Young adult fiction is still big business in Hollywood, with the Harry Potter and Twilight movies having brought in a kajillion dollars, and with The Hunger Games poised to launch a new franchise. Now MGM, having weathered its various business difficulties, has its eye on a series of kids books with an unlikely subject matter: Hell. Er, I mean, Heck. NY Mag reports that MGM wants a big-screen adaptation of Dale E. Basye's bestselling series of Heck books, and that they've got their eyes on acclaimed Broadway writer/director Alex Timbers to helm the film.

Basye's Heck books are a YA spin on Dante's Inferno, with siblings Milton and Marlo Faustus killed in a "freak marshmallow accident" and sentenced to Heck ("Where The Bad Kids Go"). It's certainly not as bad as that other H-place; it's more of an afterlife reform school. It even has famous teachers on staff, including Tricky Dick Nixon and Lizzie Borden. They meet a fellow student/prisoner named Virgil, who just happens to have a map of "Heck," so the three of them begin planning an escape.

Timbers is the Tony Award-nominated writer and director of the Broadway musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. For those of us who don't frequent Broadway, BBAJ envisioned the seventh president as an Emo rocker, and the founding of the Democratic Party as involving a lot more rock opera than was probably historically accurate. It also launched the career of Benjamin Walker, who played Jackson and will be starring as another President in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter this year. Why Andrew Jackson makes Timbers the perfect person to direct a movie based on a children's book, I do not know.

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