Board exclusively confirmed in August that Dareen Lemke would be scripting the pic, and now sources confirm that Parker is in early talks to direct.
The studio nabbed rights to the novel in a $2 million deal amidst a studio bidding war in 2014, anticipating that the intended trilogy would pay off as their next hit YA property. Temple Hill’s Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey, who have dominated the YA genre since the craze began, will produce while Frey and Todd Cohen executive produce. Mark Roybal and Sarah Schweitzman are overseeing for Fox.
Endgame: The Calling weaves the best elements of The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Maze Runner, set on another world where twelve races of people are trained for an impending battle foretold throughout time. The champions of each race are between the ages of thirteen and seventeen, and are relieved of their duty once they turn eighteen.
The tradition was carried out for hundreds of years–with the reason of its inception long faded from memory–until the soldiers of each bloodline are finally called upon to do battle, with the losing bloodlines to be exterminated. In this terrible new reality, the teen combatants fight to be the last ones standing in an effort to ensure the survival of their clan.
Endgame: The Calling hit shelves last year via HarperCollins. The dystopian adventure became a New York Times Bestseller and multimedia hit, incorporating online puzzles to coincide with the novels. The second installment, titled Sky Key, debuted just this past October.
Parker fits to a T what the studio is looking for, as we received reports back in August that an up-and-coming director with a VFX background was the prime target. Parker cut his teeth in the VFX departments on films like Fight Club, Peter Pan, and The Time Machine. Since then, he’s worked as a second unit director on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Let Me In, the latter of which he also served as VFX supervisor.
As a director, Parker has helmed commercials for Panasonic, Hyundai, Nike, Nintendo, Molson, Chrysler, EA, Toyota, Sony and Honda. He made his directorial debut on Alcon’s nuclear horror Chernobyl Diaries, which made over $37 million against a budget of $1 million. He’s next set to helm an untitled actioner for Paramount and Bad Robot, with J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, and Matt Reeves producing and John Swetnam scripting. He’ll also helm the psychological horror/thriller The Mountain.
Clark Allen | Associate Editor