Move over, comic books. Self-published e-books are the new breeding ground for major studios seeking portals into potential franchises. The steamy Twilight-inspired fan fiction Fifty Shades of Grey started the ball rolling on movies derived from popular e-book fiction. And now the sci-fi story Wool could be heading to the big screen with the support of Ridley and Tony Scott’s Scott Free production house.

Deadline breaks the news that 20th Century Fox is “the frontrunner” to pick up the rights (with Scott Free) to Wool, a book written by Hugh Howey that’s set in an apocalyptic, dystopian future where – after a mysterious tragedy – survivors live in silos that prevent them from going outside. But the strict rules governing this underground society begin to bend when a secret shakes up the community, hinting at the mystery that might have driven people out of the open air.

Howey’s book is relatively short, clocking in at approximately 60 pages. But demand for more stories after the first book became so intense that Howey continued to develop to narrative in subsequent books (that each grew longer). On April 5, Howey released First Shift, which was Part 6 of what’s now known as The Silo Series. You can grab them on Amazon.

And now I understand why studios are interested. Howey appears to be delivering a packaged franchise that could span at least three films and maybe more. This isn’t just a direct result of Fifty Shades It’s a by-product, still, of Harry Potter, the Twilight series and The Hunger Games. Come at us with a fully developed world, and we’ll try to spin it into a viable film franchise. We’ll continue to monitor Wool’s journey to the big screen, but tell us if you’ve read it, and if it would make for an interesting film series.
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